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Affiliate marketing or influencer marketing: Which route should you take?



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Affiliate marketing or influencer marketing: Which route should you take?

Every day we're online we see something vs another thing and usually, it's two similar things fighting for control. This is where affiliate marketing and influencer marketing come into the discussion since everyone wants to get the word out about their services and websites, but they aren't always familiar with what the best plan of action would be. Online marketing agencies won't give you a straight answer because they likely don't know exactly what to say, and I should know because I run one of these agencies lol. I try not to get into affiliate marketing vs influencer marketing when talking to clients because there are a ton of moving parts and they likely won't know what I'm talking about, which wastes a lot of time that I could be using in order to boost their rankings lol.

What people forget to think about, when talking about influencer marketing and affiliate marketing, is which would be best for you based on the goals you are trying to achieve.

Depending on where you are at with your company will usually choose if you are going to be better off with affiliate marketing, if you should be using influencer marketing or if you should be using both at the same time.


Affiliates can be like your sales team
Let's talk about Amazon for a second, they are a massive company with almost 310 million monthly customers. That's a staggering amount, but they likely wouldn't have that many customers if they didn't have any affiliates. You may have even signed up for Amazon through an affiliate link you found online since there are millions of websites that are dedicated to pushing Amazon affiliate links.

If you aren't sure what an affiliate is, they are people who sign up to a company's program and get a link to advertise. This link is attached to the affiliates account and once a person clicks on it, they get a cookie placed on their computer which tracks their sales. If an affiliate is sending potential buyers to a website, they will get a commission when someone eventually purchases and has the cookie on their computer.

A ton of big companies like Amazon have affiliate systems for anyone to use, but the difficult part is cracking into a niche and getting link clicks in order to make a commission.

The downside to affiliate marketing is that there are a lot of bad programs you can sign up for. There is no vetting when it comes to having a website set up for an affiliate program, so you'll need to be cautious when pushing traffic through your affiliate link for a company and hoping they will pay you after you get some commissions. There are horror stories of people having $5,000+ in their account and then the company bans them, deleting any commissions they might have had.

If you're going to be using an affiliate system to increase your sales, you'll want to pay them at scheduled intervals so they don't get antsy and think you're simply scamming them. You can set up an affiliate system using a 3rd party service or even a plugin for WordPress, but the good ones for WordPress usually cost a bit of money because they are constantly updated with new features and bug fixes.

When you want to use an affiliate system, you'll need to have a decent sized profit margin in order to entice affiliates to work with you. If you're offering a 5% commission because you only make 7% of every sale, you won't get that many affiliates. If you're selling digital goods or services, you'll be able to increase the commissions to 50% or even 75% since it's a one time commission usually and you will be able to build your list up easier this way.



Using an Influencers authority to boost your own
I'm sure you've been on a social media platform and saw someone posting about a specific industry, but not really being involved with any specific business, right? These are called social media influencers and they are a great way to increase your own authority and sales, but for a price.

They have a very deep reach when it comes to pulling in potential clients, and these people could make or break your company with a simple post. This is just like having a so-called "guru" posting about your company and saying it's the best thing they've ever seen. Do you think your sales would skyrocket or do you think it would have been a pointless post? If you said it would be amazing, you're right!

B2B and B2C companies are both catching onto what influencer marketing is all about and they are investing a massive amount of money into building up their client base. Some of the bigger platforms for influencers are Instagram and YouTube. Each influencer will have a different amount they want to be paid per post, different time frames for posting and how often they will post for one company.

Influencer marketing is best if you have a decent amount to invest towards multiple influencers and not a single one. You'll need to throw out a lot of lines if you want to catch the big fish, and the big fish are the people who will purchase from you Affiliate marketing or influencer marketing:  Which route should you take?


How to determine if you should work with affiliates or influencers
There isn't a better or worse type of marketing in this comparison, the only thing that makes one of these better than the other is what you need to be done and how quickly it should be finished.


Knowing your target audience
If you understand your audience, you're one step closer to increasing your ROI through affiliate marketing or influencer marketing. Affiliates can get your items or services in front of the right people by providing their affiliate links in hopes of getting a commission. On the other hand, if your goal is to get your products or services in front of a massive amount of millennials, you'll probably be drawn more towards influencer marketing. The younger generation prefers hearing a positive recommendation online from someone they follow rather than seeing an affiliate link with some random text in front of it.


Know your budget
Both affiliate marketing and influencer marketing have their ups and downs, and your budget could be the deciding factor of which one you will choose to target. Affiliate marketing is rather cheap, and the only things you'll likely have to pay for are the affiliate system itself and a little bit of advertising to bring in affiliates in hopes of getting them on board. When it comes to influencer marketing, you have to pay for every single post that is made, and there's no guarantee that any of the posts going out will be successful at capturing any sales.


