Feb 7
Influencer Marketing Agency

Choosing the Influencer Marketing Agency for your Brand

Using an Influencer marketing agency is a potent, effective way to market your business.  That’s because influencer marketing is the single best way to reach your customers today, so why attempt to run a campaign when too many competitors are likely already taking your business by utilizing expert agencies?

Influencer Marketing Basics 

A whopping 92% of people trusting recommendations from friends and family over other forms of marketing (Nielson Research).  Considering that tried and true statistic, any brand that is brave enough to promote themselves on their own is only reaching 8% of the marketplace, and that doesn’t necessarily mean they are reaching the right audience, or even getting their attention.

Many brands recognize that influencer marketing is the way to go.  We know more than anyone that it takes a village to lead a successful campaign.  What are the biggest challenges brands are facing when they set out on the influencer trail solo?  It begins with understanding why companies turn to influencer marketing in the first place; what is the appeal, why it is so very effective, what keeps the industry blooming, and why consumers keep buying.

Key Influencer Marketing Drivers and Results

Brands spent an average of $51k on influencer campaigns in 2016.  What would compel companies to spend this amount of cash on a few social media personas who can just send out a few pieces of content on their behalf, if it really is that simple?  Welcome to the new generation of advertising, folks.  Gen-Z and Millennials take to this form of advice, but it is so subtle that influencer marketing has become an art form no longer left to the amateur.  Industry performance tells us a lot more about what is happening and why.

  • On a daily basis, of the American adult population, 76% use Facebook, 51% use Instagram, and 42% use Twitter (Source).
  • When social media is part of their buyer’s journey, customers tend to convert at a 129% higher rate. They are also four times as likely to spend significantly more than those without a social component (Source).
  • Engaging with (reading or writing) social media comments or reviews alone will influence the shopping behavior of 67% of consumers (Source).
  • 74% of people use social media when making purchasing decisions (Source).

Why isn’t it enough to market your brand the traditional way?  Oh, just a few reasons that are costing marketers billions.

  • The ad-blocking industry is forecasted to cost marketers $35 billion by 2020 (Source) for those who do not find a creative alternative to reach their audience.
  • 90% of brands who have an influencer strategy are partnering with influencers on Instagram, suggesting that marketers still struggle to market without influencer support (Source).

The influencer marketing industry speaks for itself.

  • The average ROI for every $1 spent on an influencer campaign in 2016 was $11.69 in earned media (Source)
  • Average cost-per-engagement was $.93 across influencer campaigns, with an engagement rate of 2.01% (Source).
  • Between 2013 and 2016, interest in influencer marketing jumped 90x (Source).
  • 73% of marketers say they have influencer marketing budgets (Source).
  • 49% of people rely on recommendations from influencers when buying (Source).
  • Word of mouth advertising retains customers 37% better than other advertising (Source).

Given this information, the majority of brands get stuck before they even begin; they are unable to even identify the right influencer for their brand or campaign.  Dead in the water, before you begin is less than ideal, and it continues to remain bleak from there for brands who choose to go it alone.

Since we agree that influencer marketing makes sense, let’s take a look at why an influencer marketing company is not only useful but almost crucial nowadays.  Fear not, influencer marketing agencies TO THE RESCUE!

Before proceeding with an agency, however, it’s important for your firm to ask some questions to determine if you should run your influencer campaign in-house or it is more worthwhile to outsource to a firm.

Q’S ENTREPRENEURS MUST ASK WHEN CONSIDERING IN-HOUSE VS. AGENCY-RUN CAMPAIGN:

  • Is this task worth my time, dollar-wise?
  • Can I hire a person or agency to do this for me more effectively, for a fraction of the price that it would cost in the end?
  • Is it worth taking my valuable time and attention away from running my business to emailing influencers (and other menial tasks) unrelated to what I do best?
  • How much would I benefit from running the entire campaign on my own?

Considering the average ROI of a campaign stands at $11.69, with one study concluding the results to be 16x higher than the average digital marketing campaign through one study, it’s a savvy business decision to hire an agency to take the reigns.

Let’s face it, all entrepreneurs know that spending time and resources on business activities which take your focus away from your primary specialty is not only an ineffective business strategy, it is a potential recipe for disaster in the end.  You are a successful businessperson.  It’s not that you can’t learn how to run an influencer campaign all by yourself, it’s all the nuances of doing so.

Approaching an Influencer Agency

You have decided to hire an agency to have an unbelievably successful brand. Where do you turn?  Begin with you. Thinking about the goals of your brand and the campaign you wish to launch can help you determining if running an in-house campaign or taking it to an agency is your best bet.  If you can flush out a lot of the details and realize you can easily manage all of the work with a few key players within your own firm, you’re ahead of the game.  However, if you walk through some of these questions and feel completely overwhelmed or understand that a campaign of the magnitude you wish to execute is best left to the pro’s, you have your answer.

