Buying ad space on Google, Facebook and other search engines and social media apps has already begun to decline. Meanwhile, many brands are seeing massive ROI by getting their products placed or endorsed on content creator channels. Word-of-mouth reviews and recommendations have always been valuable factors in purchasing decisions; influencer marketing amplifies those results. It works, and it’s here to stay. Networking with creatives is how you motivate buyers and promote products and services in 2019. So, what is influencer marketing and how can it help your business? Let’s get a general overview of the topic and then put into perspective on why it makes more sense to hire an outside agency to manage your influencer marketing campaigns.
What Is Influencer Marketing Anyway?
Scoring endorsements and product placement on YouTube channels and social media platforms with massive subscriber lists is the name of the game. Best case scenario, an influencer tries your product on their vlog, post or episode and gives their approval or endorsement. Another tactic is to send them a free product. Either way, their followers watch the video or read their review, see the endorsement or just the product itself, and then go and get one of their own.
The value that an influencer ascribes to your product or service by endorsing it or putting it in their content boosts your brand recognition and reputation. These in turn convert into sales from the influencer’s followers. The complex portion of influencer marketing is figuring out how to make product placement deals and endorsements happen without making an influencer feel as though they are “selling out” or shilling your product for money.
It’s a balance of both business savvy and relationship building. Building your own influencer marketing campaign from scratch is time-consuming and expensive. It makes a lot more sense (and certainly costs less) to hire an outside influencer marketing agency to handle your influencer marketing campaigns. Here’s why you’re better off hiring out the work rather than attempting to run influencer campaigns on your own.
Why You Should Hire An Influencer Marketing Agency
This is a complex topic with many variables, so we’re going to stick to the five main reasons you should hire an influencer marketing agency or group to handle your influencer campaigns.
Invest Your Time And Money In Influencer Relationships, Not Finding The Right Ones
The greatest drawback to influencer marketing for any business is always going to be time. Networking and building influencer relationships takes significant effort, communication, encouragement and collaboration before it pays any marketing dividends. If you are keeping everything in-house, you will quickly find your marketing resources are rapidly depleted by the necessity of hiring copywriters, designers, photographers, artists and other specialists to establish those influencer campaigns. It gets expensive fast, and finding the right staff even on a contract basis is time-consuming. Worse still, finding the right team that works well together is even more challenging.
An influencer marketing agency already has contacts in place and specialist teams that are ready to get your product or service out to influencers and in the hands of their followers right away. All too often, businesses try to keep things in-house and end up spending far more than if they had just hired an agency at the beginning. Save your time and money, and hire experts to engage and retain influencers to promote your products and services.
Get Advice And Guidance From Experts, Not Amateurs
Influencer marketing is a nearly brand-new field in the marketing world. Learning how to find and establish relationships with the right influencers can eat up a business owner or manager’s time and energy quickly. In some cases, businesses overinvest with influencers who are not the best fit for what they are looking to promote, and so they end up with a smaller ROI than if the campaign was managed by an expert.
Marketing agencies who specialize in influencer campaigns eat, sleep and breathe influencer marketing. They’ve already made and learned from their mistakes. They already know what the trial-and-error results are going to look like. More importantly, they have established relationships with influencers of all types in many niches. These agencies stand a much better chance of helping you find the right fit for your influencer campaign the first time, boosting your ROI and saving you money.
Experts are also practiced in the art of spotting fake influencers who are just looking to fleece businesses for quick cash by using a fake audience and fake follower numbers. Having them vette and investigate new influencers means you take on far less risk when starting a new campaign. The advice and networking alone make hiring an outside agency the best decision for your influencer marketing campaign a sound investment.
Establish Campaign Continuity
Working with the same team for all your influencer campaigns establishes a consistency in the content influencers generate for their followers, and creates a consistent consumer experience, too. Agencies generally have a circle of influencers they prefer, so they will know right away what influencer will best meet your campaigns needs.
Better still, working with the same agency means you won’t be duplicating any content unnecessarily and reducing the quality of your influencer’s outreach potential. You also won’t be competing with yourself for the same influencer when you are running multiple campaigns.
Build Campaigns Around Personal Relationships
A fundamental truth of influencer marketing is the fact that they are entirely dependent on strong personal relationships. When you work with an outside influencer marketing agency, you are buying into an established network of relationships among industry influencers. They are experts at building the relationship between your brand and the influencer best suited to promote it.
Their designers, artists and photographers/videographers are all used to working together to help influencers organically promote your vision for your brand to their followers. The content creation process is handled without the need for you to invest time and money in researching and developing your own network of influencers and content specialists to make the campaign work.
Best of all, the longer you work with the same agency, the easier it is to connect your brand with the right influencers as times and tastes continue to change and evolve in the years ahead. The smart move is to let an established expert handle your campaigns while keeping an eye out for your future interests over time.
Unlock High-Quality, Evergreen Content Resources
Creating fresh compelling content that drives engagement and sales is laborious and time-consuming. Hiring an influencer marketing agency with their own creative team takes the pressure off of your existing marketing personnel and ensures that hot new marketing material is continuously rolling out on a schedule.
More importantly, they will also know what influencers and content creators they already use are going to be the best fit for this content, as well. When the content that features your products and services meshes organically with what an influencer already showcases via their channels, you are going to have a wealth of new content from both the marketing agency and the influencer constantly feeding to followers and other influencers, while building your brand, too. Hiring an influencer marketing agency makes sense because it is a surefire way to make every combination a winning, productive partnership of support and fresh ideas.
Food For Thought: Running Influencer Marketing In-House Vs. An Influencer Marketing Agency
Let’s say that you’ve read all these excellent reasons to hire an outside influencer marketing agency, but you still want to “go it alone.” Maybe you are hesitant to venture into untested waters right now. Maybe you’re just resisting the change. After all, direct creative control of your brand is great if not essential for traditional marketing campaigns.
Here’s why that’s a problem: If your marketing team is not accustomed to networking with influencers and developing relationships, you are going to find there is a steep learning curve and your progress has stalled or will stall for long periods of time. It is possible for your existing team to learn the necessary skills, establish relationships and start collecting influencers on their own. That said, time is not on your side. More importantly, your competition can just as easily secure exclusive influencer endorsements and promotions.
Hiring an influencer marketing agency with connections and pre-existing relationships in the influencer world helps you maintain an advantage over the competition. Moreover, you can start reaping the ROI benefits of influencer marketing now instead of months or years from now. Influencer marketing through an outside agency just makes more sense. Don’t miss out on an expanded marketing reach and higher conversion rates. Start looking for an influencer marketing agency now, and get ready to watch your product and profits take off.