There are three approaches you could take if your company wants to engage with influencer marketing:
- Organic – you search and build relationships yourself with online influencers. You can then carry out your influencer campaigns in-house, which is cost effective but does take a significant amount of time to crate and maintain these influencer relationships.
- Platforms – you still run your online influencer campaigns in house, but you use specialist third party subscription tools to find suitable online influencers; running multiple influencer tools is very expensive.
- Agencies – you pay a specialist influencer marketing agency to create and operate your influencer campaign for your company, including influencer selection and management.
Many companies use advertising agencies for much of their existing day to day marketing, so it is a natural extension for companies to delegate their marketing.
What is an Influencer Marketing Agency?
As the name suggests, an influencer marketing agency is a company that works with companies and online influencers to run digital marketing campaigns, primarily via social media. Some influencer agencies specialise in producing influencer marketing campaigns focussing on one or two social networks. In contrast, other agencies are happy to work with influencers on virtually every single social channel.
A full-service influencer marketing agency will manage campaigns from start to finish; they will manage every aspect of the campaign, from reaching out to measuring KPIs.
Although there are many specialist online influencer marketing agencies, traditional creative agencies, social media agencies, media buying agencies offer influencer marketing services as an extra service.
What do Influencer Marketing Agencies Do?
Influencer marketing agencies come up the ideas, engagement, and ongoing marketing campaign measurement for clients. These can take various forms, including online product placement, sponsored blog or video content, and paid sponsorship according to House of Marketers.
Influencer agencies build their relationships with the top influencers in a wide range of different niches. Using this strategy makes it easy for agencies to recommend suitable influencers instantly to companies when they are ready to undertake an influencer campaign.
involve one or more of the following types of actions:
- Online product placements – such as when an influencer integrates a companies product into their social media content, e.g., referencing the product in a blog post, including the product in an image or video.
- Contests or product giveaways –
- Theme or hashtag campaigns – Companies work with an online influencer to create and share digital content around a central core theme. Ideally, the online influencer will ask their followers to engage and use the hashtag with their own comments.
- Creative campaign – these campaigns help encourage influencers to generate content to reflect a companies message.
Often an online influencer agency will work with influencers to create the content that the influencers share.
How does an Influencer Marketing Agency Differ From Influencer Marketing Solutions?
It is best to think of online influencer marketing platforms as highly specialised digital tools to help companies carry out the influencer marketing engagement process.
The most common service offered by influencer marketing platforms is online influencer discovery. However, many digital platforms have been released over the last couple of years with a different focus point, such as providing in-depth analytics or offering a digital influencer marketplace.
A company still has to know how to use these influencer tools. If you lack the digital skills or time to run an influencer campaign internally, third party influencer platforms might make outreach easier. However, you still have to run your own campaigns yourself. Specialist online influencer marketing agencies understand exactly how influencer marketing works and have already established influencer contacts.
Why would you work with an online Influencer Marketing Agency?
With many companies historically choosing digital agencies to do their online marketing for them, it makes sense for them to do the same for their influencer marketing. The agencies are specialists in their fields and usually have more expertise than most companies have in-house.
Full-service influencer agencies serve all stages of influencer marketing campaigns. Make sure you select the right agency that suits your companies strengths.