Matt ZavadilWritten by Matt Zavadil
Updated February 13, 2022

Influencer marketing vs affiliate marketing…

When it comes to marketing your business, you have a lot of different options to choose from.

Two of the most popular ones are influencer marketing and affiliate marketing.

But what’s the difference between them?

And which one is right for your business?

In this article, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of each type of marketing, so you can decide which one is best for you.

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What is Influencer Marketing?

During an influencer marketing campaign, your partners promote your product or service.

An influencer is someone who has a large following on social media or in their industry, and they can be a great resource for promoting your business.

They can help you reach a new audience, and they often have a lot of trust from their followers.

Because of this, partnering with an influencer can be a great way to boost your marketing efforts.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is where you pay someone else to promote your product or service.

This person is known as an affiliate, and they earn a commission when they sell your product or service. Using this model can be a great way to increase sales and grow your business.

What’s the Difference Between Influencer Marketing vs Affiliate Marketing?

Influencer marketing is where influencers promote your product or service on their social media channels in exchange for a fee, while using affiliates is when an individual promotes someone else’s product or service to obtain a commission.

The two are similar, but there are some key differences between them that you should be aware of before choosing one over the other.

Do Similarities Exist Between Affiliate and Influencer Marketing?

Both influencer and affiliate marketing have similarities: they both involve working with influencers who will promote your brand by sharing content about it on their social media channels (such as Instagram), and they both offer influencers a fee or commission if they successfully sell your product.

The main difference between both influencer and affiliate marketing is that influencer marketers focus on building relationships with influencers who have large followings, while affiliate marketers tend to find people who are interested in their products but don’t necessarily have huge social media followings (known as micro-influencers).

How Does Influencer Marketing Work?

Influencer marketing works by having influencers promote your brand through their content. This can be done in several ways: the influencer may share a photo of themselves using your product or service, write about how much they love it on their blog/website, mention it during an interview where they’re talking about their work, or even mention it in a social media post.

The important thing to remember is that influencers should be genuine in their promotion of your product – if they’re not interested in it, their followers will likely be able to tell, and this could damage your brand’s reputation.

Pros and Cons of Influencer Marketing

There are several influencer marketing pros:

  • It can help you reach new audiences who might not have heard of your brand before.
  • Influencers often have a lot of trust from their followers, so partnering with them can help boost your credibility.
  • You can create content for your website or social media channels that are created by someone else, which can save you time and effort.

There are also some cons to consider:

  • It can be expensive to work with influencers, depending on their following and the type of promotion you want them to do.
  • If the influencer is not genuine in their promotion of your product, it could damage your brand’s reputation.
  • It can be difficult to track the results of influencer marketing campaigns, as you often can’t measure how many leads or sales were generated from it.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

In this case, you’ll get affiliates to promote your product or service on their website or social media channels in exchange for a commission.

The affiliate will typically find someone interested in your product or service and then promote it to them in exchange for a commission on any sales that are generated.

This form of marketing can be a great way to increase sales, as the affiliate will have already been vetted and is likely someone interested in what you’re selling.

Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing

There are several pros to using this form of marketing:

  • The affiliate has already been vetted, so you know they’re likely to be interested in your product or service
  • It’s a cost-effective way to market your product or service – you only need to pay the affiliate when they generate a sale
  • You can track the results of your affiliate marketing campaigns easily, as you’ll be able to see how many sales were generated from each affiliate

There are also some cons to consider:

  • It can be difficult to find good affiliates who are a good fit for your brand
  • If the affiliate doesn’t generate any sales, you won’t make any money from them
  • Some people mistakenly view this type of marketing as being less ethical than other forms

Tips When Partnering With Influencers

Let’s review best practices to keep in mind when you want to run an influencer campaign.

Find Influencers That Fit Your Target Audience

When you’re looking for influencers to partner with, it’s best if they fit your target audience. This means that their content should be relevant and helpful to the audience you’re trying to reach.

It’s also important that they have plenty of followers – this is because influencers who are just starting may not have as much experience in marketing products or services, which could lead them to make mistakes when promoting to your target audience.

How To Identify Quality Influencers

When looking for influencers to work with, you’ll need to identify quality ones. There are a few things you can look for:

  • Are they engaged with their followers? Do they respond to comments and questions?
  • Do they have a lot of high-quality content that is relevant to your niche?
  • Is their following organic (i.e., did they grow it themselves)? Or did they buy fake followers?

Consider Your Budget

Partnering with influencers can be expensive, especially if they have a large following. Make sure you consider your budget before committing to any partnerships.

Keep Your Long-Term Goals in Mind

It’s important to keep your long-term goals in mind when working with influencers. They may be a good fit for one campaign, but if their values don’t align with yours or they’re not interested in promoting your brand long-term then it might not make sense to partner up again down the line.

