When I first got started online I often asked myself, whether or not affiliate marketing and influencer marketing are the same? so I decided to run a little research about both of them and this is what I discovered.
Is Affiliate Marketing And Influencer Marketing The Same?
Affiliate marketing and influencer marketing can be the same and they can be different in some cases.
Affiliate marketing is a business model where you promote products or services on different platforms for a commission.
While influencer marketing is when you use a large audience based on social media to promote a company or brand for a fixed price.
To put it simply – Influencers get paid for a sponsored post, thus, advertising or promoting a company or brand to get recognized by a large number of people.
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Read on… The following article provides more details regarding the question is affiliate marketing and influencer marketing are the same and how each of them actually works. Plus, I’ll also share with you how to become an affiliate or influencer.
With that being said, let’s dive in…
Table of Contents
Affiliate Marketing And Influencer Marketing Are They The Same?
To put it simply – “no, affiliate marketing and influencer marketing are not the same but they’re almost equal”.
The only thing affiliate and influencer marketing have in common is that influencers sometimes deal with products and businesses but apart from that, there is a vast difference between them.
And the difference is that…
Influencers don’t normally work based on commission but affiliates do.
Affiliate marketing can be done on websites but influencer marketing can not be done on websites.
With influencer marketing, you need to own social media presence in order to run it successfully.
However, the amazing thing is that…
A lot of the time you’ll see most affiliate marketers become an influencer when they begin to have good knowledge about a specific subject or niche.
Many affiliate marketers normally partner with influencers who are an authority on a specific subject…
….And have a lot of followers
And they partner with them to attract ideal customers to their offers.
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What Is Affiliate Marketing With Influencers?
Affiliate marketing for influencers is an essential way influencers earn commission payment for promoting a brand or brand’s product.
In order for influencers to earn this commission, they’ll use unique clickable links or promo code which is given to them by the brand.
The purpose of this code or link is to track how many clicks and sales were made.
They’ll share this link or promo codes on Instagram or any social media platform out there.
And when their followers click and buy the product, the brand pays the influencer.
Most brands will set up an affiliate program that’ll have some form of a dashboard.
They can monitor exactly how many clicks and sales the influencer is generating for their product.
And how much they stand to earn once all the sales are closed and payment is due.
Affiliates VS. Influencers: The Difference
Affiliates get paid a commission for promoting a product, while influencers may or may not take a commission for promoting a product.
Affiliate marketers sell products to different people on different platforms, while Influencer sell products to an existing audience who already know, Like, and Trust them.
Let’s dive deep into both of these strategies and see how each of them operate individually:
An affiliate is someone who promotes other people’s business or programs and gets paid when he brings them more customers that convert into a sale.
The affiliate usually sets up their own website or blog and then promotes the product by creating content and then adding their affiliate link within the content.
Affiliate marketers use a direct form of promoting a product using third-parties platforms.
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An influencer is someone who is an expert on a specific topic or niche and uses his expertise and fame to market a product in a way that people will easily buy.
Influencers promote products, services, and brands using social media. They influence people to buy the product.
How Do Influencers Promote Products?
Companies approach influencers to promote their product for them because of their massive reach.
They’re given a unique link or discount code which they use to promote the product.
Like I said earlier… The purpose of this unique link is to track any traffic or sale that the influencer sends to the product.
So that they can be compensated for their time and effort.
If we take a close look at this type of marketing strategy, you’ll see that…
Influencer marketing kind of works like affiliate marketing but takes different routes altogether.
The only difference between influencers and affiliates is that influencers showcase one particular product and then move to another one.
They share the product once with their audience and never mention it again.
A lot of the time their audience still buys the product and this is simply because they have built the Know, Like, and Trust factor with their audience.
And the people easily trust their recommendation.
Can A Non Influencer Do Affiliate Marketing?
Yes, you can do affiliate marketing without being an influencer. An Influencer is basically someone with a huge number of followers on social media platforms like Instagram.
You don’t necessarily need to use social media at all to make a significant income with affiliate marketing.
The concept of affiliate marketing is all about driving traffic to your affiliate link and having people click on your link and buy your offer.
And the good news is that you don’t have to become an influencer on social media in order to drive traffic to your affiliate offer.
There are tons of places where you can get traffic to your affiliate offer without using social media.
