In the field of digital marketing, we often hear about influencers and affiliate marketers. Some often say that both are very similar in terms of getting businesses the traffic they need. Others say they are different when you look at certain aspects of how they operate. 

Here are the key differences when it comes to influencers and affiliate marketers: 


When you talk about influencer marketing, it refers to a mechanism in which a business works with an “influencer” or a Celebrity who can support by promoting the goods/services to their followers.

Meanwhile, affiliate marketing is where the marketer writes content showcasing a product or service on their website and gets paid when the leads enable a sale for the business. 


Businesses often use influencer marketing to help reach out to more people and let them know about your products. Meanwhile, brands use affiliate marketing to help create leads for their business and increase sales. 

Platforms used

Another major difference between influencer marketing and affiliate marketing can be noticed through the platforms they use. Influencers use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, blogs, and giveaways to influence customers to purchase products/services.

Meanwhile, affiliate marketers mostly use self-hosted websites, email sign-ups, and subscription platforms where people are allowed to share content such as forums or guest websites. 

People behind it

The people who are usually involved in influencer marketing are people with a strong online presence. They are usually celebrities or media personalities, as well as industry players. Bloggers with a lot of followers are also qualified to be influencers. 

On the other hand, affiliate marketers can vary. It could be bloggers, companies, and even publishers looking for a way to bring in leads and sales. 


Costs of engaging an influencer and affiliate marketing also vary. Influencers can be compensated in two ways: paid at a flat rate or paid for every post or product endorsed. 

Affiliate marketers are paid a revenue share they help generate from their site. They are also ”pay per action” options where affiliates get paid when leads complete a form, email sign-ups, or any other activity the marketers choose. 

Engagements and ROI

Whether you are an influencer or an affiliate marketer, you have to show that you have the right amount of engagements and the capability to provide high ROI or return on investment. Influencers need to provide data-related to engagements and ROI. These can be measured through the number of new followers, post engagements, site traffic, and leads. Meanwhile, affiliate marketers look into the sales volume, site traffic, and average order value.

Whether you want to be an influencer or an affiliate marketer, there is great potential in both marketing strategies to establish a career. If you are planning to start a career, do your research and once you find your niche, you can slowly build a brand and earn.

Whether you are an affiliate marketer or an influencer, here are some articles that will definitely boost your engagement:
How to Become an Instagram Influencer by 2020
How Much Do Social Media Influencers Get Paid?
Top Affiliate Marketing Trends in 2021
5 Common Types of Affiliate Marketers
7 Tips to Make Your Content Go Viral

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38 replies on “The Difference Between Influencer and Affiliate Marketing

  1. Thanks for sharing this post, it was very informative. I guess you noticed I am trying to do both. Originally as an influencer I was approached become an Affiliate for some companies. During these hard times I am trying to find my niche, see what will work for me because I really need to help bring income into the house. Thank you Kally for these posts xo Charity 💖

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You’re most welcome, Charity. Perhaps you can read some of my other posts on affiliate marketing to help you to increase the traffic to your website and increase your income.

      Liked by 1 person

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