It’s a marketing strategy. The company selects a group of people who are already in the nitch that they want to target. For example, athletics, dirt bikers, runners, triathletes, etc. In return for the individual’s participation, they get something (money, products, or discounts).
In the old days, companies would hire a marketing company to promote their product on TV, magazines, and on the newspaper. That’s still being done somewhat, but companies have figured out that social media marketing is where they get the best results.
In general, it’s a win-win situation. The company gets lots of exposure from somewhere already running, biking, etc. and the participant gets something for their effort and time.
Social Media Marketing is very powerful these days. Not all Ambassador Programs are created equal. Know what you are getting into.
I’m not going to mention the names of the companies that I’m talking about in my post. The point isn’t to bash companies. Instead, it’s to make other athletes aware that being part of an Ambassador Program might not be the right fit for you depending on whether or not what the company is offering meets your needs.
1. Pay your way in
Company X charges $55 to join their Ambassador Program. For this amount of money, you get a t-shirt, some stickers, and discounts on their products for the whole year. You get free product evaluations, but if you keep the product, you are charged for it. You must agree to post Company X’s hashtag on all your social posts.
2. Only get something (money or products) if you successfully get someone to use your coupon code
Company T has a tiered system that only pays out something to the Ambassador if they get someone to purchase something using their particular code. First-tier starts at 25 products sold. You get nothing if you sell less than 25 products. You get nothing upfront. You get nothing if no one uses your code. You are expected to work for free at their sponsored events at least twice a year.
3. The requirements are mystery
Company N is very mysterious. It encourages people to sign up for the Ambassador Program once a year. It doesn’t say what the expectations or freebies are going to be.
4. Get free stuff and promote it on social media
Company Y sends you a box full of their new line products at least 3 times a year. The products are free for you to keep. The company expects for you to take photos of yourself using the products and hashtag the company on your posts. No need to sell anything. No out of pocket costs to you.
5. Must only use their product
Company M sends you one free product twice a year. In addition to the free product, you get a discount for any additional products you purchase. You are required to not blog or talk on social media about any direct competitors and you can only use their product for races and events.
6. Sign-up and then never hear from them again
Company P claims to promote community among athletes. When you sign-up and are accepted as an Ambassador you get a digital badge that the company requires you put on your blog. You get one small item for free $3 value. Then, you are expected to share Company’s P hashtags on all your social posts. No other discounts or freebies are given.