Tips When Working With Your Affiliates

Let’s review best practices when working within your affiliate program.

How To Find Quality Affiliates To Promote Your Product

Look for quality affiliates for your affiliate program. This means looking for affiliates who have a following that’s relevant to your niche, as well as those who are engaged and likely to be interested in what you’re selling.

You may want to consider whether you’ll look for affiliate marketing beginners, or focus only on more advanced partners.

You can use platforms like influencer marketing platforms or social media listening tools to find partners for your affiliate marketing program.

Consider the Costs of an Affiliate Marketing Campaign

Setting up an affiliate marketing program is not free – you’ll need to pay commissions on any sales generated by an affiliate. It’s also important to keep in mind that influencers may want compensation beyond affiliate networks, such as free products or services from your company.

How To Track Affiliate Program Results

If you’re paying affiliates based on commission only, then it’s easy to track their results because they won’t make any money unless someone buys something through them.

Could You Hire an Agency to Run It For You?

Affiliate marketing can be time-consuming, so you might want to consider hiring an agency to do it for you. This will likely cost more than if you did it in-house, but it could save you time and energy.

Set Clear Expectations With Your Affiliates

When setting up an affiliate program, make sure that both sides are clear on what is expected from each other. This will help reduce any misunderstandings and ensure that everyone involved is happy (and motivated) to continue working together.

Tools Required to Manage Influencer Marketing

If you’re going to manage influencer marketing in-house, there are some tools that you’ll need. Here are some tools to consider.

TapInfluence: This tool allows you to find influencers, as well as manage your campaigns, and track results.

BuzzSumo: This tool helps you research the most popular content on the web so you can identify social media influencers.

Hootsuite: This social media platform lets you track all of your social media channels in one place, making it easier to find influencers with quality social media engagement.

Izea: This influencer marketing platform helps you manage influencers and track results.

Mention: This tool helps you track influencers and measure their impact on your brand in real-time.

Sprinklr: This tool lets you manage all your social media channels in one place, as well as track influencers.

Tools Required to Manage An Affiliate Program

Affiliate marketing can be managed in-house, but it requires a lot of time. You’ll need tools that help identify quality affiliates, as well as tools to pay affiliates and tracking the results. Here are some options:

You’ll need to find a software solution that allows your affiliate to generate their affiliate links. This software should also help you track the number of clicks and sales generated through their links.

Affiliate Program Software

This type of software helps you manage your influencer affiliate program by providing a platform where affiliates can sign up, view offers, get an affiliate link, get paid, and track their affiliate campaigns.

Tracking & Reporting Tools

These tools will help you track how much traffic is coming from your affiliates, as well as how much revenue they’re generating.

FAQs About Affiliate Marketing vs Influencer Marketing

Can a non-influencer perform affiliate marketing strategies?

Yes, big influencers aren’t required for affiliate marketing. All you need is a marketer with a following that’s relevant to your niche to promote your products or services.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is when brands work with influencers in their industry who have large followings on social media and other platforms. These influencers promote products and services through content that they share with their audience.

Which social media is best for affiliate marketing?

YouTube is one of the best social media platforms for influencer marketing because it allows influencers to create videos and share those with their followers.

How do you become an influencer?

To be an influencer, you need to have a large following on one or more platforms. Influencers often get paid by brands to promote products and

Are influencers affiliate marketers?

Influencers can be influencers, but not all influencers are affiliate marketers. Influencer and affiliate marketing campaigns differ. Affiliate marketing is when a brand pays someone to promote their products or services through links that they share with their followers (and others).

Does influencer marketing cost money?

Yes, influencer marketing costs money because brands pay influencers to promote their products or services.

How do you offer affiliate programs to influencers?

You can offer affiliate programs to influencers by using affiliate network software. This type of software provides a platform where affiliates can sign up, view offers, and get paid.

Why would an influencer want to do affiliate marketing?

There are several reasons why influencers might want to do affiliate marketing:

  • to make money while they sleep
  • to promote products that align with their brand
  • to increase the credibility of their influencer status by sharing affiliate links to brands that are relevant to their audience

How do you approach influencers for affiliate marketing?

You can approach affiliate and influencer marketing partners similarly. Use an email outreach campaign.

Is influencer marketing worth it?

Yes, influencer marketing is worth the money because influencers have large followings and content that they share with their followers on social media channels. This means brands pay influencers to promote their products and services to a large audience.

Final Thoughts: Affiliate Marketing Strategy vs An Influencer Marketing Campaign

When it comes to influencer marketing vs affiliate marketing, both strategies have their place in a brand’s overall digital marketing strategy.

The important thing is to choose the right one for your business objectives and audience type. It also helps if you understand what influencers are looking for when partnering with brands so they can create great content that drives results.

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