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.