The year is 2010. You’ve just gotten your hands on the latest iPhone 4 and you immediately download Instagram, the hot new social media app. You snap a quick selfie and apply one of the in-app filters before sharing it to your feed.
Those were simpler times.
Now, a decade later, Instagram is a full-blown ecommerce network, where brands and creators alike can build a business on the platform. Some take it a step further, tagging perfectly curated images with the hashtag #[Brand]Ambassador.
To the untrained eye, building a successful brand ambassador program on Instagram seems relatively simple. But every social media manager knows that it’s no easy feat. In order to build a lucrative program, you first need to find the right people to represent your brand. The ideal ambassador will seamlessly incorporate your brand into their lifestyle and maintain their authenticity throughout the partnership.
So today, we’ll discuss the best ways to find brand ambassadors on Instagram.
First things first — what is a brand ambassador?
Brand ambassadors are individuals who are paid to not only talk positively about the brand but to embody the brand they are endorsing. Brands extensively train their ambassadors on their products, services, mission, and values in order to give ambassadors insider knowledge and teach them to become true brand experts. These partnerships are always long-term, which is why “brand ambassador” is such a coveted title.
In the past, we’ve talked in depth about the differences between influencers and brand ambassadors. But the two terms are often mixed up or used interchangeably. This is because while some brands enlist “regular” people to be their ambassadors, others have turned their influencers into brand ambassadors after running multiple successful campaigns.
In both cases, it’s important to remember to choose ambassadors who are real fans of the brand and can accurately represent the values of the company. Here’s what brands looking for Instagram brand ambassadors should do.
How to get brand ambassadors on Instagram
1. Find influencers who create high-quality content that matches your brand aesthetic
Brands looking for ambassadors should start their search with influencers. Because influencers already generate high-quality, creative, and diverse content, they can be seen as unlimited content machines. With a strong brand ambassador program made up of influencers and creators, you can produce eye-catching content, even when it comes to flatlays and product-only shots. Make sure to find influencers and creators whose personal brand matches your company’s messaging, aesthetic, and the like.
To easily find Instagram influencers that align with your brand, use an influencer marketing platform like AspireIQ. In addition to our text search tool, we offer image search, which allows you to drag and drop any image you’d like to find influencers who create similar content. If you have a stockpile of images that you know perform well or that perfectly align with your brand’s aesthetic, you can now source more like them in no time.
2. Look at your mentions and tagged photos
Your happy customers are your best advocates. And it’s likely that many of them are already raving about your brand on social media. To find them on Instagram, keep an eye on those who mention you and tag you in their content.
Luckily, Instagram makes this process easy. The app will notify you if someone has tagged you in their content, either through Direct Messages (when someone mentions you in their Story) or activity notifications (when someone tags or mentions you in their feed content). In addition, Instagram recently launched a new Stories @ mention tool, which collects any Stories that mention your profile and enables you to share them on your own highlights.
Keep track of those who talk about your brand frequently and connect with them. Reward them for being your biggest fans by turning them into your brand ambassadors, giving them special privileges and more incentive to continue promoting your brand. Because they’re already recommending your brand on their own, their endorsement will seem genuine to their audiences even when their content is tagged #[Brand]Ambassador.
3. Ask your audience to apply
Being an Instagram brand ambassador is a coveted title, so open up the opportunity for others to join the program. Tapping into your community ensures that you’re picking brand partners who are authentic fans of the company.
Create an attractive program by setting a competitive compensation amount and describe the free products, exclusive discounts, and other special privileges that they would get as a brand ambassador. Promote your ambassador program on your Instagram feed and have a clear call to action to click the link in your bio where they can apply. Or, promote the program in your Story and ask them to simply swipe up to apply.
Discover the best brand partners
With over 500 million daily active users, Instagram presents a great opportunity for brands to reach consumers. And one of the best ways to reach them is through Instagram brand ambassadors. Great brand ambassadors will help increase awareness and boost sales in an authentic way. Enlist high-quality influencers and your biggest fans by following the three steps above.