“If you don’t find a way to make money in your sleep, you’ll work until you die.”– Warren Buffett
Does that tug at your heartstrings, making a chill run down your spine? Then you are in the right place.
Though the two marketing behemoths – Influencer Marketing and Affiliate Marketing are entirely different from each other, they share an inevitable core purpose, which is : to help you have some peaceful sleep when someone else works FOR you.
A hiking rate of 93% of marketers have used influencer marketing in their campaigns, similarly, a staggering 94% of publishers use multiple affiliate marketing networks and now are proud of their own timely decisions!
Only 7% of marketers have never paddled their canoes in these blow-out brilliant oceans of marketing and there’s no evidence of them being exceptionally happy about it either. Now that you are already here, we know that you wouldn’t want to be one of them (at any cost per se).
Let’s dive deep inside to see which one (influencer marketing or affiliate marketing) suits you best to make the cut, shall we?
Table of contents:
- Difference between Influencer and Affiliate Marketing
- What is Influencer Marketing
- What is Affiliate Marketing?
- Influencer Marketing or Affiliate Marketing?
- Affiliate Influencers
What are the key differences between Influencer and Affiliate Marketing?
Both influencer and affiliate marketing strategies are engineered on a common platform but one should consider some key processes which make them stand apart from each other:
- Number #1: While influencer marketing needs influencers ( the ones with a good number of followers on social media) who will promote your brand, product, or services, affiliate marketing goes with the businesses or publishers which publish your content to raise your revenue. (P.S neither works for free, mind you)
- Number #2: The former focuses on brand awareness whereas the latter zooms in on your revenue growth.
- Number #3: Highly influential social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and the like are the niches of influencers and hence your flag will be hoisted on such platforms if you choose influencer marketing. Affiliates are the companies and sites which widely belong to the same niches as you, so you will be more noticeable than ever in your own business world.
- Number #4: The people on whom you will be putting a bounty if you pick Influencer marketing are celebrities, bloggers, media personalities, and industry leaders. On the other hand, affiliate marketing will lead you towards blogs, companies, and publishers.
- Number #5: Influencers can be compensated by a flat fee, payment per post, or free products, and affiliates go with the standard payment which depends on the product sales, or pay per action is also an option.
- Number #6: You will be counting the new followers, lead generation, website traffic, and engagement to measure your ROI in Influencer Marketing. Affiliate Marketing keeps its tag on on-site traffic, sales volume, and average order value to measure the return of investment.
What is Influencer Marketing?
By definition, Influencer Marketing is a strategy of collaborating with influential people on social media platforms who have their own set of followers and self-built niches, in order to get a jaw-dropping amount of brand exposure within the shortest period of time. (To be precise, you will be piggybacking on them without sweat)
Just to anchor it down with a fact: There are more than half a million influencers on Instagram alone, reported eMarketer.
How can Influencer Marketing benefit your business?
– Leverages word-of-mouth
To start with, Influencer marketing leverages word-of-mouth strategy which is the most powerful way of promoting a brand or a product as it has the idea of trust as its winged guardian. And over 50% of the customers say that this is their preferred strategy to pick new brands (or sometimes to switch over).
– Improves content strategy
As per a London agency called Disruptive Communications, 42.5% of British consumers indicated that they are more likely to have a negative opinion of a brand on social media due to poor spelling and grammar.
But by using influencer marketing, you can drastically improve your content strategy as the influencers are completely capable of rendering you fresh, high-functioning content. Wondering how? Oh! They have their own trial and tested methods and are fully aware of the sentiments and soft-spots of their followers. 24% of marketers have the habit of sharing these posts of their influencers to create user-generated content.
– Boosts ROI
Influencer marketing generates 11x more ROI than the traditional forms of marketing. Hence, it clearly shoots up the ROI that you are most concerned about! And a study from Mediakix reveals that 89% of marketers share their testimonies stating that ROI from Influencer Marketing is comparable or better than the other strategies.
– Creates hype
Being the walking and talking endorsements the influencers’ on-brand hooking-up voices unmistakably create hype which brings to your brand the much-needed kudos.
And whatnot, Influencer marketing is time-saving and considerably cost-effective as 71% of marketers agree that influencer marketing is more effective at driving quality traffic and leads.
How to find suitable influencers for your brand?
Here are five effective ways to find the right influencers for your brand:
1. Explore Hashtags
By searching for the relevant hashtags you can very well see if the values of you and your shortlisted influencer are in line. Following the same hashtags will always help in vetting the influencers since it is the broadest and most expansive way of getting your hands on them.
