The Difference between Influencer Marketing and Affiliate Marketing

A significantly powerful way to accomplish the company’s objective in a short span of time is through an effective influencer marketing strategy. Influencer marketing connects you to relevant people in your industry thus making you gain credibility and brand awareness.

Having been in the digital market world ever since e-commerce has gained popularity, affiliate marketing functions differently. It focuses on investing in marketing products that have been created by established organizations and earning profits on the sales made.

Your web-marketing plan can be built with either or both marketing strategies weaved together. In order to make the most of these strategies, it is essential you explore the difference between them:


What is Influencer Marketing?

A modern method of sharing platforms and audiences with relevant names or experts in the industry is known as influencer marketing. The last decade saw influencers publishing guest posts for businesses, however they failed to generate the enough web traffic on these guest posts.

Popular influencer today have a role to play in their follower’s purchasing decisions. For this purpose, they provide valuable content to their audience that gains them the credibility to play a role in shaping their followers’ decisions. Connecting with influencers has become easier with the onset of Social Media. Infact, even a few minutes may be enough to persuade the influencers to share certain content on their social platforms.


The key to Influencer marketing is to locate these influencer and build a relationship with them such that it is fruitful for both the influencer and your business. If successful, in less than a day you’d be able to gain thousands of views for your product through influencer posts. Normally, the influencers will interact with similar target audience as your business but will not have any competing product or service to offer.


Experts of the subject and influencers can be entirely different. Influencers can simply be people who the audience trusts to give the right advice regarding the purchase. A blogger or local figure with a large following may as well be the influencer if your business’s target audience and his followers have similar interests.


What is Affiliate Marketing?

Using affiliates has been an effective online marketing strategy ever since ecommerce became popular in the late 1990s. It was one of the first ways that online marketers partnered with various businesses in order to gain sales and profits.

In affiliate marketing, an affiliate or marketing professional makes an investments into promoting a particular product or service that is manufactured or sold by another company (merchant or advertiser). For every sale generated through his channel, the affiliate would receive a share of profit. In recent times, there have been pay-per-action programs too where marketers are paid every time a lead fills a contact form or signs up for a mailing list.


Building websites and running ads are two ways that affiliates employ to promote their offers. Thus the cost of finding the audience and promoting the product is externalized for the merchant while the affiliate is able to earn profit without the need to invest time and effort into developing his own products or services. In the long run it may produce significant amount of savings for both the affiliate and the merchant.

Usually, the merchant provides support and training material to the affiliate. However, it a steep learning curve to learn to market effectively, and many newer affiliates fail to catch the trick. It requires excellent digital marketing fundamentals to minimize the chances of failure and to optimize the generation of sales to produce profits.

To support an affiliate, the merchant too should be well-established in the industry. The use of unethical practices by merchants has made people way of marketing with affiliates. Affiliate marketing too can be looked upon as a specialized business model.


Investor and Affiliate Marketing can be a great combination


Having outlined the key differences between the influencer and affiliate marketing, it is important to understand that both can co-exist to work best for your business. While influencer marketing attracts followers and focuses on social media relationships and building connections, affiliate marketing helps maximize revenue and establishing a business model. However, affiliate marketers too can be influencers when they are expert on a certain niche. Alternatively, they can also reach out to influencers to reach potential buyers.


While the two marketing strategies may sound similar, they are not in reality. Together, they may function as an inbound marketing plan that makes for a wonderful way to grow your business and maximize the profits.

“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

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