Influencer Marketing vs Social Media Marketing Agency

Influencer Marketing vs Social Media Marketing Agency

Table of Contents

In today’s digital world, businesses are concerned with finding the best ways to connect with consumers and increase their brand presence online. Some popular strategies have surfaced that offer unique advantages and can drastically influence a brand’s reach and engagement. Here, we have Influencer Marketing and Social Media Marketing Agencies. 


However, what they do is quite different. So, what is the best fit for your business? We will compare Influencer Marketing with hiring a Social Media Marketing Agency, and see situations when either one shines.

Understanding Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing (SMM) is endorsing or raising awareness about a product, service, or brand. It is primarily the creation and sharing of content in textual, image, or video form for exposure to a viewer’s reaction. The main platforms used for these activities are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok. 

These sites are used by businesses and brands to achieve their business goals and connect with a larger demographic. According to Forbes,  nearly 4.9 billion people use social media worldwide in 2023. It is expected to increase to about 5.85 billion by 2027; a social media agency can harness this to boost small businesses and older brands.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a kind of social media-based influencer activity. Here, brand collaborations occur with individuals who have a dedicated social media following, specifically experts or trusted figures within their niche. Examples of influencers may include celebrities, bloggers, YouTube stars, and even simple people with good online followings. They use their credibility and relationship with the audience to endorse products in a manner that seems authentic and trustworthy. 

Small businesses usually take advantage of influencer marketing to quickly draw attention to their brands. 

An important aspect of influencer marketing is how impactful it has been in the marketing industry. For instance, the global value of influencer marketing realized in 2023 was found to be 21.1 billion U.S. dollars, more than three times what it was in 2019. Experts predict that by the end of 2024, the industry will reach around $24 billion.

Influencer Marketing To Millennials

Influencer marketing has taken off as one of the most potent strategies adopted by brands to reach out to millennials who are seeking to get hold of authentic content. Millennials include people born between 1981 and 1996. They are seen as the digital natives who spend most of their time on different social media platforms. 

A study reported that about half of all Millennials globally find influencers’ endorsements of a brand or product more engaging than regular advertising. 36% of respondents believe that influencers’ recommendations are more reliable compared to average advertisements. Most Millennials, around 54%, are prone to purchasing promoted products just once an influencer endorses them.

Here's Why Influencer Marketing Works So Perfectly With Millennials

1. Authenticity And Trust

The millennial generation strongly believes in celebrities as influencers because they are more relatable and, therefore, genuine. Importantly, an influencer gives first-hand experience. Their honest review about a particular product resonates with millennials better than traditional scripted ads.

2. Social Proof

Another strong reason to consider is that millennials heavily rely on social proof and peer recommendations. This is why when an influencer they follow endorses a product, millennials are more likely to consider and purchase it.

3. Engaging Content

Influencers are expected to produce both visually appealing and engaging content. This is what makes the creative outputs of these influencers so appreciated and entertaining for their followers, who are often millennials with short attention spans.

4. Community And Interaction

In most cases, influencers will communicate with their followers. This creates a community around them. Millennials highly value communities and feel a stronger connection to brands or products endorsed by their favorite influencers.

Social Media Marketing vs. Influencer Marketing: Key Differences

Social media marketing and influencer marketing are both effective for boosting brand awareness and engagement, yet they differ greatly in their methods, objectives, and execution. Recognizing these key distinctions can help businesses determine which strategy best meets their needs.

1. Content Creation

Social Media Markeing and Influencer Marketing both create content for social media. For social media marketing, the brand creates and controls the content shared on its social media channels. It’s quite the contrary in the case of influencer marketing. An influencer creates content, often with input or guidelines given by the brand. Often, they will do product reviews, unboxing videos, tutorials, sponsored posts, and integrated personal stories.

2. Audience Reach And Targeting

Brands may opt for social media marketing as it directly reaches the brand’s followers. Their reach can be expanded through paid ads targeting specific demographics. Meanwhile, the reach of influencer marketing is tied to the influencer’s followers, who may not be familiar with the brand.

