In the digital era, marketing has become a very challenging and complicated task. Now, marketers have multiple channels to choose from and numerous strategies to use in order to introduce their products to more people and attract a wider audience. Influencer marketing and more recently, advocacy marketing are two marketing strategies that due to their effectiveness, have gained popularity among marketers. While they are similar to one another in many aspects and both share a lot of characteristics, there are some key differences. In this article, we will talk about what influencer marketing and advocacy marketing are and how they are different from each other.
So, let’s get going!
What is influencer marketing?
According to Social HP, influencer marketing is leveraging the power of an influencer in order to promote your brand, product or service. An influencer is a well-respected individual who is knowledgeable in a specific field and is trusted among his or her community. Influencers create content for specific niches, this is how they gain credibility from others and become trusted sources of information. This is why when an influencer makes a suggestion about a product, it is believed that people would trust his or her word. In other words, influencer marketing is getting someone who is an expert in your particular field to endorse your product or service. However, a study by YouGov and Grey London found that 96% of people in the UK do not trust what influencers say.
Typically, influencers get paid for endorsing a product or service. Based on the number of followers they have, influencers are categorized into Mega, Micro, and Nano influencers.
Mega influencers typically have the largest community of all. They have at least one million followers and they are globally known. Micro influencers are the largest group of social media influencers. Usually, between 5,000 to 100,000 people follow them on social media. As they are the largest group of influencers, most influencer marketing activities are circled around them. The last group is nano influencers that have around 3,000 to 5,000 followers on social media. If you want to learn more about different types of influencers, be sure to check out this article on Pukket blog.
What is advocacy marketing?
Advocacy marketing is when people with direct experience with your brand, product or services, tell their stories in order to spread the word about your company. Brand advocates are the people who have already used a product or service and have found their experience so satisfying that they want to share them with their friends and family members. They are people who eagerly share their experiences about businesses they like.
Advocacy marketing tries to leverage the passion of a business’s most loyal fans to get the word out. Advocacy marketing comes in different types. For example, loyalty programmes that many businesses incorporate are a popular type of advocacy marketing.
Nowadays, there are a number of digital tools that help you run advocacy marketing campaigns for your brand and reach a broader audience. Pukket is an AI assistant that can improve your advocacy marketing efforts. Pukket helps you identify your most loyal fans, get in touch with them and leverage their love for your brand to create valuable content to increase brand awareness and sales.
How advocacy marketing and influencer marketing are different
Now that we know exactly what influencer marketing and advocacy marketing are, let’s talk about how they are different from one another.
Real customers vs. paid influencers
In advocacy marketing, people who are introducing your product or service to others are real customers who have already used your product. Their experience with a business was so pleasant that they decide to introduce it to their friends and family. On the other hand, marketers mostly pay influencers to advertise a certain product or service. And most people know that somebody is paying them to promote a product. This is why most internet users find influencers inauthentic.
In influencer marketing, marketers mostly pay influencers to introduce a product or service. This is why in the eyes of their audience, it might seem that their suggestion is not sincere, or reliable. However, in advocacy marketing, real customers are talking about their experience sincerely. Therefore, their message seems more reliable and people tend to trust it more.
How much advertising with influencers costs depends on how large their audience are. But no matter the size, influencer marketing is expensive, because sponsorships and advertising are how influencers make a living. On the contrary, brand advocates do not make a living on promoting brands! Compared to influencer marketing, advocacy marketing usually costs a lot less. Moreover, brands can remunerate their brand advocates in more creative (and less costly) ways than paying out cash.
Influencers have a large audience; this is why marketers pay them to advertise a product or service. It is worth mentioning that you will get a ton of exposure doing influencer marketing. However, most people forget about it because most influencers do a lot of sponsorships and advertising. On the contrary and in advocacy marketing, when real ordinary users talk about a product or service, it sticks in people’s minds. This is because most of the real users on social media do not introduce a new product to their friends and family circles every week!
It is a known fact that the more people follow an influencer, the smaller their engagement rates become. This happens because, on social media, people usually interact with their friends and family’s content more so than they do with influencers’. This means that in advocacy marketing, the engagement rate is higher compared to influencer marketing.
The last but not the least difference between influencer marketing and advocacy marketing is the number of UGCs produced. As mentioned above, influencer marketing normally costs more than advocacy marketing. This is why brands usually work with only a small number of influencers. This limits the number of UGCs they receive. In contrast, in advocacy marketing, you have many real users creating content for your brand. This means you get more UGCs that you can later use to promote your brand further.
Influencer marketing and advocacy marketing are great!
Both influencer marketing and advocacy marketing are great marketing strategies. But, each has its own strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we talked about how influencer marketing and advocacy marketing are different. We tried to cover the most important points. We hope this article helps you in choosing the right marketing strategy for your brand! If you think your customers should be your main source of authenticity and word-of-mouth, then advocacy marketing is the right option for you. To know more about advocacy marketing and how Pukket can help you, be sure to contact us.