Down the ‘Chute: Developing an Instagram Ambassador Program

Sometimes, the easiest way to get great content and viral reach is to delegate.

As the old adage goes: work smarter, not harder. Creating an effective ambassador program takes plenty of work, but once it’s up and running, ambassadors can operate fairly self sufficiently. The concept is fairly simple: utilize other Instagram accounts to showcase your brand. Giving these other accounts product or cash in exchange for posts can be incredibly cost effective in creating brand awareness. Not only is it an effective way to reach new audiences, but this ambassador can act as a guide, giving your brand rapport and credibility. It personalizes the customer experience, and can open the doors on how your brand interacts with users on Instagram.


Evolve Pet Food wanted to create effective ways to spread the word on their pet food on social platforms. We saw an opportunity to pair up with dog and cat Instagram accounts who already had established followers and credibility. In exchange for covering the costs for pet food (which can be a lot, if you have a bigger breed dog you already know that!) ambassadors would create three pieces of content for Evolve a month and post it to their social channels.


We created a spreadsheet of dog and cat Instagram accounts we identified as potential influencers. We performed an audit on approximately fifty accounts we saw as potential “Paw-tners”. This audit evaluated how “commercial” their account was (if they already posted about brands a lot, creating dilution in their advocacy for Evolve), post frequency, engagement, and growth over a 1 month period. We then chose twenty five accounts to approach with the opportunity to work with Evolve. We ended up onboarding ten Paw-tners, and have been working with our ambassadors for over six months now.

Ruby the Corgi posing with Evolve Pet Food


The first thing we learned is that there is a lot of work that goes into creating a successful, self sufficient ambassador program. We spent countless hours sifting through potential Paw-tners, analyzing their posting habits, and determining whether or not they were compatible with our program. We also had to evaluate the success of the program, so we had to track the content Paw-tners posted, how it performed, and whether or not it generated business for Evolve. We had to edit the structure of our program a few months in to better optimize our resources, but six months in, our program is stronger than ever.


Our Paw-tners created amazing content that we would have never thought of. We chose accounts with personality and flair, which meant that they brought their own unique ideas to the table. We utilized tracking referral codes for discounts for followers of our Paw-tners, and saw them used highly in Evolve’s e-commerce store. We’re proud to work with great Paw-tners, and believe that using ambassadors is a highly effective way to engage new audiences.

Looking to implement an ambassador program for your brand’s Instagram?