Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you are probably keenly aware of the substantial growth seen in the influencer marketing industry. It goes without saying that business is booming, with influencer marketing on Instagram alone said to be a $1 billion market in 2019. The burgeoning industry is only expected to continue growing, even as a global pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the marketing budgets of brands both big and small.
As a whole, the global influencer market is expected to become a $5-10 billion market within the next few years.
The world’s top brands have mostly all used influencer marketing now to some degree or another. Even corporate giants like McDonald’s, American Express, and Target, are using this marketing tactic to achieve great success. Influencer marketing has quickly developed into a borderline contingency when it comes to creating successful marketing plans, becoming an essential component of any brands overarching marketing efforts.
But all too often, brands find themselves presented with a dizzying array of options for planning, strategizing, and executing influencer marketing. From established brands to fast-growth startups, marketing managers and advertisers have quickly discovered that well-performing influencer marketing campaigns can be very difficult to conceptualize, create, coordinate, and execute at scale. There are dozens of variables to account for, from campaign structuring and optimization, contracts, content review, and so much more. It can be incredibly challenging to manage all of these variables and moving parts, especially for those who lack the knowledge, insight, and experience.
Some brands have taken it upon themselves and opted to do the work in-house, employing the use of online tools and software solutions. On the other side of the coin, influencer marketing agencies like Viral Nation boast extensive knowledge and a wealth of experience with influencers and campaigns. A reputable influencer marketing agency can prove to be vital in ensuring the success of an influencer marketing campaign.
But what exactly does an influencer marketing agency do? Why are they important in today’s influencer marketing landscape? The answer lies ahead.
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What Is An Influencer Marketing Agency?
In the most simple terms, an influencer marketing agency is an organization that works with brands and social media influencers to facilitate and create influencer marketing campaigns. Top-tier agencies like Viral Nation offer end-to-end campaign management, utilizing our vast knowledge and experience from managing hundreds of large-scale campaigns with thousands of different variables.
Successful influencer marketing agencies all have something in common; they excel at conceptualizing, creating, tailoring, and optimizing campaigns for brands and marketers. They have the experience and know-how to guide brands towards the practices and individual strategies needed to attain their goals. This is a result of having structured and carried out the execution of a multitude of various influencer campaigns.
As it pertains to marketing campaigns as a whole, there are numerous types of agencies that typically interact with brands. From creative agencies, social media agencies, and even media buying agencies, all of these organizations will actively engage with brands to help them create campaigns and reach the desired campaign goals. However, it’s the way each one of these organizations goes about doing this that differentiates them.
The same rings true of influencer marketing agencies, which work with both brands and influencers to make the process of activating an influencer marketing campaign more efficient and less cumbersome. They are often the brainchild behind the creative and strategic direction of the campaign because they know what it takes to deliver upon set goals.
Just like the brands themselves, influencer marketing campaigns come in all shapes and sizes. And that also means the size of the budget. Whether it be sponsored Instagram influencer posts or ongoing, multi-platform campaigns, there are numerous ways in which brands can leverage the power of social media influencers to increase reach and engage with their audiences; both online and off.
It’s true that influencer marketing agencies make it easier for brands to discover and work with social media influencers. But keep in mind, this is just one of the many aspects of their work. So much of what makes a great influencer marketing agency is the work that takes place behind the scenes, and “in the trenches” so to speak. These are the agencies that are tackling campaign structure, optimization and reporting, rates and contracts, and every other facet of your influencer campaign from top to bottom.
What Does An Influencer Marketing Agency Do?
Aside from the end-to-end service we referenced above, it’s good to know some of the specific functions that influencer agencies handle. And one of the most vital pieces of the influencer marketing puzzle lies in an agency’s relationship with influencers; both in quality and in quantity. Agencies that maintain strong relationships with brands and influencers are able to create and execute campaigns that produce optimal results for both, thus, enhancing the goodwill and strengthening the relationship.
Influencer marketing agencies have worked alongside brands to understand their unique brand values and specific goals for a campaign. They’ve worked extensively to nail down the brand voice, messaging, other core attributes that make each brand unique in this often oversaturated marketplace. The primary focus of an influencer marketing agency is both creating and executing the most effective campaign for a brand by partnering them with the best influencers for the job. This means devising a strategically tailored plan that is designed to specifically meet a brand’s goals and individual needs. Influencer agencies are responsible for selecting the best influencers to reach the precise audience a brand is looking to reach.
The relationship between a brand and an influencer marketing agency is based on trust, reputation, and results, and influencer marketing agencies put the needs of their clients first and work to ensure that campaigns are successful. So it goes without further saying that an influencer marketing agency’s relationship with influencers is absolutely crucial to a campaign’s success.
In addition to these various functions, influencer marketing agencies also take on the responsibility of influencer discovery. Influencer agencies are tasked with finding, vetting, and contracting influencers to reach a brand’s desired audience. They are often responsible for establishing publishing schedules and guidelines for the campaign content, in charge of negotiating rates and contracts with creators, editing and reviewing content, and reporting on successes and progress of the campaign.
To put in laymen’s terms, an influencer marketing agency is the most pivotal force of knowledge and experience you can utilize within the influencer space. Partnering with an award-winning agency can work to ensure that campaigns are as dynamic, valuable, and successful as possible.
It’s not only that agencies have the skill and experience to handle a lot of the work for brands when it comes to their influencer campaigns. These agencies also create value by making campaigns more effective for brands both big and small. Using their extensive knowledge and experience built over countless campaigns with all types of influencers, agencies have learned to tailor influencer marketing campaigns to each and every client they partner with. The results are targeted, measurable, and scalable, and they provide valuable insights for brands and marketers both during and post-campaign.
By maintaining close relationships with both influencers and brands, influencer marketing agencies have the luxury of occupying a unique and advantageous position that allows them to optimize campaigns on both sides, while also protecting brands from the fallout that results from things like fake engagement or follower accounts on Instagram, overpayment of influencers for underwhelming results or engagement, and overall quality control.
If you are looking to run a top-notch influencer marketing campaign with an award-winning agency, get in touch with us below!