Influencer Marketing vs Advertising

Megan Mosley
Digital Copywriter
Influencer Marketing

2021 seems to have been the year of the influencer, with the industry set to become a $15 billion dollar industry within the next 12 months.

Lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic have no doubt had a huge part to play in this growth and success, with social media users unsurprisingly increasing their screentime.

And, with 63% of marketers planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets this year, it proves just how impactful and successful the industry really is.

But what is more powerful? Digital marketing vs influencer marketing is the question on everybody’s lips, so find out more in this ultimate guide.

What is influencer marketing?

To put it simply, influencer marketing is a social media marketing strategy used by businesses to raise brand awareness, increase sales and connect with consumers – both long-term customers and potential prospects. Incredibly effective because of the authenticity and relatability of social media influencers, influencer marketing is a force to be reckoned with.


What is digital marketing?

Whilst digital marketing can also include social media marketing strategies, it does so without the support of influencers.

Digital marketing strategies can include the likes of pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimisation (SEO), email marketing, display advertising and affiliate marketing.

Although relatively modern, digital marketing is a more traditional form of advertising in comparison to influencer marketing.

Digital marketing vs influencer marketing: the differences

The main differences between digital marketing and influencer marketing is the strategy itself. As mentioned above, the way in which the two methods go about achieving business goals is very different.

Influencer marketing is a much newer concept, and therefore the industry is set to worth $15 billion by 2022 with 90% of people believing influencer marketing to be an effective form of marketing.

However, with digital marketing having been around for a much longer time, the industry is currently worth $455 billion dollars. But this difference in industry worth isn’t to say that one is better than the other – times are changing, and so are business needs and the strategies they choose to use.

Digital marketing is typically more technical and analytical, particularly in the way in which the results are monitored. From paid media such as Google AdWords and PPC campaigns to buyer personas and display advertising, a digital marketing strategy is a pre-determined plan to help businesses achieve their goals.

Whilst digital marketing also uses social media within its strategies, influencer marketing, on the other hand, focuses primarily on such.

Whether it is sharing photos of influencers directly on the brand’s channels or using the platforms of influencers as part of the strategy, social media is the key tool for influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing can also consist of stand-alone images, short-form and long-form videos, and is generally a lot more creative than the more traditional method of digital marketing. And most importantly, influencer marketing is much more relatable and humanistic in comparison to digital marketing which is much more technology led.


Digital marketing vs influencer marketing: the similarities

There are some similarities between digital marketing and influencer marketing, and this is usually down to the results that they provide.

Now of course, we are ever so slightly bias as we work within the influencer marketing industry, however the type of marketing strategy a business needs will be entirely dependent on their goals and campaign.

Both influencer marketing and digital marketing can help brands to achieve the below;

  • Increases brand credibility
  • To stand out from its competitors
  • Improve consumer relationships
  • Boost SEO
  • Increase brand awareness

The benefits of influencer marketing

There is a plethora of benefits for brands utilising an influencer marketing strategy. Social media is on the rise, and this has only been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic and the multiple lockdowns and restrictive periods.

In 2020, more than 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide and this number is only set to increase further to almost 4.4 billion in 2025.

And because of this, influencer marketing is continuing to skyrocket in terms of popularity and effectiveness.

In particular, influencer marketing is recognised for its humanistic approach to marketing and advertising. Utilising influencers that are relatable and authentic helps to create a sense of trust and personalisation – which is key to an effective and impactful marketing campaign.

As well as this, influencer marketing is ideal for brands seeking both one off campaigns and long-term partnerships. Long-term partnerships between brands and influencers usually take part over the course of three months, or often even longer. Influencers are also seen as a representative of the brand, sharing the same or similar values as both the brand and their desired target audience. Similarly, one-off campaigns can also produce incredible results, with short, sharp and strong key messages.

Some consumers consider digital marketing methods to be inauthentic, and so, influencer marketing can appear to be a much more natural and authentic way for brands to share content and advertorials.

Influencer marketing is also recognised for its ability to increase brand awareness and expand audience reach. Not only that, but it is often chosen over more traditional methods due to cost-efficiency. 

And finally, influencer marketing is much more creative, can grab the attention of consumers and provides limitless opportunities for success.


The benefits of digital marketing

Digital marketing also has its own variety of benefits as well as sharing some with influencer marketing.

Whilst influencer marketing is incredibly beneficial and impactful, it can be slightly more difficult to monitor the results than that of digital marketing. However, this is where an influencer marketing agency would come in handy!

Because of its analytical and technical methodology, digital marketing makes it incredibly easy to monitor results and thus, return on investment (ROI).

Digital marketing also provides businesses with the ability to be really precise with their campaigns, allowing them to specify their target audience based on aspects such as age, gender and location.

As well as this, digital marketing also generates and improves the likes of website traffic and SEO, similarly to influencer marketing.

But, which one to use?

As you can see throughout this guide, there are many benefits to both influencer marketing and digital marketing, and the one to use depends entirely on goals, the brand and of course, budget.

Here at Influencer Matchmaker, we of course recommend utilising the endless opportunities that influencer marketing provides, but the choice is yours.

To find out more about the benefits of influencer marketing, or if you’d like help with your influencer marketing strategy, contact our team of experts today by emailing or give us a call on 02039 580 427.