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What Is Influencer Marketing?

June 24, 2021

There are many marketing terms out there, and understanding all of them is critical to helping your business succeed at marketing. Influencer marketing is one of the newer terms that you might have recently heard.

What is influencer marketing? Do you need to be doing it? How can you level up your influencer marketing skills?

Here’s everything you need to know about influencer marketing.

Understanding Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a way to market that focuses on partnerships with trusted social media influencers. With influencer marketing, you’re leveraging the fact that an audience already trusts the person you’re reaching out to; you’re trying to capture a new audience, one that already trusts the person you’re partnering with and will be more likely to try out your business because they trust the influencer.

Reaching the Right Audience

One of the most critical decisions to make when choosing influencers for your brand is making sure you’re reaching the audience that will be most likely to use and enjoy your product. If you’re selling products for an audience which is 30-45 years old, then you don’t want to partner with an influencer whose audience is predominantly 17-24.

The precise audience you court will partially have to do with the platform you’re using. Instagram and Tik Tok, for example, tend to have a younger audience, although Tik Tok has been gaining popularity with users of all ages, allowing you to market toward many different audiences. You can also work with influencers on other social media platforms, like YouTube, Facebook, and more.

Influencers vs. Affiliates

If you already have a general understanding of affiliate marketing, then you may be asking, “What’s the difference between affiliate marketing and influencer marketing?

The truth is that influencer marketing and affiliate marketing are similar but not identical. With affiliate marketing, you’re partnering with affiliates who produce content and entice customers to visit your website and make a purchase. When a potential customer makes a purchase, you pay the affiliate marketer a commission. You do not pay the affiliate until someone makes a purchase.

However, in affiliate marketing, you partner with an influencer to endorse or promote your product. Payment may be exchanged in a variety of ways, including free products, traditional marketing payments, and funding for projects an influencer is interested in creating. It’s closer to traditional paid advertising but uses a trusted source as your spokesperson.

Regardless of whether you choose affiliate marketing or influencer marketing, you should still be looking for a robust affiliate marketing platform that allows you to track sales being made through these referrals.

Using Influencers to Boost SEO and Brand Identity

Influencers can be a huge benefit to your company outside of just the sales they bring in. One of the biggest reasons that you should engage in these different types of marketing is its ability to boost brand loyalty. When people really love your company, they’re more likely to keep buying from you.

Additionally, choosing the right influencers is paramount. Connecting with influencers who match the face of your brand helps you build a brand identity. It’s important to remember, however, that using the wrong ones can actually harm your brand identity as well. This is why careful selection of both influencers and affiliates is critical, as you can either improve or negatively impact your identity.

Affiliate and influencer marketing can also benefit your company’s SEO. The more high-quality content about your brand that is out there on the internet, the more that internet search engines like Google and Bing are going to pay attention to your website. Whether it’s linking back to specific pages or just generally discussing your brand, this type of marketing makes internet search engines recognize that people are talking about you.

Influencer Marketing for Different Platforms

Every platform is going to need a slightly different approach to influencer marketing. Refersion partners with a number of platforms, Shopify, Shopify Plus, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Stripe, allowing you to quickly integrate your influencer or affiliate marketing program within your platform. This way, you can add influencer marketing quickly and easily to your list of marketing strategies.

Additionally, Refersion has a number of partners that make it easier to manage your affiliate or influencer marketing program. From Chargebee to Mailchimp and beyond, your influencer marketing program can really blossom using these added partners, turning a strong influencer marketing program into one of the main things pushing your business forward.

Combining Influencer Marketing With Other Marketing Strategies

Finally, while influencer and affiliate marketing are important, there are other marketing strategies you can use that may boost your business as well. Deciding on the exact marketing strategies you use will be an ongoing discussion within your brand, but it’s good to know your options.

There are many performance marketing options out there; affiliate marketing falls under this umbrella, but there are other types of performance marketing as well. Loyalty programs may also be a great way to essentially advertise to your existing customers, keeping them coming back for more. Email marketing also tends to reach out to existing customers or at least customers that have already expressed interest in your brand. Finally, some brands still use traditional paid advertising, which may be beneficial to your business when combined with influencer marketing.

The Bottom Line

Influencer marketing can bring in more customers by showing them that an influencer they trust loves your product, so they might as well.

Refersion is an incredible choice for anyone looking to build a better affiliate or influencer program, whether you’re brand-new to influencer marketing or you’ve been doing it for decades.

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey