9 January 2023 — Zac Faelnar
11 minute read
In the world of advertising and marketing, brand ambassadors have, although not always, played a key role in the pivoting success of a product or service. With today’s social media marketing, we’ve seen the explosion of influencers online. Yours is a company that’s looking to stay current with the trends in order to cash-in on your brand. And that means you’re on the look-out for those key people to bring your brand to life. The search is on for the ideal brand ambassadors and influencers for your influencer marketing campaign. But how do you find who?
Brand Ambassadors—Who are they and how do they help you become a winner with your brand strategy?
The Executive Vice-President and Chief Revenue Officer of NASCAR, Darryl Wolfe, says to forget the who. They are currently in first place for result-oriented deliverables and brand loyalty. Kudos to good, long-standing, fully-integrated, and authentic partnerships with their brand ambassadors. And he states to first take a look at the why. He explains that the key is in knowing and understanding your company’s goals and how to reach them. Do that with your brand strategy and you’ll most likely be racing first to the finish line.
Another reason why brand ambassadors are favored is the reliability of their opinions spread by word-of-mouth across a wide network. They often become authorities who put a spotlight on your company’s image, serve as advocates of your brand, and are the face of your marketing campaigns.
An ideal brand ambassador would have the following skills and traits that are advantageous to your brand strategy:
1. Product Expertise — Yes! They are because they have been patronizing your brand for the longest time and can honestly vouch for the quality of your products.
2. Communication Skills — Absolutely awesome at this! They walk the talk and can definitely talk everyone into buying your goods.
3. Networking Skills — They are not only known in the community but know pretty much the entire community! Well, at least the one that matters, which is your market.
4. Work pro-bono — Show me no money! That’s right, they don’t really ask to be compensated for what they do and would be willing to be the face of your brand for goodwill.
5. Diversity — Different folks and different strokes! They may belong to a particle community but their circles of influence are really quite a variety. That’s great news for your brand.
6. Long-term Relationships — There ‘til the end! Or for at least as far as the road leads you and your brand.
Brand Influencers—Who are they and how do they boost your influencer marketing campaign?
An ideal brand influencer would exhibit the following abilities and characteristics:
1. Content Creation — It’s their generation! Creativity is in their DNA and that’s poured all over their self-motivated and fun-driven content.
2. Signature Style — Individuality is key! Each one of them is defined by a unique sense of self as well and that’s totally advantageous when they are a good match with your brand.
3. Authentic Engagement — Always be true! That is the motto. And it works well for your influencer marketing campaign because it resonates with your target market.
4. Reach — Go the mile! And they surely do have quite a following, ranging anywhere from between 1,000 and 10,000 for Nano influencers, and between 10,000 to 100k followers for Micro influencers. That’s a lot of mileage for your brand.
5. Fees — Nothing in life is free! Well, of course there are freebies when we know how to get them. But even complimentary items are given because they are deserved. And in the case of influencers, they do work hard for it and most likely deserve some payment in return.
6. Short-term Partnerships — Finding a niche matters very much to influencers. This is a great thing but also a challenge when trends begin to change, which they do and quickly. So it’s gonna be a rather short but sweet relationship with high impact for your brand’s influencer marketing campaign.
Brand ambassadors and brand influencers—Can they be one and the same?
Although there are clear similarities between the two, there is a clear difference in their approach. Brand ambassadors don’t endorse products and services in the manner that influencers do. Instead, they spread the good word about your brand and it is especially effective within the same community. Influencers, on the other hand, use creative content to outrightly endorse your brand’s merchandise. PopStar’s influencers are usually non-celebrities for more personal engagement with the audience. But can Nano influencers who do not have a comparable number of followers, or Micro influencers who do not have a celebrity status, both be brand ambassadors? The answer is an absolute yes! Some influencers may have already enjoyed some good history with your branded products and can therefore also be credible and strong advocates of your brand.
For an influencer marketing campaign, you can explore the opportunities to work in partnership with brand ambassadors, brand influencers, or both.
The search is on! Time to find some good brand ambassadors and brand influencers for your brand strategy. Here’s how!
Your influencer marketing campaign can be designed so that the brand and the people you work with complement each other, but in the end, the strength of your campaign and of your influencers will depend on your company’s goals. So in answering how to find the ideal brand ambassador and brand influencers, you are, in effect, also exploring how to achieve your company’s goals. Now, let’s get into what you need to do to know how to find the right people.
Two Effective Ways to Find the Brand Ambassadors and Influencers:
1. Monitor Active Social Media Profiles.
Active accounts reflect active influencers who take their communication roles and audience engagement quite seriously. Influencers like to mention products repeatedly. Their posts will appear on social media, on podcasts, on blogs. For your brand strategy, you can choose to monitor mentions using the ever-popular Brand 24 or you can opt for other media monitoring tool kits including Google Alerts. Hint: There are more than 24 apps currently out there for you to try. These apps are very useful because you would want to have an easy screening process in order to make use of relevant information.
