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3 Influencer Marketing Tools to Find Brand Ambassadors

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As we’ve previously discussed in our Influencer Playlist, Finding The Right Brand Ambassador is not an afternoon task that will quickly yield high returns. Influencer Marketing and Brand Ambassador Programs take time to develop and rarely produce massive returns. You will need to define your campaign strategy and goals, assemble a dedicated team, and execute precisely. 

In addition, you’ll need to find a compensation model that works for your strategy and type of Brand Ambassador. 

By far the trickiest part of the building a manageable Brand Ambassador program will be finding the right influencers to work with your brand.

Not all influencers will be a perfect fit for your brand and not all brand ambassadors are easy to work alongside. Be prepared to work with individuals who may or may not have experience working with brands. 

This stage of the process will be the most time consuming and might be the most difficult. To help make finding the right brand ambassador more streamlined, we recommend using a software tool dedicated to helping you find influencers based on specific search filters and parameters. 

At a basic level, these tools provide you with a way to build a query to find influencers that match your parameters. There are free tools that allow you to do this at a more broad level and with some of the higher-end tools you can cater your searches to be extremely granular. 

Here are some of your options for Brand Ambassador and Influencer Marketing Tools that we recommend. We break them out based on three categories – Free, Tools Under $100 Per Month, Enterprise Tools. 

Free Brand Ambassador Search Tool

Influence.co

 

influence.co

Influence.co is a great tool for young brands looking to try out Influencer Branding without much investment. It provides you with basic search parameters, influencer messaging, and a large database of influencers. 

Keep in mind that it is a very popular free tool so many of the influencers you will be contacting have been reached out to by other brands in the past. Try to stay away from brand ambassadors who already have other contracts with brands or post about products / services too frequently. It’s likely that their audience won’t engage with content as much as with an influencer’s content that doesn’t show as much advertising.

Best Tool Under $50 For Brand Ambassador Search

Heepsy

Heepsy

Heepsy is our pick for the best tool under $50 for Brand Ambassador Search.  Like Influencer.Co, heepsy has granular query parameters that make it easy to find the right influencer based on your goals. It’s a bit more robust than Influencer.co and it has a more curated database of influencers. 

You have the option to build influencer reports which allows you to export influencer lists in bulk something that you can’t do with Influencer.co. 

The biggest con and one that you’ll find across the board with influencer marketing tools is that most of the influencers have been contacted by numerous brands so it’s important to do your homework and find ones that don’t have current contracts with brands or don’t post all the time about brands they work on. 

Best Enterprise Tool For Influencer Marketing

Upfluence

Upfluence

The final tool and our best tool for enterprise is upfluence. They are one of the top influencer marketing tools and have robust features like an influencer marketing CRM, campaign management, and analysis tools that are superior to the competition. 

 

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Compensation Models For Influencers

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How to compensate your influencers for a brand ambassador or influencer marketing strategy is an important part of your program that you must figure out before you start reaching out and finding influencers for your brand. 

The problem is that there is no “right way” to compensate an influencer or brand ambassador for your brand. It depends on a multitude of factors like:

  • Type of Target Influencer (micro, macro, celebrity) 
  • Influencer Marketing Budget 
  • Dedicated Influencer Marketing Team Members 
  • Type of Influencer Content 

There are marketing trends that you can use to help define your compensation model based on the above factors. 

In addition, there are different compensation models you can use to style how you pay your influencers. 

The four that we will cover in this Compensation Model article are:

  1. Advocate 
  2. Performance
  3. Action + Performance
  4. UGC Rights + Performance 

Again, there is a definitive single compensation model that is perfect for every business, some may work better than others depending on your objectives and influencer targeting, but each one has a place within certain types of strategies. 

We’ll seek to unpack each compensation model and provide examples of strategies where they are proven to work. 

