Key Differences Between Influencers and Digital Marketers

key differences between influencers and digital marketers

Influencers and Digital Marketers Aren’t The Same! 😳

As we head closer to 2020, the line that separates influencers and digital marketers seems to be getting less obvious. Many influencers are calling themselves digital marketers and it seems as if the two might go hand in hand. But below, we will discuss the key differences between digital marketers and why it’s important to not confuse the two.

Most Influencers Are Entertainers

While the truth is that most influencers have a large grasp on social media followers on 1 or 2 specific platform, the truth is that they don’t have much reach on a diverse range of platforms. In addition, most influencers are simply social media entertainers.  So, if you’re looking to grow your online presence on one specific platform, they are the ones to call upon. But to develop a brand in a balanced way, they would not be the ones to call.

However, when an influencer begins to call themselves a “digital marketer” it gets a little confusing to people who don’t know much about digital marketing in general.  While they are doing one form of digital marketing, they aren’t necessarily captivating an audience across several channels online.  But if you know that you want to be an influencer, you can start by reading this great article here.

Let’s take a look at a FAVORITE influencer who is not a digital marketer.

Out of courtesy of her anonymity, I won’t be saying her name, but I’m sure many people have seen her captivating videos on LinkedIn (and she’s truly brilliant and fun to watch!).

Here is a look at her website analytics:


shay rowbottom website analytics


The above image shows her website analytics. Pretty surprising for a “digital marketer”, don’t you think?

As you can see her rank on Ahrefs is in the 3 millions!!! This is rated on a scale where a number like 1 is the best.  This is pretty bad.

In addition, you can see that the traffic value is $2 and her monthly number of visitors to her website sits at around 100 visits per month.

Now let’s look at her YouTube channel.


screenshot of youtube channel


As you can see from this influencer’s posts, she’s only getting an average of 50 views per post on YouTube. However, when she posts entertaining, personal content she has a higher view count but the posts with a higher view count aren’t relevant to digital marketing.


What this means is very simple. This particular influencer has a great command over LinkedIn as an entertainer. Additionally, she’s an interesting and quirky character in many of her YouTube videos as well.

However, having a command over other platforms and in digital marketing she’s about average. Since most businesses need a versatile digital marketer to effectively grow their business, she would certainly not be the one to call.

Let’s Make A Comparison


We all know Gary Vaynerchuk. He’s a super entrepreneur and advertiser, CEO of VaynerMedia as well as many other relevant and global brands. Gary Vee is an influencer and digital marketing mogul who can confidently boast that he’s succeeded with both avenues of online advertising.

Let’s take a look at his website below.

website analytics Gary Vee


As you can see, his Ahrefs rank is very impressive.  He has a huge command with his website and gets over 100K monthly visitors.  This shows Gary Vee’s abilities in marketing his brand and proves he knows how to funnel traffic from many different platforms to his website.

In addition, his DR (domain rating) is very high at an 82. The influencer we are comparing to Gary Vee has a DR score of 3.1 which is not good. Gary Vee’s website currently also has over 100k monthly visitors and a traffic value of $120K compared to the $2 traffic value of our influencer from our previous example.



key differences between influencers and digital marketers


On his YouTube Channel, Gary Vee maintains a very high view count for all of his content. On the very low end, some of his content has around 60k views. His content with this “lower” view count is driven by a more casual, fun tone and is not as business oriented as most of his other content.

But if you look at the numbers, most of Vaynerchuk’s content has hundreds of thousands to millions of views. This is a pretty remarkable statistic.



What this means is that people take Gary Vee seriously as some who can handle and grow businesses and not purely as a social media entertainer. I would trust Gary Vee to create a winning digital marketing strategy without any questions.  Period.



The question that one might ask is “what is the key difference between an influencer and a digital marketer, and how can I leverage my own abilities to capitalize on what I do best?”.

While the line might be unclear for business owners to really comprehend the difference between a marketing agency and social media influencer, real digital marketers understand what separates the two.

And it’s interesting to reflect on what might bring an influencer who’s a digital marketer wannabe up a notch to be more like Gary Vee? The answer is, I don’t really know, but it’s possible we’ll have a clearer understand as time progresses.


In a perfect world, influencers and digital marketers would work together in complete harmony in a way that could benefit both and make the line that separates the two fade-away. And maybe that is what separates a super influencer like Gary Vee from the social media entertainer and digital marketing wannabe’s.

I think all people are capable of achieving a high level of success and become another Gary Vee in the world.  There’s no limit to the amount of success that can be achieved by anyone.

Unfortunately, most people think of the short term outcome, like fame and recognition and never reach the true level of recognition they want. Now although I have no idea if this is perhaps part of the issue from the first example, it’s possible it could be of course.

Once we are able to achieve a true sense of humility, fearlessness and a lack of ego that enables us to be open to all possibilities is only when we will be able to get there. And that’s the true separation between the losers and winners in digital marketing (and in the world!!!).  And these are the key differences between influencers and digital marketers.