Market and Sell Through People Who Love You

Brand Ambassadors Vs. Affiliates

Today there are multiple options you have online that can help you leverage others to promote your brand. One highly effective strategy is influencer marketing.

Over the last decade, the rise of social media marketing has provided new opportunities for companies. One such strategy is influencer marketing, which encompasses several types of influencers.

Influencer marketing is the umbrella term or category that includes affiliates and ambassador programs.

Affiliates and ambassadors can be very helpful for organizations. By offering people money for promoting your business, such as commission, a discount coupon, or free goods, you may successfully engage new target audiences.

A variety of nontraditional methods that may be more novel and useful to your business may include brand champions, advocates, affiliates, and ambassadors. Every marketing expert contributes to the company's ability to promote the brand and generate revenue.

There are fundamental differences to consider when you get into the granular details of influencers, brand ambassadors, and affiliates.

The debate on brand ambassadors vs. affiliates is both fascinating and a little confusing.

In this case, it's a bit difficult to distinguish between marketing methods because they are intertwined. When you're trying to determine whether to establish an affiliate or ambassador program, what are your considerations?

Both affiliates and brand ambassadorships are marketing procedures that intertwine, which may make them a bit complicated. Which types of affiliate and ambassador programs do you should use? It's a good thing to understand the notable distinctions and benefits between these programs.

Let's compare the programs and see what they have in common and what sets them apart. We will cover how brand ambassadors are different than affiliates?
Let's Talk Ambassador Marketing
Chapter 1
Andrew Simpson

Brand Ambassadors Vs. Affiliates

Chapter 2

Key Differences between Ambassador Marketing and Affiliate Marketing

Chapter 3

Is Ambassador Marketing Just Affiliate Marketing?

Chapter 4
Bella Ridley

Affiliate Programs vs. Ambassador Programs

Chapter 1

Brand Ambassadors versus Affiliates

A basic and common question that crosses a brand manager’s desk is the following, “Is an affiliate a brand ambassador?”

Outwardly, both opportunities help promote and scale a brand and look quite similar in their tactics and online marketing strategies. While there is some level of overlap with their high-level descriptions, there are important distinctions which we’ll highlight below.

Basically, an affiliate earns commissions based on product sales which come from their personal marketing efforts that are aided by leveraging a referral code associated with the sale of a product or service.

affiliate marketers use referral codes to associate themselves with purchases

The affiliate’s general responsibility is to inspire customers to buy the products. Commitment to a brand, product, or service is often determined by the monetary reward for making a sale, and loyalty to the brand generally ends there. In this way, affiliate marketers gain some percentage of profits based on sales. 

On the other hand, a brand ambassador cares deeply for the brand’s product or service and has a genuine desire to share it with their close family and friends because they have received actual value and want others to benefit. 

While brand ambassadors often are driven by product discounts, freebies, early access to new products or services, or monetary rewards, they are personally motivated to endorse the products or services because they love the brand.

Many of the incentives given to brand ambassadors fall into 14 main categories. But the perks of being a brand ambassador drive impressive results.

Instagram is the social media platform of choice for brand ambassadors and influencers. Additionally, digital marketing relies heavily on the Instagram platform. It's no wonder IG is an essential part of brands strategy. Just check out the following stats: 

- 83% of users find new items and services on the Instagram
- 81% of users investigate products and services
- 80% of people make purchasing decisions while on Instagram

Capitalize on this social network by learning how to become an Instagram brand ambassador.
Chapter 2

Key Differences between Ambassador Marketing and Affiliate Marketing

Brand ambassadors focus on promoting products or services for brands they love. While brands support their brand ambassadors with ideas for marketing to their family and friends, ambassadors create user-generated content and share the content they create themselves with their close network of friends. 

Some of the best ways to support the value of brand ambassadors are with referral codes and discount links. The discounts can also be associated with specific marketing campaigns and referral rewards for brand ambassadors. 

Still, the overall goal of a brand ambassador is to spread the word about a brand, product, or service they believe the friends should use.

On the other hand, affiliate marketing is driven primarily by commissions and monetary rewards. Typically affiliate campaigns that offer larger financial benefits are often more enticing to affiliates or marketers who simply want to sponsor a product or service for which they’ll receive a high commission.