Places like YouTube, Blog, Email marketing, etc are the best platforms for driving traffic to your affiliate links.
In my opinion, I think the best way to get qualified traffic to your affiliate offers that’ll convert really well…
Is to create content that gets ranked on the search engines (Google).
Well, the thing is search engines’ traffic is very targeted and quality and convert really faster.
So What Do We Mean By Affiliates Marketing And How Does It Work
Affiliate marketing is a process, tactics, or marketing method of promoting a product or service created by another individual or a company.
And if a sale is made through your marketing, the product owner pays you the affiliate a percentage of what you sell which is termed as commission.
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work:
The concept of how affiliate marketing works is simple…
You find a product you like or have used before and you promote it to others or your customers whom you think might be in need of it.
And if they buy from you, the product created (which is called ‘the merchant or vendor) pays you a percentage of the sale of the product.
To break it down for you in a simple term…
You act as a salesperson or representative for a company or product in the form of a digital medium.
And promote the product as if it’s your own product.
I have another post where I share with you in detail what affiliate marketing is and how it works. You can check it out here.
That said, let’s quickly look at how to become an affiliate marketer.
How To Become An Affiliate
There are various ways to become an affiliate marketer. Below I share with you the right steps to become an affiliate.
- Choose A Niches: Every start by first picking a niche. A niche is a topic you are going to be talking about or build your business around. It could also be something you want to learn about, interested in or are passionate about.
- Pick A Product: As your niche is ready, the next thing is to pick a product you believe in or have used yourself and think people will find value in it. I recommend you focus on recurring affiliate products. Why? Recurring product pays you commission month after month for a one-time sale you make, meaning you don’t have to do any work again but you’ll still get paid.
- Select A Platform: As you have picked your affiliate product, the next thing you need is to pick a platform to promote that product. There are tons of platforms out, I recommend YouTube and a Blog. These two platforms can really send quality traffic to your affiliate product. However, there are other platforms out there such as social media, etc. The key is to send traffic to your offer. I recommend you build an audience that Know, Like, Trust you first on that platform and then slowly offers your affiliate product to them. You don’t want to drive people away with your affiliate link right away. It has to be a gradual process and that’s why content has to come into play.
- Create Content: Online content is king and your main focus as an affiliate is to create content that people are looking to consume and content that helps solve a particular problem people are facing. Why? Well, the thing is the more helpful your content is to people, the higher the chances of them clicking on your affiliate links. Also, make sure your content is congruent with your niche and the product you promote.
- Build An Email List: As an affiliate, you should always be capturing your visitor’s email address and so you can remarket or do repeated sales with them using email marketing. Why email marketing? Well, the thing is a lot of people who see your offer for the first time are not going to buy it but if you capture their email address, you can remarket the same product to them through autoresponder. I use GetResponse to build my email and my experience with them was amazing.
P.S. I have another post where I share With you step-by-step how to make money with affiliate marketing. You can check it out here.
Benefit Of Being An Affiliate
There are a lot of benefits you can get from being an affiliate. Below I share some of them with you:
- Being an affiliate can put you in a position of making a passive income.
- You don’t have to create your own product.
- It cost little or no cost to get started.
- You don’t have to deal with customer service or refund
- You can create your own business with affiliate marketing.
P.S: I have another post where I share with you more in detail the benefits of being an affiliate. You can check it out here.
What Is Influencer Marketing And How Does It Work?
Influencer marketing is considered a type of marketing where an expert in a specific niche or industry has the ability to influence a large number of people over their views and opinion on a particular platform.
Influencer marketing is one of the most popular, best, and latest forms of marketing in the digital world today.
Influencers marketing is done using social media platforms such as:
But it’s quite popular on Instagram and YouTube nowadays.
Most companies normally approach influencers because of their good online reach of a target audience who may be likely to purchase their product.
How To Become An Influencer
Becoming an influencer nowadays is not that hard as it used to be back in the day.
For you to be able to influence people, you need to first have or reach a certain volume of audience or followers on social media. If you have a few thousand followers you can become an influencer.
Like I said earlier…
The most common and popular social media platform to build strong influence is YouTube and Instagram.
There are also tons of different platforms out there that you can choose from.
But I first want you to understand this…
Not all social media platforms are the same, all of them have their own strategies.
Before you start your influencer journey…
…You must first of all figure out which platform will work for you, and for the type of content you produce.