But let’s take Brand 24 as an example. As a monitoring app available in over 20 languages, it helps small and large companies “reach out to influencers and monitor their competition” as well as “track and assess marketing campaigns, track your competitors, get customer feedback, do social selling and more”. It can make it easy for you to track hashtags, and monitor the public conversations on social media, including those that appear on online forums. The app also has an analytics component to it which is most beneficial to companies and their industry competitors. It looks at engagement and reach, emotions and influence in relation to brand mentions, thereby turning simple data into valuable insights, as its own website states. And, as if that were not full-service enough, it also helps protect your company reputation because of its ability to help you track and respond to customer feedback. Seems like it’s a highly-effective one-stop shop. That explains why thousands of companies use the app.
Trustworthiness is an important factor to consider especially because data has shown that only 1 out of 10 people trust influencers. The credibility of your company could be affected when your audience does not trust your influencers enough when deciding on their product purchases. According to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, there is , in fact, some hesitance by consumers to refer to people and celebrities they follow as influencers. Oftentimes, this is a result of misleading hashtags particularly in clarity on whether or not a post is a paid ad or not. Or sometimes there would be no hashtags at all for reference. Hashtags serve as labels that should communicate a clear relationship between the influencer and the brand.
This is another reason why tracking the social media content of the influencers you may be eyeing is an important step to finding the right one. If consumers are trying to avoid using the term “influencer” when making references to the people they are following, that could be a problem when your brand strategy does require partnering with brand influencers. Perhaps, for the sake of a change in terminology, this could be a reason for going for the alternative, and building a partnership with brand ambassadors, who transition naturally from being an influencer.
Whether it’s one or the other, just keep in mind that if you want your company to keep up with the trends or stay ahead of the game, and if you want your brand to get to the top, finding the right people for your influencer marketing campaign has been made easier and more effective by Brand 24 and similar apps. It is certainly worth utilizing these new technological toolkits when picking genuine and ideal brand ambassadors and brand influencers.
2. Scrutinize Influencers.
There’s a countless number of influencers out there who would love to represent a brand. It is a very competitive full-time job. But just because your brand may be spoilt for choice in terms of volume, doesn’t mean all those influencers make a good match for your brand. Remember to watch influencers as content creators, and watch their signature styles, as well as their engagement with the audience. You may want to pick those who already show similar characteristics that could prompt you to include them in your list of candidates.
Your company represents certain values. Take that into consideration because your own loyal customers would certainly have expectations of the quality of people your company chooses to work with. If you don’t scrutinize your potential influencers, you might find negative or undesirable aspects later on when, perhaps it would be too late to reverse and correct. For example, you probably wouldn’t want the mistake of picking out an influencer for your health and wellness brand only to find out that that person, although a great and bubbly personality, has an unhealthy habit on the side that misrepresents your brand. That could certainly create some brand backlash.
See how authentic they are. Remember that you are searching for brand influencers who have the potential to represent your brand best and fit well in your influencer marketing campaign. So you want them to be real people. There are influencers who would do anything and everything just to get ahead. Yes, there are, so watch out and stay clear of them. There are some who project themselves as having impact on their followers without actual engagement. This is important to know when deciding on the right influencer for your brand.
Recommended Read: Why Authenticity Wins Over Perfection for Influencer Marketing
In an article on Forbes, “influencers are an investment” and you would certainly want to put your money on authenticity rather than on bots. The article enumerates ways to do your background check and what to look out for: First is sporadic growth, second is extremes, third is the ratio between followers to following, as well as comments to likes; and fourth of course is authenticity. In other words, you’ve got to do your own homework. Influencers whose growth spikes without any apparent reason may have some questionable practices. Those who have either unusually high or significantly low engagement rates also give reason for doubt.
These could be signs that these influencers may have purchased their followers as well as engagements such as comments and likes on their posts. Do a reality check on the content of your influencers’ social media posts to avoid investing in fake influencers. And see if the engagements are the kind that might assure you that you are not heading towards a risky deal with influencer fraud. According to an article that came out early this week, there was a small percentage of only 35% compliance with advertising rules on Instagram. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) are the regulating bodies that dictate the rules. Ever heard the line “truth in advertising”? Well, the same goes for influencer marketing campaigns. Your company would definitely want leads on the real deal and not misleading influencers who are, in fact, using paid or advertising to get ahead. You only seek the truth in your search for brand influencers who can ideally project authenticity in your own brand strategy as well.
Here’s a Final PopStar Tip! If you find it challenging finding the ideal brand ambassadors or brand influencers, you can certainly seek our assistance and guidance! For more tips, check out our article on How to Turn Influencers into Brand Ambassadors
You can message or contact our Team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how PopStar can help you with your influencer marketing campaign.