thought bubble


Influencers, Ambassadors and How to Tell Them Apart

By Erica Shubin

Influencers, Ambassadors and
How to Tell Them Apart

A 2019 HubSpot report found that 71% of consumers were more likely to make a purchase after seeing a product referral on social media. That statistic lines up with what you’ve likely noticed every time you open Instagram – sponsored influencer content is ubiquitous, and it’s helping brands succeed.

While influencer engagement still remains largely a hand to play for B2C marketers, there is another avenue all marketers can explore to utilize industry thought leaders to increase brand standing. Enter: The Ambassador.

Influencers may be discovered and contracted based on evidence of prior brand affinity or public persona befitting a brand’s aesthetic. The ambassador relationship can mine even deeper waters.

A modern update on the brand spokesperson, ambassadors may have a preexisting relationship with an organization outside of social media activity. In the B2B space, this could be a prior webinar or conference session appearance or a past partnership. Ambassadors are selected first and foremost based on proven expertise and good industry standing. Unlike influencers, who garner more niche recognition based on social usage and interests, ambassadors have more widespread recognition as industry leaders in their field.

Ambassadors can be called upon to promote your company through a variety of ways that exemplify partnership through a more personal connection to your brand and sometimes fewer dollars spent on executing and maintaining a formal contract of work.

For a quick breakdown of the influencer-ambassador differentiation, check out these high-level bullet points:


  • May require a more formal contract that clearly outlines the number of posts owed on behalf of an organization to be fulfilled within a specific time frame
    • Contracts and their complexities may best be handled by a third party specializing in the execution of influencer relationships
  • Influencers don’t come for free – companies should expect to spend between $5,000 – $200,000 to secure influencer engagement

Type of Work Expected

  • Sponsored ads and social feed posts from the influencer’s personal channels
    • Testimonials
    • Content produced by the influencer, with guidelines provided by the organization
  • Blog content or video content provided by the influencer to be posted on the organization’s site


  • May be a more informal relationship handled successfully by the organization directly via email outreach and orchestration
  • Depending on an organization’s preexisting relationship with an ambassador, they may find value in helping an organization promote its brand free of charge or in exchange for a benefit that is not monetary

Type of Work Expected

  • Content delivered to the organization for sharing on their social feeds or for use in ads
    • Secondary share from the ambassador’s personal channels
  • Blog content or video content provided by the ambassador to be posted on the organization’s site
  • Content produced by the ambassador, with guidelines provided by the organization
  • An influencer may be asked to produce a one-off recording with a product, while an ambassador may be asked to serve as the host for a series of content pieces that might require a physical presence in another location
  • Series host designation
    • Depending on proximity to the organization, an ambassador may appear with the organization in social content that has been developed and produced on-site at the organization’s headquarters