What is the fundamental difference between traditional marketing methods and influencer marketing?

With the rise of social media, digital marketing has become commonplace in every industry. Among them, influencer marketing is attracting attention as an “effective marketing method”.

In fact, a survey by Nielsen Catalina Solutions shows that the ROI of content produced and shared by influencers is 11 times that of regular advertising in 12 months.

The main purpose of a company ’s digital marketing is to reach and reach its target audience. And many marketers see influencer marketing as “to get impressions” just like other marketing methods. But this perception is wrong.

This time, I will explain the fundamental differences between marketing methods and influencer marketing with two examples of influencer marketing.

What are the fundamental differences from previous marketing methods?

Influencer marketing can be said to be different from conventional marketing methods for the following two reasons.

  1. Influencer marketing is based on the relationship between influencers and followers.
  2. Influencer marketing is based on “show what the follower wants to see” instead of “show what the company wants to show to the follower”

Traditional marketing techniques have been to promote celebrities’ products and services to reach your target audience. In this case, the audience can “show” the ad without wanting it.

And in digital marketing, impressions are an important metric for measuring campaign performance, and increasing impressions can lead to purchases of products and services.

On the other hand, in the case of influencer marketing, the target audience is the influencer’s follower, and there is a difference that a trust relationship has already been established between the influencer and the follower.

Therefore, when an influencer thinks about a tie-up with a brand, he places importance on whether the brand fits his policy and whether his followers can agree with it. Influencer marketing can only succeed if values ​​are shared among brands, influencers and followers.

Influencer marketing is based on the brand ’s strong connection between influencers and followers and sharing the same time and values. In that respect, it can be said that influencer marketing is different from previous marketing methods aimed at acquiring impressions.

Here are some specific examples of what happens when you pursue just impressions in influencer marketing:

Example of football Zlatan Ibrahimovic player


The following is an example of influencer marketing from a “follower” perspective.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a former Swedish national footballer who is a superstar with the highest score of Swedish football. His Instagram account has 36 million followers.

Michael Feeley from Europe’s largest marketing website “The Drum” was one of the zealous fans of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Michael Feeley has been following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s SNS account for 10 years, constantly checking his matches, interviews, articles and social media posts.

In the meantime, Michael Feeley became a fan of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but also became able to understand the personal aspects of what Zlatan Ibrahimovic was passionate about, his beliefs and attitudes. His social media content was designed to inspire and entertain followers.

One day, however, Zlatan Ibrahimovic tied up with a manufacturer and posted sponsored content for teeth whitening products. Michael Feeley did n’t know why Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his maker tied up, and the content did n’t feel like trying to entertain the followers. Michael Feeley thought the post was just for money.

Michael Feeley knows that Zlatan Ibrahimovic wasn’t just someone who promoted the brand for money. Michael Feeley was discouraged by the post, which didn’t feel respectful of his relationship with his followers, and in an instant he lost the respect he had felt for Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 10 years.

The promotion itself is not a failure because the sponsored content videos posted by Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been played millions of times. However, it is also true that this promotion has betrayed the trust of enthusiastic fans like Michael Feeley.

Example of American Colin Kaepernick player

The following example is a successful example of influencer marketing that the brand cherished the relationship between influencers and followers, and implemented the attitude of “showing what the followers want to see”.

In 2016, American football player Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during national anthem singing as a protest against discrimination among minorities. This action was controversial and Colin Kaepernick was no longer able to play in the match.

Later, sports brand Nike tied up with Colin Kaepernick, and the face of Colin Kaepernick was projected with a catch phrase saying “Believe something, even if it would cost everything.” Announced promotional photos. He posted this photo on his Instagram and received more than 1.15 million likes.

Nike then appointed Colin Kaepernick as one of the brand ambassadors. Nike accepted Colin Kaepernick’s values ​​and he became part of Nike’s “Values”. And they both became voices for each other’s voice.

Colin Kaepernick has started sharing amazing stories of people with similar experiences with his Instagram account. The followers sympathized with the post, and the brand, influencer, and follower became one.

In this case, it is clear why Nike and Colin Kaepernick tied up. Nike and Colin Kaepernick shared values, and many of his fans shared their values.

The followers accepted that Nike was part of the connection with Colin Kaepernick, and Nike and Colin Kaepernick and their followers were able to create meaningful connections. As a result, Nike limited products promoted by Colin Kaepernick were sold out immediately.

Influencer marketing is based on the relationship between influencers and followers. Simply pursuing impressions will not move your followers.

What you can learn from two examples

The relationship between influencers and followers was built over a long period of time, from several years to several decades. Brands must respect it.

The followers are very familiar with the influencers’ beliefs they are following, their favorite things, and communication techniques. Content with questionable credibility is instantly identified and not accepted by followers, and it can break the trust relationship between influencers and followers.

The content should be a representation of the influencer’s values, not a “message to buy things or services”. The message that the influencer really wanted to convey will reach the follower.

If you think that influencer marketing is simply “to earn impressions,” you might lose the important asset of “trust from your followers” ​​that you ca n’t see on the surface. .


In this article, I explained two fundamental examples of influencer marketing, which are fundamentally different between conventional marketing methods and influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is based on a deep relationship of trust between people. Brands need to understand this, and then think about how they can be followed by followers.

If you respect influencers and followers and share values, influencer marketing will be successful.

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