2. Keywords on YouTube
Searching by keywords on YouTube makes you land on the top pages which work on the same niches as you. YouTube will become a lucrative place if you can dig deeper for long-tail keywords which narrow down your search further.
3. Influencer tools or databases
Influencer tools like Happine.cc can help you find and collaborate with the right influencers. They can provide you data on niche-specific influencers along with their social profiles, email addresses, and websites via which you can connect with them right away.
4. Your website
If you are a newbie, your website will be your crutch to recruit the right kind of influencers. It will be of greater help to the influencers to get to know you and your values better and you can save yourself from too much sweat on vetting and research.
5. Comb through competitors’ accounts
By surfing through the followers of accounts of your followers, you can identify the influencers who will be glad to shake hands with you since, you know, tags and follow-ups help in connecting the great minds who think alike.
To wrap it up below is a 4S filter that can walk you through the process safely and securely.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process that allows you to increase your sales five-fold by promoting your brands and products via other websites and publishers. Here, the affiliate sites display the link to your products and when a consumer clicks it (BAM!) they will be landed on your website.
Crisply stating, you will basically use someone else’s shoulder to point the gun at your customers.
As statistics have it, by 2022, the affiliate marketing industry is expected to reach an estimated worth of $12 billion since revenue from affiliate marketing has steadily increased over the years, as eCommerce continues to grow in popularity.
How Affiliate Marketing can benefit your business?
1. Risk-free and cost-effective
You have a very low probability of losing revenue as Affiliate Marketing is compactly performance-based which means you will pay your affiliates only after the conversion.
And you can always check their progress which will be directly proportional to the rate of your converted customers. (Count them as they fall into your lap and there you are!)
It is a strategy that comes with a subtle promise of 0% risk and cost-effectiveness.
2. Boosts reputation
Your customers will be hit by a spark of recognition when your brand is being promoted by a third-party publisher. Reinforcement takes place right there, and in turn, it is highly possible for your brand’s credibility to anchor itself in the hearts of the customers.
Trust us when we say – it totally builds up your reputation in your niche and these affiliates who champion your products will solidify the customers’ confidence in you.
As per studies, 80% of brands have affiliates already. In fact, 81% of advertisers and 84% of publishers use affiliate marketing programs. Furthermore, advertisers acknowledge allocating 10% of their marketing budget specifically towards affiliate marketing.
3. Targeted traffic
Nearly 65% of affiliate marketers worldwide generate traffic by blogging alone. The more sites that link to your pages, the more you get a herd of audience from the niche you and your affiliate belong to (grid-blocking traffic is highly guaranteed).
Hence, collaborating with the most competent affiliates to your program, without a doubt, will help you scale your traffic faster than you have ever imagined.
4. High ROI
Affiliate marketing is highly capable of rendering you a high ROI because your affiliates will evidently be the ones who are within the ‘sphere of influence’ of your target audience.
And since the affiliates are found to have direct access to your customers, you will be channeling the marketing of your products directly into the grids of your highly targeted audience.
It’s no wonder that 65% of the merchants earned 5-20% of their total annual revenue through affiliate marketing.
How to find the right affiliates for your brand?
1. Online forums and communities
The specially designed industrial forums and communities will be of great help finding your affiliates as they will be the canopies that connect a number of like-minded people who have needs of a similar kind.
Since business people from your niches know how exactly it would feel for you to be in your shoes, they can render you what you want before you know it.
2. Affiliate recruitment agencies
Working with an affiliate recruitment agency can unburden your shoulders from the finding and recruiting of affiliates though the onus of managing the marketing strategy of your channel will be on you.
As already hinted, these recruitment agencies are different from the affiliate management agencies and are best suited for brands that need to expand their bandwidth for ongoing discovery and outreach of partners
3. Niche blogs
Blogs are the best places where you can muster people who share your own interests and are passionate about it just like you.
These blogs might also act as a connecting gel between people who bring to the world the same yet unique kind of ideas.
Such blogs which have the same core as you will support you in building your own network and yeah! You will find the right kind of affiliates in no time.
4. Coupon sites
It might sound a bit weird, but you wouldn’t believe how much people love these sites still.
Shaking hands with the sites like RetailMeNot.com and asking them to promote your brand via their sites will muster online shoppers from the niches where you could never infiltrate.
Side note: Please don’t forget to add coupons to your own products to grab the coupon lovers directed from these sites.
