Influencer marketing is a type of marketing in which promotion is done via influencers, or content creators who have a large, dedicated social following and are viewed as experts in their niches. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, influencer marketing has become one of the hottest topics in the marketing world. Not only is it here to stay, but it continues to grow. In 2022, the influencer marketing industry is set to reach $16.4B and more and more brands are increasing their influencer marketing budgets.
However, influencer marketing is an entirely different ball game from traditional marketing. Not only does it require a different skillset (communicating with creators and understanding everything about viewer behavior) and up to date knowledge about social platforms (which are constantly changing!), you also have to strategize, oversee and manage the campaigns. So, while you can work directly with influencers, it may be more beneficial to let the experts do what they do best and work with an influencer marketing agency.
Whether you’re a brand considering using influencer marketing to promote your product or service or have already dipped your toes into this marketing technique and want a little more support, working with an influencer agency may be an excellent choice. Wondering why and how an influencer marketing agency could be beneficial for you? Let's dive in!
An influencer marketing agency is an organization that works with both brands and content creators to run influencer marketing campaigns. In other words, agencies help brands find and land influencers who will best promote their product/service and support creators in reaching out to possible collaborations. Some influencer marketing agencies specialize in a specific platform, while others keep up with multiple social media formats. ThoughtLeaders, for example, focuses on long-form content, specializing in YouTube, Twitch, podcasts, and newsletters partnerships. We work with both brands and creators, helping both parties through the entire journey of influencer marketing - everything from reaching out to keeping an eye on the payment transaction.
If you are still not convinced about working with an influencer marketing agency, these five reasons may change your mind.
As any business knows, time is money. Working with an influencer marketing agency will ensure that your business isn’t spreading itself too thin by taking on tasks that an influencer marketing agency already excels at. The influencer marketing agency will be in charge of things like tracking down, reaching out to, and vetting influencers, negotiating, contracting and payment, and even monitoring and measuring the content success. An influencer marketing agency will use timelines and checklists that have been proven to work, making sure that nobody is wasting their time or money.
You may be asking yourself - well, working with an influencer marketing agency costs money (so I could just do it myself and save some extra cash). You’re right, working with an agency comes at a cost. But, at the end of the day, agencies can ensure you get your money’s worth (possibly even getting the money back) by working with the right influencers and landing the best deals.
An influencer marketing agency knows everything there is to know when it comes to, well, influencer marketing! Social media is always evolving (new apps and platforms, algorithm changes, content creator drama), and it's the agency’s job to stay on track of these updates and trends. Also, keep in mind, agencies have worked with thousands of brands and content creators so they most likely have a lot of knowledge when it comes to online behavior and trends from personal experience. In short, agencies are completely immersed in this space, so you might as well leverage their knowledge base and expertise.
Additionally, an agency will have a handful of strong on-going relationships, both with creators and brands. So, it will most likely be easier for them to not only connect you with creators, but make sure you get a better deal. In such a competitive space, relationships and expertise go a long way.
A good influencer marketing agency has access to a lot of data - we’re not just talking about statistics that you can easily find with a quick Google search - such as average viewership, cost per view, demographics, competitors' behavior, ROI results, etc. This type of data is not publicized and is shared with agencies by the creators and brands. So, it would definitely be much harder for brands working independently to get their hands on this information.
For example, at ThoughtLeaders, we have our very own database which gives us a surplus of data that we can use to help our clients. This data can be used to identify the right influencers for a campaign, understand what type of content is most popular with a certain demographic, and measure the results of a campaign. Our database eliminates the guesswork and guarantees that the statistics are in your favor. In our case, both influencers and brands can decide whether to use our SAAS platform (data at your fingertips) independently) or opt to work with our talent and agency departments (who will do all the heavy lifting for you!).
The secret to success when it comes to influencer marketing is making sure that you are focusing on your target audience. When starting out with influencer marketing, you’re going to be tempted to just go with the content creators that have the most followers or subscribers. However, you’re going to be the most successful when you team up with an influencer that represents the look and feel of your brand, and, of course, engages with your target audience.
Thanks to expertise, connections, and data, influencer marketing agencies can easily help you understand how to reach your target audience. One step further, good influencer marketing agencies can even help check out your competitors and see what they are dipping their toes into.
In short, instead of throwing your money on either huge YouTubers that don’t actually reach your target audience or putting all your bets on micro-influencers that create content on a very specific niche, let the influencer marketing agency do all the hard work and make sure your brand or products are getting in front of the right audience, at the right time.
One of the influencers’ biggest worries is the payment aspect of the entire transaction. Let’s be honest, small creators don’t stand a chance against multi-million dollar brands that don’t hold up their end of the bargain. Influencer marketing agencies are supposed to support you in every step of the journey, including the payment method (ensuring both sides get the decided-upon rate). A good agency will also ensure you get paid on time, that you’re receiving exactly what you paid for, and that your content is protected. Also, you’re 100% legally covered by a bigger company - so if things turn sour, you aren’t left fighting by yourself. That means that influencers can focus on what they do best - creating content, brands can focus on promoting their products and services, and the influencer marketing agency can ensure both sides are happy and successful.
As a brand, you may be thinking - well, this is just an issue for influencers. You’re wrong. Brands that want to succeed in influencer marketing and create strong, long-term relationships with successful creators need to ensure the payment process is done right. Influencer marketing agencies can help you ensure you keep up with all your transactions and cover all your bases.
Influencer marketing is the future of advertising, and working with an agency will guarantee that the process is smooth and beneficial to all those involved. So, if you're eager to get started with an influencer marketing agency, contact us today to find out how we can help you out!