You’ve probably seen them. They’re parading around on world travels or telling you what products to use in your daily life. They have thousands to even millions of followers and subscribers. “Social media influencers” they’re called.
“Do they even work?” you’ll ask. Or comment “that’s not a real job.” And these so-called “influencers” will defend themselves voraciously, citing how long it took to “build their brand.”
No matter your opinion, the truth is that these social media influencers hold the power in today’s marketing world. However, it’s all about making the right connections with the influencers that will be most impactful for your brand. That’s where you might need some assistance.
But when it comes to your own marketing efforts, are you better off reaching out to these influencers on your own? Or should you turn to a digital marketing agency to handle these relationships? In this post, we’re going to tell you why you should go with the latter, and leverage agency power to your benefit.
As influencers have made more of a, well, mark on the marketing industry, social media networks have taken notice, and are embracing the movement. Popular networks like Facebook (Brand Collabs Manager), Snapchat (Snapchat StoryTellers), Pinterest (Pin Collective), and even Google (Famebit), each have their own influencer platforms that are assisting the impact an influencer can make. Using any of these can be considered as going the “do it yourself” route when it comes to influencers.
Since these platforms are laid out with instructions for you to use, you might think this would make it easy for you to find influencers to work with on your own. After all, these social network platforms provide detailed information that helps you navigate the murky influencer waters. This DIY route is also possibly cheaper than hiring a marketing agency to handle your influencer campaigns.
But does that make it a better value? Not necessarily.
As a digital marketing agency, we’re not afraid to admit that social network influencer platforms can be a great tool when used correctly and in capable hands. They could potentially save your company money and help you effectively leverage influencer relationships. However, it’s up to you to first figure out how to use the platform. You then have to choose the right influencers that match up with your brand, your mission, and values, as well as your wants and needs. You have to manage the relationship, oversee the campaign content, and measure your success.
So perhaps the biggest overall reason to work with an agency versus the DIY route is that an agency can do all of that work for you, saving you time and stress, as well as cut costs of purchasing a subscription to use an influencer platform.
Marketing agencies are able to target more niche audiences or influencers, each of which you need to consider to have an effective influencer marketing campaign. Your target audience should match up with the followers of the influencer. And taking things a step further, an agency will be able to identify influencers that have already carved out a niche in your particular area or industry. This allows you to properly utilize an influencer and get your product or service in front of the people who would benefit from it the most.
Marketing agencies can also get more specific with their influencer campaigns, utilizing micro and nano influencers to get to the nitty-gritty of your specific market. This narrow focus can help you reach your most valuable customers.
At the top level, a marketing agency will be able to choose the highest-quality influencers as well. Having the most followers or subscribers don’t necessarily make an influencer the best fit for your company. Agencies will evaluate hundreds of different influences to hand-pick the influencers that best match up with your company’s mission and values as well as driving traffic and sales. Other factors of consideration include the type of content the influencers post, their audience, and their level of engagement.
Not only is working with a marketing agency on your influencer campaigns a better value, it will also save you a lot of time.
While many social networks like those we listed earlier have created platforms for marketers to use, it’s worth noting that each platform only works for that specific network. For example, Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager will only help you find influencers on Facebook. This means that if you want to work with influencers across multiple social networks, you’ll have to utilize the corresponding platform on each network.
As you can imagine, this adds up to a much larger investment of time on your part. A marketing agency can save you time here as they are able to do cross-channel collaborations with one influencer. An agency can leverage a relationship with an influencer to work across multiple networks at once, something you’ll have a difficult time doing on your own.
An agency will also be able to personalize each agreement to the specific influencer, whereas you may be stuck with general agreements using social network influencer platforms. The agency has no such restrictions and will be able to tailor the relationship with the influencer in terms of channel, compensation, and requirements.
This all adds up to the agency being able to provide you with a much more specific influencer campaign that will help to drive better results. Part of the reason an agency is able to do this for you is simply because there are real people working on your campaign who are experts in building these influencer relationships.
Real people provide real results. That’s the essence of working with an agency versus a program. By using a marketing agency to help establish and maintain your influencer relationships, you’ll be entrusting real experts with the success of your campaign, rather than your own potentially novice skills and penchant for following the provided instructions of the given platform.
Marketing agencies have established relationships with many influencers that they may be able to leverage for your particular industry. If not, they know how to create personal relationships with influencers so that they can work with them again and again. They are experienced at connecting brands and influencers to meet a common goal.
This capability and their existing relationships build trust and credibility, which helps the agency grow a network of reliable influencers from which to pull. This gives you confidence going into a campaign with an agency that they are going to match your company and brand up with an influencer that is the very best fit.
This relationship-building process also helps the agency to better manage every step of your influencer campaign. An agency won’t simply make an introduction and leave the rest up to you, they will manage your influencer campaign from start to finish.
An agency will handle the tedious work involved in running a campaign and provide extra services, such as emails, product shipments, coverage tracking, results tracking, and much more. The marketing agency will manage the relationship on both sides, supporting the influencer as well as making sure your needs are met throughout the campaign.
Relationship building is a skill, and building a reliable network of influencers is a process that takes years, whereas you’ll be starting from square one by attempting to use a social network influencer platform. While we certainly understand the draw of wanting to establish and grow an effective influencer relationship on your own, you may be better served by leaving it to the professionals.
While social network influencer platforms are emerging more and more to help marketers utilize valuable relationships, it will still take a lot of work on your part to make sure you match up with the right influencer for your individual needs. A marketing agency can do all of the work for you, from identifying the proper influencer to managing your campaign from start to finish.
This makes a marketing agency the overall better value and fit when it comes to creating and managing an influencer campaign.
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