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Brand Ambassador vs Influencer: Pros and Cons of Both

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Social media-driven word-of-mouth marketing has skyrocketed in the past few years. One reason for the growth is the uptake of social media in the last decade. According to statistics, 70% of the American population is on at least one social media platform accounting for seven in every ten individuals.

Today, many brands leverage the power of social media influencers and ambassadors to get word on their brand out there. Both options have pros and cons. This guide looks at the two options, from their main differences to the pros and cons.

Who Is a Brand Ambassador

A brand ambassador refers to a person hired by a company to promote its products. Usually, brand ambassadors are people that love a brand and its products and are passionate about them even before you assign them the role of brand ambassadors.

Brand ambassadors can come from all walks of life. What matters the most is the person’s connection to your industry and passion for your products. For example, a renowned gym trainer that already uses your products could be the best pick if you are dealing with gym wear.

Pros 

The most outstanding advantage of using a brand ambassador is that they are loyal to your brand and products even before their brand ambassador designation. This means they will be more authentic when promoting your brand.

They are also more likely to align with the brand ethos and become the face of a brand which means when people see them, your brand comes to mind.

Cons

Usually, brand ambassadors establish a long-lasting relationship with a brand. The downside of this relationship is that you will be reaching the same target audience.

Also, the cost can be out of reach for emerging brands, especially if you seek exclusive long-term engagements.

Choosing the right brand ambassador can also be challenging, and you do not want to engage an ambassador that won’t get the results you anticipate.

Who Is an Influencer?

Influencers are persons that have built huge social media followings. Sometimes an influencer will choose a niche and specialize in it. Also, some influencers will be platform specific.

If your target is Instagram users, you will need to search for Instagram influencers with a reach that is ideal for you. An influencer’s reach level determines how many people they reach and the cost of hiring them.

When engaging an influencer, you are paying them to mention your product to their followers, who can trust what they say in many cases. Like brand ambassadors, this approach has some cons and pros.

Pros

Influencers work on short contracts, which means you could work with several influencers over a given period and reach new audiences with every influencer.

Also, influencers treat their social media accounts like a business. Therefore, they constantly work to make their accounts as effective as possible, guaranteeing that clients get the highest standard of service.

While influencers with huge followings can be expensive, there is the option of choosing influencers with fewer followers, which may fall within your budget.

Cons

The most significant downside to influencer marketing, as opposed to brand ambassadors, is that you do not get brand royalty. Today an influencer will promote your brand; the next day, your competitors.

Also, there is no guarantee they will align with your brand’s ethos. While most influencers will pay attention to their content, the quality of content may vary, and you risk having them run content that is not 100 percent in line with your company ethos.

Final Words

Brand ambassadors and influencers are both critical in getting the word out there. Working with the two is the best option if you are an established business with a wide reach. However, an influencer can be the better option if you are a startup trying to get the word out

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For many industries, COVID-19 has accelerated the timeline for Digital Transformation Programs by multiple years. Digital Transformation has become a necessity. Now, to survive in the Low Touch Economy—characterized by social distancing and a minimization of in-person activities—organizations must go digital. This includes offering digital solutions for both employees (e.g. Remote Work, Virtual Teams, Enterprise Cloud, etc.) and customers (e.g. E-commerce, Social Media, Mobile Apps, etc.).

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About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.




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