There seems to be a lot of confusion between influencer and advocate marketing. While some people have a specified metrics to know the difference between the two, some are not sure where to draw the line to differentiate them. This social media buzz has notably caught a lot of attention; hence, why I decided to write about this. It is high time to put an end to this confusion.The following aspects should be considered to get a good grasp of what influencer marketing and advocacy are:

Their Association to the Brand
I come across a study published in 2015 which revealed that 81% of the brand owners found influencer marketing campaign effective; thus, brand owners are now very adamant in using influencers to increase their sales.

To draw an analogy to make the difference clear between both would be an influencer is liken to skincare expert that is brand agnostic, in comparison to advocates who are brand experts that knows brands they love inside out.

Another difference is an Advocate has a positive sentiment towards your brand, whereas an Influencer may have a negative, neutral or positive view. Advocates are not typically compensated, although they may receive perks like new product trials or coupons.

Their Reach, Relevance and Engagement rate
The number of followers is another aspect wherein social media influencers and brand advocates slightly differ. Influencers are mostly particular with the number of followers they have. After all, their huge fan base is what makes them influencers in the first place. 

Advocates, on the other hand are super fans and brand loyalists who engage with the brand because they truly love it and will take action if asked. They may or may not have a sphere of influence themselves.

In influencer marketing, the number of followers does matter. One particular reason for this is the fact that most companies will look into their connections before hiring them for a short-term campaign. Of course, their relevance to the campaign and engagement rate with their audience are vital points considered by marketers before hiring.

Payments and Compensation for Content
Since influencers are more business driven, they are likely after the rewards that they can get. The rewards do not always come in monetary value. It can be in the form of products, exposure, or more online credibility. Whereas the advocate marketing utilizes satisfied brand users, who can extend their service without a necessary price requirement.

Now that you and I looked into the difference between influencer and advocate marketing. Hope this would help in providing you clarity on working your marketing efforts :)

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