Influencer Marketing vs. Paid Ads: Pros and Cons

by | Apr 25, 2023 | Case Study | 0 comments

Paid media has been leveraged for quite some time now to help brands drive sales and website traffic for brand awareness. However, we have seen an uptick in influencer marketing in the recent past especially on the social media channels, Tik Tok and Instagram. Both ways of marketing are effective, but also both take different approaches to driving engagement with a target audience.

In this article we will identify an overview of each marketing type, why the influx of influencer marketing seems to be here to stay, and the pros and cons associated with each. 

Paid Media

Paid Media helps organizations with brand awareness and conversion through pay per click channels. Paid Media can be super effective in helping to get your company more recognition by generating traffic, as well as helping to drive conversions to help the bottom-line. 

Typical Paid Media channels such as Meta Ads, Google Ads, MSFT Ads, Tik Tok, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin Ads, Reddit Ads, Quora, Capterra, programmatic Advertising and many others are all Paid Media channels you have probably been served ads through while searching the web or on social media channels on any given day. 

Although Paid Media channels are typically free to run ads on (with some exceptions), deploying ads is definitely a large task for one person to handle and usually takes skilled expertise to set up conversion tracking, understand how to optimize, what budgets are needed to hit campaign goals, creative assets and copy text for the messaging on the imagery are just some examples an in-house Paid Media team or agency would provide. 

If execution has strong strategy and a team backing, Paid Media can be extremely effective, but not all teams or individuals starting their own business have extra budget  to have an agency or in-house marketing team to help with their campaigns starting out- this is where we’ve seen a major influx in influencer marketing.


Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing is a type of social media marketing that involves having a person (influencer) with a large social following and influence in their field helps endorse a brand, product, or service. Usually these ads are less “tailored” in a traditional Paid Media sense meaning that they are more likely to blend into the newsfeed or placement of the social channel they are being advertised on. 

For example, a widely used social channel, Tik Tok has encouraged influencers to stay closer to the “FYP” (For You Page) in style when promoting since younger generations are starting to overlook ads more often if they don’t seem authentic to the platform they are being served on, thus making the channel during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, with a lot of brands and individuals starting their own companies to financially stay afloat during this global pandemic, Tik Tok became a huge outlet for influencer marketing to emerge in this form allowing for individuals to create click-worthy content as well as brands that once had a full marketing team readily available that had to learn to be scrappy with limited resources during lockdown. 

While Paid Media as mentioned before involves years of expertise to strategize, create, and optimize content with a target audience, Influencer Marketing doesn’t require as extensive knowledge to effectively hit the target audience and deliver results. The influencer can typically be autonomous in creation of content and provide content quickly that is effective. 



Overall, there are many approaches for brands to benefit from both paid ads and influencer marketing. If paid media strategy and execution on search and social channels is the best option for your company we welcome you to reach out to the Clix Marketing team

We hope this helps you start strategizing and see return with whichever avenue you may take!