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Mar 23 2021

Influencer Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing: Which is Best?

We have entered a digital era where consumers spend the majority of their time behind screens. In the past, consumers were enticed by TV and radio ads, billboards and flyers, but now they use social media and follow influencers that affect their purchasing decisions. 

The traditional marketing vs influencer marketing debate has been ongoing for the past decade. Given that consumers are now more digitally-focused, it begs the question: is influencer marketing better than traditional marketing? 

Source: NickMetrics Youtube Channels

Influencer marketing vs traditional marketing: Key differences

The difference between influencer marketing and traditional marketing can be summarized simply: online vs offline. The influencer marketing vs traditional marketing could also be referred to as “social media marketing vs traditional marketing” or “content marketing vs traditional marketing”. 

Influencer marketing vs traditional marketing: Traditional overview

Traditional marketing refers to any of the old methods brands used to market themselves or products including print ads, TV ads and billboards, among others; it typically refers to any type of marketing that is offline. Traditional marketing is also known as outbound marketing and generally disrupts consumers from their daily routines.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INFLUENCER MARKETING AND TRADITIONAL MARKETING

Influencer marketing vs traditional marketing: Influencer overview

Influencer marketing is a subsection of digital marketing and a much newer concept. It involves using social media influencers who have a dedicated following to promote your product or service. This method of advertising shows how influential word-of-mouth and reliability can be when consumers are looking to make a purchase. 

Influencer marketing capitalizes on the fact that when a post is shown to a consumer by someone they trust, they are significantly more likely to connect to the content and create a positive association with the brand or product shown. 

Influencer marketing vs traditional marketing: Influencer overview

Both methods of marketing have the same goals, but use significantly different strategies. To help see which is best, we’ve analyzed the pros and cons of both.

Influencer Marketing vs Traditional Marketing

Influencer Marketing vs Traditional Marketing: The Benefits of Traditional Marketing

A sufficient reason for choosing traditional marketing is in its name: it’s a long-carried tradition. Companies have been using traditional marketing for years; it is reliable and has proven itself to provide good results. Traditional marketing is consistent, which is where influencer marketing can occasionally falter—depending on the influencer.

Coca Cola Billboard

Traditional marketing also allows brands to have full control over the messaging of ads and promotions. They are in complete control over the tone of voice, copy used and color themes. This means that consumers will perceive the brand exactly as they were meant to, with no pre-standing opinions. 

Influencer Marketing vs Traditional Marketing: The Drawbacks of Traditional Marketing

If your goal is to attract younger consumers, traditional marketing is not your best bet. Young adults have turned to social sites and other internet-based sources meaning that putting money into traditional mediums won’t get your brand anywhere—this is where the benefits of influencer marketing come into play. 

Furthermore, traditional marketing tends to have long lead times since print and TV need months in advance to plan and publish ads. It’s also incredibly difficult to track the ROI of traditional marketing. You cannot guarantee that everyone will see the billboard as they drive, or watch the advert on TV; there is no way to tell how many people have become customers as a result of your billboard or TV ad. 

Influencer Marketing vs Traditional Marketing: The Benefits of Influencer Marketing

If you’re wondering how influencer marketing is changing marketing, keep reading. Influencer marketing offers a third-party endorsement. On occasion, traditional marketing efforts fall short because the content created by the company can come off as detached or too professional for your everyday consumer. Introducing another individual to promote your brand or product builds credibility and creates “social proof” for your brand. Influencer marketing campaigns result in high-quality content, produced in a creative way that your brand’s marketing team may not have thought of. Influencers work hard to ensure their content is high-quality and hyper-targeted to entertain and engage their audiences. This means your brand will end up with a unique promotion.  

Influencers can turn around content significantly faster than traditional marketing. This means your brand is able to produce trend-relevant content; influencer marketing trends change frequently, but using influencers can keep you on top of them. Influencer marketing is also trackable; you can calculate an accurate ROI for each influencer and type of content. Analyzing this feedback will help your brand improve on your influencer marketing best practices for future endeavors. 

influencer marketing best practices for future endeavors. 

