Influencer Marketing Hub did a study in 2017 that found more than 420 new influencer marketing agencies opened in 2017 alone. While this modern-day gold rush is a positive sign that the influencer marketing industry has a lot of promise, it’s also a sign that the company you may be dealing with could lack depth or experience.
Our 2019 predictions for influencer marketing as an industry includes a “thinning of the herd” where a number of these firms will close, hopefully not after you’ve engaged them on your brand’s behalf.
To help you vet the best influencer marketing agencies from the pretenders, we’ve compiled this list of questions to ask your influencer marketing agency before signing a contract.
Clearly, you’re not going to ask all these questions. However, as the company is sharing their capabilities and/or a proposal with you, listen for as many of these as possible. You’ll then be in a good position to ask the rest and be sure you’re getting what you expect from an influencer marketing company.
1) How long has your company been in business?
2) How many influencer marketing programs did you run in the last 12 months?
3) Do you have case studies for programs you’ve run in my same category (beauty, retail, etc.)?
4) (If applicable) Have you run programs in regulated industries, such as alcohol or nutritional supplements and, if so, how do you ensure the programs are compliant?
5) (If skeptical) Can you provide me 3-4 references from clients who have run programs with you?
6) How big is your network of influencers?
7) Have your influencers opted-in to your network or do you compile a list based on pulling public data?
8) Do you keep a black list of influencers you no longer work with based on past performance in campaigns?
9) What percent of your clients have run more than one program with you?
Scope of Services
10) Besides finding influencers for my brand to work with, what tasks do you take on in your programs?
a. Do you review each influencer by hand?
b. Do you check if influencers have worked for a competitor of ours in the last 90 days?
c. Do you negotiate with the influencers?
d. Do you write the contracts with the influencers?
e. Do you pay the influencers?
f. Do you send the influencers tax forms at the end of the year?
g. Do you review each piece of content to ensure that it is FTC compliant?
h. Do you review each piece of content to ensure it complies with our brand brief?
i. Do you write the brand brief to the influencers?
j. Do you manage the timeline of posting for the influencers?
11) Can you select influencers based on the makeup (gender, location, interests) of the influencers’ followers, not just the influencers’ own characteristics?
12) Beyond selecting influencers from a certain city, can you geotarget the influencers’ content?
13) Will we have rights to use all the content, in perpetuity, or are there limitations?
14) Can you guarantee the number of original pieces of content my brand will have rights to at the end of the campaign?
15) If I want to run a promotion along with my influencer program, can you manage it for me as well?
- If so, do you have experience running promotions that comply with all state and federal laws?
Analytics and Performance
16) Can you rank the performance of each piece of content at the end of each campaign?
17) Can you rank the performance of each influencer at the end of each campaign?
18) Can you share with me insights on the makeup (gender, location, interests) of people who engaged with our influencers’ content?
19) What do you estimate what will be the number of true views (not max potential impressions) that my campaign will generate?
20) Can you guarantee the number of visitors to my website (or number of true view impressions, or number of engagements, depending on strategy) that this campaign will deliver?
21) How can you ensure that the content produced by the influencers will be seen by people who match our demo?
22) Do you work with influencers of all sizes (nano, micro, macro, celebrities)? If so, what’s your perspective on which categories to use for which campaigns?
Within a few questions, you should begin to get the sense of whether the influencer marketing agency you’re speaking with is adding a lot of strategic value to your program or not.
After all, the goal of influencer marketing is the same as the goal for all marketing – to compel an audience to take an action they wouldn’t have taken but for this campaign. That takes a lot more than pairing brands with influencers and hoping for the best.