How often have you come across someone who talks highly about a brand or products they use? When a customer likes your products or services, they’ll definitely share them with friends and family. And once they start sharing, this person has become a brand advocate.

So, what if you start rewarding these authentic advocates to create content about your brand and market your products? Then, they become brand ambassadors, and you’re engaging in ambassador marketing. 

Brand ambassadors have a deep understanding and love of the brands they market. They have built a relationship with the brands, so they carry out the most authentic and genuine marketing. Here’s everything you need to know about this ambassador marketing.

What is ambassador marketing?

Ambassador marketing involves recruiting your loyal customers and fans to be your brand representatives and market your products. These customers have built a relationship with your brand, and are willing to share it with a community of like-minded individuals to help your brand attract new customers. 

If they love your brand so much and want to officially market it in exchange for rewards such as free gifts, coupons, cash, or free products, they’re your brand ambassadors.

Brand ambassadors can be customers, fans, employees, celebrities, or consistent influencers. They communicate about your brand through online and offline channels, including social media and face-to-face marketing. They spread the word about your brand to a relevant, connected, and engaged audience that trusts their word.

Brands that use ambassador marketing

Many brands have realized the potential of brand ambassador marketing and are reaping significant results. Some of the brands that leverage the power of ambassador marketing to grow include:

  • Red Bull: Recruits student ambassadors to market the product at events and around the community
  • Lululemon: Gives free products in exchange for ambassadors reaching out to their fitness network
  • Glossier: Awards sales commission and free products when ambassadors motivate purchases
  • Xbox: Rewards ambassadors with merch for supporting the Xbox community and answering questions

Ambassador marketing vs. influencer marketing

Ambassador marketing and influencer marketing are terms that many people use interchangeably. However, they don’t mean the same thing.  This table shows clear differences between ambassador vs. influencer marketing.

Ambassador Marketing Influencer Marketing
Brand ambassadors have established a relationship with the brand. They use and love the brand’s products. Influencers work with the brand for a short time. They may not have used the products prior to this engagement.
Ambassadors actively use and promote the brand. Influencers have valued opinions and influence in the specific industry of the brand, but most don’t use the product regularly.
Ambassador marketing leads to direct revenue for the brand, and ambassadors’ unique links make it easy to track the sales they dtive. Influencer marketing is more about driving engagement with the brand. It’s difficult to track sales resulting from influencers.
Brand ambassadors are selected based on their love for the products and interaction with the brand. Influencers are selected based on their ability to reach a large audience and drive engagement to the brand.
Brand ambassadors may promote brands they love for free, or in exchange for free gifts or store credit  – they aren’t always paid in cash Influencers receive monetary compensation and may set their own rates based on your expectations. 

Why use ambassadors in marketing?

Some of the reasons businesses should consider using ambassador marketing include:

Build trust with audiences: Customers are more likely to trust the recommendations they get from brand ambassadors than your brand’s own messages in traditional ads. The genuine love and honesty that ambassadors have when they recommend your brand make it easy for customers to trust them and engage with your brand.

Increase brand awareness: Brand ambassadors can increase brand awareness by posting content across different social media channels. They can also create awareness through direct word-of-mouth marketing at events and pop-ups.

Drive sales and conversions: Ambassador marketing is not just about creating awareness, but also about getting sales. People are likely to buy a product that others have tried and proven to work. Having people talking positively about your products is a sure way of getting sales. 

How do you know if the ambassador marketing is really driving sales? Using ambassador software, you can give your ambassadors a unique link to your website, which they can share with customers. With this link, it’s easy for your business to know when an ambassador brings in sales, because the tracking code in the link attributes purchases to the ambassador.

Foster community engagement: Your ambassadors have better contact with the community than your brand does, because people would rather engage with individuals than companies. They can come up with various social media strategies, such as participating in popular social media trends. They can engage and nurture followers and customers around your brand. 

Cost-effective marketing strategy: An ambassador marketing strategy is a cost-effective way to advertise your brand. After all, ambassadors are sharing products they genuinely love and are willing to do it for little or even no compensation. Brands can, and should, compensate ambassadors with a commission, store credits, or free gifts. But they’ll still get good ROI compared to other forms of marketing. Besides, investing in ambassador marketing is low risk as you only pay them the commission when they make sales.

Types of ambassadors

There are different types of brand ambassadors, categorized based on the influence they have on the market and the audience they’re best equipped to reach. Choose the type that works for you based on your business needs.

Social media ambassadors

These representatives of your brand promote your brand through ongoing ambassador marketing campaigns rather than using a single post. Since they use social media to promote you in the long term, and are much more dedicated to you than the typical influencer would be. Their personal influence and credibility enable these ambassadors to create awareness about your brand, engage your target audience, and help you make sales.

sophjbutler models gymshark in wheelchair

Customer ambassadors

Your existing customers can act as peer advocates for your brand. They have used your products for quite some time and understand your brand. Because of their love and the relationship they’ve built with your brand, they are very willing to market and help you attract more sales. With customers as ambassadors, you’re guaranteed sales. People trust the words of their peers more than any other form of advertising.