Influencer marketing can help your brand develop a trusting relationship with your customers and target audience. Influencers have pre-existing relationships with their audiences and understand their wants and needs. By tapping into this relationship, consumers will associate your brand with the influencer they trust, putting your brand in a trusted position. 92% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product if it receives a recommendation from an influencer over a banner ad or billboard.  

Influencer Marketing vs Traditional Marketing: The Drawbacks of Influencer Marketing

A drawback to influencer marketing is that it can be hard to manage because influencers aren’t under your employment. A solution for this is to invest in an influencer marketing agency to provide influencer marketing services. Using an influencer marketing agency will ensure that influencers chosen for your campaigns will be relevant and won’t be a risk for your reputation. 

INFLUENCER MARKETING VS TRADITIONAL MARKETING: KEY TAKEOUTS

When considering “influencer marketing vs traditional marketing,” you need to think of your audience. If you are trying to target older generations, influencer marketing might not be right for your brand. Traditional marketing allows you to have full control over promotional messaging, and has proved itself time and time again as a way to secure results. It is a more direct approach to speaking to your audience.

Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to target younger generations. It is less invasive and disruptive than traditional marketing and helps brands build a trusting relationship with their target audiences. Influencer marketing is cheaper and quicker than traditional marketing, but means you have less control over the content created. 

Each consumer has their own preferences for how they want to be influenced. At this current time, it is necessary for a brand to utilise the modern influencer marketing in conjunction with the classical traditional marketing.

FAQ’s

How is influencer marketing different from traditional marketing?

The main difference between influencer marketing and traditional marketing is that influencer marketing is online and traditional marketing is offline. 

The influencer marketing vs traditional marketing debate has been ongoing for years, and almost every marketer you meet will have a different opinion. 

Traditional marketing includes your print, TV and billboard ads, as well as radio, outbound and phone marketing. Influencer marketing is in its name—it is the use of influencers to promote a brand, product or service. 

Why is influencer marketing better than traditional marketing?

Influencer marketing vs traditional marketing is a popular talking point between marketers. Recently, the answer to the debate has favored influencer marketing. But why?

Influencer marketing is hyper-focused to a particular and relevant audience. Brands zero in on influencers within a specific niche and use them to directly present content to a relevant audience. Using niche influencers means all their audience members will be interested in the content they produce. 

Influencer marketing can be adjusted to every budget. Whether you’re a small start-up with a limited budget, or a mega-company with unlimited budget, you will be able to find relevant influencers to work with. Many companies have begun creating dedicated budgets specifically for influencer marketing. 

When it comes to creativity, influencer marketing wins the influencer marketing vs traditional marketing discussion. Traditional marketing doesn’t leave space for experimentation. Influencer marketing thrives on creative variety to get your brand’s message across. You can choose from any social media platform and content type (image, video, blog…) to execute your strategy. 

Consumers hate being advertised to. Influencer marketing natively targets consumers in an non-invasive way; many consumers don’t even realize they are being marketed to. Consumers have also started using ad blockers, but this cannot block influencer marketing. 

To solidify why influencer marketing wins the influencer marketing vs traditional marketing debate, here are some influencer marketing statistics you should be aware of: 

  1. 80% of consumers have purchased something via an influencer recommendation.
  2. 41% of customers discover new products through influencers weekly. 
  3. Brands use micro-influencers 10x more than mega influencers.
  4. Instagram and YouTube are the most popular influencer marketing platforms
  5. 71% of marketers think the quality of influencer marketing traffic is better than other sources.
  6. 92% of consumers trust online word-of-mouth recommendations.

What is traditional marketing?

Traditional marketing refers to any of the old methods brands used to market themselves or products including print ads, TV ads and billboards, among others; it typically refers to any type of marketing that is offline. Traditional marketing is also known as outbound marketing and generally disrupts consumers from their daily routines. 

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If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our Influencer Marketing & Social Media blogs here.

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