Influencer marketing is a unique marketing tactic that allows brands to connect with their audience in an authentic way that is typically absent from traditional marketing. Today, brands find it difficult to stand out from the online noise and are focusing on influencer marketing to promote their brands or services.
Influencer Marketing Hub surveyed 4,000 marketing agencies, brands, and other industry professionals to gather their perspectives on the state of influencer marketing in 2020 and found:
- The Influencer Marketing Industry is set to grow to approximately $9.7B in 2020
- More than 380 new influencer marketing-focused agencies and platforms established in 2019
- 300% more micro-influencers utilized by large firms than in 2016
- Nearly 90% of all influencer campaigns include Instagram as part of the marketing mix
- Large companies have nearly doubled the amount of creators they activate per campaign in the past 2 years
- 91% of our survey respondents believe influencer marketing to be an effective form of marketing
- Influencer fraud is of increasing concern to respondents
- More than 2/3 of respondents have experienced influencer fraud
- 68% of respondents prefer their influencer marketing to be campaign based, rather than always-on
- Finding influencers is the greatest challenge for those who run campaigns in-house
Influencers have the ability to increase brand awareness and drive action among their audience, but many brands often fall flat when researching relevant influencers for their campaigns. Should you hire an influencer marketing agency to assist in the search? What are the pros and cons of working with an influencer marketing agency?
They Are Experts In Their Field
To many business owners, influencer marketing is a foreign topic. They may understand the concept of using influencers in their marketing campaigns, but they may not understand where and how to find relevant influencers, what the difference is between an influencer and a celebrity endorsement, how to build a relationship with them, or what the heck FTC advertising disclosures are. However, influencer marketing agencies are experts in their field and have the answers to these questions and many more.
Influencer marketing agencies are in-tune with the latest influencer marketing and social media trends and understand the necessary components to launch a successful campaign. More importantly, they’ve worked alongside and built strong relationships with trusted influencers they’ve partnered with for past campaigns and can easily spot “influencers” who’ve secured large followings through shady means, such as buying followers. Whichever agency you end up choosing, know that they will take a hands-on approach because of their personal relationships that’ll result in smooth communication, quality content, and an engaged audience. And because your campaign results will reflect on the agency you choose, it is in their best interest to provide creative ideas that drive results.
Connect Your Brand With Relevant Influencers
Finding the right influencers for your campaign can be difficult and they may be bombarded with collaboration requests, making it difficult for yours to stand out. Influencer marketing agencies have established relationships with influencers, and if they haven’t, they know the right tactics to get their attention and connect with them.
If the agency you’re working with constantly suggests working with celebrities, rethink your goals and relationship, because more followers does not necessarily mean that your product will be well-marketed. It is better to work with an influencer with thousands of highly-engaged followers interested in a niche subject than to hire a celebrity influencer with millions of followers with all kinds of interests who may not necessarily connect with your brand, product or service.
Besides, some celebrities may just be interested in a paycheck, and not on personalizing their social media posts promoting your product. In the past, we have seen celebrities like Little Mix’s Jade Thirwall, Scott Disick, and even Naomi Campbell completely screw up their posts by posting emails with suggested captions, making the endorsement seem inauthentic. And earlier this year, Khloe Kardashian was trolled online after posting pictures of her wearing an oversized shirt surrounded by bedazzled Febreze bottles on her bed. The social media post was seen as absurd by many of her followers, as Khloe presumably has never used the product.
Influencers like Clean Mama, for example, who only focuses on posting cleaning tips and products, can successfully partner with brands like Arm & Hammer and the content posted will be on-brand for her and her engaged followers.
Saves Your Business Time
Researching, vetting and reaching out to influencers is time consuming, and many times business owners are spread thin and do not have the bandwidth, resources or dedicated team to do so. Some business owners have spent so much company time and money searching for influencers organically that they could have hired an agency. Choosing to hire an influencer marketing agency saves business owners a considerable amount of time
The influencer marketing agency you choose will serve as an extension of your marketing team and will manage every step of the process, from researching influencers and negotiating fees and budgets, to managing the communication between your brand and the influencer, and evaluating legal documents.
Quality User-Generated Content
A good influencer marketing agency will understand your brand goals and the message you want the influencers to deliver and will provide creative direction to the influencers they’ve contracted on your behalf. These agencies understand the types of eye-catching content influencers produce, will offer creative input to those who need it. Many of the high-quality, user-generated content that the influencers create for your campaign can be added to a content library and be repurposed for future marketing campaigns. Moreover, influencers are successful in generating additional UGC from their targeted audiences. Influencer content is professional and reliable.
Break Out The Checkbook
Hiring an influencer marketing agency comes at a price and your monthly retainer may cost thousands of dollars. If you’re already working with another agency to assist with additional marketing needs such as website development, public relations, paid ads, it can be hard to allocate additional funds. While agencies vary, the fees they charge tend to include the creation of an influencer marketing campaign and strategy, researching, hiring and contracting influencers, developing creative concepts, tracking the campaign, and more. Some agencies may even charge for the number of social media posts, the number of followers the influencer has, campaign length, and goals.
Less Control Over Metrics
Influencer marketing agencies are there to do the work for you, not walk you through all their methods and tactics. Once your campaign wraps up or you break ties with the agency, they’re taking all of their tips and tricks with them. Additionally, you are relying on the agency to send you updates, metrics and statistics on your campaigns as they occur, however, you may not be the agency’s only client. It can be a hassle to pull the information you need at a moment’s notice when your agency is acting as a gatekeeper to your information and will require some patience on your part.
They’re Taking Their Relationships With Them
While you’re focusing on other aspects of your business, the influencer marketing agency you’ve hired will strengthen their already existing relationships with these influencers, connect with new ones, and collect their contact information. They’ll take the lead in nurturing a successful partnership and act as the liaison between you and the influencers. While this is great for your campaign, it is not so great should you be interested in working with the influencer at a later date without the help of your agency.
Influencer marketing agencies work with online personalities on social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, as well as niche bloggers. If your business is also interested in securing media placements on a magazine, newspaper or television, you will have to work with another digital marketing agency (like us! ?) to land those opportunities. They’ll pitch your campaign to influencers, but they won’t pitch your latest press release or project to local and national media, submit awards on your behalf, copyedit and proofread your website content, among other things other marketing agencies can assist you with.
Should Your Brand Work With An Influencer Marketing Agency?
It depends on the level of involvement and management you’re looking for, your budget, and your overall campaign goals. If you’re launching a new brand, and can afford it, hiring an influencer marketing agency can position your brand front-and-center with your target audience. Influencers are a critical part of marketing your brand in 2020 in an authentic way, and it is worth your time and money to explore the options that best suit your needs.