- 1. What is an influencer marketing agency?
- 2. Reasons to have an influencer marketing agency
- 3. Types of an influencer marketing agency
- 4. List of influencer marketing agencies 2018 (updating)
Table of contents
What is an influencer marketing agency?
Influencer marketing agency is simply an agency company that collaborates with both brands and social media influencers, helping them plan, execute and manage the influencer marketing campaigns. They’ll use search and management tools collaboratively with their clients, but they’ll generally take the lead in designing and executing the influencer campaigns. Top influencer marketing agencies excel at creating, tailoring, and optimizing campaigns for individual brands, marketers, and goals, as a result of having structured and carried out a wide variety of campaigns (often for a wide variety of advertisers).
Influencer marketing agencies work closely with both brand and influencers to understand their values, goals for a campaign, voice, brand message, and a host of other social media attributes. An influencer marketing agency’s primary focus is connecting brands with the perfect-fit influencers, managing the relationship between them and creating a tailored plan to deliver the right content to the precise target audience. In most of the cases, agencies will have their own influencer marketing platform or partnership with a SaaS vendor e.g. InfluencerDB to support in finding and analyzing influencers. An agency with greater insights into the influencer's profile as well as his or her followers will have more power to invest its customers’ marketing budgets with great precision.
Reasons to have an influencer marketing agency
Brands can have multiple reasons for seeking the help of an agency. Here are the three most common starting positions in which brands find themselves prior to cooperating with agencies:
- Experts lacking manpower: You prefer to execute most efforts in-house but don’t have the personnel resources to fulfill your campaign strategies. You already have a finalized concept and at least a rough idea which influencers you would like to work with. The agency you’re looking for only needs to handle the campaign execution for you.
- Global player: Your department is part of a global company with a global marketing plan that spans all social media marketing strategies. Your brand now needs help transferring these standards to an influencer marketing strategy. Not all marketing efforts are directly translatable to influencer marketing, so expert knowledge is needed at this point.
- Newcomer: Your brand is completely new to influencer marketing without any knowledge and experience in the field. You need support from the outset and throughout, from influencer strategies to concepts, influencer research, campaign execution, and reporting.
Types of an influencer marketing agency
There are four main players in influencer marketing when it comes to agency work. Though all use the word agency to describe their business model, how each type works is actually very different. Depending on your starting position and your objectives, any of these options might be worth considering. Here are some pros and cons to help to find the agency type that best fits your needs.
1. The management agencies
Some agencies manage social media personalities. These influencer management agencies usually act in the interest of influencers. They have a network of influencers which they place and represent, plus other, more independent influencers.
The management agencies have a portfolio of influencers and know them well. The management is in close contact with the influencers, so execution can be quicker and relatively easier. This kind of agency can create great results regarding campaign execution in case the brand has a good idea about the influencers they want to work with already.
Management agencies will naturally push for the influencers they represent. These do not necessarily have to be the ones with the best fit for the brand. Additionally, the number of influencers the agency manages is limited, so brands will be constrained in their choice of influencers.
This kind of agency also places influencers which the agency does not manage. These influencers might have a different management. Thus, you will have to pay double: You’ll be charged for the agency plus for the management of the influencer.
2. The influencer marketplace
Marketplaces are platforms for influencers to register and showcase their field of interest. Brands can find influencers in many niches and verticals. Additionally, they can announce their upcoming campaigns so that influencers can apply for cooperations.
Announcing campaigns and having influencers apply for them can be a quick and easy option for finding influencers without actually having to do a ton of research. Brands can contact influencers directly within the marketplace and don’t need to research their contact details on social media.
Marketplaces come with a price. Since they provide the technological platform, they are costlier than simply approaching an influencer on your own. You will find the contact information of your potential partner on the internet, so these costs can easily be avoided.
Furthermore, since influencers have to register for the marketplace, the number of influencers available there is limited.
3. The independent influencer marketing agency
Independent agencies are particularly important for brands without in-house influencer marketing competency. These agencies have the best interest of the brand at heart and work diligently to fulfill the company’s needs. These agencies relate to brands much in the same way that a public relations firm would work with a brand, but these agencies specialize – and perhaps only offer services – in influencer marketing.
Independent agencies side with your brand. They will represent the interests of the brand in negotiations with influencers. Additionally, these agencies are full-service agencies that can support brands from beginning to end. Marketers can expect that part of the package with this kind of agency will include access to their in-house influencer discovery platform, as well as all the data that’s going on underneath. The agency will work for you from an extensive onboarding up, metrics and KPI set up to the final campaign execution and report.
These agencies have the potential to bring a lot of value to brands, especially those are new to the influencer marketing game. Working with an independent influencer marketing agency can deliver great results, not only regarding campaigns but also when it comes to education. Keep in mind that by working closely with these influencer marketing experts, you’ll benefit largely from their knowledge and experience. This yields a learning effect that is unique to this kind of agency.
While this kind of agency could be the most fruitful option for your brand, it’s also the most expensive one.
4. The PR/ creative / digital agency
These types of agencies existed before influencer marketing became popular, and once clients began requesting the services, they extended their portfolio to include influencer marketing. They don’t focus solely on influencer marketing and aren’t specialized in this field.
Digital agencies are experts when it comes to marketing and can draw on years of experience in related fields.
Existing service providers might have a slightly different view regarding influencer marketing than specialized agencies.
PR agencies use influencers for relationship-building, while creative agencies focus on their work as content creators. Media agencies use influencers for their reach. They might lack a holistic approach to the field of influencer marketing.
List of influencer marketing agencies 2018 (updating)
INF Influencer Agency is Canada's first company to specialize in representing digital influencers exclusively. Since its founding in 2014, the agency has been at the very top of the influencer management game, earning countless awards and accolades over the short few years that they've been in operation. This agency offers a full range of representation based services that include content creation, product development, product placement, digital media creation and development, growth analysis, performance monitoring, etc.