3. Credibility And Trust

Inherently, customers do not have faith in brands and businesses. This way, SMM is used as a means to develop trust with consumers over time through consistent publishing of value-adding content. However, when brands need to quickly enter a new demographic or customer base, they can always depend on influencer marketing. Influencer marketing offers instant credibility that is borrowed from the influencer’s established reputation.

4. Cost and ROI

When making calculations related to ROI, it will always be essential to compare the marketing expenses. From this point of view, the costs of SMM can differ significantly because they depend on the scale of the campaigns and whether paid advertisements will be used. In turn, prices for influencer marketing hugely depend on reach and influence, from free collaborations to high-price deals with top influencers. Both of these have different yet qualitative impacts on the ROI of brands.

Which Strategy Is More Effective For Building Brand Awareness?

When it comes to building brand awareness, influencer marketing often proves more effective in generating quick and widespread visibility. Collaborating with influencers, especially those who cater to specific niches, allows brands to tap into highly engaged and targeted audiences. This can result in a quick surge in brand recognition and a boost in credibility as followers view the influencer’s endorsement as a genuine recommendation.

However, social media marketing is better for sustained and controlled brand building long term. For brands and social media agencies, SMM allows them to maintain consistent messaging across multiple platforms. They get to directly engage with their audience, and create a cohesive brand identity. Due to this, SMM requires more time and resources. The ideal approach might involve leveraging influencer marketing for a launch or initial awareness push, followed by building a strong social media presence for sustained growth.

Effectiveness Of Each Strategy

Assessing the effectiveness of social media marketing or influencer marketing hinges on understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each approach to your online marketing needs.

Social Media Marketing


1. Consistent Branding

Social media marketing (SMM) enables you to maintain a consistent and unique brand voice and visual identity across all platforms.

2. Direct Engagement:

Brands can directly interact with their audience through comments, messages, and community management, fostering strong relationships and loyalty.

3. Advanced Targeting

Social media platforms provide advanced targeting capabilities for brands to zone in on specific demographics, interests, and behaviors to make sure the marketing efforts are geared toward the right audience.

4. Content Variety:

Social media marketing (SMM) can support text posts, images, videos, stories, live streams, and more content styles. This diversity keeps the audience engaged while allowing brands to try out various forms of content delivery.


Brands need a lot of time and resources to manually manage many social media accounts, share diverse content, and keep engagement consistent. Due to this, they have to employ the services of a social media agency to do this, adding to their expenses.

Influencer Marketing


1. Authenticity and Trust:

Influencers carry the power of trust and authenticity among their followers. This makes their recommendations more authentic and persuasive than those from any other mode.

2. Quick Awareness

Partnering with influencers provides a way to create quick buzz and attention for a brand, especially when the influencer endorsing that particular brand is well known.

3. Niche Targeting:

Influencers typically represent specific niches and communities. By collaborating with the right influencer, a brand can effectively reach a highly engaged and targeted audience.

4. Content Creation:

Influencers are content experts in creating authentic, attractive, and engaging content that can honestly communicate with their followers. The created content can also be repurposed for several of the brand’s channels.


It can be pretty challenging for brands to match suitable influencers who resonate with their brand values and target audiences. A wrong partnership might directly result in ineffectiveness within campaigns. Therefore, brands will have to assess hundreds of influencers to find which influencers will work best for their marketing campaigns. Working with social media management companies will streamline this process.


While Social Media Marketing and Influencer Marketing each have their unique strengths, both can be highly effective, depending on the brand’s goals. Social Media Marketing excels at building a long-term brand and maintaining consistent engagement, whereas Influencer Marketing is great for quickly achieving widespread reach and leveraging trust. A balanced approach incorporating both strategies will help maximize a brand’s reach and impact.

Armful Media
Other influencer marketing resources
Book a Call Now and Get a Free Quote
We know what it takes to run a profitable influencer marketing campaign and we are here to help you to make that happen.

Get a FREE 30-minute consultation

FREE download!!!
5 Simple Steps on How to Run a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign
Enter your name and email below to claim your FREE copy

FREE download!!!

5 Simple Steps on How to Run a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign

Enter your name and email below to claim your FREE copy