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Affiliate vs. Influencer Marketing: What Is the Difference and Which One Should You Choose?

Jan 16, 2022

Influencer Marketing

The world of digital marketing is huge in 2022, and it’s only expected to keep getting bigger. As the industry grows, new means of advertising are becoming available, such as influencer marketing.

Working with influencers to market your products can be a great way to grow your business and create a loyal following. But what about affiliate marketing, which has been around for longer? Does it not work similarly to influencer marketing?

The truth is, influencer and affiliate marketing are related marketing strategies, but they have some essential differences that you should consider before signing up for either one. Let us walk you through their differences so that you can make a more informed decision on which one to choose.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing involves hiring social media influencers to market your product. These are usually long-term campaigns, where influencers create content using or simply promoting your product.

An influencer marketing campaign usually involves a flat fee that is paid out to the influencer in exchange for a set number of posts, videos, or promotions of your product.

One of the most significant downsides to influencer marketing is that it is hard to track an accurate ROI for the campaign. While you can use UTM codes and specific links to track the effectiveness of your campaign, it will be hard to track the actual value as many viewers will not follow the designated channels to get to your product.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing has been around for a long time, and it works by sharing revenue with affiliates. Instead of paying your affiliates a flat fee to push your product, you give them a cut of the revenue for every sale that they make.

This model encourages affiliates to market your product as it’s in their best interest to generate sales. Because of this, the upfront costs of affiliate marketing are much lower. It’s also much easier to track ROI as sales will speak for themselves.

How to Choose Between Influencer and Affiliate Marketing?

If you’re deciding between an influencer and an affiliate marketing campaign, you should consider the following points.

Define Your Goals

If you are launching a new product or want to promote a new sale or launch, then influencer marketing can be really good at creating the buzz that you want. Influencer marketing is always a gamble as you’ll never know how an audience will react to your products, but the payoff can be huge if executed successfully.

On the other hand, if you have a tried-and-true product that you know can sell profitably, you may benefit from an affiliate marketing campaign. Even if your profits from those sales are lower, at least you have the data to reasonably project how much money you can make off of your affiliate marketing campaigns.

Identify Your Audience

Influencer marketing can be tricky, especially with bigger influencers, for brands with products that have a very specific audience. The more specific your product’s target audience is, the less effective influencer marketing will be.

Affiliate marketing will allow you to target more specific audiences as you can partner with bloggers, content creators, and companies with niche audiences.

Determine Your Budget

If you don’t have a big budget at the moment, affiliate marketing is an excellent way to get the ball rolling without having to front the costs. Sure, you will earn less money per unit sold, but affiliates can help you push your product as long as they believe in it and have a suitable audience.

If you have a bigger budget, you may benefit from working with influencers whose audiences overlap with your target customers. Long-term influencer marketing campaigns can be highly lucrative if you have a good product.

Final Thoughts

Whether you should go with affiliate or influencer marketing largely depends on your goals, target audience, and budget. Both types of marketing campaigns have benefits and shortcomings, so you should consider how your brand and product can fit into either one.

Auxilium Technology is a full-service digital agency with years of experience running marketing campaigns for SMBs. Call us today at 301-519-9622 to discuss how we can help you run your affiliate or influencer marketing campaigns.


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