How to Become a Brand Ambassador on Instagram in 2020
**Originally published March 29th, 2019. Updated January 27th, 2020**
You’ve seen them. We all have. The girls all over Instagram, promoting everything from protein powder, teeth-whitening systems, detox teas, and clothing brands. The gamers who are live-streaming and hyping up the latest piece of gear. They have hundreds of thousands of followers, and their audience is devout. For some, this is simply the byproduct of the dreams of many millennials: becoming a social media influencer.
For others, their focus may be a bit more niche and are looking to perhaps build relationships with the brands they love and admire. And with the competitive landscape of Instagram seemingly growing by the day, it’s more difficult than ever to break through the noise. So how do you become a brand ambassador on Instagram in 2020? First, we should outline exactly what a brand ambassador is, and what it is they do.
WHAT IS A BRAND AMBASSADOR?
In so many words, a brand ambassador is a person who works to promote and represent a brand within its specific marketplace. They are often customers who were already advocating for brands before they started working with them. On the other hand, some brand ambassadors are chosen because they have a large social following and are social media influencers who specialize in social media content creation. Brand ambassadors maintain a working relationship with the brands they represent, in turn taking direction from the brand on how to interact with customers in the marketplace.
So now that we have established what a brand ambassador is, let’s break down exactly what a brand ambassador program entails.
WHAT IS A BRAND AMBASSADOR PROGRAM?
A brand ambassador program is a program that organizes brand ambassadors for a business and creates an ongoing, working relationship between the brand and its ambassadors. A brand ambassador program is used to manage the ongoing, working relationship between the brand and its ambassadors, and provide ongoing training and instruction for its ambassadors, as well as support. Most brand ambassador programs work closely with other areas of the business, such as marketing, sales, customer service, and product design.
There was a time when customers in the marketplace were complacent with one-directional communication from brands. However, the rise of social media has changed the influencer marketing agency world, by giving consumers a voice. Social media created an environment where consumers can give input in a public forum. Here they can exhibit their influence over one another’s actions and decisions based on their sentiment towards a brand or product. It could be fairly argued that they do so more effectively than the brand itself ever could.
In today’s world, the conversation around your brand on social is, in itself, the voice of your brand. And many brands have lost control of that conversation, as they are no longer able to control the conversation strictly through traditional advertising practices. Because of this, brand ambassadors potentially have more influence than ever before. But aside from an ever-changing business landscape, what benefits are there from starting a brand ambassador program?
THE BEST TYPE OF ADVERTISING IS WORD OF MOUTH
Two out of three consumers say they don’t trust paid advertisements, according to studies from Nielsen. The challenging part of that data is that the distrust has little to do with poor product quality. As advertising has grown more ubiquitous, consumers, of course, have become painfully aware of the fact that they are exposed to advertising, seemingly everywhere they turn. On the other side of the coin, nine out of ten shoppers say that they trust peer recommendations over those of advertisements. The gap between salesman and peer is significantly decreased when messaging is sent through a brand ambassador. A well-executed ambassadorship is a great way for a brand to speak to consumers at their level and establish trust within that community. Having a positive sentiment behind your brand when being discussed in the public forum is crucial in today’s marketplace. Word travels fast, and you want to steer those words in a positive direction for your brand.
How to become a brand ambassador
There are four key factors to focus on if you wish to become a brand ambassador in 2020.
1. Create a cohesive brand identity
The most successful and appealing accounts are the ones that are easy on the eyes and have clear and specific personalities. Social media is becoming more and more visual by the day. So on Instagram, your top 9 photos in your feed are essentially your channels magazine feed. You want to ensure that the look and flow are cohesive and that it’s aesthetically pleasing.
Building your content and personality around the same areas of interest shows consistency and authority, which allows you to build a nice audience and gives brands an opportunity to recognize your account’s identity.
2. Sell Yourself
This can be the most challenging aspect for many, as for some it’s an uncomfortable task. But brands are looking for someone who represents their values and personality. If becoming an ambassador for a particular brand or niche is a goal of yours, you need to let the brand know what makes you a good fit. So how do you do this? First and foremost, you need to make sure that the content you are creating organically fits with the brands you are pitching.
3. Build followers and engagement
In order to become a successful brand ambassador, you need to have an area of influence. Simply put, you need an audience. Whether that be Instagram, YouTube, or even through multiple social media platforms. To garner a following, you must connect with your target audience. And doing so starts with engagement.
When your followers give you genuine compliments that are related to the current post, it shows they are attentive and care about what you’re showing them. Take this opportunity to build a relationship with this follower. Your core following are the biggest ambassadors for your brand and can be the first piece of the puzzle in building social influence. Establishing an audience is paramount to create brand ambassador opportunities.
4. Conduct Yourself In A Professional Manner
As an influencer marketing agency, we can’t stress this one enough. When it comes to collaborations, the last thing anyone wants to deal with is a diva. You should never be rude to your followers (for example, responding to a rude comment in an immature fashion), and you should of course NEVER be cold or impolite to the brand you’re trying to work with.
Your account should represent you and the values you hold. So unless your brand is edgy and brash, consider cleaning up all those drunken party pics from last weekend. Tailor the feed in a way that represents your brand and your values. Basically, get your account ready for presentation.
QUICK TIPS FOR YOUR BRAND TO GET STARTED WITH A BRAND AMBASSADOR PROGRAM
If you are managing a brand, there are many ways you can go about creating a brand ambassador program for your business. Recruiting for brand ambassadors in your existing newsletter or a call to action on your website could be the simplest place to start. Use keywords related to your brand and social network data to find out where people are talking about your brand. Users who talk about you and communicate a positive message may be an ideal prototype for a potential ambassador.
Brand ambassadors often are paid for their work, but many will happily represent your company for free, simply because they’re excited about it. It should be noted that best practices ensure ambassadors have access to product at no cost if the partnership is unpaid. Any other perks you can throw their way only enhance the benefit and goodwill of the relationship. It’s fair to say they should be treated as your most important customers. That is because, in all actuality, they are. Building a brand ambassador program can have lasting effects on both driving sales, and establishing a positive and trusting rapport with your customer base.