A brand ambassador is someone who is paid to not only talk positively about a brand, both on and offline, but to embody the brand they are endorsing.
When we talk about brand ambassadors, we’re not just talking celebrity endorsements like Beyonce and Pepsi, or Steph Curry and Under Armour. We’re talking about genuine brand fans who commit to promoting your brand in exchange for a deep brand relationship, free product, compensation, and/or other exclusive perks.
Although many social media influencers are ambassadors, the relationship between a brand and an ambassador is typically more formal than that of a traditional influencer because the relationship is based on long-term alignment of values rather than a short term transaction. Ambassadors are brand partners who are typically given inside knowledge and an inside look into the brand in order to become a true expert.
When building an ambassador program, many of the same principles as an influencer marketing program apply. However, one of the most common questions we see from marketers is, how much should we pay brand ambassadors?
We dive deeper into payment and everything else you need to know to build, manage, and track a successful ambassador program in our free ambassador academy. This article will give you a quick recap, but enroll today for webinar-style videos, best practices, and insider tips and tricks.
Now let’s get back to the question at hand.
How much are brand ambassadors paid?
The short answer is, brand ambassadors are paid in a variety of ways. Some ambassadors are just compensated with free products, while others can make up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. Let us explain.
How much to pay brand ambassadors
Per Aspire internal data from our State of the industry report, the average cost of a Instagram post can be calculated with the following equation:
Instagram CPE (cost per engagement) = Recent average engagement (likes) x $0.32
The cost per engagement varies by platform and are as follows:
- Pinterest: $0.05
- Twitter: $4.29
- YouTube: $0.01
- Facebook: $0.43
Use the average CPE as a starting point to come up with an agreed-upon pay rate. For example, if an ambassador you’re working with earns an average of 1,000 likes per post on Instagram, they may charge around $320 per post. If your ambassador agreement requires the creator to post twice a month for 6 months, that would total to $3,840 based on the CPE formula. However, because the creator is locked into a long-term contract, meaning stable income, you may be able to get a deal anywhere from $2,700 - $3,000 for the duration of the contract.
Obviously these numbers are just a starting point. There are a multitude of factors that go into how much brands pay brand ambassadors. The creators experience, value or free product, quality of content, and joint work history all weigh into price. Have an open conversation with your ambassadors and come up with a number that makes sense based on all parties mutual expectations.
Alternative payment methods
Alternatively, you could pay ambassadors based on performance through an affiliate-style agreement. Per Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income, “Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.”
By leveraging affiliate marketing, brands can easily track ambassadors’ and pay them a commission of every sale.
Affiliate marketing is a win-win for everyone. Consumers are often given a discount or introduced to new products that support the people they love at no additional cost. And depending on the ambassador’s reach, a commission model may lead to substantially more income, yet this model gives brands peace of mind knowing they are only paying for sales generated.
If this is the compensation model you choose, provide each ambassador with a unique coupon code or tracking links so you can easily track direct sales and determine their commission earnings.
Reward ambassadors beyond compensation
All of this money talk aside, when the goal is to create genuine relationships with ambassadors, you have to prioritize interactions rather than transactions. Your brand is meant to serve the people, not the other way around. And your ambassadors want to be valued as individuals. In order to do so, think beyond money signs and provide additional perks to reward your ambassadors for being loyal to your brand:
- Repost ambassador content on your own social, website, and other marketing channels to give them additional exposure
- Invite ambassadors to exclusive events to deepen brand loyalty and affinity
- Provide a first peak at new products in order to build excitement
- Gather product feedback and incorporate it into new products in order to source innovation from your biggest fans
- Allow high-performing ambassadors to co-create their own product in order to become true brand partners
For everything you need to know how to build, manage, and measure a successful ambassador program, enroll in Aspire’s free ambassador academy.