That being said…
Here Are 4 Ways To Become A Successful Influencer:
1. Provide Quality Content: Online content is king and without it, you’re going nowhere. Content is the most important and compelling way to become a successful influencer.
Well, the thing is 90% of the world’s population comes online or on social media every day to consume content.
And if you can produce content that can solve their problems or answer their question.
Guess what? They’ll remain with you.
If you choose a platform like YouTube (which I highly recommend) to build your influences on.
Then you must learn how to shoot Youtube videos that people will find useful and attractive.
Your video has to look professional and more importantly it needs to have a nice background and quality sound.
In each of your videos, be creative and make sure you deliver value.
Video content normally attracts a large audience which can increase your number of viewers and engagement.
Which overtime can help you start to build your influencer portfolio.
Be sure to post consistently so your viewers can get to know you more.
2. Be Authentic And Be Real You: People follow people because they are interested in them or want to connect with them.
When you’re trying to become an influencer and influence people, don’t try to be someone else you’re not.
People are smarter than you may think. So, just be authentic and make sure you’re being yourself.
The main reason people follow people is to know their view and opinion about a particular subject.
And if people find out that you’re not being real and honest.
You’re off, people are not going to follow you and not to even talk of you influencing them.
Day in, day out, people are searching the internet for people who can be real, so they can connect with them.
So, be real and you’ll win.
3. Find Out Why People Follow You: The best way to figure out why people follow you is to take a look at your past content.
And see the one that has the most views, engagement, and reaction.
And as you find that content that has the most views and engagement.
Now… This is what I want you to do.
Try to create all your new content following that pattern and even elaborate more on it.
4. Find Out What Others Are Doing And Do The Opposite: As the internet is rapidly growing, the number of influencers is as well rising every single day with all kinds of content and strategies.
Some of them are producing the right kind of content that people like and some of them are not creating the right kind of content at all.
As you’re getting into this influencer field…
I want you to take the time to research all of those examples and try to create something different and unique from theirs.
Well, the thing is, people are constantly looking for new and refreshing content and if you can deliver exactly that for them.
You can dominate and watch your followers and engagement increase over time.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of being an influencer.
Benefit Of Being An Influencer
With the rise of the internet and the rise of so many entrepreneurs, becoming an influencer is the only way for a person to become successful when running an online business.
Here Are Some Benefits Of Becoming An Influencer:
- It Helps You Increase Sales And Engagement: As an influencer, you can place your product or content in front of an audience who is already interested in your offer and see an increase in sales and engagement.
- It Helps You Generate Quality Leads For Your Business: Being an influencer, you can easily leverage your social media account to increase your brand awareness, and get quality eyeballs (traffic) to your content which you can convert into quality leads for your business.
- It Helps You Build Online Brand: Becoming an influencer gives you the chance to easily build a strong brand online and raise awareness among your ideal customers.
- It Helps You Make Money online: Making money online nowadays is not easy especially with blogging and also with affiliate marketing, so the best way to quickly make money online nowadays is to be an influencer.
- You Become Your own Boss: You can become your own boss and get paid if you become an influencer and partner with a brand.
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Affiliates Marketing And Influencers Marketing Which Is Better?
Affiliate marketing and influencer marketing are both perfect ways to expand your revenue.
But in my opinion, I will say affiliate marketing is the best. If you do affiliate marketing the right way, it can be a huge advantage.
There are also high returns in promoting products in influencer marketing…
Be it selling a product or spreading word of mouth, influencer marketing has both.
If you have your own business then influencer marketing is far better than affiliate marketing.
How To Combine Affiliate Marketing With Influencer Marketing
In a simple term, influencer marketing involves sharing valuable content.
And at the same time establishing yourself as an authority figure in a specific topic.
And as you begin sharing that valuable content overtime, people will begin to Know, Like, and Trust you and start to see you as an expert and a go-to person for help.
And from there you can begin to make a very good income through affiliate marketing simply by recommending products you think will help them solve their problems.
So, content first and then you recommend a product to them later. That’s how you combine influencer marketing with affiliate marketing.
If you use YouTube for your business, this is what I want you to do….
Create a series of videos on a topic or niche you have good knowledge about.
And then share those videos on different social media platforms and forums.
This will help you reach a large number of people to grow your subscribers and following.
And as you have reached a good number of subscribers, you can start to recommend different affiliate products to your audience.