Key campaign questions you will be faced with during any influencer campaign

  • What goals do you wish to achieve with your campaign?  Some examples of campaign goals:
    • New product launch
    • Reaching a new niche audience
    • Reach a younger audience
    • Overcome social algorithms
    • Opening a new brick and mortar store
    • Build a buzz around a new campaign
    • Hosting an annual online rally like #ENDITMovement.

According to a recent study, the top goal of most firms is to reach new respondents, while the other primary goal was to reach a niche audience (Source).

  • Do you want your campaign to remain strictly online?
  • Should your campaign include live events offline?
  • Will one or two influencers with a massive audience and high reach potential do the trick?
  • Would your campaign benefit from a “community” effort; a group of influencers extending out to their fans to share your brand message?
  • Will your campaign be short-or-long-term?
  • Will you go single platform or would an omnichannel approach work better for your particular campaign?

Influencer Marketing Agency: Key Features & Benefits

Influencer Marketing Agency: How To

Your decision to hire an influencer marketing agency is just the first of many decisions that will follow before the completion of your campaign.  The first step begins with choosing an agency.  An influence marketing platform who thinks the world of ourselves, we understand there are a wealth of agencies available with unique approaches to offer.  Below is a review of key foundations that agencies should have before you decide to collaborate with them.

1. THEY CARE MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS THAN THE BOTTOM LINE.

Businesses have to make enough money to stay afloat.  That said, some companies are out for themselves and want to fill their pockets, while others care about the work they do with clients.  Marketing is no different than any other industry – it’s important to work with agencies who care about your business.  You also want to find an organization that cares about the influencers they collaborate with, and the brands with whom they do business in the long run.

2. THEY EXECUTE WITH FLEXIBILITY.

It’s awesome to meet successful influencer marketing agencies who have streamlined their formula, but certain recipes are, well, “stuck.” They are unbendable and inflexible, so when you – the deliciously unique and complex, one-of-a-kind brand that you are – bring your campaign to an agency which is more “one size fits all,” your options are limited. Sure, some of these companies seem to have built success on representing hundreds of thousands of influencers or hosting a massive influencer platform, but how “responsive” is that platform and how applicable can any one feature be to you and your needs?

3. CAMPAIGNS ARE BUILT ON A FORMULAIC PROCESS

Whether we like it or not SEO, social media, influencer marketing, branding, and business is a game of numbers.  There is absolutely no way to gather information about a campaign’s success without metrics.  Likewise, no company can launch a campaign without influencers in place with whom they have first chosen, engaged, negotiated payment, arranged content and set contracts.  Many influencer agencies have some process for running their influencer campaigns, but do they share with you exactly is it?  Is the process thorough enough and proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, enough so that you feel comfortable taking part in it?

Influencer Social Platform Pro Influencer Uses Cons
Facebook Micro-influencer haven, Live Video, Genuine connections More of a social collaboration, Central media hub, No “influencer celebrities” so-to-speak
Twitter Twitter parties with fans + brands, One of the first platforms to cultivate massive audiences, Hashtag haven Twitter’s questionable future, Inability to engage authentically with fans
Google + Communities useful for genuine connections, G+ great for YouTube collaboration G+ never really got off the ground, No true meaningful following useful for influencer impact
Snapchat Disappearing snaps offer unique opportunity for viral content, Most users under age 34 so targeted audience, Everyday content shared, Content always unique which keeps fans engaged Content not available forever, engagement with fans limited, quirky platform that can only work for certain campaigns
Instagram Images, content + engagement impact audiences for highest engagement + influence; influencers can create authentic audience connections; Stories allow for live insight into influencers’ lives Many “fake” influencers on this platform + brands must sort through to find the genuine players; Micro-influencers are the most effective on Instagram so sourcing by follower count alone won’t cut it
YouTube The place where influencer celebrities were born, YouTube Red presents opportunity for influencers + brand to syndicate content, Popular influencers have massive impact for brands they represent, Video content often more potent than written content because it feels reachable to viewers The competition is fierce + influencers must vie for millions of followers, brand campaigns are only so effective on YouTube – they must be shared on other platforms beyond YouTube to have maximum impact

Social Media Influencer Marketing: Social Media Platforms

If you do decide to run your influencer campaign in-house, it’s a good idea to brush up on the nuances between different social platforms.  Just as every influencer marketing agency is unique and deciding which to use is an important process, choosing the right social media platform on which to launch your campaign is crucial to its success.

