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Influencer Marketing: In-house or Agency?

Nowadays we see many brands advocating for the set-up of in-house influencer marketing teams, with many a millennial at the helm. This trend is gaining momentum as influencer profiles become the formidable arena for relevance. Million-dollar brand sponsorships and collaborations are changing the way in which B2B and B2C relationships are procured and maintained.

As the marketing landscape continues to shift, so too are brands, choosing to nurture long-term partnerships with their influencers. Effectively building trust and loyalty within their influencers’ communities.

For many, with this move comes the big question, is it better to go in-house or way of an agency? The answer is not necessarily that obvious. Here are three points to take into consideration when having to choose:

  1. Money Matters and Man-Power

Brands across the board are increasing their influencer marketing spend on a yearly basis, with the global ad spend projected to reach $15 billion by 2022 according to Business Insider.

The necessity to constantly evolve brand techniques are top of mind, but the costs involved are a fueling factor when making strategic decisions. If you choose to keep it in-house consider the initial outlay in order to set up the right team with the right skill set. Glassdoor looks at the cost-per-hire and offers insightful calculations to consider.

If you choose to go the agency root, understand that budgets fluctuate. Compare the two bottom lines, i.e. what is financially smarter in order to achieve short and long-term objectives.

  1. Ease of Convenience

Agencies offer a great degree of convenience, having already established influencer relationships as well as having legal and strategic expertise. These agencies, for the most part, hold fast and quantifiable solutions under one roof.

However, if influencer marketing is aligned to become a bigger feature in your strategy, then taking the time to set up the right environment can be beneficial for its continuing success. At the end of the day, nobody knows your brand better than you do and being hands-on does have its advantages.

A pioneer in the subscription box trend, Birchbox’s Vice President of Communications, Jenna Hilzenrath comments by saying, “Managing influencer marketing in-house allows us to be nimble and take a really hands-on, nuanced approach. That said, we do occasionally work with agencies or other platforms on a project basis.”

  1. Time Crunch

Setting up an in-house team can be rather time-consuming as you build from the ground up. However, once the foundations are laid and initial processes are in place, in-house influencer marketing teams can effectively run quite fast and efficiently, saving a company time and money. But if time is a luxury that you can’t afford, then an agency can offer on-demand solutions that are easily accessible and readily actionable.

In short, there are pros and cons to both sides. It’s all about what best suits your company and brand objectives. The choice is yours to make.

“In-house brings the industry and customer knowledge, the agency brings the strategic expertise and tools, so, the best campaigns are run when in-house and agencies work together,” Owain Williams, influencer, founder of Make it Mana and self-professed marketing nerd.


Let us hear what you think in the comments section down below.


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