When it comes to turning viewers into customers, there’s a surprisingly large discrepancy in the success rate of online advertising versus influencer marketing.

First, let’s address the key difference between the two fields: influence.

Although advertising and marketing have the same goal of getting an audience to buy a product or service, they are, in fact, very different concepts. In general, advertising is the act of making a product or service known to a large audience, while marketing uses research and data to best align a product or service with a specific audience and influence them to buy.

In the digital age, the way we consume content is ever-changing. But one thing that doesn’t change is our need for connection.

Influencer marketing is far more effective than advertising for that very reason. We’re more likely to engage with content if it’s coming from someone we’ve actively chosen to connect with. We’ve followed that influencer because we like what she or he has to say, so when they share something about a brand or product, we’re already primed to listen.

You might even say, their opinion influences our own, for better or for worse.

Here are some other factors that make Influencer Marketing more effective than Advertising…

Influencer Marketing isn’t as disruptive.

We’ve all been there; we’re trying to read an article and suddenly a video starts playing loudly in the page’s sidebar. Or, we’re on a website and a giant pop-up flashes across the screen trying to get our attention. It’s frustrating, to say the least.

The bottom line is social media ads can be intrusive on the user experience. If an ad shows up in a person’s feed without them choosing to see it, it can cause them to have a negative response to that brand’s message.

This frustration with having the user experience interrupted is a key factor behind the rise of ad blockers. Global Web Index estimates that 47% of users have ad blockers on their browsers, and that number is only growing.

But with Influencer Marketing, the consumer has already willingly followed the influencer and is actively interested in seeing their posts. There’s no blocking of branded content if it’s coming from an influencer, rather than from a paid ad.

Detailed research equals a higher ROI.

The more research you do about your target audience and the more specific data you have about their behavior, the more you can tailor a message to them and increase your ROI. Investing in a tool that allows you to find and connect with influencers with whom your target audience shares an affinity can exponentially increase your campaign success.

It makes sense to see that when brands customize their content to fit the specific likes and needs of a customer, that customer is much more likely to respond in a positive way. In fact, a recent study by MediaKix shared that at least half of marketers say that the ROI from influencer marketing is better than other marketing channels.

Better, more relevant analytics.

Influencer marketing allows you to measure key KPI’s in both brand awareness and direct response. Benchmarks like social reach, engagement, mentions, and traffic conversions are paramount to understanding how your brand measures up against the competition.

The “Know, Like, Trust” factor.

How do you feel when you see the word “sponsored” at the top of an Instagram post? Even if that post is relevant to you, chances are you’ll be much less likely to engage with that content simply because you know the brand paid to have it shown to you.

In contrast, if a person you already follow posts about a new product they like, you’re much more inclined to listen to what they have to say. This is because you already know and like the person doing the posting. You are primed to trust their judgment because you’re familiar with their taste and you’ve opted in to seeing their content.

According to MediaKix, 71% of marketers said the quality of customers, leads, and traffic from influencer marketing is better than those from other sources. In many ways, it offers brands a chance to create the effect of word of mouth marketing, at scale.

Content creation is easier with Influencer Marketing.

When you partner with an influencer, it’s up to them to create the content (with guidance and approval, of course). When making an ad, it falls to a creative team to come up with and execute all the content needed for the ad campaign.

Working with an influencer saves time and money in this regard. Since the influencer is already familiar with what their audience responds to, you are gaining access to their expertise without having to put in hours of work creating a campaign from scratch.

With a better ROI, more valuable analytics, a better customer experience, and lasting results, it’s no wonder that over 65% of marketers plan to increase their spending in the influencer marketing space.

Get even better results with the right Influencer Marketing tools.

Make sure you have the right tools to search for and connect with influencers that will be the perfect fit for your brand, allowing you to reach your target audience and increase the likelihood of campaign success.