TwuToday

Business_news The 9 top fashion and beauty brand ambassador programs for influencers on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok

Business_news

Premium



Samantha Lee/Business Insider


This story is available exclusively to business Insider subscribers.
Become an Insiderand start reading now.

  • Influencer “brand ambassador” programs generally provide a group of creators with added resources and access to a company, like trips or events. 
  • While the terms of ambassador programs vary widely, they often have an application process and involve a longer-term commitment than a typical brand deal.
  • Business Insider is recognizing the 9 top fashion and beauty ambassador programs in 2020 based on factors like perks, accessibility to join, and impact on the influencer business as a whole.
  • They range from brands like Sephora and Ulta Beauty that give year-long contracts, to those that give college students free products in exchange for promotion like Ivory Ella.
  • Send your influencer industry tips to the authors at sbradley@businessinsider.com and aperelli@businessinsider.com.
  • Subscribe to business Insider’s influencer newsletter: Insider Influencers.

The term “brand ambassador” has become popular in recent years, especially within influencer marketing, but the role can vary widely by company.

Some brand ambassadors are celebrities who’ve forged a relationship with a brand and are plastered across advertisements. Others are regular customers with a few thousand followers who applied to an ambassador program.

But despite the variation, a brand ambassador program typically denotes something more standardized than a one-off influencer marketing deal. And the term suggests the influencer or celeb is taking on the mantle of representing the brand.

If you aren’t a celeb or mega influencer, becoming a brand ambassador often means going through an application process, and while the perks can include payment, they also tend to involve free products and inside access to the brand through events and all-expenses-paid trips.

Some ask your fans to vouch for you, like Sephora’s prominent #SephoraSquad program.

“You actually had to apply and get people to vote on your behalf,” said Jade Kendle-Godbolt, an Instagram beauty influencer with over 298,000 followers and a Sephora Squad member for 2020. Applicants need to get testimonials from their followers, “which is kind of a lot when you’re talking about trying to get a brand deal,” Kendle-Godbolt added. 

Kendle-Godbolt had worked with Sephora prior to becoming an ambassador. But she told business Insider she valued Sephora’s ambassador program for offering a year’s worth of paid work — something that’s “unheard of in our world,” she said.

Length is often something that separates brand ambassador programs from other brand sponsorships or affiliate programs. While many sponsorships are secured for a single social-media post or short-lived partnership, ambassador programs often can last several months to over a year. 

Many ambassador programs accept a wide range of influencers, from nano (between 1,000 and 5,000 followers) and micro (10,000 to 100,000 followers) to macro (100,000 to over 1 million followers). Typically, micro influencers are the most common group of creators to join an ambassador program, and they offer brands value through their targeted audience that often cares about one specific niche, like beauty or fashion.

To form this power list of the top fashion and beauty ambassador programs, business Insider relied on a mix of our own reporting, nominations from readers, and industry experts to narrow down the finalists. We chose these programs based on factors like perks, accessibility to join, and impact on the influencer business as a whole.

Here are the 9 ambassador programs, listed in alphabetical order: 


Check out some of business Insider’s previous power lists: 

Business_news E.l.f. Cosmetics



Target


Program names:Beautyscape, Eyes. Lips. Famous

Type of influencers generally accepted: Micro to macro influencers 

General perks:Some creators sign contracts worth $5,000 to $10,000, some get to go on paid trips, and others are able to create their own products

E.l.f. Cosmetics is a beauty brand known for its affordable makeup products, and recently, has launched ambassador programs on Instagram and TikTok.

Over the years, e.l.f. has had a few different ambassador programs and in 2019, it launched Beautyscape, a competition for creators and fans of the brand to create content and earn thousands of dollars. Beautyscape is e.l.f.’s main program. 

Influencers are able to apply to using an Instagram hashtag, then will be selected by e.l.f.’s team to proceed.

Finalists get to take part in e.l.f.’s programming, which included a trip to the Bahamas last year, as a sort of beauty bootcamp where creators worked with teams competing to pitch a cosmetics line. The winners then worked with the brand on a collection of beauty products.

The Beautyscape ambassador program, whichGlossydescribed as a micro influencer incubator, is similar to Sephora’s Sephora Squad.

E.l.f. partners with influencers who have various following sizes, some with less than 100,000 followers like Alissa Holmes (who had 65,000 followers in 2019) and others well over that, such as Jessa Green (who had 230,000 followers when she became an ambassador).

Once a creator is accepted into the Beautyscape program, they sign paperwork and are obligated to post content about the program across their social-media accounts, as well as promoting the collection if they win. For winners in 2019, the contract was worth $10,000. 

E.l.f. also recently launched a TikTok-focused program called “Eyes. Lips. Famous.,” in which three TikTok creators will win $5,000 contracts to become a TikTok ambassador for e.l.f. Cosmetics, as well as a year’s worth of e.l.f. products.

They will also compete on a reality show that will air on TikTok in late September.

