Your guide to finding and keeping brand ambassadors

You have probably heard about brand ambassadors: many world-class brands are known for their world-famous ambassadors. But what is a brand ambassador, why do they bring better results than regular influencers, and how to build your own brand ambassador program?

In this article, we’ll go through everything you need to know about finding, choosing, and keeping brand ambassadors.  Start reading from the beginning or go straight to the topic that interests you the most 👇🏼

The benefits of brand ambassadors
Brand ambassador examples
How to find brand ambassadors?
How to choose ambassadors?
Building a brand ambassador program
Brand ambassador management

1. What is a brand ambassador?

1.1 Brand ambassador meaning

Oxford Language defines a brand ambassador as “a person, especially a celebrity, who is paid to endorse or promote a particular company’s products or services”. However, that leaves out the most important characteristic of brand ambassadorship: a strong relationship with a brand.

A brand ambassador is a long-term partner to a brand that they have a sincere fondness for and thus, advocate for the brand. Usually, the relationships are mutually beneficial, meaning that the ambassador is getting free products or a monetary reward for promoting the company.

Wikipedia has a better definition: “A brand ambassador is a person engaged by an organization or company to represent its brand in a positive light, helping to increase brand awareness and sales. The brand ambassador is meant to embody the corporate identity in appearance, demeanor, values, and ethics.”

Meaning that a brand ambassador is so much more than an influencer whose goal is selling the products – they represent the brand. They are the faces of the company.

@itslindaling is a brand ambassador for Löwengrip – she even states it in her bio.

1.2 Brand ambassador benefits

Why should you prefer brand ambassadors over one-off collaborations? Although both help you to spread the word about your brand, reach potential customers and encourage word-of-mouth marketing, we claim that ambassadorship marketing is way more trustworthy, and thus, brings better results.

🤍 More trustworthy than one-off collaborations

People trust other people, much more than traditional advertising: their friends, family, opinion leaders, and even strangers on the internet. It’s just that we can identify with people so much better than with logos and brands. This is why influencer marketing works.

However, influencer marketing has been growing rapidly in recent years – and that has also caused some issues in the industry. Many influencers have turned their feed into an advertising catalog full of sponsored posts by different companies. At the same time, consumers are becoming increasingly better at recognizing inauthentic collaborations – and obviously, they do not trust collaborations like this.

With brand ambassadors, it’s different: as they are sincerely fans of the brand, their recommendations are sincere and trustworthy, and thus, bring better results for the brand.

🤍  More touchpoints mean better sales results

With the immense amount of noise happening constantly on social media, brands just do not stand out by doing one-off collaborations, without a proper strategy. According to the surveys, people need 6-8 touchpoints with the brand (link) before they do a purchase decision.

Ideally, your product is a part of your ambassador’s life – so in addition to posts about the brand, their followers can time-to-time notice the product in their stories. Over time, that creates a lot of touchpoints, and thus, drives more sales. For example, here’s an influencer marketing strategy to increase your e-commerce revenue! 👇🏼

🤍  Working with brand ambassadors takes less time

As mentioned before, long-term partners know the brand’s goals and expectations and goals. Therefore, collaboration is a lot easier and less time-consuming for the brand – not to mention the need to constantly look for new creators and hold negotiations with them!

🤍  A flow of high-quality user-generated content

That goes together with the last point: as the ambassador already has your product and they are creating content about it, having brand ambassadors means a constant flow of influencer-generated content that you can repurpose on your brand’s social media channels to strengthen your online media presence. Another reason to run brand ambassador programs!

@saamarinkakut x Vallila collaboration photos

1.3 Types of brand ambassadors

In general, there are three types of brand ambassadors: influencer ambassadors, customer ambassadors, and employee ambassadors. Sometimes, people also consider affiliate partners as brand ambassadors.

Influencer ambassadors are the most common type of brand ambassadors. As social media influencers have a significant audience and a strong bond with their followers, it makes very much sense for the brands to work with them to spread the word about its products. This is what we’re focusing on in this article.

Customer ambassadors are your most sincere type of brand ambassadors – oftentimes they advocate for your brand voluntarily, without getting anything extra for this. In this article, we’ll also shortly discuss turning your customers into ambassadors (because as we always say: a happy customer is your best influencer).

Employee ambassadors are the third common type. Your employees are your company’s ambassadors, whether they want it or not. We all talk about our work sometimes – and as they have the most insights into the company, their friends and family trust their opinion the most. 

Brand ambassador vs influencer

What’s the difference between a brand ambassador and an influencer? One does not preclude another – influencers can be turned into brand ambassadors. However, the term “influencer” is more generic and refers to a person while the term “brand ambassador” refers to a long-term collaboration with a brand.

Brand ambassador vs affiliate

Again, one does not preclude another: ambassadors can have a personal link or discount code and earn an affiliate fee or commission on sales. However, affiliate partnership is purely commercial. Usually, affiliates do not have any feelings for the brand – they might not even use their products – but they have great marketing skills they can use to sell their products and services.

