Affiliate Programs vs Ambassador – Which Is Better?

Social media marketing is huge in today’s world. Millions of individuals around the globe take advantage of social media marketing through affiliate and ambassador programs. These methods of marketing involve recruiting influencers to post about a certain brand in exchange for a commission, discount codes, or free products. 

There are certainly different requirements for guidelines for each program based on what the brand needs. There are some overlaps between these marketing processes, so it can be a tad confusing when it comes time to choose between an affiliate or ambassador program.

Affiliate marketing is better than ambassador programs because instead of earning a flat rate commission or free products through the ambassador program, affiliates can earn commission on each sale they make, big or small.

How Do Ambassador Programs Work?

Brand ambassadors (like Yelp Elite) are individuals who are handpicked to act as a representative for a brand. Since they’re already familiar with the product and use it, they are a great way to advertise it. These individuals are also people who understand a brand and can promote it well. These individuals will sign a formal agreement and promote brands on a long-term basis. 

Brand ambassadors influence people to purchase certain products online. This is generally done through social media, blogs, and more. However, they can also meet with people outside of social media through in-person events or product launches. 

How Are Ambassadors Chosen?

Ambassadors are chosen if they already have a large follower count, but sometimes smaller creators are chosen too. The main consideration that’s made is how much the individual loves the brand and if they have the skills to promote the brand online and offline. These individuals are also trusted by their audience, so they’re more likely to make some sales. 

How Do Affiliate Marketing Programs Work?

An affiliate is a website owner, blog owner, (you might benefit from Elementor Affiliate for example) or social media personality with the main responsibility of creating digital content to promote a brand and drive sales. The main idea behind it is to share the product through content and convince people that they should choose a certain brand through their digital channels. 

Affiliate marketers will include links to a certain brand’s website. These are called affiliate links. Followers will click on those links, land on a brand’s website, and hopefully make a purchase. When a sale is made through an affiliate link, the marketer will receive a commission. 

What Are The Main Differences?

They may seem like the same thing, but they’re actually kind of different. The brand ambassador vs affiliate debate has been going on for a long time and some people still don’t know what the main differences are. 


A medium is a way in which brands are promoted. Affiliate marketers use digital spaces to promote a brand. They share affiliate links through their blogs, websites, and social media. Affiliate links help track the sales made for a business. However, affiliates don’t do offline brand promotion as ambassadors do. 

Ambassadors, much like affiliate marketers, share the brand through online channels. However, they do this without using sales tracking links to the website. This makes it tough to track the exact volume of sales made from a brand ambassador program, though. 

More so, ambassadors can promote a brand through trade shows, networking events, guerilla marketing, product launches, and store openings. 


The next area that differentiates the two is compensation and rewards. Affiliates are awarded in commission, which is cash payments. This could be a percentage of each sale or a specific amount for each sale. The more sales and revenue generated through the affiliate link, the greater the compensation is for affiliates. 

The compensation for brand ambassadors depends on the agreement with the business. It could be a set amount for their efforts, no matter how much revenue is calculated. They could also receive flat awards for each promotion task completed. In some instances, ambassadors have been given free products, brand credits, or other incentives. 


Affiliates are focused on driving as many sales as possible, like with the amazon affiliate program. earn a commission. Since they get paid a commission for each sale made through the affiliate link, they have to be focused on that. Brand ambassadors, on the other hand, need to build relationships between the brand and existing and potential clients to make sales. 


Similarities Between Affiliates & Brand Ambassadors

Even though there are several differences between affiliates and ambassadors, there are actually quite a few similarities. 

Both Use Words of Mouth and Social Status

Both brand ambassadors and marketing affiliates depend on word of mouth and social media to promote a brand or product. An audience is more likely to follow a brand or product that the affiliate and ambassador use as long as they trust the creators are publishing content that’s honest. These two marketing campaigns are more likely to have better results than traditional ads. 

Both Can Help Brands Grow

Word of mouth in marketing is extremely underestimated. Affiliates and brand ambassadors have proven time again that word of mouth helps grow a customer base and effectively scale. Both groups can use their social media platforms as well to get the word out there regarding a brand or product. 

Both Involve Onboarding

Business owners are constantly concerned about what it takes to implement an ambassador and affiliate marketing effort successfully. Both of them should uphold what the brand stands for and it’s important for ambassadors and affiliates to understand what they can and can’t do as they promote a brand. The reputation of the business depends on what the advocates do, but as they’re in training, they still need their space. 

Tracking Software

With the proper software, you can run and track both kinds of campaigns. You can choose word-of-mouth software that can help run both affiliate and brand ambassador programs. The software can control affiliate program data and tracks sales automatically. Additionally, it can track a brand ambassador’s efforts, which could otherwise be difficult to monitor. 

Which One Do You Choose?

The most important part of this debate is understanding which one should be used for a business. The brand needs to stand out and boost revenue to make a profit. If a brand is looking for a representative who can promote the brand online and offline, the brand ambassador program is better suited. The main focus of an ambassador brand isn’t direct sales, it’s more for building strong relationships with current and potential customers. 

An affiliate program, on the other hand, is more for promoting sales online. This strategy only works through online programs such as social media and blogs. Affiliates don’t need to be trained as offline brand representatives for events. Additionally, affiliate programs help businesses drive sales with minimal risk. Affiliates are only paid if they make a sale.   The choice is completely up to what a business is looking to gain. Do they want more customer relationships or do they want more sales? 

Leave a Comment