After doing affiliate marketing for over 12+ years now I’ve found it a very rewarding side business opportunity that has earned me thousands of dollars over the years. However, a lot of people have asked me if affiliate marketing is the same as influencer marketing?
Affiliate marketing is not the same as influencer marketing. Affiliate marketing is the process of selling online products and services through a special link you promote on your blog, while influencer marketing is the process of persuading people to buy from you based on the creditability of your brand name.
Once you figure out what type of marketing you can use for your business, you can focus on all of the different ways to make that marketing work for you!
Here are some of the best ways to use both marketing techniques to make sure that your marketing expands.
The Differences Between Affiliate Marketing and Influencer Marketing
Affiliate marketing can sell a product on blogs and other pieces of content, selling the product with a hyperlink that comes from the company you are selling from.
Affiliate marketing can sell a product via online retailers that will give you a special link, and it doesn’t take a long time to become an affiliate for big retailers like Amazon.
However, influencer marketers are focused more on building a brand and less on selling a product.
Your brand can focus on a certain niche, a certain way of showcasing your items, and something that everyone can recognize. If an audience member looks at your brand, they should instantly recognize that that is your brand.
Influencers are people with large audiences and have a strong online presence to influence their audience and a business really likes getting into the orbit of influencers.
After all, if an influencer has an audience of thousands of people, businesses really want to get their hands on that audience.
Combining Affiliate Marketing and Influencer Marketing
Along with using affiliate marketing and influencer marketing on their own, you can easily combine both of the marketing types and level both of their advantages together.
For example, if you are not an influencer, then you might find that you don’t have enough of an audience to get people to click on those links.
If people don’t know who you are, then you can’t promote your products and your conversion rates are much much lower.
People will focus on the brands and influencers that are much more well known.
Why Become An Influencer?
Everyone really wants to become an influencer, because you want your opinion to matter to people and you want to have an epic audience of thousands of people who hang onto your every words.
Your opinion matters, and whenever you say ‘check out XYZ product’ your influencers will go and do that!
Plus, being an influencer on social media allows you to start on social media and drive people to your website, rather than having to use SEO and other services.
It’s a great way to bring people to your site through active means, and not passively.
How Can You Become More of An Influencer?
If you want to become an influencer, then here are some of the things you can do.
1. Pick Your Platform
First, pick your platform and figure out what you will be posting too. Focus on one social media platform, to begin with, as you don’t want to get overwhelmed with doing a Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram account all at once.
Instead pick one platform that will give you the most benefit for your platform, and become an influencer on that platform.
You can then move towards another platform after a while but focus on growing things on one platform first.
You should also have strong brand affinity and really have your niche narrowed down.
When people see your account and your logo, they should instantly know what they are getting into. Here are a few other things you can do to build your brand!
2. Get in Front Of People
While blogs and social media are great once you have an audience to read and appreciate them, you need to do something a little more daring to get out in front of people for your first outing as an influencer.
For example, focus on a Youtube Channel or Podcast. Both of these mediums allow you to be seen and heard by your audience and also let you connect with them.
After all, if the people you want to influence can see and hear you, then you don’t need to focus too hard on getting them to empathize with you. Your tone of voice and body language will do that for you!
Plus, if you are self-conscious about your writing skills, then with a YouTube video or Podcast. You can start by simply talking to your audience, which is often much easier.
The best part is, you can either use these videos as supplements to your blog and write posts around them, or take the transcripts of the podcast or video and just make those your blog posts.
Finally, people might follow you for any number of reasons. They might enjoy that you are a snappy dresser on your videos, that you always play a certain genre of music on your podcast intro, or that you just sound relatable and people can connect to that.
3. Create Content Regularly
One of the biggest downfalls of blogs and small businesses as a whole is that they fail to create content consistently. It could be because the habit is not ingrained yet, they get discouraged by the fact they no one is seeing their posts or engaging with them, or that they can’t seem to find the time once their busy schedule gets into things.
Don’t overwork yourself by aiming to publish something new every single day because you will burn out. However, if you focus on creating main content (blog post, Youtube/Podcast) every week, this will keep you fresh in people’s minds.
For smaller-scale content such as social media posts and emails, you can do these days or every couple of days.
However, make sure to do it at around the same time. Instead of forcing your audience to refresh their feeds and check every single hour for your newest post, you should associate a time with your postings.
If your fans know that you will be posting every day to your Twitter at 9:00 with business related content, then guess where they will be at 9:15? They will be reading and engaging with your new article! This massively drives up your reader engagement and keeps everyone engaged.
4. Provide Insane Value
One of the things that keeps people coming back is value, which is where the good or service outweighs the cost to get it.
It’s why sales are so effective, for one. For example, let’s say you go to a restaurant and there’s a 3 for 10 dollar special on your favorite meal.
You get an appetizer, dessert, and main course for just 10 bucks. Isn’t that a lot of value? Won’t you keep going back to that same restaurant for that same special?
Most influencers dribble out their value as time goes on. They might release a free ebook that functions largely as a marketing tool, or maybe share a five minute video with a clickbait title that tries to sell you a course. These guys do not last long.
If you look at some of the most successful influencers in the world today, you notice that they give you all their best stuff for free.
Instead of a five-minute marketing video, they give you a 25-minute value video filled with actionable tips and explanations. Instead of a marketing gimmick ebook, they give you an entire books’ worth of value for free.
They do this so you keep coming back, and when they do try to sell you a product, you look at all the value you get from the free stuff, and wonder how much more they give you when you pay them! You need to do the same.
Don’t become an influencer for the money, or fame, or for the audience. Instead, put your passion into it and do it to help people. Everything else will come soon enough if you stay on the right path,
Which Is Better For You?
Is affiliate marketing different from influencer marketing, yes!
But they both go hand in hand, with your status as an influencer increasing the number of people who can benefit from your affiliate marketing.
Instead of nitpicking on the differences, try to find a way to bring them together. That way you build your audience and can start making some passive income at the same time!