Affiliate vs. Influencer Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Affiliate vs. Influencer Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Affiliate and influencer marketing are both quite similar. If you’re unsure as to how they differ from each other, we have the answers for you right here.

With all the various forms of marketing that exist these days, it can be tricky to keep them all straight, especially when they’re quite similar in nature. A perfect example of this problem is when you look at affiliate and influencer marketing. Even though they’re comparable, they have a few notable differences, which we’re going to cover with you today. Knowing this information will ensure you never have to worry about mixing them up again.

Who They Are

Let’s begin by going over the groups involved in each type of marketing. Those who help with affiliate marketing are typically large-scale companies and publishers. But sometimes, smaller blog owners can get involved if their target audience aligns with yours.

On the other side of things, as the name suggests, influencer marketing primarily consists of influencers. Online celebrities and content creators are the most common choices in this category, but anyone who has some level of fame can become an influencer marketer. Of course, plenty of pros and cons come with relying on influencers for marketing, but it has proven quite successful for large and small companies in recent years.

Where They Advertise

For both categories, the prominent place they advertise is wherever they do most of their own business. For affiliate marketers, that’s on their personal websites, whereas influencers promote on their social media channels. However, due to the nature of the internet, there can be quite a bit of crossover here. This is why there’s so much confusion between the two. Fortunately, the following points will show some of the more prominent differences between influencer and affiliate marketing.

The Company’s Primary Goal

When a company gets into affiliate marketing, its main goal is either generating leads or increasing sales. Affiliate partners do this by talking about the company’s products or services, giving them their stamp of approval, then providing links for their viewers to follow. If the viewers don’t click on any links, at least the company receives some brand awareness out of the deal, but most people who view the page get there because they’re looking to buy something.

If brand awareness is the primary objective, then influencer marketing is the way to go. Influencers get paid to use the product or service and say what they think about it. Many of these deals have the content creator put links up for viewers to use, but they’re not as likely to receive clicks since people are simply there to watch the influencer, not buy a product.

How It Benefits the Third Parties

Of course, these relationships aren’t one-way streets. The influencers and affiliate partners get something out of the deal as well. For influencers, they gain more brand awareness since people could discover them due to their promotion of your company. On top of that, they usually get the products that they promote for free.

As for affiliate partners, this relationship helps them with their SEO efforts. Working with a more well-known company improves their domain authority, helping them climb through the search rankings. Also, if these groups have their own products and services to sell, this kind of recognition assists them in completing more transactions.

Types of Payments

Obviously, the main benefit for both groups is financial compensation, but this works quite differently for each type. More often than not, affiliate partners get a portion of all sales that occur through their specific link. If a company only wants to gain leads, though, they’ll need to pay them out-of-pocket for each one that the affiliate generated for them.

When it comes to influencers, though, they tend to receive payments at a flat rate. Each time they promote the product or service, the company pays them for it. However, if the influencer consistently brings in sales for the company, the influencer might want a portion of the sales. It’s up to you if that’s a route you want to go down with them, but it’s not an unheard-of technique.