Business_news Fabletics

Demi Lovato.

Getty Images


Program name:Fabletics Ambassador

Type of influencers generally accepted:Micro to macro influencers

General perks:For creators with over 50,000 followers, the ambassador program is paid

Fabletics is an active-wear brand cofounded by Kate Hudson in 2013. The brand is owned by TechStyle Fashion Group, an online fashion retailer that uses a monthly subscription structure. Through TechStyle, Fabletics runs an ambassador program that works with influencers and celebrities on social-media content. 

In 2019, TechStyle overhauled the Fabletics influencer-marketing program, working with over 200 paid and 350 non-paid creators in January that year. The brand spent $600,000 in total on the campaign, according toChief Marketer

Although Fabletics also works with celebrities likeMadison Pettis, the brand is focusing on partnering with influencers, especially micro influencers. TechStyle (and Fabletics) pays their ambassadors with over 50,000 followers, but does not pay all influencer ambassadors. Instead, some creators are compensated through gifted products, such as leggings that they will promote on their social-media accounts.

Creators are able to apply through an online form, but the company declined to comment on the details of the application process. 

For some creators, their managers or agents secure this ambassadorship, such as Loey Lane (with 651,000 followers on Instagram), who works with manager Jake Webb.

Webb told business Insider that the ambassador program is a “360 endorsement for a year inclusive of image licensing and monthly content deliverables.”

Ambassadors in the program are required to post content on their social-media accounts, which usually includes the hashtags #fableticsambassador or #fableticspartner, tagging the brand, and a link or discount code to order two pairs of leggings for $24.

Business_news Fashion Nova

Fashion Nova’s Instagram page.


Screenshot of Fashion Nova’s Instagram page.



Program name:#NovaSquad

Type of influencers generally accepted:Micro to macro influencers 

General perks:Free clothing in exchange for posting and tagging the brand, and paid opportunities for some mega influencers and celebrities 

Fashion Nova is a popular fashion brand among influencers and some ambassadors include celebrities Cardi B and Kylie Jenner, along with YouTube creators Bretman Rock (7.7 million subscribers) and Patricia Bright (2.9 million subscribers),according to Fashion Nova’s ambassador page.

Cardi B said that Fashion Nova offered her $20,000 a month to wear and post about the brand, and that a single post promoting the company from Kylie Jenner can bring in $50,000 in sales,WWD reported.

To be considered for acceptance into Fashion Nova’s #NovaSquad ambassador program, influencers are asked to tag the brand on Instagram (@fashionnova) and use the hashtag #NovaBabe, the company said. They also should send the company an email with links to their social media handles to:pr@fashionnova.com.The hashtag (#NovaBabe) has been used1.3 million times on Instagram,and industry insiders said influencers need at least around 5,000 followers to be considered.

Fashion Nova launched its e-commerce site in 2013,and the CEO, Richard Saghian, began giving out free clothing from the brand to influencers if they posted photos wearing the items online,as The New York Times reported. The program was integral to the company’s rise in the fast-fashion space.

Many Fashion Nova ambassadorsfeatured on its sitehave between 100,000 and millions of followers, but the company works with influencers with lower follower counts as well. 

Business_news Ivory Ella

Ivory Ella

Ivory Ella


Program name:Ivory Ella Brand Ambassador

Type of influencers generally accepted:College influencers and macro influencers

General perks:College ambassadors receive free products and TikTok ambassadors are paid through The Network Effect

After launching in 2015 as a for-profit clothing company affiliated with the Save the Elephants organization, Ivory Ella built an ambassador program that focused on young Millennials and Generation-Z consumers. The company sells T-shirts and loungewear for women featuring the company logo (an elephant) and donates some of the profits to animal conservation efforts.

Its early ambassador program partnered with college students, offering students free Ivory Ella clothing and discount codes to share with friends and family. The college ambassador program also incorporates an influencer component, in which college students can be featured on the Ivory Ella account by creating branded content for the company. These ambassadors do not enter paid contracts with Ivory Ella, however. 

College students with any following size on social media are able to sign up for this ambassador program online through Ivory Ella’s website.

Recently, Ivory Ella expanded its ambassador programs to include a TikTok portion. Ivory Ella partnered with The Network Effect, a digital agency that works with both creators and brands on short-form video content, and took on several brand ambassadors to create content on TikTok.

On TikTok, the Ivory Ella ambassadors are mostly macro influencers, such asAriana Lee, who has over 1 million followers on Instagram and over 11 million on TikTok. 

Business_news Outdoor Voices



Outdoor Voices


Program name:OV Doing Things Network

Type of influencers generally accepted:Nano to micro influencers

General perks:Discounts on products and a direct line of communication with the company 

Active-wear company Outdoor Voices runs the ambassador program OV Doing Things Network, and the ambassadors, called “Doers,” represent the brand on social media with the hashtag #doingthings. 

Ambassadors serve as an extension of “Team OV” and represent the brand through mission building, social promotion, and community engagement, a spokesperson for Outdoor Voices told business Insider. 

