“If you wish to converse with me,” said Voltaire, “define your terms.”

Whether we are talking philosophy or marketing, arriving at clear definitions of the terms we use is the task to tackle right from the outset. The last thing you want to happen is misalignment on meaning(s).

This is why my today’s post seeks to shed light on the differences between three types of marketing:

  • Influencer Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Advocacy Marketing

You will see some of these terms used interchangeably throughout online and offline publications. Hence, my desire to focus specifically on the differences:

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing which relies on the influence of tastemakers (large and small) for dissemination of marketing message(s). Exists online and offline.

Affiliate marketing is a marketing model which allows independent marketers (called “affiliates”) to promote an advertiser’s product/service and get paid for every conversion generated.

You see, unlike some may believe, affiliate marketing is not a type of marketing. It is a model which empowers brands to tap into various types of marketing, structuring partner compensation based on performance (be it pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, pay-per-call, etc). It works with influencer marketing too. In fact, according to Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report quite a number of online influencers (41% to be exact) are open to receiving compensation based on an affiliate model.

How Influencers Earn Revenue

So, an affiliate marketing relationship can be used to structure influencers’ compensation.

Now let’s turn to advocacy marketing.

Advocacy Marketing is a type of marketing that leverages the voice of highly-satisfied customers, brand fans, or consumer evangelists.

Some, including yours truly, believe advocacy marketing to be a sub-type of influencer marketing, one within which tangible motivators aren’t the focus. Your fans authentically love your product, and are happy to get vocal about it. There certainly is room to interweave an affiliate marketing component into such a relationship, though fundamentally they aren’t doing this because they seek monetary remuneration.

We will discuss all three of the above at the upcoming Influencer Marketing Days conference in New York. To save $400.00, make sure to grab your pass before our Super Early Bird rates expire (on September 9, 2016)..

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