Facebook Influencer Marketing:

Facebook has always been a platform for influencers, and currently, the most popular way to leverage Facebook for influencer marketing is through Facebook Live Video. It gives influencers direct access to their audience at a moment’s notice.  Make no mistake about it; Live Video has forced influencers to step up their game.

For influencers who wish to cultivate a truly authentic, deep, engaging connection, Live Video offers the means.  People are swarming to this brilliant feature left and right to watch as their favorite micro-influencer, celebrity influencer, or social media icon hosts a live [insert your ideal video]. The engagement through likes (or loves, laughs, wows, cries, and angry faces), as well as comment threads and shares that function to boost reach for that influencer’s hard work on Live Videos.

Live Videos remains in news feeds and on an influencer’s profile, but not all brands wish to utilize that form of content in campaigns which is why most Facebook influencers create a constant stream of varied content.  The more a person can reach their followers in a genuine fashion and capture their trust, the more worthy that influencer becomes to brands and marketers.

Unlike the other platforms, where we see the rise of social media celebrities such as Jenna Marbles, Facebook doesn’t produce influencers who reach similar celebrity-status.  This is because Facebook’s primary function is a social platform that has grown into the go-to source for shared media.  Influencers and brand utilize this to their advantage, by inserting repurposed content from other platforms, and sharing thoughtful content.

 

Snapchat Influencer Marketing:

The appeal of Snapchat over other social media apps is the magic of disappearing “snaps.”  Influencers have good reason to turn their attention to Snapchat, but in fact, they helped create the buzz within this social media app.  As of January 2017, Snapchat boasts 300k+ active monthly users, 1 million snaps created daily, more than 10 billion daily video views, more than 400 million Snapchat stories are created daily, and users spend an average of 30 minutes a day on the app (Source).  Many influencers are Gen-Z and Millennials, appealing to the Snapchat crowd whose majority users are under the age of 34.

Since nearly 70% of Snapchat’s users are female, what does that mean for a brand which is considering including this powerhouse in an influencer marketing campaign?  This statistic is important, but the devil is in the details, always, and the brand would need to further dissect demographics, interests, location, socioeconomics, and more.

Unlike Facebook, Snapchat presents a unique opportunity for stardom.  Influencers flocked to the yellow ghost when its virtual doors opened and brought their massive audiences with them.  Combine this force with a fresh audience waiting to watch fascinating snaps and the craving to watch a 10-second disappearing video, Snapchat celebrities were born, such as Shaun McBride, Christine Mi, or Hannah Bronfman.  The topic doesn’t matter, but creativity and regularity are vital to keep followers engaged on Snapchat.

 

 

What makes Snapchat useful in influencer marketing and why would it be any better than the other social media platforms that utilize video features?  Influencers choose this app to share what is happening in their life every day with entertainment in mind.  Fans love watching because they know the content will always be unique to Snapchat and will never be seen again unless shared to Stories.  Brands can use this golden opportunity to capture an active audience to share their message.

 YouTube Influencer Marketing:

Designed as do-it-yourself videos digital platform to be supported by advertisers, YouTube was a natural home for influencers from the outset.  In fact, one could say that YouTube played a big part in the making of the influencer.  People have the opportunity to create Channels which are, in a sense, the face of their brand.  Visiting a person’s YouTube Channel is like entering their virtual store with the ability to click on offerings.  All of a sudden people didn’t have to sell products; they had the opportunity to sell themselves.

Savvy content creators, budding musicians and actors, and [name pretty much any industry you can think of] hopped on the virtual stage.  Some had a knack for camera work, whether it was editing, acting, singing, fashion and makeup, or another niche, and they rose to the top.  We know these people today as YouTube Stars.

Lily Singh is one of the most well-known and profitable YouTube celebrities who earned a cool $7.5 million in 2016.  Otherwise known as ||Superwoman||, Lily’s channel boasts over 10 million subscribers.  What makes someone like Lily Singh a smashing success?  After graduating from New York University with a degree in Psychology, she suffered from depression (Source).  Her self-prescribed medicine was making others laugh, and she chose YouTube as the route.  This self-starter hustled, and she quickly rose out of the depths into YouTube stardom.

Back in 2011 Lily decided to double up on the action by creating a Vlog channel, SuperwomanVlogs, to chronicle daily life and share behind-the-scenes from ||Superwoman|| videos.  A brilliant move to connect in a humble, authentic way with her audience.  This channel has won her an additional 1.8 million subscribers as of February 2017 and 210+ million views (Source).

Singh’s videos often feature aspects of life from Punjab, India – her country of origin – and fictional parents played by Singh herself.  Her comedic talent quickly became a sensation guiding this uncharacteristically charming and controversial character to unprecedented success in the YouTube world.  Partnering with brands like Coca-Cola and Smashbox, Singh’s celebrity status is unquestionable.

