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The Pros And Cons Of Influencer Marketing Agencies Every Marketer Must Know
Businesses and brands looking to leverage the power of influencer marketing can encounter many challenges on the path to executing their campaigns. As the space gets more crowded, and both influencers and brands seek more from their partnerships, the prescription for success will only become more sophisticated. One option for cutting through the clutter and complexities of the influencer space is to work with a reputable influencer marketing agency.
Influencer marketing agencies connect social media personalities with businesses to help them promote their products, services, or branded messages. The most effective agencies offer complete campaign management, from creative ideation, to influencer selection, to content production, to reporting on impressions and engagement.
Below, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of working with influencer marketing agencies to get a better sense of their relevance and importance to successful campaigns.
- Partnerships – Influencer marketing agencies can connect brands to virtually any influencer in any desired category. Additionally, with their intimate knowledge of the social landscape, influencer marketing agencies are adept at identifying and connecting businesses with the right influencer for their brand image and advertising campaign.
- Experience – An influencer marketing agency that has been involved in the industry since its inception can be an incredible asset to any business new to the space. From influencer selection and vetting, to campaign creative and scheduling, to the adherence to FTC guidelines, influencer marketing agencies stake the strength of their reputation on properly executed, impactful campaigns.
- Cross-platform – While not every agency works across all social platforms, the most effective influencer marketing agencies manage successful campaigns on Instagram, YouTube, blogs, Snapchat, Facebook, and a variety of other social platforms.
- Expertise – From influencer and audience suggestions, to campaign design, to platform guidance, influencer marketing agencies incorporate tactics and strategies customized for each campaign. Whether for a single post or a long-term marketing effort, agencies offer expert advice on the large issues and subtle nuances that can help brands best reach their advertising goals.
- Campaign Management – Influencer marketing campaigns require a high level of planning and management. Once an influencer marketing agency has helped to identify the right platforms and influencers for a particular campaign, content rollout schedules and campaign briefs are issued. After the content is created, reviewed, and approved, the agency then monitors the campaign to advise on amplification and optimization.
- Influencer Management – Beyond identifying the right influencer(s) for a brand’s needs, agencies vet influencers, inform them of important guidelines and schedules, as well as advise on best practices for campaign success.
- Contracts – Influencer marketing agencies generate agreements that outline brand and influencer roles, licensing, copyright, and reuse policies, as well as other important content and relationship parameters. With an understanding of the legalities around influencer relationships and campaigns, agencies can help ensure that a brand’s marketing needs are met and their business interests are properly protected.
- Results – Established influencer marketing agencies can provide past campaign examples that showcase an ability to hit key performance indicators (KPIs) and offer return on investment (ROI). While each campaign varies, qualified agencies with proven track records have the insights and tools necessary to craft and run successful campaigns.
- Data – Custom reporting by influencer marketing agencies goes beyond simple like, comment, and share metrics. Knowledgeable agencies are able to embed campaigns with important markers (campaign hashtags, unique URLs, promotional codes, etc.) to accurately track engagement. Furthermore, agencies are adept at properly interpreting and extrapolating valuable insights from campaign metrics to further inform and increase campaign ROI.
Related Post: 7 Defining Traits Of Top Influencer Marketing Agencies
- Rosters – Though the lines are quickly blurring, influencer marketing agencies don’t work with traditional celebrities. While some celebrities are altogether absent on social media, those who have a presence can have several million followers. However, these numbers are often just as expensive as they are impressive. On the other hand, influencer marketing agencies typically work with macro-influencers (over 100k followers) and micro-influencers (1,000-100,000 followers) who usually have smaller but more targetted audiences than mainstream celebrities.
- Automation – While some agencies use or rely on automated platforms, most specialize in hand-picked collaborations and custom campaigns. In that way, top-tier agencies may not be the best option for brands who don’t necessarily need to be overly cautious about messaging or influencers they associate themselves with.
- Digital only – Influencer marketing agencies work on popular social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. If a business is seeking magazine coverage or product placement on linear television, most influencer marketing agencies won’t be able to execute such.
- Media buying – While native advertising and influencer marketing can work in tandem, influencer marketing agencies don’t typically specialize in online ad buys. Marketers seeking a native-only strategy are better off soliciting the help of other types of digital agencies or ad networks.
- Not one size fits all – Despite being highly effective for both branding and direct-response campaigns, not all brands, products, or services are a fit for influencer marketing. Additionally, influencer marketing, like other forms of advertising, frequently requires testing and optimization to achieve the best results over time.
- Costs – Influencer marketing costs will depend on a variety of factors, including client, influencer(s), targeted audience and platforms, as well as campaign length and goals. As a fully managed service, these costs may preclude smaller businesses or startups from working with influencer marketing agencies.
- Vetting influencer marketing agencies – With everyone in the digital world vying for business, it can be difficult to know which companies are reliable and reputable. Before choosing an agency to work with, it’s important to ensure that they follow best practices and meet certain criteria.
Related Post: Influencer Marketing Platforms vs. Agencies: Which Is Best?
Is An Influencer Marketing Agency Right For Your Business?
Once a business has decided that influencer marketing is right for them, it should take a realistic look at the scope of conceiving, executing, managing, and tracking their advertising efforts. For many brands new to the space, consulting with a reputable influencer marketing agency can be a great and effective start.
Brands that have had false starts or failed attempts with influencer marketing can also benefit greatly from the expertise of a well-established agency. In the end, the decision of whether or not to work with an agency comes down to the kinds of relationships and results a brand is looking for in the influencer space.
Also See Our Posts On:
The 13 Biggest Influencer Marketing Trends To Know In 2018
Micro-Influencers vs. Macro-Influencers: Which Is Beter? [Infographic]
The 10-Step Influencer Marketing Roadmap To Guide Your Next Campaign
How To Accurately Measure Influencer Marketing Campaign Success