At the core they both have a common goal, i.e., Move Your Content. Content can be a story, an idea, a political philosophy. A product or service can even be conversational and therefore considered “content.”
Though on the outside both the tactics appear to be similar & people may get confused. But when it comes to the functionality of the tactics they are different in many ways, the marketing medium is different, the reach is different, the outcome of both the strategies would be different respectively.
Word Of Mouth Marketing
Let us try to understand the basics about WOMM:
You are a movie enthusiast & your group of friends relies on your intel & reviews, to decide whether to watch a particular movie or not. Now, you saw a latest movie, you loved it, & you encouraged your friends to watch the movie, they went for the movie. Now they will spread the word about the movie to their peer groups, family, etc. That’s how the WOMM cycle functions.
WOMM is the most authentic & raw form of marketing.
You don’t have to be a celebrity or a pro athlete. You don’t get any money for promoting.
You are just an ordinary person spreading your own experiences relating to a brand. If you like a particular brand, it’s natural that you would preach it to your friends & family. That is WOMM psychology.
Coming to Influencer Marketing (IM):
Are you there on Instagram? Facebook? Or have subscribed to your favorite online personality’s channel on Youtube. If yes, then understanding this shouldn’t be difficult for you.
There are loads of Celebs talking about Fashion, Cosmetics, Perfumes, and Accessories on social media platforms. There are fitness icons sharing their fitness regime, their diet plan & routine, the supplement brands they prefer, etc.
Do you feel what’s happening here?
I am a fitness enthusiast. I am following my favorite fitness celeb, for e.g. ‘A’ on Instagram, liked his page on Facebook & even subscribed his YouTube channel. So my workout routines & dietary routines are going to be greatly influenced by A’s routines, & so is the thousands of other of his follower’s routines.
Now, when a fitness brand wants to promote its product, they will simply collaborate with ‘A’ as he is the key to thousands of prospective customers for the brand.
The brand will pay ‘A’ to promote their product, leveraging on the presence & influence ‘A’ has, to push their product.
IM is a paid form of marketing. Basically, brands approach well known or highly influential personalities to promote their product over the digital medium. IM can overlap WOMM in terms of reach, but when it comes to legitimacy & authenticity, WOMM is far more reliable than IM.