Instagram Influencer Marketing:

Say, “Hello” to the ultimate platform for influencer marketing.  Top brands on Instagram are seeing a per-follower engagement rate of 4.21% which is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter (Source: Hootsuite).

Although Instagram was in no way built for Influencers and brands, the features cater to them with ease of posting, immediate likes, instant engagement, like gratification, hashtag language that functions better than any other platform.  Now Instagram Stories offers influencers the opportunities to share live videos with their followers.

The rise of the Instagram influencer celebrity is monumental.  Some notable famous Instagram influencers in recent times are Hudda Kattan (@hudabeauty), Jade Marie (@jadeywady180), Ingrid Nilsen (@ingridnilsen), Nash Grier (@nashgrier), Josh Ostrovsky (@thefatjewish), Hayden Williams (@haydenwilliams) with some boasting followers in the millions.

What are the benefits of using Instagram for influencer marketing?  Checking out the profiles of any of our influencers one can see that they don’t simply reach their audience, they connect with their audience in a surprisingly authentic way.

Some of the famous Instagram influencers we proudly represent who embody these qualities include:

Somehow Instagram feels like a small community of folks who have gathered together to hang out and chat about a topic.  When following one influencer, that topic is extremely exclusive by nature; the audience feels special, but also they are curious about a niche topic.  Brands who have a narrow vision, product, and audience can hone in on influencers with that same type of audience, and hire them for a campaign.

In order to compile a complete list of influencers for a campaign, you can take a few different steps.  When you uncover an ideal influencer, look to the list under their profile picture for suggestions of other profiles that might be similar.  Also, look at some of the followers of an influencer you’ve identified under your “Yes” list, and see if anyone else they follow could be a great fit for your campaign.  Check out the hashtags your influencers use and also input your own hashtags into the “Search” bar, then search “People” that populate for any potential campaign winners.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How does influencer marketing work?

Influencer marketing is when a company hires someone on social media with a substantial, loyal, and trusting audience to promote their brand. These brand influencers or social media influencers, as they are known, have the power to influence the buying decision of their audience, which for many reasons is why they are a useful brand ally.

Influencer marketing works by outreaching to key players of a specific industry in order to boost the brands’ digital presence.  Getting started depends if you want to become an influencer, or run an influencer marketing campaign.

Learn more about getting started:

Influencer Marketing in 5 Easy Steps

The Insider’s Guide to Influencer Marketing

How Brand Influencers Can Help Your Brand Become an Empire

Why does influencer marketing work?

Influencer marketing works because it allows companies to expose their products through reputable and authoritative influencers on platforms such as Instagram, SnapChat, and Facebook.  Influencer marketing is most effective when certain measures are in place:

  • Hiring influencers who create genuine, unique content
  • Collaborating with micro-influencers
  • Working with influencers whose engagement with their followers is high, but also extremely genuine
  • Understanding your own brand’s niche and finding influencers/ micro-influencers whose content and audience fits that same niche
  • Knowing your campaign goals from the outset
  • Working alongside an expert influencer marketing agency who can take the reigns so you can [insert your business expertise] while they manage the campaign

How large is the influencer market?

Influencer marketing is a massive industry and is only growing. There are many reasons that this market continues to boom, some of which include Gen-Z and Millennials taking purchasing recommendations from peers and friends over direct brand ads, ad blocking software impinging brand success, the power of authentic messages shared with engaged, loyal audiences, and more. Due to the shift away from traditional marketing, the influencer marketing industry is slated to be a $5–10 billion industry within the next 5 years.

Why is influencer marketing is the new content king?

Brand content is no longer perceived as the most reliable consumer resource.  Statistics from the beginning of this article show a clear pathway to influencer content taking over as the new go-to source for content and consumer recommendations.  This is good news for brands in a way; they no longer need to search high and low for the best marketing software, wonder what PR firm to use, which marketing tactic to use next.  The answer is clear: infuencer marketing is the new king of content, so why not leverage that for your own business?

 

We don’t end our exploration until we have exhausted every available resource – so you can rest assured your brand messaging will be shared by the most influential, niche-appropriate Influencers available.

#ThatsHowWeDo 

At HireInfluence our primary focus is to bring brands our 7-Step, Results-Driven Process, which is a highly organized, managed, and documented environment designed to have an impressive, conversion-focused impact. Why? We know the one thing that matters at the end of the day, and at the end of your campaign, are the results.

Each campaign incorporates the fundamentals of building buzz, driving traffic, and optimizing conversions. Rather than a “brand-to-influencer dating service,” we take a hands-on, fully customized approach to each and every campaign objective.

If you’re beginning your search for an influencer marketing, we would be happy to talk to you about your goals and needs!  Reach out to us: social@hireinfluence.com.


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