Paid or Earned Influencer Marketing, Which is Best for Your Brand

Influencer Marketing
instagram feed of an influencer 06.08.23

In recent years, social media influencer marketing has become an increasingly popular way for brands to reach their target audience. Brands work with influencers who have a significant following on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube to promote their products and services to their followers. This can be done through paid marketing or earned marketing. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. Companies should know about them before pursuing either option.

Paid influencer marketing is when a brand pays an influencer to promote their product or service. In this approach, the influencer is compensated for creating content that features the brand’s product or service. The costs involved with paid influencer marketing can vary greatly based on the influencer’s following, engagement rate, and the type of content required. Some influencers charge thousands of dollars for a single post, while others may accept product or service trade as payment.

Advantages and Disadvantages

One of the advantages of paid influencer marketing is that the brand has more control over the content that is created. They can work with the influencer to ensure that the content is on-brand and aligns with their marketing goals. Additionally, since the influencer is being compensated, they are more likely to prioritize the brand’s product or service over others. However, paid influencer marketing can be costly, especially for small brands or those with a limited budget. Additionally, some consumers may view paid influencer marketing as less authentic. That’s because the influencer is being compensated to promote the product or service.

Earned Influencer Marketing

Earned influencer marketing, also known as organic influencer marketing, is when an influencer promotes a brand’s product or service without being compensated. This approach relies on building a relationship between the brand and the influencer. It’s when the influencer genuinely likes and uses the brand’s product or service and shares it with their followers.

Advantages and Disadvantages

One of the advantages of earned influencer marketing is that it can be more authentic and trustworthy. Since the influencer is not being compensated, their followers may view their recommendation as more genuine. Additionally, earned influencer marketing can be more cost-effective for brands, especially those with limited budgets. However, the downside of earned influencer marketing is that the brand has less control over the content that is created. The influencer may not align with the brand’s marketing goals or may not create content that is on-brand. Additionally, earned influencer marketing requires building relationships with influencers. This can be time-consuming and may not always result in promotion.

Which is the Best Option for Brands?

The decision of whether to use paid marketing or earned marketing ultimately depends on the brand’s goals, budget, and target audience. Paid influencer marketing may be more effective for brands that want to reach a larger audience quickly or for those with a larger budget. Earned influencer marketing may be more effective if a brand is looking to build long-term relationships with influencers and create more authentic content. However, it’s important to note that both social media influencer marketing approaches can be successful when executed properly. Brands should focus on building relationships with influencers that align with their values and marketing goals. They should also ensure that the content created by influencers is authentic and aligns with their brand’s aesthetic.

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