Advocate Compensation Model

influencer food photo

 

The first type of compensation model for influencers is what we internally call at Tuff, Advocate. This is a compensation model that relies on the generosity of your top customers to become your influencers. It focuses more on customers who have shown an immense liking for your brand rather than influencers with no prior connection to your brand. 

Using tools like Stamped.io and Klaviyo, you can set up Email Marketing Flows that help you identify advocates and invite them to share more about your brand with their friends and family. Depending on your customers, you may have some macro or celebrity influencers within these advocate circles, but for the most part this will be made up of people who might not think of themselves as “influential.” 

The advocate model can be used in tandem with any of the compensation models on our list or by itself. 

Performance Compensation Model

chocolate

 

The second compensation model on our list is Performance. It is widely used in traditional sales and affiliate marketing strategies as it rewards those who reach specified goals. For example, you may pay your Influencers a 20% commission of all sales they generate or $5 for each app install in the Performance Model. 

To make the performance model work you will need a way to track performance – most use some type of referral, affiliate marketing, or tracking link building software that has the ability to provide each of your influencers with a customized tracking link. This ensures that your influencer and team can both see how well your strategy is performing for a specific goal. 

The Performance Model can work for a variety of industries from B2B to D2C eCommerce to Mobile Apps and Games. It’s a great option for companies who want to try out Influencer Marketing without needing a large budget – as it only pays for performance (usually revenue-generating actions).

The problem with the Performance Model really starts with the popularity of influencer marketing amongst all types of businesses from startups to Fortune 500 companies – everyone is getting in on using influencers of all sizes from the micro to celebrity.

The reason this poses an issue for the Performance Compensation Model is that the larger companies who can afford to pay influencers upfront without needing to see results first have made it very difficult for influencers to be interested in a performance type model. 

Based on our findings with Tuff’s clients, the performance model may only work well in combination with an advocate model. The reason is you’ll need advocates who are interested in spreading your brand’s messaging with or without payment compensation. 

Base Plus

influencer photo

 

The third compensation model is called Base Plus, which is a form of Performance that provides the Influencer with a base payment. With a pure Performance Model, as discussed, you have the issue of the Influencer Marketing world being spoiled with high budgets since content marketers made Influencer Marketing out to be the greatest tactic since the beginning of modern growth marketing

In reality, Influencer Marketing has been around since the invention of sales when one happy customer said to another, “You’ll be happy with your purchase, trust me, I love mine!” 

With Base Plus, you provide Influencers with a base payment for each action like a post or mention, then you layer on a commission payment for high performance! 

For example, you might pay $50 per Instagram post + 15% for all revenue generated. 

As a reminder, you will need a way to track performance – you might be able to get away with UTM links, but a custom link tracking software will be better suited and designed for your exact needs. 

User-Generated Content Rights + Performance

woman holding a magazine

 

The final type of model we’ll talk about is a form of Base Plus. It’s what we’re calling User Generated Content Rights + Performance. Instead of making a base payment for an action, you’re paying a base for the right to the content that is created by the Influencer Marketing. 

This compensation model is the most advantageous to a brand because you’re paying for a digital good that you can repurpose across your marketing and advertising strategies. Should the performance of the post or mention not pan out, then you can fall back on collecting user-generated content like images or videos of your influencer using your product. You can then take those images and use them on your website design, email marketing, ppc, and/or social advertising campaigns.

Given the state of Influencer Marketing, it’s unlikely that you’re going to get away with a pure Performance model, so might as well go ahead and get the full rights to the image or video that the influencer is creating to market to their audience. 

For this compensation model to work, you’ll need performance tracking software and a contract that explicitly states you will own the full rights to the video or image used in the post as well as that you will need a raw, original file of that asset. 

The Influencers you use for this type of compensation model do not have to be professional videographers or photographers. In fact, we find that the top-performing assets in 2020 are lower quality user-generated content made on iPhones. 

Interested in Influencer Marketing but don’t have the bandwidth or team to execute a strategy yourself. Talk to Tuff about Influencer Marketing.