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Paid Media vs. Influencer marketing, which tool to prioritize

Paid Media vs. Influencer marketing, which tool to prioritize

The majority of consumers have more faith in other consumers than in advertisement. Does that mean we should abandon payed supports and solely focus on communicating via influencers, who are closer to consumers? 

Even though it represents a true change of paradigm, influencer marketing hasn’t (as of yet) managed to break down Paid Media. Let’s take a look. 

Influencer marketing, paid media… what are we talking about?

Before we go any further, we’re going to take a closer look at the two marketing tools in competition: influencer marketing and paid media.

  • What’s paid media? As its name indicates it, Paid Media is the visibility a brand obtains by purchasing advertising spaces in the greater sense. Paid Media exists in different forms: television or radio spots, displays, paid positioning, or even sponsored posts on social media.
  • What’s influencer marketing? Influencer marketing is when a brand promotes its marketing discourse via an influencer. Thanks to influencer marketing, the announcer benefits from the content creator’s power of prescription and the trust its community has in him. There are many methods, paying or otherwise, to collaborate with an influencer and get him to talk about your brand on social media: offering him products, inviting him on a travel or unique experience, sponsoring his posts…

Paid Media: between control and discredit

The advantages of paid media

Paid media is ideal for marketers that wish to control 100% their media presence. From the message put forth to the data collection, passing by the production and diffusing of the content, everything is controlled by the brand, from A to Z. 

Using paid media also offers a moderate flexibility. Certains channels, in particular social media, allow to optimise campaigns in real time in order to master results.

Identity crisis and paid media

The other side of the coin? The all-powerful brand finds itself with a troublesome issue: the public is increasingly losing trust in advertisements

Nowadays, reviews by peers and authentic opinions are much more taken into account than traditional publicity. Indeed, disturbed by the proliferation of advertisement on the web, over 47% of internet users now use ad-blocks, which thwart even the most elaborate paid media plan.

Influencer marketing: authentic and efficient

Influence and trust go hand in hand

In the face of growing media presence, buyers consistently turn themselves to their peers to make their purchasing choices. Indeed, 94% of consumers agree that a positive review by a peer makes them much more likely to purchase!


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In this context, influencers are the ideal channel for brands to reach their desired audience! They’re known as consumers-prescriptors, and they differentiate themselves by the expertise in a certain domain. 

The authentic and independent quality of their content makes them trustworthy in the eyes of consumers. As proof, 88% of consumers declare having made a purchase after being inspired by an influencer post.

Content creators are this privileged channels for the brands that wish to benefit from their added value and credibility. 

Influencer marketing provides excellent performance

In most cases, influencer marketing doesn’t require very trying or expensive operations. The influencer is, at the same time, the producer and diffuser of the content. This allows marketers to create campaigns at a moderate cost. 

Nowadays, brands have access to an ever-growing pool of micro influencers and nano influencers. This influence passionates are more than willing to carry out authentic collaborations based, for example, on the return of free products to test.

These “niche” influencers have better engagement and conversion rates than the big macro influencers. They profit from a true proximity to their followers, which guarantees a true power of prescription. 

On Instagram, the distance between a nano influencer’s engagement rate and a macro influencer’s engagement is baffling: the first can account easily for a 8% engagement rate while the latter barely make it to 1,21%

Finally, micro influencers generate 11 times more ROI than any other digital marketing channel. 
Influencer marketing proves itself a winning strategy for brands
Does this mean the end of paid media? Not exactly…

Remix:  boosting your influencer marketing strategy with paid media

The sheer number of posts on social media and the frequent modifications of the algorithms considerably diminish the organic reach of publications.

To stand out from the crowd and reach their objectives, marketers must sponsor their influencer’s publications! 

On Facebook, boosting a post by sponsoring it allows you to reach a wider section of the influencer’s community. It also allows to target more specific, qualified prospects through the creation of similar audiences!

Apart from improving the reach, paid media allows to optimise posts to reach precise objectives (newsletter sign ups, sales, etc) and to obtain precious information.

Finally, the content produced by influencers is a true treasure for brands. As an advertiser, you can profit from these creations by reusing them for your paid media campaigns. They’ll appear as true social proof of quality, and not like traditional advertising, subject to criticism and mistrust.

Now you know: no need to choose between influencer marketing and paid media. They’re complementary strategies!

Curating your influencer marketing will allow you to obtain excellent results that you can then boos and valorise via your paid media campaigns.

Sources of the article:  definitions-marketing ; Digital Information World ; e-marketing ;  Flow Box ; Forbes  ; my Digital Week.

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