But make sure the product you recommend is of good quality and will help solve your audience’s biggest problem.
You want to begin building an email list through these followers.
You can keep a better touch with them and build more TRUST and relationships with them.
Which overtime will even help you be able to sell more affiliate products to them without struggle.
How Can I Get Influencer As An Affiliate For My Brand?
First thing first, when looking for influencers to promote your brand or product. Look for people that have a lot of followers.
The thing is, if someone has a lot of followers, chances are that they’ll get more likes, comments, and engagement per post.
This means, anytime they recommend a product or service, their followers are likely to care.
Here Are Some Best Practice To Get An Influencer To Promote Your Brand:
- You can do research yourself and you’ll find some profitable influencer in your niche or you can join influencer platforms like YouTube and you’ll find influencers that’ll be willing or ready to promote your product or services.
- Try to reach out to influencers that have a good sizable audience and ask them if they can promote your product. (you can try using hashtags used in that niche community and you’ll find influencers that have followers that engage with them).
- Outline all the reasons why they’ll be a great fit for promoting your affiliate marketing program. Most of the influencers will only work with you based on a certain condition (it could be how much you’ll pay them for promoting your brand. Give them tangible reasons why they’re a great fit for your product.
- Most of the influencers love to work with top brands. Show them you’re a reputable company.
When you follow these patterns, you have a possible chance of getting an influencer to work with you.
Affiliate marketing and influencer marketing are both marketing strategies that you can use to grow your online business.
Both of these strategies focus on connecting you with a targeted audience in your industry or niche that can literally help you spread the word about your product or services to them.
Affiliate And Influencer Marketing FAQs
Are Influencers Affiliates?
Yes, even though affiliates and influencers take different approaches to reach people, however, most of the time influencers are seen as an affiliate because they get paid to promote products compared to affiliates.
Do Influencers Use Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing has gained immense popularity over the past years. A lot of influencers have begun to leverage affiliate marketing to increase their revenue. You’ll see that most of the influencers on Instagram have links in their bio and all those links are a link to affiliate offers. So, to put it simply – yes, influencers use affiliate marketing.
Where Can I Find Influencers For Affiliate Marketing
There are various platforms out there where you can find influencers for your affiliate program. You can use an influencer marketing platform like Instagram and YouTube to find influencers in whatever niche you’re in.
Are Instagram influencers affiliate marketers?
Well, one can sometimes say yes. Most of the Instagram influencers promote affiliate products in their niche to earn passive income but in different ways than affiliate marketers.
Most affiliate marketers depend solemnly on affiliate income by promoting affiliate products but influencers adopt other means and methods to sell their products.
What is the Difference Between Merchant And Affiliate?
Affiliate marketing involves two parties, merchant and affiliate: A merchant is the business, company, or someone who creates or sells a product or service and is looking to connect with new customers or buyers and get more sales.
And the affiliate promotes the product created by the merchant and gets paid for every referral they send back to the merchant that converts.
Is Brand Ambassador The Same As An Affiliate?
No. A brand ambassador is someone chosen by a company or a business to represent it. Their job is to talk about the quality of the brand. While an affiliate is someone who promotes a product created by the company. They have their own Youtube channel, blog, or site which they use to promote the company’s product.
How Do Influencers Get Contacted For Affiliate Marketing?
There are several ways an influencer can get contacted for affiliate marketing based on the platform. The best alternative is to try to inbox them on their private Facebook group. If they’re on YouTube you can try to comment on their late video.
Do Influencers Use Affiliate Links?
Of course yes, most influencers use affiliate links. They normally share the affiliate link to their Instagram bio or stories or below the description box of their YouTube video. Influencer marketing is really good and effective when it comes to promoting and advertising affiliate products.
How Much Do Influencers Make Off Affiliate Links?
How much influencers make off affiliate links depends on three factors such as their audience size, engagement, and what the affiliate program is willing to pay them.
However, an influencer with 6.2 million followers can make somewhere from $8,000 to $10,000 per month from affiliate marketing.
How Many Followers Do You Need To Become An Affiliate?
Well, there is no specific number based. It’s all about getting the right audience for your affiliate product. If you’re going to use a paid traffic method then you don’t need followers. If you’re going to use the free traffic method, then you’ll need to have about 1,000 or more followers who know, like, and trust you.