Influencer Marketing vs Traditional Marketing: Which Is Better?

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Consumers today have evolved in a lot of ways. While television ads and billboards once enticed them, now it’s influencers they look up to. When considering influencer marketing vs. traditional marketing, influencers now shape consumer opinions and purchase decisions. They have a way to connect with today’s consumers more effectively.

In fact, Twitter and Annalect found that 40% of Twitter users have been directly influenced by an influencer’s tweet to make a purchase. This suggests that influencer marketing could take the place of traditional marketing. Below are a few points that support this.

Breaking down influencer marketing vs. traditional marketing

1. Influencer marketing is more focused.

Traditional marketing is normally not directed at any particular demographic, while influencer marketing focuses on a highly relevant audience. Brands take time to zero in on the right kind of influencers. These influencers have their following built up in a specific niche over a long period by creating interesting content that’s relevant to the category.

This means their audience has one thing in common – they’re all interested in the niche. So when brands spread their message through niche influencers, it reaches the specific type of audience they need to reach.

2. Influencer marketing is more trustworthy.

People are tired of watching actors mouth scripted messages, singing praises about certain products and services like they’ve been paid to do. Now they are more inclined to trust authentic voices. That’s why influencers, who are just like your everyday consumers, are respected for their unbiased voices and opinions.

Kate Lavie, a lifestyle blogger, used her Instagram feed to promote Naked Juice next to the outfit she will wear for the day. She doesn’t go on and on about how good the juice is, just that she drinks it as any normal person would.

This is what today’s consumers listen to. The prominent, trustworthy voices from their social networking community influence and shape them and their opinions.

3. Influencer marketing is for every budget, every business.

Traditional marketing requires brands to have deep pockets. On the other hand, influencer marketing is ideal for all kinds of businesses with all kinds of budgets. So even small startups have the option to leverage this marketing channel to build their brand fully.

According to a Tomoson’s report, 59% of marketers who use influencer marketing are planning to increase their budgets in the coming years. 21% want to reduce their spending or want to retain the same level of spending.

Companies are clearly seeing the benefit of influencer marketing, and more and more of them are creating a dedicated budget for it. That’s why you can expect to see a lot more brands partnering with influencers on different social media platforms.

Even brands like Sperry, which are known for being cost savvy, worked with about 100 micro influencers to create buzz about the brand. So even if you want to cut costs, there’s always the option to work with smaller influencers who don’t charge as much.

4. Influencer marketing has a better ROI.

According to the previously-cited Tomoson study, for every dollar that businesses spend on influencer marketing, they are raking in $6.50.

Marketing fads come and go, but influencer marketing is here to stay because of the impressive return on investment it generates. According to research conducted by TapInfluence, influencer marketing was able to generate 11 times higher ROI than other prevalent digital marketing channels.

This has really been an eye-opener for many marketers. And even those who were once skeptical are taking it more seriously.

Additionally, traditional media has inconclusive ways of measuring ROI. But with the right tracking tools and platforms, you can easily find out how much return you gained in exchange for what you spent on an influencer in influencer marketing.

5. Influencer marketing is more versatile.

Traditional advertising doesn’t give much space for experimentation, while influencer marketing thrives on options and variety. There can be a number of ways to convey your brand’s message.

And you can choose from a wide variety of people to spread the message. So there is much more scope for experimenting. You can also choose from different channels such as YouTube, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and more to execute your influencer marketing campaigns.

Take, for example, travel and lifestyle influencer Lisa Linh, who created a blog post to promote The Sanctuary resort. Her post provided detailed information about her experience at the resort.

She additionally promoted the resort through her Instagram account.

You can design your content according to the platform – making it briefer, more detailed, or more visual depending on where you’re executing the campaign. There is so much creativity in the posts of influencers, which doesn’t let boredom creep in for your audience. The messages seem fresh, and there’s always more where they come from.

6. Influencer marketing offers better customer market penetration.

People hate traditional ads. This is clear from the fact that more and more people are putting up ad blockers. In fact, PageFair reported that Adblock usage increased by 30% during 2016 alone, and there are now 11% of the internet population using AdBlock technology.

Influencer marketing bypasses these ad blockers and conveys the brand messages to an audience that eagerly laps it up. Unlike traditional media, these messages are not forced on the audience. People opt to listen to the messages conveyed by brands through influencers.

People follow the influencers willingly because they are interested in what they have to say. So influencer marketing will continue to thrive. Influencer marketing content passes the scrutiny of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) programs used by the algorithms of different social platforms to block promotional content.

7. Influencer marketing improves SEO.

Influencer marketing also plays a role in boosting search ranking. Backlinks are an important search ranking factor. And if you have a lot of links from high-authority sites linking to your site, search engines will place more importance on your site in search results. So working with influencers, who have websites and blogs with high Domain Authority, could boost your organic ranking.

Wrapping up

Brands have adopted influencer marketing as an important digital marketing strategy. The ease of working with influencers to get brand messages out, more return on investment, increased cost-effectiveness, and better market penetration are some advantages that make influencer marketing a better option. The best part is the consumer is a willing partner in the whole thing.

The consumer chooses to listen to the messages that pop up in their feed. They willingly subscribe to the channels of influencers they like and respect. They like spontaneous, authentic people who can call a spade a spade when necessary. The era of scripted ad lines mouthed by media icons is slowly losing its charm. Now people trust the opinions voiced in their social networks by influencers more.

Updated: September 2022

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Written by GRIN Contributor

GRIN is the pioneer behind the world’s first Creator Management platform built to support every brand’s journey to connecting with consumers through authentic creator relationships. Thousands of the world’s fastest-growing brands—including SKIMS, Warby Parker, Allbirds, Mejuri, and MVMT—use GRIN to make creators feel like trusted, empowered partners and work with them to build their brands into household names.