Consumers are growing wary about the authenticity of brands. And that has led brands to rely more heavily on influencers to market their products and services.
Influencers are individuals who have the capacity to influence a consumer’s buying decisions. This is because consumers trust influencers to be an authentic source of information.
Influencer marketing is now a major trend around the world. In fact, it’s predicted that the global market for influencer marketing will become a $5-10 billion industry in the coming years. It is rapidly surpassing all other marketing channels in the face of the growing use of adblock tech.
Brands, big and small, are investing in influencer marketing to boost their brand image and increase sales.
The competition in influencer marketing, however, is tough. There are multiple brands targeting the same audience. This is why it is important to create a campaign that can tap this audience more effectively than others. Brands are realizing that creating, monitoring, and driving results with a successful campaign can be a difficult task.
It’s a lot of hard work, from structuring and optimizing the campaign to content review to execution. And that can all get harder without the right knowledge and proper experience.
So which one should you choose? An influencer marketing agency or a platform? Before you can determine which one you need, it’s important to understand each of these mediums better.
Advantages of an Influencer Marketing Agency
The primary responsibility of an influencer marketing agency is to create and execute influencer marketing campaigns. They work with brands and influencers seamlessly to facilitate and optimize the campaigns. A good influencer marketing agency will be able to effectively organize and manage a number of campaigns with different variables.
Here are some of the advantages of working with an influencer marketing agency:
#1. They Maintain Strong Ties with Both Brands and Influencers
They work with brands to understand their goals, requirements, values, and other aspects that make them unique. This allows them to choose the right influencers for the brands.
The agency’s relationship with the influencers is also a very important aspect that determines their effectiveness. The best influencers in any industry are becoming busier, with scores of brands eager to work with them. So the agency’s relationship with these influencers makes it easier for brands to connect and collaborate with them.
Viral Nation is a global influencer marketing and talent agency.
Besides helping brands find relevant influencers, Viral Nation also represents the influencers across all the major social media channels. Their client list includes Coca Cola, Disney, Nestle, and GoPro.
#2. They Connect Brands with Relevant Influencers
Finding the right influencer for your business can be a very long, time consuming process if you try to do it all by yourself. Influencer marketing agencies are already connected with the best influencers in different niches.
So they can find the most relevant, effective influencers for you. And they can do so in much less time. They also have a very good understanding of every individual influencer’s strengths, talents and audience.
Influencer Marketing Agency (IMA) helped clothing brand, Diesel launch a social influencer marketing campaign.
The European-based agency connected the brand with 77 influencers across Instagram and other channels, promoting the hashtag “#DieselPeople.”
#3. They Choose the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Campaign
An influencer marketing agency also knows how to bring a campaign to life by identifying not only the right influencers, but also the right social channels.
Choosing the right social media platforms is crucial for the success of the campaign. It is important that your influencers are active on the social channels that are frequented by your target audience. The agency carefully chooses the channel for you so that your brand gets maximum exposure.
HireInfluence collaborates with influencers from 12 countries, and utilizes 7 industry verticals to distribute their client’s message.
The agency works across all social media channels, but targets the best social media platform for any given brand.
#4. They Negotiate Contracts and Rates
The agency takes care of all of the negotiations regarding the rates and terms of the contract with influencers on your behalf. This can be quite a task for you if you do it on your own.
There is no fixed rate for influencers when it comes to sponsored posts. And it can vary drastically from one influencer to another, depending on their audience size and industry.
Since an agency is already connected with influencers, they can select ones who will fall within your budget and industry. They will then reach out to, and negotiate with selected influencers, (with approval from your brand).
#5. They Can Save You Time
When you choose an agency for you campaign, you assign all the responsibilities relating to the campaign to a group of experts. The agency will also review the content the influencers create for your brand, and keeps track of the campaign’s progress.
The best agencies will take care of all aspects of your campaign. In the process, they will free you from most of the manual work so that you can focus on other important aspects of your business.
Differences Between an Influencer Marketing Agency and a Platform
New influencer marketing agencies and platforms are sprouting up every week. So can be difficult to tell which are more effective for your business.
What is an influencer marketing platform? And how does an influencer marketing agency vary from a platform?
An influencer marketing platform is software that helps you find the right influencers, manage influencer relations, and measure success. There are a lot of other tasks that can also be done through a platform.
A platform can help you take care of most of the tasks that you could be done by an agency. Most of the functions are similar to those of an influencer marketing agency.
These functions include finding a relevant influencer, managing influencer relationships, managing your campaign content, collecting audience demographics, and reporting performance metric.
Despite their similarities, there are also many differences between an influencer marketing platform and an agency, including:
#1. They Save Money, Not Time
A platform allows you an opportunity to learn and develop your acumen in influencer marketing. This is because you have to use these platforms to plan, implement, and manage the campaigns yourself.
Different types of platforms offer different tools to help you with the different types of requirements around the campaign.
For example, there are influencer marketplaces, which offer brands and influencers a platform to find each other and connect. Choosing a platform like this for your campaign may be less expensive than an agency, but creating and managing your campaign will be much more time consuming.
With TapFusion, it’s up to the brands and influencers to figure out how to design their campaign. Their workflow automation tool makes creation and distribution of content easier. But brands still have to dedicate time to keep a tab on all the progress.
#2. They are More Suitable for Smaller Campaigns
Influencer marketing platforms are best suited for smaller or one-off influencer campaigns. They work well for campaigns that do not involve strict regulations, consistent brand messaging, or a very high level of engagement. This is because, unlike agencies, most platforms aren’t able to quantify the engagement level of an influencer.
They can determine an influencer’s audience demographics and geographical location, but not all platforms can determine the engagement level. They also fail to analyze how this engagement can be leverage to achieve a successful campaign.
And an influencer’s engagement rate is a discerning factor in any high profile campaign. So if you want both reach and engagement, it may be a better idea to choose an agency.
#3. They Require a Higher Level of Brand Involvement
Influencer marketing platforms require a much higher level of brand involvement than agencies. Platforms provide tools and software needed to plan, launch, and manage campaigns and deliver measurable results. But the tasks themselves still need to be done by the brand’s in-house marketing teams.
For example, the Revfluence, a self-service platform, is specifically meant for brands looking to keep their influencer marketing efforts in-house. It gives clients access to over 150,000 influencers, and helps them find the most relevant ones for their campaigns.
With Revfluence, you can search influencers based on reach, audience demographics, information on their posts, content quality, or other factors. It provides sophisticated tools for the smooth execution and management of the campaigns. However, throughout everything, it requires the brand to effectively use the tools to their advantage.
Whether you choose an influencer marketing agency or a platform depends mostly on your specific requirements. Some platforms are very expensive, so expensive that you could hire an agency at the same rate.
Many startups and small businesses prefer to go with platforms and manage their campaigns themselves. After all, who knows your business better than you? It’s you who will understand better which influencers will be the best fit for your company.
But then again, the expertise and the experience of an influencer marketing agency cannot be ignored. They have earned it through hard work and years in the field. If your budget allows, consider using a platform, and hiring an influencer marketing agency to ensure the success of your campaign.