Today, it seems that nearly all agencies profess to being able to handle your influencer marketing. Public relations firms, digital agencies, media buying agencies... They all seem to have an influencer marketing component and it can get very confusing to pick the right one.
To help brands looking to hire the right influencer marketing agency, we offer these 6 clues.
6 Clues to Finding the Best Influencer Marketing Agency
Clue #1: The Vast Majority of their Business is Influencer Marketing
If most of an agency's business is reaching out to reporters to try to place a story, how are they likely to approach influencer marketing? If most of an agency's business is buying space on a website for banner ads or social ads, how are they likely to approach influencer marketing? We've seen so many mistakes made by people who don't really understand the influencer marketing space because they add influencer into their services even when it isn't the core focus.
A simple question to ask your agency during the first call could be, how many influencer marketing programs have you done in the last two years? or what percentage of your business is influencer marketing? If it's 10% or 30%, they may not be the specialist that you need to get your results.
Don't hire a generalist when you really need a specialist that is bringing you experience, not learning as they go. A full-service influencer marketing agency is often the right choice.
Clue #2: Your Influencer Agency Has Relevant Experience
All sorts of brands want to use influencer marketing these days. But if you are a B2B business, the approach for influencer marketing is going to be very different than it would be for CPG influencer marketing. Affiliate influencer marketing is also different (with pros and cons) from predictable campaigns that can drive guaranteed results.
Club #3: They've Run Hundreds of Influencer Programs
It's very easy to be swayed by two or three successful case studies, but a PR firm will tell you they do influencer, and a digital firm will tell you they do influencer, and a media buying firm will tell you they do influencer. Those three case studies may be all they have, or they may have only done ten programs in the last two years. That's not very much.
When your agency has run hundreds of influencer-focused programs, such as Carusele, they'll have more than just experience, but industry insights. They know the 4 types of influencers, the benefits of micro-influencers, the risks of celebrity influencers, and the projected costs and outcomes from using each of them. This experience means they can make a strong recommendation on what can work for you.
Clue #4: They Have an In-House Media Buying Team
Did you know that a Facebook Influencer with 1M followers will likely only deliver about 2% of that reach with a single post? It's more for Instagram, but less for Twitter, and the numbers vary by size, but we estimate that influencers deliver, on average, only 9% of their followers.
That means you'll pay for an influencer's follower count, but they can't even deliver that to you. That's why your influencer marketing agency needs a sophisticated strategy for making sure the best content reaches your best target audience. (Pro tip: Whitelisting and boosting isn't sophisticated or efficient.) Ideally, this media is optimized daily across many audiences and ad types.
Clue #5: They Are Willing to Share The Risk
If you're running a fairly standard social influencer program, shouldn't the influencer marketing agency's experience be a benefit to you? The best influencer marketing agencies are able to give a single cost that includes influencer costs, media costs, agency fees, and even guaranteed delivery in terms of content, impressions, and/or website clicks.
For some atypical programs, it's better to have a budget that everyone is working within, but for standard programs, that budget (and outcome) certainty can be very helpful.
Clue #6: Finding the Best Influencers Involves a Wide Net
Many influencer marketing companies have opt-in networks to which they send assignments. This results in a small universe of influencer talent and often involves low-cost influencers with high saturation rates. In contrast, Carusele is currently tracking over 5 million influencer profiles and for each, we can see data on the makeup of their followers, the authenticity of their accounts, and more. But we always supplement that data with hand screening of new influencers.
In short, high-quality influencer marketing agencies have deep experience working with brands like yours on influencer marketing programs specifically. They also have sophisticated tactics for finding influencers, syndicating high-performing content, and using their experience to provide brands with predictable, often guaranteed, results.
If these six clues help you find the right influencer marketing agency, it's likely to be a productive relationship.
Interested to see if we're the right influencer marketing agency for your business? Contact us today. Otherwise, keep in touch through our e-newsletter, The Spin.
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