Why not use both?
Many companies will use both affiliate marketing as well as influencer marketing in order to boost their sales and bringing on new clients. If you can create enough visually stunning advertisements for both your affiliates and your influencers, you can usually have the best advertising combination possible right now.

You can even partner up with influencers and entice them to become your own affiliate, which would be an amazing combination since you would not have to pay for each post up front, you only pay for the number of conversions the person is getting from their social media profiles Affiliate marketing or influencer marketing:  Which route should you take?




In Conclusion
Your budget will really determine if you're going to be using affiliates or influencers to push your products. Affiliates are much cheaper to bring on board since they'll make money from their conversions, not up front like an influencer. Obviously, you'll have to get the right affiliates and influencers in order to have the best traffic coming in, but that will come in time after your website and business become more popular.



Remember to follow me!
https://www.seoclerks.com/user/TommyCarey


Thanks!

Tommy Carey

Comments

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vinaya

I cannot do infuencer marketing myself as I am no influencer. However, I can do affiliate marketing for various companies. In fact I promote products and services from many companies on my blogs and websites. Since I have never employed influencer marketer or affiliates, I do not know which one is better. Based on my knowledge on marketing, I think influencer marketing is more effective. Since the infuencer is not selling but just endorsing, this kind of marketing is better than affiliate marketing where the affiliates have to sell the product or service.




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Corzhens

That is a nice way of earning from your blog – promoting the products of other companies. If your blog has a good number of regular readers then it can be a venue for promotion just like the social media or the bookmarking sites. You get a double benefit because your site gets more traffic from the blog itself and also from the backlinks that the companies would make to your site.




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centurion

Affiliate marketing systems are best. Affiliate market system works with specific and best keyword planner person. The person who have best idea about keyword he will get chronological sales every time. Affiliate marketing systems are always very much benefit every time. By my sense influence marketing system will not come for the second time on the website to buy again.

Thanks
Centurion




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jaymish2

I know in online marketing, the two types of marketing are separated, but I honestly don't see the diffrence between the two.I think they are the same. An influencer at the end of the day is a popular affiliate marketer, in my very humble opinion. An influencer is an affiliate marketer with more specific followers. For example most influencers are found in fashion because they are popular for their style. Why not use both ?




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MittensFX

I understand affiliate marketing more than influencer marketing.From what I heard of and learned is that affiliate marketing can earn you a really decent amount of money if you prove to be successful and a skilled affiliate marketer.Influencer can earn you the exact same of amount but does not work in the same way like affiliate marketing.




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cmoneyspinner

I'm not a business owner like you and your post is written from that perspective as a person making the decision on which is the most affordable marketing technique and the best strategy for your operations. I'm on the other side of the fence and I am the affiliate marketer or influence marketer. As such, there is no reason for me to choose either or. I do both! My online adventures started with affiliate marketing. When it came to influencer marketing I was actually approached about it. Somebody sent me an email. They were legit. It was a surprise because I did not think that I had any "influence". I'm like: 'Who? Me??' (O.o) My social networks are not that big. But when I was approached I accepted the invitation. It was free to do it. Should I pass on this opportunity when it literally came to my door and knocked? I figured why not give it a try. Most of my efforts have been devoted to affiliate marketing. As for influencer marketing, I'm experimenting with the best way to get the most out of it.




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Kakashi2020

For me it's like this, if I'm an owner of a site, I would prefer launching an affiliate marketing program because it would give me free marketing and advertising making me profit more, but if I'm a freelancer I won't do affiliate marketing because I've experienced being duped by companies many times in the past. Also it's a one way game, the affiliate doesn't know the real score or number of signups on his link and that loophole is being exploited by the site owners and or his people.




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jpyy

Affiliate marketers might do much for you, but maybe not. I mean, there could be people who work less for you than others. Nonetheless, they might have legit excuses - but the bottom line is that a company with many bad affiliates isn't going to make money!

Anyway, as far as influence marketing is concerned, that might be something to try but make sure the person isn't lying for money!




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overcast

I think the people who are into affiliate marketing are doing the influencer marketing lately. And also vice versa. I think it may work out for some of the niche. I have seen a lot of cooking niche influencers are selling stuff. And that can be some of the time good for conversion of many products. I have found out that some of the good for freelancers and those who want to start micro business.




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treecko142

As a business, I think it's much easier to find affiliate marketing to work compared to influencers, since they really have to be quite relevant in the industry where you want to market and it will really cost quite an investment, and even then you're still not sure if they have a guaranteed pull with your business.




