What’s the Difference Between an Influencer and a Brand Ambassador?

Many of these new phrases are easy to understand and it’s clear what they mean, while others seem to cause a bit of confusion.

One of the biggest confusions has to do with the terms influencer and brand ambassador or the difference between them. And we can understand why since their meaning is quite similar.

Therefore we thought we’d dedicate this page to clearing up the difference between an influencer and a brand ambassador as well as a few other related terms.

Influencers vs Ambassadors

You probably already know what an influencer is, especially since you’ve made it to this page, but you’re most likely more confused about the term ambassador. However, in an attempt to be as clear as possible we’ll give you a quick rundown of the term influencer to start things off.

Influencer

An influencer is a person on social media or online that works with brands to help them promote product and services. In the early days of influencer marketing, influencers were mostly celebrities with huge amounts of followers. Over the years, that concept has changed and today influencers can be everyday people with a few thousand followers or mega stars with millions of followers.

However, the important thing about influencers is not the number of their followers but the actual followers themselves. Brands look for influencers that have followers in their specific target group so that

they can use the influencer to market directly to their target group.

Influencers usually also have an expertise in a certain field or market that they represent whether that is clothing, fashion, makeup, exercise, or anything else, which makes them extra valuable for brands in that same field.

During an influencer marketing campaign, it’s the influencer's job to represent and sell a product or a service to their followers, and this can be done through different channels. It’s most common to use Instagram or YouTube but Facebook, Twitter, and blogs are not uncommon.

Typically, these campaigns are shorter and often include one or potentially two posts on social media perhaps in combination with a blog post and almost always for the same product.

An Ambassador

A brand ambassador is in many ways the exact same thing as an influencer. It can be a celebrity or a person with 5,000 or 50,000,000 followers on Instagram. Their job during a campaign is the same as an influencer, to represent and sell a product or a service by using their personal connection with their followers.

The big difference between an influencer and an ambassador is the collaboration they have with the brand.

While an influencer typically offers one or two posts during a single campaign - and then maybe never works with the same brand again - a brand ambassador will represent the company for a long time. Often times, the ambassador will also only represent that particular brand and not work with any other brands during their time as an ambassador.

A brand ambassadorship can last for several years and include multiple campaigns. And, generally speaking, the purpose and goal of

an ambassador is about more than just marketing one product for a company, but let us talk more about that in a second.

In other words, an influencer is a person that represents a company during one campaign while an ambassador is an influencer that works with the same company for a long period of time.

The Purposes of the Two

So now that you know more about the differences between an influencer and an ambassador, we’ll take a closer look at the different benefits of using the two.

Benefits of Using an Influencer

In most cases, an influencer is used to help a brand launch one new product or service, and most of the time the brand will hire more than one influencer to reach as many potential clients as possible. This can be compared to a regular marketing campaign run on TV or in the newspaper where a company is trying to sell their latest product.

This type of marketing is highly effective which is why it has become so popular lately, although there are some limitations to it. The biggest issue is that an influencer can be working with several brands for a few months time which makes it hard for brands to develop a close connection with that influencer’s followers. In some cases, it can even make the influencer less trustworthy and make their followers feel like the influencer is being ingenuine which brings us to our next point.

Benefits of Using an Ambassador

The biggest reason why companies choose to hire influencers as ambassadors is branding. By working closely with an influencer during several months or even years, the company gets a unique opportunity to connect with their target group on a more personal basis which is the best way to brand a company.

Also, by using the same person for the same brand for a long time, people will start associating that brand with the person. This is most effective using large influencers and celebrities, and it has been used in regular marketing for a long time.

Perfume companies are a good example of this type of branded marketing which started before social media. These companies tend to use the same celebrity for several ads and campaigns, thus using the celebrity to establish the brand. By doing so, they associate their products with a celebrity for a long period of time which can increase sales among that celebrity's fan base.

Which One Should You Use?

This is definitely not an all or nothing kind of situation, and as a brand, you shouldn't pick between either using influencers or ambassadors. In fact, the best way to utilize the system is to combine the usage of both.

For example, you can have one or two brand ambassadors that work closely with you and that represent your brand over several years. And when you launch a new product, you can hire an additional selection of influencers to help you market that one product.

In our opinion, the best way of finding an ambassador is to run a few regular influencer marketing campaigns and evaluate which influencers did the best. Was their one that really managed to represent what your brand stands for? Did somebody get better results than all the others? Then consider starting a brand ambassador relationship with the one influencer.

Final Words

While an influencer and a brand ambassador is the same on a fundamental level, the way they represent and work with brands is different. Both types of influencers can provide incredible results for companies that work with them but in different ways. Generally

speaking, an influencer's job is to market one specific product during one campaign, while an ambassador will help represent your brand and the products you launch over a longer time period. This type of collaboration is especially good for branding purposes.

Do you have any questions regarding influencers and ambassadors? Don’t hesitate to contact our highly skilled team. They can help clear anything up and can also help you plan and execute your next campaign.