Affiliate Marketing vs. Influencer Marketing 680x300

Influencer marketing exploded in 2016 with more brands turning to digital creators to reach new audiences, younger customers and to build buzz around their products. As the world has shifted to social media, consumers look at fellow consumers to inform their purchasing decisions.

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Before we get into those reasons, let’s first define what Influencer Marketing is.

Influencer marketing refers to the process of identifying key individuals who have a strong online presence and leveraging them to “influence” their followers or subscribers to purchase a product or service. Influencers can be bloggers, journalists, authors, consultants, analysts, etc. The most valuable influencers typically have:

  • A strong online presence with influence over potential customers
  • A significant website audience reach and/or social media footprint
  • The ability to convey strong brand affinity
  • Built credibility and trust with their audience and are perceived to be an expert on a subject matter

By partnering with top online influencers that have significant “pull” with their followers, brands hope to have a positive impact on their business. Influencers can help brands strengthen and grow their awareness and brand affinity because their followers trust their recommendations.

Influencer marketing is growing at an astonishing rate. Just take a look at this Google Trends graph which shows growing interest over the past two years, and see why influencer marketing should already be on your affiliate marketing radar.

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Once seen as completely separate marketing tactics, Affiliate Marketing and Influencer Marketing are becoming a powerful combination. Where marketers once had to choose between the direct revenue and tracking potential afforded by affiliate marketing or the brand messaging and awareness that has come with Influencer Marketing, many are now seeing ways to integrate these methods to reach wider audiences and generate a greater ROI.

When structured correctly, an effective influencer-marketing program can be used to promote your offerings, share your content, and build buzz for a key launch or campaign. Brands can now take advantage of both Affiliate Marketing and Influencer Marketing in a single campaign. Using affiliate links generated through a brand or influencer marketing platform, marketers can add commission to paid and gifted collaborations, thereby benefiting from both the awareness and brand messaging of an Influencer Marketing campaign, and the direct revenue potential and tracking of an Affiliate Marketing campaign.

Likewise, payment on influence should not be seen as a completely separate model, it should be factored in alongside an advertiser’s standard commission rates. A shift in mind set for all advertisers is required to truly understand the value of influence across a channel that is traditionally paid on conversion.

The influx of influencers acting as publishers has given brands more opportunity to take advantage of Affiliate Marketing, allowing them to access multiple consumer groups and test their traction among different demographics without the risk of misspending marketing dollars.

Overall we find that combining a good commission rate with payment for the sponsored content is the most effective in driving not only interest but traffic and sales. Above all, building strong influencer relationships is the foundation for the highest return on your Affiliate and Influencer Marketing investments.

As a channel we have had access to a significant volume of online influencers for a number of years. To ensure we are benefitting from this and tapping into additional budgets it is vital we are delivering the right message to advertisers. Rewarding for influence should be an essential component of any affiliate programme.

As industry leaders in the affiliate space, admitad is constantly innovating and developing new technology to ensure our advertisers and publishers get the support they need in this ever-changing market. By offering a wide variety of tools and services, we are able to help influencers find and generate the right affiliate links to drive revenue.