5. Networks and marketplaces
Affiliate networks like ClickBank, ShareASale, or CommissionJunction are some companies designed entirely to be trustworthy affiliates and shouldn’t be missed during the recruitment process.
While Fiverr is a marketplace that works with its gigs and comes in handy to the entrepreneurs, the other free marketplaces like Refersion render high profits for the retailers.
6. Social Media and Online ads
For very obvious reasons, social media platforms can help you connect with the zealous affiliates whose service will be there to give you a cape whenever you need one.
And the online ads, which now rule the world of advertisements like never before cannot be neglected in your affiliate hunting expedition. The world will witness the highest expenditure on online ads in the years to come, says statistics:
Influencer Marketing or Affiliate Marketing? Your needs will help you choose!
To sum everything up, we can say that it all boils down to one thing which is : Your Needs and this will guide you throughout the process of picking one between the influencers and the affiliates
Be focused like an eagle upon your goal.
If you want to build a brand and launch your product with a grand entry giving it a sense of luxury, then you better go for influencer marketing.
But at the same time, if your key goal is to generate revenue and want the others from your own niche to promote your brand within your shared influencers, affiliate marketing can help you achieve your goal.
If you do not have a goal yet, that’s not a good sign, set your well-designed goal first!
2. Target Audience Demographics
By closely following the demographics of the audience of your audience/customers, you will be able to make the right choice.
Influencers are especially popular among younger consumers. In a survey, 54.8 percent of people aged 18-24 said they trusted influencer posts.
And though a smaller percentage — 44% of people ages 25 to 34 and 37% of millennials trust what influencers have to say about a brand, to be exact — this is still much higher than the percentage that trust in brands 37% of millenials reported that they’d more likely trust a brand after seeing an influencer post about it.
So, demographics of traget audeince is a considerable thing while looking for the right people to work with.
Ultimately, the amount that you are willing to spend determines your approach.
To clear some air, Influencer marketing is known to be quite expensive than the Affiliate one, but a solution for this is you can consider micro-influencers if your budget is low but you badly want to hire an influencer, they have an engagement rate of 3.86% in IG after all.
Also, you should pick the former if you want to hand over the cheque and see the magic it can do.
But, if you’d choose to be a conservative estimate or rather wait and see the progress before uncuffing your money, choosing affiliate marketing will be a better option.
You should consider your industry while choosing the type of marketing or social media platform. You can also consider what type of marketing other competing firms in your industry choose.
Industries like Fashion seem to prefer collaborating with Influencers on Instagram. In fact, fashion is the most active sector on Instagram, with 25 percent of all sponsored posts on Instagram centering around it.
For example, H&M has one of the largest Instagram followings of any fashion brand on social media today, due in large part to its influencer campaign with women who reflect H&M’s style all by themselves.
Furthermore, if you produce products or services that need a trial before actually buying them, you can consider collaborating with influencers as 42 percent of people say they have been influenced into “trying a product or service” after seeing an influencer’s sponsored content for the brand.
Affiliate Influencers: The Fusion
Oh it’s not time yet, stay a bit longer, will ya?
Sharing the common core and purpose, both Influencer and Affiliate marketing strategies always remained flexible over the years.
And when it became the time for a Fusion, the two became one.
It happened mainly because companies wanted more than just an honest intent from the Affiliates. So, influencers started to become affiliates and hence the synergy with the name Influencer Affiliate Programs.
One must consider this brand-new offer before jumping to any conclusions (just saying).
And sources say that influencers are taking over affiliate marketing too, already. Good for them, eh?
- According to a Salesforce survey, a total of 85% of consumers engage in research prior to making a purchase. The primary channels used for conducting research include retailers’ mobile apps (36%), social media (38%), email (43%), and websites (74%).
- Though 40% of Facebook users never liked a business page, 39% of users will follow a brand to receive special offers.
So, with influencer or affiliate marketing, you can effectively cover the channels like social media and websites to entice your customers and drive their engagement and interest.
You know what? 63% of marketers intend to increase their Influencer Marketing budget in the next year and Affiliate marketing spending is projected to grow by over 10% in the next couple of years.
Why still wait, “time waits for no one”, remember? Make sure that you put all the information you got here to use and good luck finding your business’s best half.
To wrap it all up, no matter who you are getting your hands on – an influencer or an affiliate or an affiliate influencer – make sure to have a strategic plan.
Still confused? Let us help you create an effective marketing strategy for you. Our influencer marketing tool – Happine.cc can help you identify the best influencers and affiliates in your niche, and create an effective marketing campaign for your business.