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The Difference Between Influencer and Affiliate Marketing

It is no longer all about celebrities as brands are increasingly relying on influencers to help promote their brand. The diffusion between the two can be seen in the cost to acquire and the trust the consumer holds in these relatable figures. With billions of users logging into social media platforms every day, it’s important to choose the right strategy to get your brand in front of a larger segment. Influencer and affiliate marketing are great ways to increase your reach and educate your target audience ultimately turn them into customers.

what is influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product placement from influencers. An influencer is an individual who has a large following in a niche market. Often considered experts in their specific niche consumers tend to highly trust these influential individuals. Their use of social influence and recommendation serves as a guarantee of quality and social proof to your brand’s target market.

The Value of Influencer Marketing

Although a newer form of promotion for a lot of brands, influencer marketing is one of the fastest-growing and most effective ways to get brand exposure and transform that exposure into a purchasing decision. These native ads work to reach a very specific target as most influencers maintain a following of a specific demographic and work to raise brand awareness in a short period of time.

Where to Find Influencers and How to Pay Them

When deciding on an influencer that is best for your brand you must do your research. Make sure to choose a platform that not only your target audience will be actively using but that your brand already has a presence on. Next, choose the type of influencer you wish to use whether it be a macro-influencer or micro-influencer. Establish the budget or means of compensation based on the size and value of the influencer in the industry. This can best be done by determining the following range of said influencers.

how to measure influencer marketing

It is important to measure various metrics during marketing campaigns to determine if it was successful and resulted in increased brand exposure. 

  • Number of new followers
    Check to see if the number of new followers increased during the campaign to figure out if it drove traffic to your social media accounts. 
  • Website traffic
    A successful campaign will lead potential customers to your website, especially the shop page. You can measure this metric as well as whether or not the lead made a purchase.
  • Lead generation
    If your site uses a signup form make sure to calculate if the number of signups increased during the campaign compared to normal. 
  • Social media engagement
    Social media engagement is extremely important in increasing brand awareness. Look for an increase in likes, comments, shares, and tags during the campaign to determine how effective it was. 

What is affiliate marketing 

Affiliated marketing is a performance-based marketing strategy that allows you to promote your product or service on another website other than your own. The affiliate site in which your ad appears receives a percentage of the sale when a lead clicks on the ad. 

The value of affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing has grown immensely over the past few years. It requires a lot less research and risk than influencer marketing as the affiliates work to position your product well for you on the proper platforms. Affiliate marketing is also more budget-friendly as it is commission based so you only pay for the leads that make a purchase or in some cases click on the ad. Affiliates are typically free to join and do not require high startup fees, making them a low-risk steady investment. 

Where to Find Influencers and How to Pay Them

  • Average Order Volume
    Look to your order volume to determine if consumers are purchasing more items than normal and if they are buying items of higher value. 
  • Sales Volume
    Measure your sales volume to determine if the number of sales has greatly increased since promoting the products through an affiliate program. 
  • Site Traffic
    Similar to influencer marketing you can look to your website to see if there is an increase in traffic and lead signups. 

determining what strategy is best for your brand

It is important to determine your goals before deciding on a strategy. If you are looking to create brand awareness on social media platforms look to influencer marketing whereas if you are looking to promote your product on channels other than social media, especially during the time of a sale look to affiliate marketing. Your audience is the biggest factor in which strategy you should use. You want to reach as many potential customers as possible so look to what platform your target market uses most and will be most receptive to. When determining your strategy it is also important to determine your budget and choose a strategy that fits the risk and investment you are willing to take on. 

coming to a decision

Affiliating marketing does not cancel out the opportunity to use influencer marketing. Both strategies can result in a successful marketing campaign and can be used together to increase revenue and brand exposure. You can run more than one campaign at one time or adjust your strategy to fit your short and long-term goals as they change to better suit your audience.

Let our experts approach your next campaign with a strategic plan. Get in touch with us today to discover what strategy is going to elevate your business in 2021! 


Abbey Hills

AUTHOR: Abbey Hills

Marketing Assistant

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