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Influencer vs. Brand Ambassador: Unraveling the Key Differences


Blog on influence vs brand ambassador


In the modern marketing, where traditional advertising methods are becoming less impactful, businesses find themselves exploring new ways to market their products and services. Among the most effective strategies are influencer and brand ambassador marketing.


Both influencers and brand ambassadors have a vital role in marketing. However, understanding their distinct roles and how they can be leveraged to meet specific marketing objectives is crucial for any business. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the key differences between influencers and brand ambassadors.

Influencer Vs. Brand Ambassador: An Overview

In the realm of social media marketing, influencers and brand ambassadors are often considered synonymous. However, subtle differences distinguish these two roles. The distinction primarily lies in the nature of their relationship with the brand and the manner in which they are managed.



chart of influencer vs brand ambassador

Defining an Influencer

An influencer, by definition, is an individual who can sway people's decisions based on the audience's perception of them. They have a significant following on one or several digital platforms. However, the size of the following is not the only determinative factor of an influencer. Their actual influencing power, derived from their audience's trust and connection, is what truly counts.

Different Types of Influencers

Influencers can fall into one of six categories:

  1. Nano influencers: 1,000 – 10,000 followers

  2. Micro influencers: 10,000 – 50,000 followers

  3. Mid-tier influencers: 50,000 – 500,000 followers

  4. Macro influencers: 500,000 – 1 million followers

  5. Mega influencers: 1 million – 5 million followers

  6. Celebrity influencers: Over 5 million followers

The type of influencer that a brand should engage with depends largely on the brand's unique marketing objectives.

When to Collaborate with an Influencer

Influencers are ideal for short-term, campaign-based partnerships, especially for generating quick, widespread awareness of a new product or service. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, a staggering 60% of consumers would consider buying a product promoted by an influencer. Therefore, businesses are increasingly allocating a larger portion of their marketing budget toward influencer marketing campaigns.

The Journey to Becoming an Influencer

To embark on the journey of becoming an influencer, one must first establish a significant online presence. This involves creating engaging content that appeals to a specific audience and amassing a substantial following. Once a respectable following is achieved, brands within the influencer's niche may approach them for partnerships.

Understanding a Brand Ambassador

A brand ambassador is an individual hired to represent a brand positively, thereby increasing brand awareness and sales. They can be customers, employees, advocates, affiliates, or even influencers. The common thread is that they love the brand they represent and their word-of-mouth recommendations are trusted more than traditional advertising.

When to Partner with a Brand Ambassador

Brand ambassadors are particularly impactful for niche markets and premium products. They highlight specific reasons why a particular brand or product can solve a problem for potential customers. They are also more focused on becoming experts on your product, making them better equipped to share their knowledge with their followers.

The Path to Becoming a Brand Ambassador

There are two primary ways to become a brand ambassador. One can either unofficially start promoting a brand they love or apply to join an existing brand ambassador program. A brand ambassador is expected to have strong communication skills that help them engage with others, both online and offline.

Healthy Forge has partnered with Three, a leading proactive health company as a brand ambassador. We joined a fantastic team with mature systems and great support from the other BAs on the team.

Influencer Vs. Brand Ambassador: Key Differentiators

While both influencers and brand ambassadors play pivotal roles in marketing, their approaches differ. Influencers typically have short-term relationships with brands and promote them across social channels in exchange for compensation. On the other hand, brand ambassadors represent brands online and offline for the long term and receive compensation through exclusive perks.


Successful Use Cases of Influencers and Brand Ambassadors

Plant-based meal delivery service, Splendid Spoon, provides a prime example of the successful use of both influencers and brand ambassadors. They currently collaborate with over 200 brand ambassadors and 2-5 paid influencers monthly. This combination helps to drive awareness and boost product launches.

The Ideal Influencer and Brand Ambassador Strategy

The best strategy involves using both influencers and brand ambassadors in tandem. When launching a new product, brands can use an influencer campaign to introduce the products to a broad audience. Once the product has launched, brands can engage their brand ambassadors to sustain the conversation, generate more buzz, and create more user-generated content around the product.

Why Choose One Over the Other?

Both influencers and brand ambassadors are invaluable in today's marketing landscape. They offer unique ways to connect with audiences and build trust that cannot be achieved through traditional advertising methods. Therefore, businesses should consider using both to maximize awareness and build a stronger brand community.


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