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The Thin Line Between Affiliates and Influencers? Share via

What is the difference?

The terms Affiliate and Influencer Marketing are terms that are used interchangeably, creating some sort of confusion every time they’re mentioned. At times it is a bit difficult to find that thin line that divides both terms and what each of them means. 

Both use performance-based marketing solutions that aim to promote a brand or a business, but in different ways to some extent. This article will help in differentiating between the two terms.  

Let’s Define Them First

While both aim to promote a brand or sell increase its sales, influencers are individuals (usually in the business’s industry) who have the power to change their followers’ opinions due to their credibility. 

Unlike influencers, affiliates usually possess different resources, such as blogs, websites or other resources which they use to market a brand’s products for a certain commission. 

How they Both Work

In Influencer Marketing, the business partners with an influencer within its industry, and influencers promote the products or services to their followers. They basically share content that is subtle and creative with their followers who trust them. However, in Affiliate Marketing, affiliates use their own websites and resources to promote the business’s products or services aiming to obtain sales, and whenever a sale is made, the affiliate receives a percentage of it.

Their Most Common Platforms

Both influences and affiliates use different platforms, whether social media or websites. However, with influences, they most commonly use social media, since it is the easiest way for them to reach their fans and followers. Affiliates use their websites, blogs and other resources to advertise for a brand’s products. This doesn’t negate the fact that affiliates at times use social media to put links to their websites and blogs in order to market a brand’s product, but that’s not their main platform usually.

Their Purpose

While it’s not a rule of thumb, influencer campaigns most commonly are used for brand awareness, while affiliate campaigns are most commonly used for revenue and profit growth by offering the audience discounts and other offers. This is because influencers rely on their relationship with their fans and followers who listen to their recommendations, while affiliates rely mostly on partnering with other publishers, blogs, and companies.


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