Influencer Marketing Platform vs. Agency

Influencers are immensely valuable tools for businesses of almost any description. If your company has some sort of online presence, it almost certainly does, then an influencer can help your marketing massively. Influencers are individuals who are able to use their own private fame and following (usually through social media) to ‘influence’ on behalf of a brand. The most famous instances of influencers are the Instagram models who tout diet supplements or work out gear. But, in truth, there are influencers of all different sorts, on all different media platforms. Speaking of platforms, this opens up a question about how you go about sourcing and interacting with influencers. The central two possibilities are going through an influencer marketing platform or an influencer marketing agency. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages that are worth exploring before you commit.

But First: What Do They Both Mean?


An influencer marketing agency, is a formal agency, much like a film and television agency or a literary agency that has a list of talent on their roster, organized by fields and by specific areas of influence. “An agency can be looked at a bit like a middle man, putting together brands with brand representatives and making matches that will best suit a certain campaign, explains Deepak Singh, marketer at PaperFellows and EssayRoo. The agency will take a cut, naturally, of the marketing fee that your company provides.

An influencer marketing platform is a digital solution to the issue of putting together brands and influencers. The platform is optimized as a method for trying to show brands all of the most ‘influential’ influencers that are contactable and can be collaborated with to help elevate the brand. In some ways it’s like an electronic form of an agency, acting as a less intrusive middle man that can be paid for by a company when they set about trying to hire an influencer.



Influencer platforms intrinsically take this battle, since they’re usually entirely comprised of very slickly designed electronic interfaces, not clunky human interaction. The software can be downloaded in minutes and your search for the right influencers for your brand can begin and end in a few hours. Naturally, when you go through an agency, it’s a lot more complex, with lots of discussions and billing requirements to deal with.



Swinging back in the other direction, influencer agencies offer that tailored approach that no amount of search filters will ever get you. “When you’re searching for influencers it can be hard to explain exactly the sort of person you’re looking for or strategy you have. This is especially true when you’re trying to tell a computer, not a human”, says Gloria Radcliffe, tech writer at AustralianHelp and Essay Writer. Filtering results in an influencer platform is nothing like as flexible and fit-for-purpose as going to an agency, where agents can talk with nuance about what they offer and what their clients will achieve. It’s a bespoke service that should feel much more made-to-fit.


Sadly, all of that polish and flexibility comes at a price that simply can’t match the inexpensive software package that a platform will give you. There might be a few devs releasing the occasional updates but that will be nothing compared to the office full of paid employees that the agency has to support. If you want cheap, you should go with the platform.


With the program, your opportunities for connecting to influencers that could improve your marketing is very limited. Whatever influencers are connected to such a program are there to be used, but any larger scale, more exclusive influencers will be very difficult to reach. An agency, by contrast, will have access to anyone you want to reach, even if they’re not signed explicitly. Influencer agents have a much bigger network to take advantage of.



So, it’s a tough decision on balance. You have the program that offers you a limited but fast and inexpensive service standing opposite the agency approach that is clunky but can bring in some really valuable targets that perfectly suit your branding tactics. Whichever seems to suit you best should be your avenue.

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Influencer Marketing: Agencies vs In-house

Influencer marketing is a hot topic in digital marketing. Consumer-driven nature shapes strong relations with a target audience. It is not surprising that companies shift their marketing strategies to more connected and authentic influencer marketing. Predictably, the estimated spending on influencer marketing for 2020 is 10 billion dollars. 


 Plus to its benefits, influencer marketing has risks as well such as: 


  • Picking influencers with an unsuited audience,
  • Miss-management of relations with influencers. 


While influencer marketing is expanding to different industries important question is whether to develop an in-house team or work with an agency? 


Brands either assign a team of influencer marketers or they co-operate with specialized agencies. The matter is you know your customer better and the agency knows the market better. A lot of brands don’t have an assigned influencer team. If you have relative experience and dedicated team you can definitely leverage an internal team. Let’s have a quick look at insights into an in-house team and influencer marketing agency before deciding.




No matter you work with an agency or platform your internal team will engage in influencer marketing, review contents, check proposals and report. In-house programs allow you to directly connect to influencers and evaluate their approach. 




Transparency with influencers. Control over the project, brands follow the process from milestones to the end. 


It’s more affordable as you don’t outsource a team of experts for a small budget project but use your professionals to find the best matching influencers. 


Solely working will bring practice and strategic management to influencer marketing. A huge number of projects will make you list the best influencers for you. 


The in-house team creates direct relations with influencers, allowing long-term relations with them such as brand advocacy. Long-term collaboration is also more authentic and influential and it’s accepted more organic by your target audience. 


It has long-term monetary and non-monetary benefits. Investing your employees and resources will improve your intangible assets and save your money for the long-run.  



It takes a long time to be prominent in influencer marketing. You may have unsuccessful partnerships or pick irrelevant influencers. Even if you choose the right influencers you may omit basic factors such as not creating hashtags, focusing on the influencers audience instead of quality content. 


Working only with in-house team may limit your access to new influencers, new channels as agencies are totally engaged with influencers.


Having a digital marketing expert is not enough for running an influencer program. If you plan for continuously running influencer marketing campaigns you need to hire a team of influencer marketers or train your employees which are additional costs. Your marketing team needs to follow trends, fully engage in the influencer market, rival brands’ campaigns and many more. And you as a company need to keep track of the team’s performance. 


Another thread here is entering the global market alone. Because brands aren’t familiar with foreign influencers, the local audience they need influencer strategies or campaign managers. 




An influencer marketing agency is a specialized agency that has tools, expertise in building, and managing influencer programs. Influencer marketing agencies or platforms are needed to reach the full potential of a campaign. 




They speed up the process of finding the most convenient influencers as they have a set of data of influencers in specific industries. Therefore, agencies ease the process of searching, reaching out to influencers, and creating organic content. 


Let’s say you are a new brand and you want a very famous celebrity to promote your product. Obviously, the celebrity manager will call for a recommended third party before coming to an agreement. 


Agency reputation plays an important role in the influencers’ decision. Plus, specialized agencies provide necessary metrics and give project reports. 


Their expertise allows to scale up your project through the right strategy on the right platform. 


The coin has two sides. Besides their benefits and expertise, agencies have lagging sides.



For a limited budget, agencies are additional costs. 


Lack of transparency. Not having a direct relationship with influencers may prolong the duration of projects 


Before reaching out to influencers you need to find the right agency, make them know your brand, what you expect from the project, which takes additional time. 

Considering all factors in mind you can make a decision whether agency or in-house. But, these two are not the only options available. There is one prominent option that you shouldn’t ignore – it’s influencer marketing platforms, like Keepface. It’s an all-in-one automated tool where your team can easily plan influencer campaigns, find relevant influencers through a huge database via smart filters, and most importantly have full transparency throughout the whole campaigns and get the full report of accomplished projects. It’s more like a free self-service influencer marketing that is also budget-friendly. 




To sum up, if you are new to influencer marketing or you may need influencer marketing specialists at first. For one-off projects, agencies will support you from the time and cost-saving side. If you plan for ongoing projects with influencers, it’s worth investing your internal workforce, training employees, or hiring experienced ones.

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