Guest post by Tim Absalikov

Are influencer marketing and network marketing different? Or is there any crossover, and would it be possible to engage in both? For example, network marketing (or MLM) and influencer marketing might be two separate but closely related marketing concepts.

There are several similarities between network marketing and influencer marketing. First, they both involve moving off goods, products, and services to consumers by leveraging a lot on word-of-mouth advertising. 

These concepts also rely on direct contact to inspire and entice their target demography into purchasing their wares. In recent times, many MLM firms have been taking advantage of the rapid growth of influencer marketing to increase their level of success. 

If you’ve also wondered how network marketing began to evolve into influencer marketing, this blog post is just for you.


What is Multi-Level Marketing And Its Types?

According to Investopedia, network marketing or multi-level marketing (MLM) refers to a method used to sell services and items by most companies into direct sales. These firms incentivize their members to bring new members to the company. They also motivate them to market and advertise the firm’s goods and services to as many people as possible.

While MLM is not illegal at all, one of its main varieties, called the pyramid scheme, is considered a significant financial crime in many countries worldwide. Pyramid schemes are deemed illegal because they involve baiting members with promises of financial rewards if they bring in other people. This system uses money from old members to pay newer members and is always never sustainable in the long run.

MLM has three major types and definitions, including binary definitions, breakaway definitions, and unilevel definitions.

Other types of MLM you may encounter include business models that raise income through:

  • Selling a service
  • Selling exclusive or multi-level memberships
  • Selling products 


What Does Influencer Marketing Mean?

Influencer marketing is a hot buzzword in business—and for a good reason. The most highly-skilled individuals in the world significantly influence what is bought and sold in modern society. 

According to research, 38% of consumers indicate that content and recommendations from their favorite influencers directly impacted their purchasing decisions. 

The concept of subtly getting consumers to favor a particular product or service is almost as old as time itself. Everyone has been an influencer of sorts at one point or the other. Most times, this is even done without knowing.

Wikipedia describes influencer marketing as a type of marketing where renowned organizations or famous people influence consumers to patronize their endorsed brands, products, or services. This type of marketing via social media where these influencers subconsciously program people to favor particular brands due to their expertise and renowned knowledge.

Forbes also reveals that one of the earliest known influencer marketing arrangements recorded was when Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, had a custom-made cream-colored tea set. The tea set was made in 1765 by Wedgwood, and he was subsequently hired as “Her Majesty’s Potter.” Gladiators in ancient Rome were also known to have been influencer marketers as they had products they endorsed back then.

Does Network Marketing And Influencer Marketing Have Anything In Common?

Yes, there are a couple of common similarities between influencer marketing and network marketing. These similarities between both business models are significant and also quite noteworthy. Below are a few things they have in common: 

  1. MLMs and influencer marketers need a social media marketing understanding to thrive in the business. Almost everything about our world and even day-to-day living has gone digital already, and the only way to keep up is to shape up and adapt.

Both business models must know how social media marketing works to adequately network and even exercise any influence over consumers. In addition, almost all of their target demography can be effortlessly reached via social media, so they must also have an excellent content optimization strategy.  

  1. Influencer marketing and multi-level marketing businesses must also have a clearly stated market niche. These are your target demography or the specific set of consumers that your products and services are supposed to cater to directly.

Without a clear definition, it would be hard for any business model to profit in the direct-selling industry. Clearly, defining your niche saves you from the fruitless hassle of trying to please everybody. It also protects your firm from incurring avoidable expenses and wasting valuable time.

Make it a priority to understand the online habits of the consumers you’re targeting. Don’t ever try to serve or be wanted by everybody because, the truth is, you can’t ever succeed at that. Instead, be on the lookout for those who believe in your shared values. You should always want to be linked with your brand and those who genuinely need your products and services.

  1. Both business brands also need to always maintain an excellent image for their brands. Image is everything, as the famous saying goes. If nobody trusts the integrity of your brand or name, you might as well just quit trying to sell anything to them for good.

You can build trust with your consumers by always keeping your end of the bargain and delivering as promised on all products and services. Don’t ever be caught saying one thing and offering another. 


Is MLM Merging With Influencer Marketing?

MLM has been evolving into influencer marketing because many networking companies are now hiring influencers to reach more people. According to recent surveys in the United States of America, traditional marketers’ demand for influencer marketing is expected to shoot up by over 72.5% by 2022. 

This is because marketing through influencers is fast becoming a much more efficient means of marketing for many companies today. Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to create awareness about a brand and get people to patronize it. This is why traditional multi-level marketers explore the vast possibilities available to their businesses through influencer marketing.


No matter how much any business owner tries to ignore digitalization, the fact remains that it has disrupted our ways of life in virtually every sphere. Therefore, for any MLM to continue to thrive in this present age, it must ultimately evolve or merge with influencer marketing. Failure or refusal to do this is simply tantamount to unnecessary business suicide.

Whether you have an influencer model, a traditional MLM model, or a mix, DirectScale (now an Exigo company) is built to handle your needs. Take your business to the next level with the most powerful network marketing platform. Learn more on a short call!

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