Coming from a Digital/Experiential Marketing background, this is NOT a new thing. We’ve been using Brand Ambassadors (known as Influencers online) for years to connect with consumers and expand a brand’s message.
We need to change our vernacular. Influencers online and what brands consider influencers are two very different things.
There is huge value in brand ambassadors, which is why brands hire them. Brand ambassadors help create an experience for the end user. They meet you, the consumer, where you are. Brand ambassadors don’t create ROI, they create an experience. They bring awareness to a brand and make the interaction memorable.
Making It Relevant And Memorable
Here is a perfect example of what brands are doing:
The young lady highlighted was a brand ambassador for Clean & Clear. She represented the brand in a specifically targeted space and the brand achieved legitimate ROI from this single event.
Additional campaigns where brands used brand ambassadors:
Johnsonville Sausage: http://www.eventmarketer.com/article/guerrilla-sampling-atlanta-johnsonville-sausage/
Most influencers will NEVER bring this level of awareness or ROI back to a brand because they are not given specific enough messaging that will drive action or increase reach.
Do you know what a brand ambassador cares about? MONEY. Plain and simple. Once the campaign is over, they move on and get hired by the next brand or agency that will pay them to promote.
Social media “marketers” have egos that are way over-inflated and their sense of self importance is off the charts. I just want to say…
Sorry sweetheart…you’re not that big of a deal to a brand or to the people you think you influence.
Here’s the thing: If an influencer thinks they are going to gain any publicity or notoriety for being a brand ambassador, they are fooling themselves. Being a real brand ambassador is a lot of work and requires following brand guidelines for promotion. There is huge value in brand ambassadors which is why brands do hire them. Brand ambassadors help create an experience for the end user. They meet you, the consumer, where you are.