Blogs vs. Influencers: Which is Better for Driving Brand Advocacy and Marketing?

Jan 13, 2022 — Markerly Editorial Team, 5 min read

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Gone are the days of creating communications and collateral for all stages of the marketing funnel. Instead, brand communication has become a highly targeted, data-driven practice that’s all about increasing reach, awareness, and conversions – buzzwords that can get any modern marketer excited.

Unfortunately, this means that educating potential audiences is not always prioritized. We’ll explore different ways to educate and reach your target audience to give your marketing a boost by comparing two major strategies – influencer marketing and blogging. 

The rise of new advocacy channels

From Instagram Lives and Tweets to blogs and RSS feeds, there are plenty of ways for a thought or an idea to reach thousands of people within seconds. This has further strengthened the phenomenon known as word-of-mouth marketing as people increasingly trust reviews and recommendations about brands when they come from others like them. 

Brands have known this fact for some time, and they routinely use tactics to exploit word of mouth for their benefit. In fact, they use the bandwagon effect to rally support and sales through collaborations with influencers and bloggers.

Small brands that can’t afford to work with prominent bloggers use content marketing to run their own blogs. You can hire freelance blog writers to spread the word to potential customers, paying around $25 an hour for a quality writer.

However, with social media, another category of brand advocates has come into play. They are called ‘influencers’, and they have millions of followers online who hang onto their every word. If you don’t have these mega-influencers in your niche or can’t afford to work with one, you can always find micro-influencers with a smaller audience that is also more loyal.

Both bloggers and influencers are great resources to drive loyalty and get people talking about your business. Each has unique qualities that can be beneficial to your social marketing strategies. Let’s look at them in detail so you can decide which is right for your business needs. 

Influencer marketing

Influencers are called that for a reason. They use dedicated social media followings to sway their followers’ choices with product reviews and stir up interest in brands. Product endorsement through this channel is close to the traditional and digital media celeb advertisements. This strategy works because people follow them, are inspired by them and love to buy and do the same things they do. 

When your product and service becomes a prominent part of the influencer’s online persona, it automatically becomes coveted by their audience. This makes it a great way to reach a large number of people. Additionally, your influencers will most likely take the creative lead and ensure that product placement is good for your brand and theirs. 

Also, thanks to social media analysis tools, it’s easy to gauge the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaigns. These resources can let you know how many qualified buyers were sent your way through the influencer’s channels as a result of your campaigns. 

Is influencer marketing right for your business?

For many businesses, the biggest issue is that the influencers they partner with can overshadow their brand. Just look at the comment section of a post, and you’ll see people raving on about the person instead of the product they are talking about. 

The organic reach of these posts itself is low considering it varies from 25% of influencers with 10-50K followers to 14% of influencers with less than 200K followers. So even if the brand is paying a hefty amount for the post, it would be equal to the reach of a standalone paid post. However, there’s a reason the global influencer marketing value has more than doubled over the past two years.  

Influencer marketing can also be helpful in cases where you want to associate your brand with a particular influencer, leading to greater awareness and consideration. One significant drawback here is that influencers are still free to review products from your competitors, which can dilute your brand experience for their viewers. 

However, running a multi-influencer campaign can go a long way in driving brand awareness. YouTubers, for example, make for great partners because they offer an expansive 360-degree view of your products. In addition, they have a knack for describing their experiences in great detail, which can help you get the kind of marketing mileage you are looking for. 

Besides, YouTube videos remain on the platform for years, so your brand-endorsing videos continue to gain views over time. Eventually, as the views increase, it will rank higher in search engines.  

Blog marketing

There is no doubt that blogging still works in digital marketing. All that talk about the ‘death of long-form content’ is just a myth. 

The good news is that blogging doesn’t have to be as cost-incentive as onboarding influencers. Web developers can both help you set up a blog on your website and optimize it for your marketing campaigns. In fact, over half of the developers working today began their career in a field other than development, so there are many out there who understand marketing and SEO. Be sure to inquire about their work history before hiring. 

People still rely on long-form content to gain information on the internet and answer their searches. After all, the first thing people say nowadays when they have a question is “Google it.” If you can get your content out there and at the top of SERPs, your website will gain traffic from their queries. 

Is blogging a good marketing strategy for your business?

Blogs are a great source to get well-written and detailed answers. They’re an approachable and informative resource that can help create consideration for your brand indirectly or directly. You will find millions of blogs in every category written by industry experts and enthusiasts. 

So, in addition to running your own business blog, collaborate with the leading bloggers in your industry to promote your brand through their reviews or posts. The best way is to pick the right blogging partner, preferably the first few hits at the top of the SERPs. The ranking depicts their SEO practices like link building and adding keywords. If they’re at the top in your industry, the chances of getting more reach and recognition for your brand increase.

On the other hand, it might be useless to work with a blog that won’t get your post on the first page of search results. So, you need to keep a check on whether your investment is worth the effort. Then, put your money in a blogging platform to add value to your brand and get you the desired reach. 

Besides collaborating with other blogging platforms, you can also use your own website to post blogs. These blogs can bring traffic to your website with good SEO practices. According to web developer and online marketer Nathan Finch from Best Web Hosting Australia, using drag-and-drop website builders is arguably the most efficient and affordable way for getting a site built today, regardless of the type of site you want. 

“Website builders often include things like built-in shopping carts or checkout page templates,” says Finch, “Others might be more focused on social media, so they’ll include widgets and controls for linking social media accounts to your various pages. Still, more website builders might be explicitly designed for building basic blogs or small business websites. So they might be a little more versatile or more focused on a theme or purpose, depending on their templates and how you actually build the site.”

This way, building your own blog might be a better idea for long-term search visibility, and you can optimize your site to get to the top of SERPs. 

Conclusion

You have many options when it comes to digital marketing, but not all strategies will be suitable for your brand image. Therefore, you need to develop a strategy that works for you, after considering all the pros and cons of influencer and blog marketing.

The author, Nahla Davies, is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

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