Brands prepare professional marketing materials for their affiliates, who then use the materials for paid and organic marketing purposes. These marketing efforts are promoted mainly through marketing channels that concentrate on the general public.

All levels of influence are valuable for brands

The key differences between ambassador marketing and affiliate marketing are, thus, primarily, two-fold. Affiliate marketing promotes products or services because there is a high commission for the affiliate, and the target audience essentially doesn’t consist of close relationships to the affiliate.

Ambassador marketing leverages genuine passion and love for a product or service and is driven by an ambassador’s desire to share the product or service with their family member or close friend.

Chapter 3

Is Ambassador Marketing Just Affiliate Marketing?

Brand ambassadors and affiliates are both business promoters. They use their strong network and social following to find new customers for brands.

Companies often ask the question, “is ambassador marketing just affiliate marketing?” or "are brand ambassadors really just affiliate marketers?"

An affiliate marketing program is not driven by a passion for a product but by receiving a cash payout to promote and close a sale. Here, the connection between the affiliate and the brand is usually short-lived.

Brand ambassadors have a meaningful role in convincing their close network about their brands' true value and benefits. Their influence can frequently help to transform the brand image and bottom line for the brands they endorse and promote.

  1. As an affiliate, you earn your commission depending on the sales you generate for brands.
  2. When someone makes a purchase using an affiliate link, the affiliate receives a cash commission. The affiliation connection often pays out for all follow-up purchases for at least 60 to 90 days.
  3. However, a brand ambassador marketing program is frequently much more sustainable. The relationship continues to boost business and branding because the ambassador believes in the brand’s mission--not just commissions.
Chapter 4

Affiliate Programs VS Ambassador Programs

If you wonder which type of program is best for your brand, this chapter is for you. We will dive more into the perceptions about affiliate programs vs. ambassador programs before committing to either form of marketing strategy. 


Affiliate programs almost always function and work on the internet. 

Affiliates post ads and content for the advertisers on their sites for the explicit aim of product promotion. An affiliate is not bound to work for a single company or product. 

They must have a reliable network to communicate with; otherwise, all the promotions and brand mentions are never seen. 

Advantages of Affiliate Programs

1) Affiliates do not get paid unless they are successful in generating sales.

2) Affiliate programs are inexpensive to run and, at the same time, an excellent method to increase revenue.

3) Many affiliate marketers specialize in marketing and spreading the word about brands.

4) Affiliate programs help new consumers find you.


As outlined earlier, ambassador programs are quite different than affiliate programs. Brand ambassadors are generally not commission-based. 

An ambassador seeks to boost a brand's awareness by providing reviews and social media posts. The aim is to introduce the product to new customers within their network of friends and family. 

One of the outstanding characteristics of a brand ambassador is passion.  They almost always use the brand products or services and genuinely love them. This strong connection motivated them to join the brand ambassador's program. 

Advantages of Brand Ambassadors

1) With ambassadors, your brand is placed in a human context, making it more straightforward for consumers to connect with you and become long-term clients.

2) It is possible to manage better the kind of material that you want your employees to create.

3) In terms of paying brand ambassadors, there is greater freedom to incentivize. You can compensate in the form of products, discounts, or many other perks.

4) Ambassador programs help new consumers find you.

Buyers and current customers make great brand ambassadors when they have a good experience with the brand. They naturally seek to promote it to their close friends and family.

To promote client loyalty and eventually clients becoming brand ambassadors, what steps should companies take?

Learn how to help customers become brand ambassadors

Recap of Brand Ambassadors versus Affiliates

Brand ambassadors have a meaningful role in convincing their close network about their brands' true value and benefits. Their influence can frequently help to transform the brand image and bottom line for the brands they endorse and promote.

Endorsing a brand as an ambassador certainly does not make you rich. But it does come with many strong benefits.

Brands value the added promotion and compensate their ambassadors with many enticing perks. Similarly, an affiliate cannot expect many returns without converting customers into buyers, which takes time.

Brand ambassador and affiliate marketing programs are two very different platforms that can help brands grow and scale.

Grow with people who love you. Request a demo today.