Top 3 Must-Haves When Hiring an Influencer Marketing Agency
Influencer marketing works similarly to any other marketing in that the buyer only makes a purchase when they reach a certain level of trust. For influencers, that means trust in them personally, not just in your product.
When you’re looking for an influencer marketing agency, it requires an even deeper level of trust. All three parties are blending together to garner the trust of the end-user.
If you’re in a niche market, you may be tempted to look for an agency that specializes in your niche. And they may or may not exist! But don’t assume you can only be served by a narrow market and miss out on the potential for broader appeal of adjacent markets.
#1 Hire an Influencer Marketing Agency With Real Experience
First, you must understand the difference between a talent agency and an influencer marketing agency.
A talent agency is more of a matching service that simply connects you with the influencer talent and walks away. This is essentially paying someone to just find you an influencer. You or your team can do that in-house much cheaper.
A full-stack influencer marketing agency handles end-to-end services from talent discovery to managed execution as well as reporting and analytics that show how each campaign measured up to your KPIs.
You want the second option.
An influencer marketing agency should have an established roster of creators at the ready to promote your products. Ask important questions about how long influencers have been with the company, what kind of spaces have had the most success, and what varieties of content they offer.
Look for agencies that offer:
- Talent curation from an existing network
- Talent authentication
- Negotiation navigation
- Deal structuring and contracts
- Complete campaign management
- Verification of content creation
- Facilitation of paid media
- Handling of all talent payments
Ask questions about their workflow and how that fits with your KPI. Are you simply after more sales and only interested in hard numbers? Or are you running a campaign for earned media and need a more creative and buzzworthy approach?
Look for an agency that is highly flexible in both offerings and operations. This will help you avoid a situation where you dump your money in only to jump off the first exit because it didn’t work out.
#2 Hire an Influencer Marketing Agency With Solid Core Values + Healthy Relationships
When you’re looking to build a long-term relationship with your influencer agency, you want to make sure their core values measure up.
How do they treat their creators? Are they considered partners or property? How long have they worked with this agency? What is the average length of time an influencer stays with this agency? How do they treat their team members?
These may seem like unnecessary questions, but they will all translate into cost and contract negotiations. If the agency is overly focused on getting you the lowest price instead of the best price, the chances are the influencer will be less motivated to pour their heart and soul into promoting your brand or products.
And you want your influencers to pour their heart and soul into your brand or product. That’s why you’re paying them — to borrow their influence. Content creators should be treated like their value is understood and like their craft is respected.
#3 Hire an Influencer Marketing Agency That Has a Plan
The agency you hire should be able to show you, start to finish, what to expect and how the campaign will be run.
You need to make sure you can see what the actual execution will look like, not just the fancy slideshow they showed you during the pitch. Make sure they understand your KPI and the goal of your campaign.
Who is the actual employee within the agency that is representing your brand? Who is really running your campaign? Who has their hands on your digital assets?
Follow through after the initial presentation and make sure you’re being paired with an influencer or group of influencers who can truly believe in your brand. Include them in the campaign strategy and value the insight they bring to the table.
What is their plan for after the campaign or after a test? How can the content or approach be adjusted for better or different results? They should have a plan.
Hire a Human-To-Human Influencer Marketing Agency
You need a full-service influencer marketing agency that offers creative talent sourcing and product promotion through strategic content amplification.
Human-to-human influencer marketing campaigns are the only ones that yield consistent, successful results. Choose an agency armed with highly valued and vetted creators who are prepared and qualified to promote your brand and products.
Don’t mess around with your influencer marketing. It’s so easy to get this strategy wrong, and so difficult to recover. It’s also just as easy to avoid that scenario altogether.