Influencers can apply for the program in the fall on Outdoor Voices’ website, and ambassadors get a first look at product launches, discounts, and access to community events. 

Business_news Revolve



Getty/Christian Vierig


Program name:Revolve Brand Ambassador

Type of influencers generally accepted:Micro to macro influencers

General perks:Gifted clothing, a direct line of communication with the company, and occasional trips offered to a select group of influencers the brand works with 

Revolve was founded in 2003 and the e-commerce fashion retailer is known in the influencer world for hosting its yearly Coachella party, Revolve Festival. 

Revolve ambassadors are gifted clothing from the brand monthly, one influencer told business Insider, and some ambassadors can start “earning cash and store credit” once accepted,according to the company’s website.

Revolve also hosts paid-for trips to places like Bermuda for some of its influencers and ambassadors.

To be accepted into the ambassador program, influencers can apply directly on the company’s website and they are required to share a social-media handle.

Business_news Fenty Beauty



Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Bergdorf Goodman


Program name:Fenty Beauty Ambassador

Type of influencers generally accepted:Micro to macro influencers

General perks:The program is paid for some influencers and products are gifted 

Rihanna’s cosmetics company, Fenty Beauty, launched in 2017 and is known for having an inclusive range of shades to fit all skin tones.

The brand runs an ambassador program for beauty influencers and celebrities, like Actress Amandla Stenberg and esthetician Sean Garrette.

The Fenty Beauty ambassador program is paid, a talent manager told business Insider, and the manager said they helped secure the opportunity for their client.

Earlier this year, Fenty Beauty also launched a TikTok-focused ambassador program andTikTok creator hub, called Fenty Beauty House.

Rihanna chose five TikTok creators to stay at the house and post content on the Fenty Beauty account.The house has been temporarily closed out of cautiondue to the coronavirus pandemic. Members included Emmy Combs (5.7 million TikTok followers), Makayla (589,000 TikTok followers), Savannah Palacio (558,000 TikTok followers), Kamaboko Gonpachiro (2.5 million TikTok followers), and Dawn (2 million TikTok followers).

Business_news Sephora



Sephora


Program name: #SephoraSquad

Type of influencers generally accepted:Nano to micro influencers

General perks:The program is paid and the brand also sends some ambassadors on trips

Sephora’s ambassador program, called #SephoraSquad, is a longterm paid program for influencers in the beauty category.

The program launched in 2019, and each year, Sephora opens applications to the #SephoraSquad program, and applicants are encouraged to ask their followers to leave testimonials or reviews to help the retailer understand the impact they have on their audience.

The testimonials are a key factor in selecting the final #SephoraSquad members, instead of follower size.

This year’s finalists were announced in May, and influencers can apply to become an ambassador onsephorasquad.com. As a part of the application, creators are asked to connect their Instagram. Sephora’s panel of merchant and marketing teams, along with the retailer’s launch partners (which consist of 10 influencers who Sephora felt represented authenticity in beauty through connections to their followers), review the applications, testimonials, and content to choose the #SephoraSquad finalists.

Members receive longterm paid contracts with Sephora, and partner with the retailer across a variety of campaigns, events, and initiatives throughout the year, like early access to products first at Sephora.

There are 72 influencers in the 2020 #SephoraSquad program, including 28 Sephora employees.

Business_news Ulta Beauty




Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images



Program name:Ulta Beauty Collective

Type of influencers generally accepted:Nano to micro influencers 

General perks:Influencers receive products from Ulta and have a direct line of communication with the company and certain brands 

Ulta runs an influencer ambassador program called the Ulta Beauty Collective. The program runs for one year and the brand picks 50 creators to be brand ambassadors.

The brand picks new creators each year and there is an online application process.

Ulta looks for one influencer from each state, creators with diverse backgrounds, gender diversity, and different content verticals, a spokesperson for the brand told business Insider. 

The ambassador program offers a year-long partnership with Ulta, and ambassadors are paid a monthly stipend and receive perks and products throughout the year. Some perks include exclusive beauty products, discounts, and personalized unique products and kits. The ambassadors are also featured throughout Ulta Beauty channels and seasonal promotional opportunities across digital and print.

Makeup blogger Wasifa, who runs the Instagram page Sifa’s Corner (8,000 followers), became an Ulta Beauty Collective ambassador in the beginning of this year. She said Ulta reached out to her at the beginning of 2020 through email. 

“I got an email that said, ‘You have been hand-picked to represent Ulta Beauty’,” she told business Insider. “I didn’t apply for anything. They said they loved my content and appreciated what my content stood for and how I was using my voice.” 

She said the program has helped her develop a line of communication with the company and also some of the brands sold by the company that she endorses on Instagram. She gets to choose what products she wants to feature based on her audience and Ulta supplies the products.


Loading
Something is loading.

More:

Influencers
Ambassador
Brands


Chevron icon
It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Read More