Influencers, Ambassadors, and Pros are a hot topic, but they can be hard to keep straight, especially with so many other marketing channels to focus on. We put together this guide to help.
With the advent of social media and the uptick in users (Instagram projections indicate 1 billion users by late 2018), figuring out how to market your brand and make it relevant to your demographic is increasingly difficult. Users don’t see 70% of social media posts, and when they do see posts, they aren’t necessarily engaging with them.
Lucky for us, we’re in an industry that’s full of inspiring, entertaining, and uplifting content. Outdoor enthusiasts are interacting with outdoor brands across social platforms. They love these brands and brands love them back.
Here at The Dyrt, we partner with brands to establish definitive goals and actionable plans to better understand their following. This allows us to build a profit center based on influencers, high-touch relationships with ambassadors, and establishing platforms for pro’s.
What’s the Difference Between Influencers, Ambassadors, and Paid Pros?
They’re each valuable to outdoor brands in different ways. So, let’s break it down…
An influencer is anybody in an industry who has the power to influence others decisions–whether that’s a large social following or interacting with consumers on a daily basis.
Traditionally in the outdoor industry, these influencers have included guides, retail employees, athletes, trainers, gym employees, and the like. Essentially, brands want to get product into the hands of athletes and enthusiasts, so they’ll tell their friends, who tell their friends, who can share across social media.
Influencers get discounts, and generally, they’re pretty deep. In terms of the outdoor industry, influencer is synonymous with pro-deal. Take Prana for example. The ethically-focused clothing company created an influencer program for people who are “living proof that sustainable, versatile clothing has a place in the studio, in the office, and everywhere your journey takes you.”
Ultimately, influencers get discounts so they can buy and try more product, better understand the company, and promote the company to their friends.
Ambassadors are the cream of the crop. They’re the high-touch, top-level, brand cheerleaders. They’ve bought a company’s product for years and, without incentive, told their friends about it, preached about product across social media channels, and wrote love letters to the company, all because of their authentic admiration of the brand.
Ambassadors are generally incentivized by personal emails, phone calls, and shoutouts on social media pages. Typically, brands don’t persuade ambassadors with free swag, or in-kind product. Instead, ambassadors are stoked about the company. Association with the brand is the incentive.
The relationship between ambassador and brand is an authentic one. Companies can reach out to ambassadors for vital feedback on new products, or invite them to trade shows and events to help represent the company.
The title says it all: paid pros are just that, paid professionals. They have established themselves in an industry and partner with brands for sponsorship opportunities, both monetary and in-kind. Generally speaking, paid pros make their living from sponsorships. Films created, articles posted, and pictures on social are often riddled with logos to thank their sponsors. Brands hire pros to get their name out to the largest demographic possible.
Numbers wise, these build on each other like a pyramid. Brands should have hundreds (or thousands) of influencers, up to 100 ambassadors (depending on the size of the brand), and a handful of pros. This optimizes company investment and output.
Check out our brand partners’ influencer programs here.