Brand ambassadors are some of the most important and influential people to help you promote your brand online, gain new customers and increase interest in the products and services your business offers.
And with over a billion people using TikTok, there’s plenty of opportunity for your biggest fans to share how much they love your brand on the world’s fastest-growing social media platform.
What is a brand ambassador program?
Unlike traditional influencers, who are paid to advertise and market your products, brand ambassadors are typically existing customers or employees of your business who share their positive experiences with your brand within their own networks.
Brand ambassador programs are a more formal way of organizing these people and rewarding them for their enthusiasm about what you do. When setting up a brand ambassador program, it’s important to think through the logistics of how your ambassadors will be rewarded — financial compensation, discounts and early access to new products are all popular options.
Athletic Greens, a supplement brand, is an example of how to run a successful brand ambassador program. It offers a 30% commission to ambassadors on sales made through their affiliate links. The company has a dedicated page on its website for potential ambassadors to get in touch and register as a partner, making it easy to become part of the program.
Why do brand ambassador programs work well on TikTok?
With over 40% of Gen Z reporting that they use TikTok as a search engine, it’s little surprise then that brand ambassador programs are a natural fit for marketing in this type of social media ecosystem.
Partnering with enthusiastic customers among the nearly 70% of 18- and 19-year-olds and over 50% of 20- to 29-year-olds using TikTok is one of the most effective ways for brands to create authentic user-generated content that resonates with a target market. One study found that over 80% of consumers were likely to follow a recommendation from someone they follow on social media when making a purchase, highlighting how important these word-of-mouth content pieces are to all kinds of brands and industries.
Fenty Beauty is one of the best examples of how to create a successful brand ambassador program on TikTok, particularly among the younger demographic. Through their partnership with College Fashionista, the beauty brand has worked with hundreds of college-age TikTok and Instagram users to create content, while also having the opportunity to grow its own communities through Fenty-inspired makeup parties.
Thousands of students apply to be part of the program, looking to gain both experience in social media that helped land some interviews and internships, along with access to free or discounted Fenty products. Fenty, in return, now has a large group of passionate brand ambassadors and content discussing the benefits of both their products and the business as a whole. A win-win.
Similarly, Bloom Nutrition, another supplement and wellness brand, actively reshares content from brand ambassadors on TikTok. They leverage all aspects of UGC, adding hashtags to boost their visibility on the platform even further within the health and wellness space.
These examples demonstrate a clear understanding of who their key audience is, and match their brand ambassadors to those demographics as closely as possible. This creates a natural connection between the content ambassadors are creating and the audience the brand is looking to reach.
The greater the connection and trust a potential customer has in the ambassador, the more likely they’ll make a purchase based on their recommendations.
Integrating influencers into brand ambassador programs
While brand ambassadors typically aren’t paid directly for their promotion of a brand, outside of any sales commissions, there is still a place for more traditional influencer partnerships within these programs.
Although paid to advertise a brand, influencers should still be considered brand ambassadors. They are, after all, still providing content with a positive angle around your products or services. Unlike other brand ambassadors, though, influencers typically have a larger audience and, as a result, a broader reach.
UGC from influencers is generally of a higher quality. It’s their job to create engaging content that their followers will enjoy, rather than simply a fun way to share a product as a customer brand ambassador.
That doesn’t mean influencers can’t also be genuine ambassadors of your brand. In fact, finding influencers to work with who truly love your product should be a primary focus when deciding on partners. This makes any content they produce more genuine and believable, making marketing campaigns more meaningful and effective when it comes to hitting return on investment (ROI) and sales targets following an influencer promotion.
Nike is a leader in this space, frequently partnering with influencers and celebrities to create new, exclusive products and to promote existing lines within the business.
US Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad is one of Nike’s most prolific influencer partnerships on social media, frequently appearing on the brand’s TikTok account with her Nike apparel and also creating content on her own social media accounts to share their products.
Athletes like Serena Williams and Colin Kaepernick are also longtime partners of Nike, appearing throughout their advertising both online and offline. Running UGC from these well-known influencers and celebrities alongside other brand ambassador content increases Nike’s reach.
While influencers become the face of the brand, brand ambassadors continue to spread awareness through their own smaller networks to generate more exposure.
Build ambassador partnerships on TikTok for greater ROI
Extending your brand’s reach on TikTok through these programs is a tremendous opportunity — overlooking it would be a mistake.
Look into different avenues to extend existing ambassador programs you already have in place, or if you’re just getting started setting up a brand ambassador program, follow a checklist to ensure you hit key points that will help you get the results you want.