Influencer Marketing vs. Brand Advocacy: The Difference

The terms “influencer marketing” and “advocate marketing” approximately amount to the same meaning – a third party or multiple third parties advocates for your product or service to some degree or another. However, these two marketing methods are vastly different as they leverage different resources. Each of these two digital marketing endeavors is important for different reasons, whereby each of them fulfills a unique need and so can be utilized for two distinct purposes.

1. What is brand advocacy?

Brand advocacy refers to the promotion of the company by general people who are in love with your brand. Brand advocates can include not only your satisfied customers, but they can also be your employees, or per say, anyone else who has an affinity for your products or services. Anyone who loves your brand can be your brand advocate and may talk about your product or service in conversation with their family, friends, peers, and relatives.

2. What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is partnering with individuals who have a significant audience and influence. Celebrity influencers are the new paid reach. They are typically experts, bloggers, speakers, or authors with an established online presence and a loyal audience in a particular niche, like fashion or luxury brands. They increasingly require a paid arrangement to do business.

3. Why should I use advocate marketing?

Natural word of mouth seems to be the most ancient way of sharing information and free advertising. People have always liked to share their opinions and give advice. They frequently recommend things to their friends, relatives, and acquaintances just because they cared about them and wished them well, not because of personal profit. That’s why these recommendations from disinterested, close people create such a high level of trust. Advocate marketing is focused on those customers who are already loyal. They are encouraged and incentivized to express and share their love of the company and products. Brand advocacy can be presented in a form of customer testimonials, references, product reviews and so on. 

Advocacy marketing can bridge the gap to generate positive ‘word of mouth’ in the following ways:-

  1. Advocacy marketing helps in community building: ‘Content is the king’ of advocacy marketing. As an organization, you need to create gripping and original content that can be circulated.
  2. Organic reach can be amplified through advocacy marketing: Advocacy marketing organically enhances the brand reach through more credibility and authenticity as it is done through known people.
  3. Advocacy Marketing is cost-effective: Advocacy marketing uses content as a catalyst to share brand messages. It shares not only personal content but even minimizes costs on the feeds of the advocates with stronger relationships.
  4. Advocacy builds real-time relationships: While paid marketing is target focused, advocacy marketing engages and involves the audience through various social media channels. 

4. Why should I opt for influencers?

One of the best benefits of influencers is strong brand awareness. For these benefits to truly impact your business, you’ll need to have an audience to witness your fan-worthy marketing, though. You need to work hard to build authentic, genuine connections with customers that value them above all else — that’s essential to building any kind of fanbase. With influencers, you can spread your fan-worthy message to a wide range of people via a trusted source of information. People may be skeptical of a company, no matter how great it is. They are far less likely to be skeptical of people who have already earned their trust. Influencers are a quick and trust-worthy way for your business to reach new audiences.

Here are four big benefits to using influencer marketing to bolster your social strategy:-

  1. Quickly builds massive trust among your audience: Influencers have built relationships, trust, and credibility with their fans. People respect their content and recommendations.
  2. Enriches your content strategy: Sharing influencer content can help fill in the gaps in your own content schedule. This works well in situations where you’ve run out of content ideas or simply need some quality content to publish on your social pages
  3. Provides amazing value to your audience: Inbound marketing is delivering content that solves problems, educates, and inspires your intended audience. Influencer marketing embraces this concept, as influencers are already in tune with the needs of the people they serve.
  4. Builds winning partnerships: Connecting and engaging with an influencer can be the start of a powerful relationship. When you’re in it for the long-haul, you never know where these connections could end.

5. Why are both types of marketing beneficial?

Advocate Marketing is great for brands with a valuable offer or valuable content and needs a little extra help to make it “go viral”. More complex advocate marketing involves leaderboards and competitions that allow advocates to compete for rewards. Advocate Marketing usually comes from the social media budget. Influencer Marketing is great for brands who want to create compelling content and distribute that content to a targeted audience. Influencer Marketing involves finding target influencers, pitching them a compelling assignment with a good value exchange, and then managing the posting process. Influencer Marketing usually comes from content creation or distribution budgets. 

What you choose depends on your business or product and what identity it wants to establish. Goals of the brand naturally establish the marketing strategies required for the brand.  Both advocacy and influencer marketing are beneficial to your organization. You need to create a holistic blend of both to grab opportunities. Your marketing efforts should captivate the target audience through paid mediums along with showing positive organic growth.

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