What is the difference? Blogger vs Influencer

blogger vs influencer

Written by Marisa Louw CPRP


What is the difference between a blogger and an influencer?  As influencer marketing rises to popularity in South Africa I think it is important for people to understand the difference.


Definition: Blogger vs Influencer


In my own words, the difference is simple: a blogger is a person that keeps an online diary and an influencer is a person who has an influence on the public’s decision-making abilities. Not all bloggers are influencers, and not all influencers are bloggers.


The blogger vs influencer debates continues: a blogger generally writes about a specific topic like travel, where the blogger keeps a diary of places he or she visited. The blogger then writes about the good, the bad, and the ugly of his or her experience at that particular destination. Often the blogger shares his or her blog post on social media, accompanied by some photographs and/or videos. An influencer is generally speaking a public figure who, through his or her words and actions, can influence the public towards a specific cause. There are however several different types of influencers.


Influencer marketing in South Africa


According to statistics, there are over 156 million public blogs worldwide. When I look at social media users in South Africa it seems as if no less than one in every five people is a blogger. The winner of the SA Blog Awards 2016 in Travel was Rhino Africa, and according to World Wide Worx and Ornico, the most influential South African on Twitter is cricketer AB de Villiers with 3.7 million followers (Social Media Landscape Report 2017).





The cost of influencer marketing


Professional influencers have a professional fee; it is a form of advertising, after all.  This is known as paid media.  Earned media is more common when a micro-influencer or start-up blogger writes about a brand without any compensation on his or her own.  A trade exchange is a fair way of remunerating the micro-influencer or blogger when the brand approaches the individual for marketing assistance.  In exchange for three months’ supply of baby nappies, the blogger will include the brand name as a keyword in all blog entries on her parenting blog for the same period.


Brand marketing: Blogger vs Influencer


It is my opinion that influencer marketing in South Africa still has far to go before it will become mainstream in brand marketing.  Right now brands are placing a lot of focus on reach as a measurement metric. What does this mean for the blogger or influencer? You must have millions of followers.


Strategically I believe brands should consider engagement as a measurement metric. This, of course, depends on the brand strategy: if you want as many people as possible to see your brand, reach is good; but if you want as many people as possible to buy your brand, engagement is better.


Tips for bloggers who want to become influencers


I hope that you now understand that not all bloggers are influencers. But that does not mean that a blogger cannot become an influencer.  If you are a blogger who wants to become an influencer, here are some basic tips:


  • Know your numbers (reach; engagement; audience behaviour, demographics, and acquisition)
  • Prove your value (return on investment)
  • Demonstrate your influence with solid case studies (start small and work for free at first)


Contact Us




If you’re looking for an agency to manage your influencer marketing campaign, contact us.