Creators, Ambassadors, & Affiliates: Know your Advocates from your Influencers
Influencer marketing is a hot topic, but the various names and types of influencers/advocates can get very confusing. Luckily, Paul is here to clear up the confusion.
What is an influencer really?
An influencer is anyone who can influence someone to make a purchase. In a way, we are all influencers; whether it’s getting a family member or a million people to buy something, it doesn’t matter: you’re an influencer. So, with that being said, how do affiliates fit into the mix? What makes them so special and worth investing in?
Join us in this episode of Building Brand Advocacy, where regular host Paul Archer is going solo! Listen as he deconstructs the differences between affiliates, influencers, and creators and how brands can use them to drive revenue. He breaks down methodologies and tactics to create a machine that uses advocacy as a tool to drive customer acquisition. Paul further dives into a subject that often causes confusion amongst most brands: affiliates, affiliate technology, and affiliate marketing.
Affiliates, Influencers, and Creators: Which is Which?
To start with, “influencer” is a very broad category. Anyone who can influence someone to make a purchase is an influencer. Say you were wearing a nice coat and your friend asked where it was from and purchased it, you would have influenced them!
As Paul says,
“I'm an influencer. You're an influencer. Whether that is me getting my mum to buy a thing or you're able to influence a million people to make a purchase, it actually doesn't matter. It's about that ability to drive that revenue”.
Of course, some influencers do have influence over far more people, such as the likes of the Kardashian and Jenner family, and that’s where a lot of the confusion lies. Influencer marketing is somewhat of a misnomer, it generally refers to going to a marketplace and finding someone you can pay to pretend to like your product and drive revenue from their audience being influenced. Really this refers to various advocates for your brand: creators, affiliates, and customers, the two former being the most important considerations.
Much like influencers, everyone can be a creator. It really means just to create content. However, from a social perspective, this really refers to high-profile creators across the likes of YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, such as Charlie D’Amelio, MrBeast, and (again) any Kardashian. They can then be subcategorized into nano, micro, or macro creators depending on the reach they have from the content they create. Recruiting a group of creators as ambassadors allows your brand the opportunity to reach a variety of audiences with on-brand content that will drive awareness, reputation, and some traffic to your sites, though that is arguably not the most important of the three.
Affiliates are where it gets interesting, particularly in the realms of affiliate technology and affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing tends to refer to affiliate networks: networks that will drive traffic to your website. They do so through pitching your links out by featuring your products in blog posts et cetera and, if someone makes a purchase through that link, giving a percentage of the profits to the affiliate. It’s quite straightforward, isn’t it?
Yes, but you have no control over the content. It may bring in revenue, but it is not controlled, so can seem quite unappealing.
However, if you can build a community of people to drive the revenue to your website, some might say “owned affiliates”, then you can drive customer acquisition at a fraction of what you are spending on ads. They will not be ambassadors, they will be people who love your brand and want to tell everyone they know about it. Their content won’t be on-brand but it will drive traffic and awareness of your brand, a win-win for everyone. In fact, Duel has successfully worked with Monica Vinader, a luxury jewellery brand, to create such a group, and a home, for their affiliates that led to them achieving 35x ROI - the proof is in the pudding!
For more insights from Paul on making the most of all your different advocates, listen to his solo episode of Building Brand Advocacy via the links below: