Are you in doubt if you are going to use affiliate marketing or influencers for your brand?
Let us first explain what is each of these marketing strategies and then, according to your public and budget, you decide what is best for your company!
In affiliate marketing, a brand partners with affiliates (bloggers, instagrammers, companies, publishers) to promote the brand through offers, sales, deals, etc.
These affiliates are then paid a share of the revenue of the sales they helped generate. Because the amount paid to the affiliates is based on the revenue they helped generate, this type of marketing is very cost-effective.
On the other hand, influencer marketing is when someone that usually has a big and active audience, receives a flat rate fee to promote the brand.
Affiliate marketing is in general more focused in new customers and sales, while influencer marketing focus on the brand awareness.
Let’s think of an example to picture better what option would be better:
A company that manufactures protein bars and wants to promote its brand might contact affiliates and influencers.
The affiliates would share content (pictures, reviews, videos) on their social media about the bars and spread the word of a sale or a special offer. They would then tell their followers/connections that in order to get the offer, purchasers would have to mention a specific code when making the check out. With the sales generated with the code, the affiliate would receive a percentage, that would then vary in the gross sales they stimulated.
The influencers would promote the brand by using/eating the products the brand pays them to and sharing this content, using pictures and videos. As for the protein bars example, influencers from the brand would receive a certain flat fee in a monthly basis while the contract lasts. These influencers have to promote the brand/products regularly following what was settled in the contract between them and the company.
In order to choose what is better for your company you will have to take into consideration who are your customers – basically their demographics and psychographics (read here and here more about this) and with all information about them, see how you could better influence them to purchase your products.
Regardless of being an affiliate or an influencer, it is important to be aware that both should disclosure publicly that they are being compensated to promote the brand as defined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which enforces the U.S. Truth in Advertising Laws. And when it comes to the FTC, it is the brand that gets penalized with a fine, so be careful to have this explained in the contract between the company and the affiliates/influencers.