Of Brand Ambassadors and Brand Influencers

Earlier today, myself and my good friend Ladispeaks had an online class where we discussed and analyzed brand ambassadors and brand influencers.

This is just the summary of what was discussed for the benefits of those who could not access the class.

Brand Ambassador & Brand Influencers

Influencers are people who have the power to affect the purchase decisions of others because of their real/perceived authority, knowledge, position, or relationship. An influencer doesn’t necessarily have to be some sort of celebrity, journalist, or blogger.

Different standards determine these individuals’ influence, from web-only to celebrity status. Influencers cross multiple platforms and increasingly require a paid arrangement to do business.

Brand ambassadors on the otherhand are people who embodies the brand he or she is endorsing. These are people who represent and talk about your company in a positive way, preferably in front of lots of potential customers (i.e. their friends and family).

In today’s Social Media driven world, the rules for marketing have changed with the arrival of Brand Influencers.

Basically, Brand influencers are paid to create content and advocate products as part of a company’s’ online campaign.

We all know and can identify who Brand Influencers are and what they do especially as it relates to the Nigerian market.

You can also say Brand Ambassadors are celebrity influencers hired by brands for long-term relationships. They differ from influencers, who might be used only for a short-term campaign. They are in effect paid spokespeople for the brand.

From my personal experience, I say you have to get it right with a brand ambassador as their good or bad deeds quickly affect your brand.

It’s always better to go for a BA that is comfortable with your brand and would ordinary feel the need to use your products.

To be a successful brand ambassador, he or she should and in all honesty must have the following characteristics…

1. Knowledge of the brand

2. An Established Online Presence.

3. A High Level of Professionalism.

4. A Passion for Building and Growing Relationships.

I know a good question that is running through some people’s mind now is why have a brand ambassador?

Simple truth is, a great brand ambassador can cut through the crowd and say things about your brand with more credibility than you can.

Having a good band ambassador, or several of them, is a powerful and versatile tool to raise your company profile or product awareness.

Credible brand ambassadors (those that people can understand and relate your brand with) provide visibility to your brand, boosting brand awareness and ultimately sales.

Most common brand ambassadors promote, provide customer service (eg Korede Bello and police Work) , and act as general cheerleaders for your brand.

We would discuss more on this later

I would give some random facts about Brand Ambassadors.

Not quantitative though but qualitative

Fact 1

Even in the digital age, people want to do business with people. A brand ambassador adds a human element to your marketing initiatives and offers someone your prospective and current customers can relate to when they see and hear your messaging.

Fact 2

To effectively grow and maintain a social media presence it takes a lot of content and requires a great deal of engagement to ensure the people that matter actually see your messaging. A brand ambassador can help support content creation, broaden your reach and even add credibility to your brand.

Fact 3

Maintaining a relationship with a brand ambassador requires relationship building. You should regularly check in with your ambassadors to ensure they are still “excited” about your company. If you don’t cultivate a beautiful relationship with your Brand Ambassadors, you’d lose their interest in representing your brand.

I’d use an example here,

*Davido and Infinix*🌚

Building a relationship with a Brand Ambassador is very and very important and it helps cultivate the partnership.

Away from the signing, Infinix have launched two phones or so, I’m not sure Davido has appeared at any of the launches not have been used for any advertising practice or marketing activity physically since then. There’s apparently a breakdown of relationship on both parts and really. It seems not working out on both ends.

Another example is Seyi Shay and Gionee. Gionee is a smartphone brand and Seyi Shay is a Nigerian artiste. Not many people knew about this deal to start with and it goes to show that most brands have Ambassadors they can’t quote and unquote control

It is true that some forms of Influencer Marketing have been practiced for years, however, the modern use of this promotional strategy has taken on a new significance. Many Internet users are determined to find new ways to block online ads due to the overwhelming number and increasingly targeted strategies and tactics. Due to this trend, an avenue for brands to indirectly connect with their audience is evolving – influencer marketing.

