Affiliate vs Influencer vs Referral Programs

The pros and cons of affiliate, influencer and referral marketing  

At Buyapowa, we see many digital marketers wondering what is the difference between affiliate, influencer and referral programs and which is best to help boost sales via word-of-mouth.

While all of these can be genuine forms of word-of-mouth marketing (although affiliate marketing may have nothing to do with word of mouth, and can be can be click arbitrage or other forms of marketing etc.) they differ from each other in a number of ways. For retailers just starting out, the terms can be easy to mix up. And even experienced marketers can struggle to understand the best time to implement such a program and the relative benefits of each. So which program is best for your business?

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Our latest guide to the most interesting things happening in the world of advocacy marketing

1. Why now is the perfect time to reassess your company’s employee engagement

A global pandemic might not sound like the best time for much, let alone assessing your company’s employee engagement. But here’s the thing — understanding what is and isn’t working for your employees is important, and assessing during a time of crisis can actually spur employees to be brutally honest with you. A recent study from Leadership IQ found that fewer than a quarter of employees currently feel they have high resilience, and high resilience employees were 310% more likely to report loving their jobs than employees with low resilience. And as you well know, teams with high resilience pays off big time through things like decreased turnover, increased productivity, greater efficiency, and even improved creativity and customer retention. So it’s crucial to identify teams that are struggling and address the problem directly before it gets worse. Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, is when employees need true leadership, and you can’t figure out what employees need if you’re not communicating with them. And sure, there’s a good chance scores will be lower than before, but current data will also undoubtedly be more truthful and help employees more. And, in the end, investing time and energy in your employees is also investing time and energy in the future of your company. Learn more.

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Our latest guide to the most interesting things happening in the world of advocacy marketing

1. COVID-19 and its surprising effect on influencer marketing

It’s easy to assume with coronavirus forcing millions to stay home that social media and influencer marketing would be thriving. But, not even influencer marketing is immune to the huge cultural shift caused by the pandemic. In such serious times, creating culturally appropriate sponsored content can be a fine line to walk. Influencers risk looking oblivious if they carry on business-as-usual and insensitive if they try to incorporate the virus into their content. And, given the current economic climate, brands are reluctant to invest in strategies that may not pay off. In response to this change, top-tier influencers are lowering their rates in their quest for work, and micro-influencers are now going up against larger influencers for partnerships, creating competition that’s bad for influencers but good for brands. Meanwhile, some industry insiders are more optimistic: a new report from Influencer Intelligence revealed that spending on cheaper goods and luxuries usually increases during times of economic crisis. And, with online spending and social media use up, there’s no shortage of customers looking for entertainment and escape. So while influencers will have to deal with canceled events and limited content opportunities, the current situation could just spark a new wave of influencer creativity. Read the full article.

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Our latest guide to the most interesting things happening in the world of advocacy marketing

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly...of influencer marketing

1. The rise of influencer marketing agencies

With $1.9 billion spent on influencer marketing in the US and Canada alone, it’s clear that influencer marketing is no longer a passing market trend. And with the growth of influencer marketing has come the rise of agencies and networks that exist to help companies and influencers connect. Sounds perfect for both parties, right? Not necessarily. While this approach may help retailers achieve short-term influencer impression goals, many influencers claim that agency involvement can make it harder for them to form long-term relationships with brands—a key factor when creating original, relevant content. On the other hand, influencer agencies see their existence as a sign that the industry has matured. Gone are the Wild West days of influencer marketing—agencies’ involvement is meant to make sure brands are getting the scale, benchmarks, and results they deserve. But which approach is best for your business? Read the full article.

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Influencer plus referral equals an instant classic

First things first: can we all agree that ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ is pretty much the greatest achievement of the 1980s? That’s right: greater than mixtapes, greater than Speak & Spell, maybe even greater than Ms. Pac-Man. But, in spite of its gargantuan greatness, ‘FBDO’ is fundamentally flawed. Why? Because it seems to suggest that ‘borrowing’ someone’s car inevitably leads to it being driven backwards, through a plate glass window, into a tree.

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