How Influencer Marketing Agencies Could Benefit Your Brand
As the number of people who rely on bloggers and YouTube stars for reviews increases, so does the demand for influencer marketing. This particular form of marketing is growing quickly, especially given that 92 percent of people trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over brands, according to the Influencer Orchestration Network (ION). This is because customers believe that individuals don’t have the same incentive to lie as brands do; they don’t care if you buy the product, they are just giving their honest opinions. In response, more than half of marketers recently surveyed have reportedly increased their budgets for influencer marketing in 2016.
Influencer marketing is incredibly successful, so it makes sense that more and more companies are hopping on the bandwagon. Based on ION’s findings, 81 percent of marketers who have used influencer marketing judged it to be effective. With stats like that, who wouldn’t want influencers on their side? The only problem is that many companies don’t know how to reach out to the right influencers. That’s where influencer marketing agencies come in.
Taking the first step and hiring an influencer marketing agency may be difficult for some; if you’re feeling this way, don’t worry, you’re not alone. You’re hiring someone to speak for your brand and trusting them to find the best influencers to do the job right. That’s why it’s important to do your research to ensure that the agency you hire has a unique understanding of your business, as well as each influencer in their network. By asking questions of the agency, you can find out how well they actually know the influencers they work with. The better the relationships, the more accurate they’ll be in finding influencers who will work well for your brand.
There are plenty of these knowledgeable agencies out there, and they truly are worth the time and money, because, ultimately, you’ll be saving in both categories. By working with an influencer marketing agency, you’re saving your PR agency’s time because they won’t have to conduct the extra research required to properly identify, vet and manage a group of bloggers. One of the hardest parts of this kind of sponsored content campaign is finding the right influencer, so why not let someone who specializes in that category take care of it? Influencer marketing agencies have the right institutional knowledge and infrastructure set up to enable them better and more efficient ways of managing relationships with influencers.
Finally, handing over the reins to a company that specializes in influencer marketing will take a huge burden off your shoulders. Some may worry that giving up that power will ultimately rob them of their ability to have input in the campaign; but that simply isn’t true. Brands can still share their thoughts on the aspects of the campaign that are most relevant to their direct roles, including key messaging, coverage pacing and key performance indicators, to name a few. The brand is still in control, but the agency is hired to deal with other important details that the brand may not specialize in, such as blogger negotiations, product shipping, giveaway rules, managing bloggers’ adherence to the coverage deadline, disclosure compliance and hashtag use. These are all important details, but they can be frustrating if you’re not sure how to go about doing them.
Thus, influencer marketing agencies really are beneficial to brands. The idea of turning over such an important part of your company to an outside source may be difficult to handle at first, but the rewards will be worth that initial fear. By letting the people who are experts in managing influencers handle that part of your campaign, you’re sure to end up with the right influencer for your brand who will produce great results.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi