This is an easy way to think of the relationship between the two:
Ideally, you would hope that your Brand Ambassadors/Influencers are also your customers, and therein lies the power of influencer marketing. It is a viral sort of marketing, that can spread like wildfire if done correctly.
Many brands are beginning to recognize and implement this, and in fact, Influencer Marketing has become the fastest growing customer acquisition method (Socialmediaexaminer.com). Influencer and Brand Ambassador marketing efforts have shown to be most successful on Instagram. A recent story, covered by the LA Times, explains how 20th Century Fox recruited male influencers, such as Nickelodeon star Josh Peck, to spread the word about their upcoming film, “The Fault in Our Stars.” The influencers posted about the upcoming film on social media, in an attempt to activate more male audiences, and the result was $300 million in global sales.
So how do you create brand ambassadors? The key here is to create brand loyalty programs that incentivize customers (and hopefully influencers) to spread the word about your product. Brand loyalty programs may take the shape of discounts offered to customers, who post on social media about your products, or even affiliate programs, which offer a percentage of the profits to the sale’s referrer.
Marketing efforts should be concentrated on selling to these influencers, or offering incentives for influencers to work with you. Where do you find the best influencers? Check out our infographic on The Power of Influencer Marketing, and you may be surprised:
In summation — great Influencers are easier to reach than you think. They are not always celebrities or rock stars! Look to bloggers, YouTube stars, and social media personalities to help spread your brand. Often times, it can be a mutually-beneficial relationship.