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.

 

Influencer marketing is becoming a more and more attractive way of boosting your brand, but how you can be sure your campaign goes the way you want?

There are a number of factors to take into consideration.  By incorporating these tips into your next campaign, you can be sure it ends up a success.

1) Know What You Want to Achieve

Setting out on an influencer marketing campaign is all well and good, but what exactly is it you want to achieve, and how will you measure it? Not having a solid answer to this question before beginning your campaign is only going to set you up for failure.

If you’re looking to increase your brand awareness, then you’re probably going to want to look at the number of times a specific piece of content was engaged with. You might also look at how many times your brand has been mentioned, such as through a hashtag or similar.

Base your campaign around specific goals, and you’ll be able to measure its success far easier.

2) Set a Budget

You’ve got to spend money to make money, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to budget for your campaign!

Different influencers will charge different prices, but you should have some idea of how much the people you want will cost before heading into discussions. There’s nothing worse than getting to the negotiating stages and the influencer asks for more money than you can comfortably afford to part with.

Prior research beforehand will help with this. There are also several online tools available to help. If you’re looking to use Instagram as a platform, the Instagram Money Calculator is an excellent tool that can help estimate how much it will cost to use a specific Instagrammer. FameBit is also a similar online tool for influencers on YouTube.

3) Choose Your Platform Carefully

Different influencers excel on different platforms. One may boast over 200,000 followers on Twitter but have only 40,000 on their Instagram account. Picking the platform with the higher following is usually always a good choice, but this shouldn’t be the only factor to influence your decision.

It’s also important to pick a platform that is best for the type of content you are wanting to create. If you’re looking to make a video with your influencer, it may be better to use YouTube or Facebook video over something like Twitter because these platforms are more suited for video content.

4) Build a Relationship

Influencers are real people too, so they are going to be unlikely to want to work with you unless they trust your brand and want to be a part of it.

This doesn’t happen overnight, so it’s in your interest to do all you can to start building that trust right away. Start by showing you’re interested in them by following them on all their platforms and sharing some of their content. Relationships with influencers are based on mutual trust, and showing you care about their own work is a great way to achieve this.

5) Know What’s Trending

What’s popular at the moment can change in the blink of an eye, but there are things you can do to ensure the content you want to create is timely and relevant. Some trends are a given depending on the time of year, such as health content at the start of each year, but some are harder to pinpoint.

Fortunately, there are ways to stay ahead of the curve. Twitter is an excellent source to keep track of what’s popular, and weekly hashtags such as #MotivationalMonday and #ThrowbackThursday can provide insight into what people are currently talking about. If you create content around timely topics audiences are interested in, you can be sure people will ultimately be more inclined to check out your brand.

6) Get a Calendar

Never underestimate the power of an editorial content calendar. Between managing multiple influencers and all your different pieces of content, you’d be surprised how quickly things can get messy.

Using a content calendar will allow you to plan out what parts of your campaign are happening when, where and with whom. It’s also important to remember that content, especially good content, doesn’t just happen overnight.

If you’re wanting to create a campaign around a specific time of year, you can’t start that campaign during that month, you need to start at least 2-3 months prior. A content calendar will allow you to plan out all the necessary steps during this time.

7) Don’t Underestimate Micro-Influencers

Micro-influencers may not have millions of followers, but what they do have is a specific niche that has earned them a dedicated and trusted audience. If you can work with these micro-influencers, you can benefit from these audiences too.

These types of influencers are also substantially cheaper than bigger influencers, which means they are a great choice for smaller brands looking to make a name for themselves. However, bigger brands can also benefit as they offer great opportunities to gain followers with similar views and values as your own brand.

Make Your Influencer Marketing Campaign a Success

Running successful influencer marketing campaigns isn’t easy, but when done right, they can do wonders to boost engagement and sales for your brand.

By following all these tips, you can be sure your next campaign hits the ground running and will be a guaranteed success.