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The brand ambassador checklist

A checklist of points to consider before engaging a brand ambassador or social media influencer to promote your brand.

In the last ten years, the evolution of influencer marketing has completely changed the game for brands looking to bridge the gap between them and their consumers. While brand ambassadorship has been around since the 1800s, social media in particular has enabled individuals to leverage their personal platforms, attracting millions of followers who look to them for the very best recommendations. The emergence of celebrity brand partnerships across print, TV, and other marketing channels has also had a significant impact on the way businesses strategise their marketing activity.

So, what should you be thinking about when it comes to engaging with influencers to promote your brand? Never fear - we’ve created a checklist to get you thinking about the key elements of influencer campaigns and how to make them work for you:

"The best and most engaging sponsored content comes from brand-influencer partnerships that are built on mutual respect and appreciation, with a shared long-term goal in mind rather than a quick fix."

1. What are your goals? Before you start, it’s important to clarify exactly what you want to achieve from a potential collaboration. Are you looking to widen your existing customer base, or tap into a totally new audience? What type of consumer do you want to reach and why is that consumer important for your brand? How do they interact with your brand across online, TV, and print media? Do you want to increase brand awareness or sell more products? What are your content needs and how might they change based on evolving trends? These are key questions to help you pin down the type of brand partnership and content that will speak to your desired audience.

2. Does the influencer align with your brand? Influencer marketing gives brands the power to speak directly to potential consumers on a relatable level, so why waste the opportunity and resources on someone who doesn’t align with your values? During your research and decision-making process, consider influencers whose presence and platforms embody the characteristics that you champion as a brand. Ultimately, it’s about creating a meaningful, mutually beneficial partnership – good values, quality of content or output, and a highly engaged audience are far more important than follower numbers.

3. What are the potential risk factors? As we know, content posted on social media or in TV/print ads lasts forever, and the risk of past or future problematic behaviour affecting your brand is certainly something to consider when it comes to collaborations. Firstly, think about where you draw the line – what is considered controversial or divisive for you and your audience, might not be such a dealbreaker for another brand. Are there topics or specific viewpoints that would negatively affect or offend a vast majority of your consumers? Research is key here. In situations where the influencer receives mass criticism in response to something they’ve said or done, and a public response is required from you as a brand that the individual works with, it’s best to just own it. Speak out and be clear about your relationship with the influencer and how it may have changed, and then demonstrate a commitment to fixing the problem.

With the right approach, influencer marketing can be hugely successful for brands that are willing to put in the time to create meaningful relationships. The best and most engaging sponsored content comes from brand-influencer partnerships that are built on mutual respect and appreciation, with a shared long-term goal in mind rather than a quick fix.

This is evident when we look at past influencer campaigns. While paying Kendall Jenner £250,000 for a single Instagram post worked pretty well for the now infamous Fyre Festival, founder Billy McFarland got massively burned when he couldn’t deliver on the promises his overinflated marketing budget had promoted to thousands of music fans.

However, when we look at long-time tennis star Roger Federer’s ongoing partnership with Credit Suisse that spans multiple marketing channels and philanthropic work via Federer’s charitable foundation, it’s undeniable that successful partnerships such as theirs are fundamentally built on shared values and strength of relationship. Over ten plus years of collaboration, Federer and Credit Suisse are global names that have become synonymous with each other – the ultimate brand ambassadorship.

Additionally, P&G Herbal Essences’ 2019 partnership with blind influencer Molly Burke was a landmark campaign for the beauty and disability communities and has since been shortlisted for the 2022 Influencer Marketing Awards. As part of its efforts to make haircare products easier to use for those with low vision, the brand collaborated with Molly to create inspiring content that focused on overcoming the daily beauty challenges that visually impaired people face.

It's clear that while influence, reputation, relevance, and popularity are undoubtedly important in the overall success of a campaign, a positive and collaborative relationship is the key to creating brand partnerships that last and, ultimately, make people want to engage with your brand. In this case, the old adage has never been truer – quality over quantity.


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