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Kakashi2020

I fully agree with you on that affiliate marketing is very beneficial for businesses since there's no capital expenses needed, it's basically free marketing and advertising. Although many business owners should really be honest to affiliates.




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treecko142

Affiliate marketing is just more practical compared to looking for influencers from a business perspective, especially for those just starting with their company. In the process, however, of looking to save money, businesses also are not fully honest with affiliates as you said, and this practice should be corrected and you get more out of affiliates if you're honest.




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DenisP

"...since they really have to be quite relevant in the industry where you want to market and it will really cost quite an investment..."

This is definitely something to keep in mind. Affiliate marketing through methods such as banner ads is one thing. There is the possibility that they'll be noticed by visitors, but there is also a good chance that they won't. Paying an influencer to promote a product is a completely different story. Whether it's in video or image form, when an influencer promotes your product, they are directly drawing each and every viewer's attention to your product. That sort of promotion costs a pretty penny, but it's definitely a good investment.




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treecko142

Yeah, so you really have to consider your budget and do some proper research on your influencer to get the most out of your investment.




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Martinsx1

I think it would be better to start off as an affiliate marketer, then crop in influencer marketing as well into the online business promotion. This way, you are bound to maximize your business time and profit making in the process. It's not that being only an affiliate marketer wouldn't pay you, but you got to earn money from working the two jobs.




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DenisP

I think that affiliate marketing is the easier way to go for people just starting out. It is really common for people without much authority to be presented with affiliate marketing programs, given that these programs themselves are fairly common and made with ease of access in mind. Convincing any influencer--especially one of the bigger fish--to promote your item isn't going to be as easy, since it's more of a direct interaction with the person than a program you go through.

I think I'd personally prefer affiliate marketing as a more reliable format, but using an influencer can definitely be the more lucrative of the two.




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Martinsx1

I have to agree with you on this, becoming an affiliate marketer is way easy to get into especially for one who is still new to online business, it wouldn't take so much for one to become an affiliate marketer. Yes, it's true that having a website is important for any affiliate marketer but that doesn't mean that one cannot be an affiliate marketer without having a website, it's very possible but becoming an influencer marketer is definitely a tough one to be but it pays well if you are good at it.




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Kakashi2020

For businesses I think the most cost efficient and cost effective way to go is to use affiliate marketing in your site because it wont cost you anything but if your a big brand you may also opt for a good influencer to catch additional market.

For individuals I would suggest to be an influencer but to become one you have to spend years developing your network of followers.




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DenisP

"For individuals I would suggest to be an influencer but to become one you have to spend years developing your network of followers."

There is definitely some really good money in being an influencer, but as you had mentioned, it takes years of developing your own brand and network in order for it to pay off. I follow the activity of a lot of YouTube channels, some of them from day one. On average, most YouTube channels didn't seem to start getting sponsors until the three year mark or so. There are some exceptions, but those are the ones that blossomed overnight for whatever reason, which is obviously about as likely to happen as winning to lottery. Going into any social media platform with the sole intention of becoming an influencer isn't doable, as you need separate goals to keep you going.




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Kakashi2020

I'm currently testing a new affiliate site that promises good income to affiliates, well I hope I could earn in this new site, all the other affiliate sites I've tried so far are scams.




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amelia88

I think with influencer marketing, you've really got to be careful that the "influencer" actually has influence. So many people that market themselves as influencers don't really have much pull, and so many of their so-called followers are fake accounts. As others have also said, ensuring that there's relevance there too with what the influencer promotes and your line of business is also important.




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Kakashi2020

I recently tested a new affiliate site named Peerfly and it's another bust. So I'll be blunt affiliate marketing to affiliates is a big con. Only companies and sites would tend to benefit from it but it's not worth the affiliates time.
That's my opinion about it.




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Corzhens

In marketing, it is imperative that you have to identify your target market. But given a choice between affiliate marketing and influencer marketing, I feel that influencer marketing is easier since you are already established in a sort of pedestal with your own network. However, the products that you are promoting should be relevant to your stature as an influencer. Like if you are popular with fashion then fashion products should be your signature line.




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focusedwriter10

So far, I have been learning about affiliate marketing and I believe I'm good to start affiliate marketing instead of influencer marketing.
For a successful affiliate marketing, getting a profitable niche is the starting point, and getting the best keywords. After you have chosen the best keywords( those with high search volumes but less competitive), then the focus should be producing quality content and SEO.




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jpk0007

Well ideally it would be good to get both the affiliates and the influencers to do the marketing of your products to get the maximum results, but when you are starting something that is brand new then you will always be encountering financial constraints. It will always be better to engage some affiliates to do the marketing of your products initially and once you start earning decent profits then you can think of getting the help of some influencers to promote your products.




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