2. Brand ambassador examples

When you think about brand ambassadors, there are probably some big brands and celebrities that come to your mind first. For example, the collaboration between Beyoncé and Pepsi has been going on for more than 10 years! Here are some more examples of successful brand ambassador programs!

2.1 Molly-Mae Hague and Pretty Little Thing

The collaboration between Molly-Mae Hague and the fast-fashion retailer Pretty Little Thing seems to be a perfect match: not only does Molly love PLT clothes but she also represents their customer.

And it’s so much more than just a “regular” influencer-brand relationship: in 2019, they launched together a PrettyLittleThing x Molly-Mae collection which was a huge success, and in 2021, the company named her as their UK and EU Creative Director.

Just like Embryo Digital team said in their analysis: “PLT have a very clear target audience, and Molly represents them. Influencer marketing is huge right now – PLT’s target audience is likely to make up a large proportion of Molly’s Instagram following of 6 million, and these followers will see her posts, including what she’s wearing. If they like it, of course they’re going to swipe through to the PLT site and hit buy.”

2.2 Sophie Stanbury and Löwengrip

As we already mentioned Löwengrip. It’s a Scandinavian brand with an extensive brand ambassador program with carefully selected creators – who all seem to be the biggest fans of their products.

Interior Designer, mum, and blogger Sophie Stanbury is one of them. In addition to sharing her love for the brand on her own social media channels, Löwengrip has also created content together with her to use in the brand’s social media platforms. For example, here’s an Instagram post starring Sophie Stanbury!

3. How to choose brand ambassadors for your brand?

Before you start searching for potential brand ambassadors and reaching out to them, it’s important to think through the expectations of the potential brand ambassadors. What should they be like?

3.1 Make sure their values match your brand’s

As mentioned, a brand ambassador is the face of the brand. Therefore, you really want to make sure that the chosen person matches your desired brand image – otherwise, you might harm the brand quite a lot.

Consumers tend to attribute the characteristics of an influencer to the brands they are representing. For example, if the influencer is representing far-right political views, their audience also attributes it to the brands they are working with. In this case, people who don’t agree with these views might also start disliking the brand.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

◻️  Have they previously talked about topics that are important to the brand?
◻️  What kind of lifestyle do they promote?
◻️  What values are they representing? Does it match your brand values?
◻️  Would you feel proud to have that person represent your brand?

3.2 Create an “ideal brand ambassador” list

The better you know what you are looking for, the higher the chance of finding the perfect brand ambassadors for your business! Thus, we recommend creating the “perfect {insert brand name} ambassador” checklist before you start scouting for brand ambassadors. That might include:

◻️  already using your products/services;
◻️  audience that matches your target group;
◻️  values that match your brand values;

◻️  feels “right” for your brand.

Done? Let’s get down to business 👇🏼

4. How to find brand ambassadors for your brand?

Once you know what you’re looking for, the search process might begin. There are three ways of finding ambassadors: from your customer list, social media, or influencer pool. Let’s go through each of these!

4.1 Turn your customers into brand ambassadors

A happy customer is the best influencer for your brand: they already use your products, they understand the benefits, they have a powerful story, and they can sincerely recommend your brand to their followers.

Therefore, you should start by looking at your own customer base: are there any potential brand ambassadors? Keep in mind that the number of followers is not the most important criterion here: micro-influencers often have much higher engagement rates and stronger bonds with their followers.

You can also start by encouraging your customers to share. For example, Ideal of Sweden adds a little “make sure to tag us” note to all of their packages – and thanks to the instagrammable product and that little reminder, their customers create a lot of user-generated content for the brand.

4.2 Find your superfans on social media

Secondly, you can find potential brand ambassadors on social media. Keep your eye on the story mentions, post tags, and brand hashtags. Who are the people who are already talking about your company and products? Are there any influencers following you, liking your posts, or reacting to your stories? 

Using Promoty, you can also see suggested influencers for your brand, based on who follows you and who has been engaging with your content. Just create a free account, enter your Instagram or TikTok handle (we won’t ask for your password), and check out your influencer recommendations.

How to find Instagram influencers – suggested influencers on Promoty

Suggested influencers on Promoty

4.3 Turn your best influencers into brand ambassadors

If you have been previously working with a pool of influencers, you probably know which ones are bringing you the best results – it makes sense to continue working with them.  Additionally, you should start growing your brand ambassador program by adding new influencers.

How to find influencers? You can search manually on social media – or use a brand ambassador search tool that allows you to find the right influencers much faster and more precisely. Using Promoty, you can filter our global database of Instagram and TikTok influencers by their size, engagement rate, age, gender, number of followers, or followers’ demographics (age, gender, location), and other criteria.

For every influencer, you can see their detailed profile insights, audience demographics, followers’ credibility, previous sponsored posts, brand affinity, and much more. This way, you can make sure that the influencers’ audience matches your target group.

For example, if you’re looking for South African influencers, your search would look like this:

sceenshot of Promoty: top South African influencers on Instagram

Finding South African influencers on Promoty (try it out for free)

5. Start building your brand ambassador program

5.1 Reach out to potential brand ambassadors

Once you have identified suitable influencers and done the first collaborations with them, it’s time to reach out to them and offer a brand ambassador deal.  Here are some resources you might need:

First-time collaboration reach out template that you can use

Hi {first name}, we’d love to work with you!

We found your {social media} and as {personal compliment}, we’d like to offer you a paid collaboration.

We are {brand name}: we do {description of the brand and its’ mission}.

Now we’re looking for influencers who could help us to spread the word – and we would love to work with you! It could be a {short intro on what you’re looking for: post, stories, reel, etc}.

When it comes to compensation, we’d prefer a {how you usually pay influencers}! However, we’d be open to hearing your opinion on that.

Of course, we would be happy to send you a package with our products first so you can first try it out if you actually like it. Let me know how do you feel about it!

Looking forward to working with you

{signature}

Brand ambassador email template that you can use

Hi {first name}

We really enjoyed in our collaboration in {campaign name} and we’d love to continue working with you!

Namely, we are proposing you a 6/12-month ambassadorship program where we send you {products} monthly. Additionally, we’ll pay you {monetary fee} monthly for representing the brand.

{Expectations for the ambassador}, for example:

In advance, we’d expect you to mention our product in x stories and x feed posts or reels monthly. We will definitely update you about the sales campaigs, new products, and campaign messages – but in general, we are looking for natural content. Ideally, the {product} would be a part of your life so it would just be seen in your stories once in a while 🙂

Let us know if it’s something you’d be interested in!

Looking forward to working with you

{signature}

5.2 Sign a brand ambassador contract

Is it necessary to sign a brand ambassador contract? Yes and no. Yes, if you want to be extra strict about requirements – or if your company policy requires contracts with all the influencers. No, if you have long-term partnerships with influencers that you trust.

If you decide to sign a contract, the contract should include:

•  Data and contact details of both parties;
•  Expectations for the influencer;
•  Liabilities of both parties:
•  Compensation terms;
•  Exclusivity cause;
•  Brand’s rights to use the content;
•  Cancellation and termination policy;

If you haven’t done any brand ambassador contracts before, you can use this contract template. If you’re using a brand ambassador management tool (such as Promoty), you can also use the chat to sign contracts – and then attach the contract to each influencer!

5.3 Continue growing your brand ambassador program

Once you’ve closed your first ambassador deals, you should start growing your ambassador program by adding new influencers.

In general, the 80/20 rule applies here: 20% of the influencers bring 80% of results. Thus, if you add 10 influencers to your pool every once in a while, 2 of them are worth turning into brand ambassadors. Continue working with them – and at the same time, start working with another 10 new influencers to find more ambassadors.

6. Brand ambassador management tips

Once you’ve built your brand ambassador program, you should continue building relationships with them. Here are some tips for brand ambassador management:

🤍   Make them feel special

The relationship between a brand and its brand ambassador is so much more than a regular brand-influencer relationship.  However, that relationship needs to be built first.

Make sure that your ambassadors can test out new products before anyone else, invite them to the PR events, remember their birthdays and send them surprises, celebrate their wins with them, like their posts, repost their stories, and give them feedback. After all, relationships are all about small details!

🤍   Repurpose their created content

Creating scroll-stopping visuals is one of the superpowers of influencers: as they do it daily, they know exactly what kind of content performs well on social media!

That’s the reason why so many brands are using influencer-generated content: it’s professional, yet authentic and eye-catching. Additionally, IGC works well in paid ads: according to Meta, those ads have 53% higher click-through rates than ads with business-as-usual visuals.

@jnnikas x Dermosil collaboration content

🤍   Test  out different channels and formats

That’s the charm of long-term collaborations: you have time to test out different channels and formats. Try Instagram posts, live videos, reels, TikTok videos, and live, let them do a social media takeover, unpacking or “haul” content, create tutorials, do Q&A, or launch a new product together. The sky is the limit here!

🤍   Use personal discount codes to measure results

In general, there are two ways to measure the impact on sales: tracked URL-s or discount codes. Brand ambassadors usually prefer discount codes – these are easier to share and give more precise information about the sales that the brand ambassador has brought.

7. Start using a brand ambassador management platform

If working with brand ambassadors is a part of your marketing strategy, you need brand ambassador software to store information about previous collaborations, your ambassadors’ preferences, and contact information.

This is what Promoty is for. It’s a brand ambassador relationship management platform that allows brands to manage all their (potential) brand ambassadors in one place, chat with them and monitor branded content. Here’s what it looks like:

Basically, it’s a CRM for managing brand ambassadors. Organize your brand ambassadors by boards and columns; add contacts and shipping info; add notes and comments that only your team can see, use the chat to discuss details, and monitor branded content.

This way, you can continue building strong relationships with your brand ambassadors. 💜

brand ambassadors management tool by Promoty – brand ambassador profile view

Chat view in the Promoty CRM (try it out for free)

Promoty is a free brand ambassador management tool for brands and agencies.

For 50€ monthly, you can get Promoty Premium which gives you more CRM spots – and also allows you to use our Influencer Discovery to find more ambassadors for your brand and see their detailed analytics.

Get started by creating a free account – or watch the 1-minute demo video first!

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