Market and Sell Through People Who Love You

Brand Ambassadors Vs. Affiliates

There are multiple options you have online that will help you leverage others to promote your brand. Influencers is now a household topic when discussing social media and online marketing.

Less familiar approaches to help boost your brand include advocates, affiliates, and brand ambassadors. Each of these marketing professionals work to generate revenues to strengthen and grow brands.

There are key differences to consider when you get into the low-level details for each of these individual options. The debate on brand ambassadors vs. affiliates is both fascinating and a little confusing, so let’s drive into the details.
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 Vs. Affiliates

A very basic and common question which 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 key differences 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.

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.

A brand ambassador, on the other hand, 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 genuine value and want others to benefit as well.

While brand ambassadors often are also motivated 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.

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.

Many other marketing tactics are used to assist the brand ambassadors such as the usage of referral codes, campaign details, etc., but the focus of a brand ambassador is to spread the word about a brand, product, or service they believe their close friends should use.

On the other hand, affiliate marketing is primarily driven by money and those 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 largely promoted through marketing channels which focus on the general public.

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 largely 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 brand presence to find new customers for brands. People often question online, “is ambassador marketing just affiliate marketing?”

An affiliate marketing program is not driven by passion for a product, but is based on receiving a high cash payout for promoting and closing a sale. Here, the connection between the affiliate and the brand is short-lived.

  1. As an affiliate, you earn your commission depending on the sale.
  2. When a sale is completed, you will be given a cash commission that often continues to pay out for all follow-up purchases for the next 60-to-90 days.
  3. However, a brand ambassador marketing program is often much more sustainable, keeping continuity to boost up business branding because the ambassador believes in the brand’s mission.
Chapter 4

Affiliate Programs VS Ambassador Programs

Improve your perceptions about affiliate programs vs. ambassador programs before committing to either form of online marketing. Affiliate programs are launched on the internet.

Here, affiliates post ads and content for the advertisers on their sites for product promotion. An affiliate is not bound to work for a single employer. He has a reliable network to communicate with the world of digital marketers and companies. Ambassador programs are generally not commission-based.

An ambassador seeks to boost a brand’s awareness and image through creating hand-crafted reviews and social media posts that aim to introduce the product to new customers. He has used the brand, and then he decides to join the ambassador program. Buyers are also turned into brand ambassadors when they have a good experience with the brand and seek to promote it to their close friends and family as well.

Are Brand Ambassadors Really Just Affiliate Marketers?

Many new online marketings get confused between affiliate marketers and brand ambassadors. After getting an initial dose of online marketing education, many young marketers ask, “are brand ambassadors really just affiliate marketers?” Here, brand ambassadors have the significant role of convincing their close network about the true value and benefits for their brands. Their influence can often 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 over night, but it does come with a number of strong benefits because brands value the added promotion and compensate their ambassadors with many enticing perks. Similarly, an affiliate cannot expectsmooth returns without converting customers into buyers and that takes time. Brand ambassador and affiliate marketing programs are two very different platforms that can help brands grow and scale on the internet.

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