Influencer Marketing vs Social Media Advertising

HyeonA Kwak
Digital Marketing Intern
May 31, 2021
min read
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For years, brands and agencies have found success in various approaches to online advertising, including social media marketing and influencer marketing. Both can hugely affect a brand’s image, impact consumer behaviour and generate (or reduce) sales! 

In this blog, we will help businesses distinguish the two approaches and identify which marketing strategy is the best fit for your brand!

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing involves an influencer, a content creator with a loyal follower group, publishing content that features the brand. The content can be published on a variety of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter. blogs, or podcasts.

Source: @taramilktea

Why does Influencer Marketing work?

1. Gain more trust from Influencer’s followers

According to research, about 63 percent of users said they trust the messages coming from the influence they follow! Having influencers feature your products can help to increase customer trust in your brand as they have an engaging follower base and certain influence in their community

2. Build a much more personal connection with the audiences

By working with influencers, especially micro-influencers, brands can provide an authentic and personal touch with the audiences. You may ignore when a product is being advertised on TV, but you tend to listen to product reviews and recommendations from someone you love or respect! 

3. Engage your audience with storytelling 

Influencers are the experts at delivering the brand's story in a way that can further appeal to users! This allows online customers to resonate with the brand’s message, develop emotional attachment to the products, and thus, they’re more likely to buy it!

Case in point, when model and fitness influencer @angigreene featured Natural Life (@naturallife), she shared a story about why she needed it and how it made her feel happy! 

Quick tips for success in Influencer Marketing

1. Work with the right influencers

It is critical for brands to work with influencers whose value aligned with the brand's image. You can check out some factors to consider before choosing an influencer for your campaign here. Adidas, Volvo and Pepsi are prime examples of brands choosing the wrong influencers to work with! 

2. Measure Influencer campaign effectiveness

It is important to track the performance of your influencer marketing campaigns, value influencers as a  group and individually, as well as measure the ROI of your influencer campaigns. These metrics include total Reach and Impression, Audience’s Demographics, Engagement breakdown and so on. This can only be tracked using influencer marketing platforms. .

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is a text, image, or video advertisement generated by a brand and posted on various social media platforms. Users are then exposed to advertising on feeds as supporting posts like the following. 

Why does Social Media Advertising work?

1. Advertising campaign data can be easily tracked.

Data collected from advertising can be easily tracked with analysis built into social media platforms and third-party tools. 

2. Cost-effective 

Social media marketing may be the most cost-effective part of advertising strategies. Registration and profile creation is free for almost all social networking platforms and is relatively inexpensive compared to other marketing strategies.

3. Advertising can be made in various ways.

Video on TikTok, carousel ad on Facebook, Instagram Stories ad... Marketers can reach a wide audience on social media in a variety of ways! Below is an example of how brands are using Instagram Stories to promote their products and re-direct customers to their website using "swipe-up" features!

You may want to check out a few tips on 6 Ways To Boost Your Engagement With Instagram Stories!

What you should consider before running Social Media Advertising

  1. Consumers tend to ignore advertising

Advertising is easy to bypass! 92% of consumers are not interested in online advertising, which is known as banner blindness. It is a phenomenon where web visitors consciously or unconsciously ignore information such as banner ads. A traditional advertisement may not be able to give you a high ROI.

  1. Advertising doesn’t form a relationship with consumers

Advertising bodes a one-way communication flow rather than that of a two-way, and that’s the reason why most people don’t feel engaged with it! Brands can foster engagement and participation through simple actions like asking for feedback or having fun contests! 

Influencer Marketing vs Social Media Advertising: Which is better?

The rise of social media has given businesses the tools and opportunities to promote their brands in various ways. Both influencer marketing and social media advertising have their own strengths, and the decision of which way to follow depends on various factors such as budget, campaign purpose, long-term marketing strategy. If you haven’t experienced either of these approaches, we encourage you to give it a try! 

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