Social networking is one of the most popular online activities with over 2 billion users globally. Within this network, influencers – opinion leaders, inspirational persons, experts, models – may have accumulated thousands or even in some cases millions of followers. Many brands see this as an opportunity to market their products to potential customers via a source that is admired, and more importantly, trusted.

Here are surprising facts about Influencer Marketing that you will wish you knew sooner!

1) Google trends show the growth of Influencer Marketing over traditional marketing strategies.

Over the course of the past 5 years, Google Trends has shown that print advertising has been steadily decreasing while Influencer marketing has been increasing, where in 2017, interest in Influencer Marketing skyrocketed above print and video

2) Instagram is a successful platform for Influencer Marketers to be effective and engage their audience.

59% of influencers believe that Instagram is the most effective in engaging their audience, this is in part due to new features being built into the app. As Instagram houses 600 million users and has launched features such as live video, it is understandable that this has become the desired platform for an Influencer Marketing campaign.

3) 88% of customers trust online reviews by strangers as much as they would recommendations from friends.

4) 40% OF PEOPLE ON TWITTER HAVE MADE A PURCHASE AS A DIRECT RESULT OF A TWEET FROM AN INFLUENCER.

Whoa! Given that there are on average 330 million users on Twitter, 40% is a lot of people to have been effectively influenced by this form of marketing.

5) 47% of online customers use ad blockers.

People are finding more strategies to block digital advertisements, and the number of people doing so is expected to continue growing. With this in mind, it’s obvious that other avenues for connecting with audiences online is needed. This is where Influencer Marketing is stepping in.

I’ll be looking at popular myths when it comes to Brand Ambassadors and Brand Partnerships

Myth 1

Use The Most Popular Person Available

Most times we all think that we use the most popular person available as our brand ambassador and it fixes a Brand’s image and perception. The most popular person may not necessarily be the best brand ambassador your brand needs.

Myth 2

Brand Ambassador solves a Brand’s perception problems

Brand Ambassadors are not a ~one nut fix all~ process. Having a Brand Ambassador doesn’t necessarily solve brand issues you have or would have. Solve your issues and don’t expect brand ambassadors to solve this for you.

Myth 3

Choose Brand Ambassadors Because of Their Status

Who you should choose brand am ambassadors because of who they are but more importantly, choose brand Ambassadors because of your customers and or Target audience.

Who is in your TA,

What do they do in terms of behavior

Who are they listening to

Who do they aspire to be?

These and many more questions are what would and should guide your choice of a Brand Ambassador.

So what are the Opportunities for Brands in doing either or both brand ambassadors and influencers?

The main opportunities for brands include

1. Brand ambassadors and Influencers humanize your product.

Truth is, People like to buy from people. Although organizations traditionally brand themselves through logos and symbols, social media offers an opportunity to do more. Ambassadors are emotionally engaged with your company’s brand promise and they espouse the brand value you promise to deliver to your customer, it is in the very fabric of their personalities to want to share information, solve problems and help others.

Also, influencers and Brand ambassadors let you use the viral nature of the Internet deliberately, without having to get lucky. The tools are already in place. Anyone can share anything with their entire circle of social media friends with just one click. Enlisting brand ambassadors exposes your company’s brand to multiple social circles made up of people who want what you have, and who already trust the messenger.

I would also say Brand Ambassadors Build Trust.

A recent Nielson survey show only 33% of consumers said they trust paid advertisements, but a whopping 92% trust peer recommendations.

Another recent Crowdtap survey show 70% of people responded that a suggestion from a friend or family member directly lead them to a purchase decision.

Brand Ambassadors drive new customers to you. It’s no secret that word-of-mouth marketing has power. Just how much power?

Research shows that it’s at least five times!!! Yes 5 times more effective than traditional advertising, paid search, email, and other marketing tools.

With the average person’s *“connectedness”* being much greater than in the past, empowering your customers to refer their friends or help bring you new business is not just a nice marketing tool, it’s critical for success in business today.

Thanks for listening guys

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