Student ambassadors

Student ambassadors are college-age young adults between the ages of 18 to 25. They market your brand to their on-campus peers in a natural and authentic way, and use their existing connections to share you  both on social media platforms and in person. Using student ambassadors is a wonderful way to reach a younger audience and grow your brand.

bumble ambassador brand ambassador skills

Employee ambassadors

Employees can also act as brand ambassadors. In fact, they are the best people for the job since they’re already part of the company and know everything about the products. They are committed to your brand and understand its marketing goals.

Thanks to their connection with the brand, they can easily build a relationship and market the products. Employee ambassadors can earn extra income by marketing the company’s products. However, you must clearly define the relationship between your brand and the employee-ambassadors to avoid conflicts of interest and credibility issues.

penguin ambassador stephanie

Celebrity ambassadors

Celebrities already have a huge social media following and influence in a specific niche. They can easily leverage their large following and influence to get people to buy from you. 

Before recruiting a celebrity to be your brand ambassador, ensure their audience aligns with yours. You must also ensure they love your brand and have used your products. They won’t be good ambassadors if they don’t believe in your brand and have no idea how your products work.

Ambassador marketing structures

Beyond the types of ambassadors, there are also several ways you can structure your ambassador program. Here are the most common ones:

Affiliate-style ambassador program: This is a partnership between your brand and influencers or bloggers. They market your brand through their affiliate link and earn cash commissions from any sales coming in through the link. 

Requirement-based ambassador program: Ambassadors in a program like this either have a high number of followers or a smaller but significantly engaged audience. The brand pays them to complete a specific action within a given timeframe. They sign contracts to complete formal online and offline promotional requirements.

Informal brand ambassador program: Anyone who shows loyalty or love towards a brand can join this type of program as they wish. Ambassadors receive a referral link and can promote you as often as they’d like; the more new customers they bring in, the more rewards they earn.

Getting started with ambassador marketing

Getting started with ambassador marketing requires careful planning. Here is a guide that can help you get started.

Set clear objectives

Before you recruit your first brand ambassador, you have to know what you want to achieve in the end. Have a clear vision. Ensure your objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Setting SMART objectives will set you up for success right from the beginning.

Identify and select ambassadors

The ambassadors you choose to work with will depend on your type of program. Your ambassadors must align with your values and objectives. A good place to find brand ambassadors is to look at your customer base, as well as checking who is creating social media posts about you or engaging on your own posts. It’s easy to identify those who are truly passionate about your brand.

Once you identify your ambassadors, reach out to them through personalized emails. Explain your brand ambassador program and invite them to sign in if they’re interested in working with your brand. If you’re using ambassador software, make sure they understand how to use their dashboard to share their link and track their progress.

Set expectations

Your brand ambassadors should understand your expectations and be ready to work with you to achieve them. Give them clear expectations of what you expect them to achieve and the specific period.

If you’re working on a formal ambassador marketing program, you need to come up with a contract and let your ambassadors sign it. This contract should include information such as how often they should promote you, key USPs of the product, and anything to avoid saying about your brand. For informal programs, just a brief overview of your brand expectations should work, along with instructions for them to share the link you give them. Of course, your reward program should motivate them to achieve what you need.

Develop ambassador rewards

Even if your ambassadors already love your brand and are willing to promote you without any compensation, a reward will motivate them. You want to come up with a reward scheme that will work for your brand and your ambassador. 

Decide how you’re going to reward your ambassadors. Will it be monetary, in the form of credits, or free products? How will your ambassadors earn this reward – must they bring in a certain amount of new customers, make a set frequency of posts, or assist you at events?

Create engaging and shareable content

Your brand ambassadors may not be experts in marketing and might not know what to do without your help. You have to give them suggestions on content they could create, and how to promote and share it across platforms.

While doing this, be careful not to become too controlling. Ambassadors need the freedom to create authentic content using their own voice. 

Monitor and measure success

The next step is to think about the metrics that show the success of your campaign. If your marketing campaign is focused on creating brand awareness, measure impressions and comments on ambassadors’ posts. Or, if you’re tracking sales, check conversion rates, revenue, and average order values generated by ambassadors. Tracking metrics can help you understand if the program is working or not, and where you need to improve.

If you already have a target number of the metrics you want to achieve, check your analytics to determine what you have accomplished. Ambassador marketing links and promo codes can help you track your sales, conversions, and referrals. 

For more accurate and better tracking of sales and ROI, you can use brand ambassador software such as Referral Rock. The software will help you have a clear understanding of how your program is performing and make improvements wherever necessary.

Wrapping up

Ambassador marketing is a genuine way to get your brand recognized and earn more sales. The ambassadors are honest, genuine, and authentic. Customers prefer buying brands recommended by their peers or people they trust rather than traditional advertisements.

So, if your brand has yet to embrace ambassador marketing, then you’re missing out. The future is bright for influencer marketing as social media channels such as TikTok take the internet by storm. And, of course, a smaller number of followers shows more authenticity, and potential customers will trust such ambassadors more.

There’s no denying that ambassador marketing is slowly overtaking influencer marketing. The authentic voices behind brand ambassadors should motivate you to try this method. Give it a try and see how well it works for your business.

Get yourself Referral Rock ambassador software and track your performance.