DigitalFeaturedOpinionSocial Media

Influencers: Brand ambassadors or one-off activations?

Brand Ripplr's Nadine Salameh weighs the pros and cons of different influencer strategies

When it comes to influencer collaborations, brands have various models to choose from when working with influencers, two of which are the Squad Model and the One-Off Collaboration Model.

The main difference between the two models lies in the nature and duration of the partnership between a brand and influencers.

Each approach offers unique benefits, allowing brands to tailor their strategies to specific marketing goals and audiences.

Squad Collaboration Model

In the Squad model, a brand recruits a group of influencers for a long-term relationship to act as brand ambassadors and promote the brand across different campaigns for a long period of time – usually one year.

This model leverages the strengths and reach of a curated group or “squad” of influencers to cultivate a sense of community between the brand and the influencers’ followers.

The pros:

  • Strong relations to maintain brand momentum and establish organic word-of-mouth.
  • Faster campaign activation to leverage social trends promptly.
  • Genuine exclusivity, avoiding talent collaborations with competing brands.
  • Securing competitive rates with a bundle of deliverables from the squad.

The cons: 

  • Strong association with the talent’s reputation.
  • There is a potential risk of audience fatigue, where followers receive constant promotions from the same creator.

Activation tips:  

  • Ensure members of the squad have synergies to build a genuine connection with the brand.
  • Allocate the majority of deliverables towards a key moment and align on publish dates to avoid possible lashes.
  • Offer exclusive benefits to squad members (i.e. early access to products, special discounts).
  • Encourage feedback from squad members, as their on-ground insights can offer valuable perspectives to optimise future campaigns.
Nadine Salameh, Campaign Director at Brand Ripplr

One-off Collaboration Model

In the one-off model, brands collaborate with influencers on a campaign-by-campaign basis, making it suitable for specific, short-term marketing goals.

This model leverages the unique strengths and reach of individual influencers for a specific, concentrated effort to create timely content that fosters immediate engagement and maximises the impact of each campaign.

The pros:

  • Tap into new audiences across different markets.
  • Amplify reach during competitive seasonal periods such as Ramadan.
  • Assess talent performance for potential inclusion in future market strategies.

The cons:

  • Higher talent exclusivity fees.  
  • Short-term campaign impact with little momentum.

Activation tips:  

  • Aim for immediate traction and a strong call-to-action to create a strong buzz.
  • Implement real-time feedback during the collaboration and adjust quickly if needed.

It is important to note that the key to selecting the preferred influencer collaboration model relies on multiple factors, and brands can also opt to mix both collaboration types for optimising their future campaigns.

As an overall strategy, brands can opt for an always-on approach to maintain brand presence and engagement throughout the entire marketing funnel.

In parallel, brands can integrate one-off campaigns that target the audience at a specific stage in the funnel, usually consideration or conversion.

By Nadine Salameh, Campaign Director at Brand Ripplr