thinking of hiring an influencer marketing agency?
If so, we have seven insights to help you evaluate that decision.
#1. Finding and Vetting Influencers
Today, finding influencers isn't that difficult with the tons of influencer databases that exist. Some of these databases are good, some are not so good. But really, the challenge is vetting them. You need to think about who's the right influencer for you and your campaign? Is their audience going to match the audience you're going after? Is the way they write about brands going to match the way you want to be written about? And finally, is the individual content they're capable of creating going to align with your particular program? That's a lot of work that really dictates whether you've gotten your campaign right or wrong.
#2. Negotiating Contracts
If you're not excited about negotiating contracts, then you'll definitely want to consider hiring an influencer marketing agency. Each and every influencer assignment needs its own contract, it needs to be signed by both parties, and it needs to include things like content rights (do you have the right to use this content going forward? Is it in perpetuity? Is it in any form or fashion?). That all has to be negotiated up front. Additionally, you're going to have to work out your contracts each and every time for new campaigns.
#3. Influencer Management
The physical practice of managing your influencers within a campaign is not easy work. Over time, you're going to want to use the same influencers continuously, the ones who are really working well for you, and so there's a relationship building component that you need to work on. You're also going to want to make sure everybody hits their deadlines. Do you have 10 or 20 influencers going at a given time? Is everyone posting when they're supposed to, what they're supposed to, and is everything they're posting aligning with FTC compliance and with your brand brief? That's something you're either going to have to staff-up to do in-house or outsource to your influencer marketing agency.
#4. Paying Influencers
Yes, you have to pay these people. Influencers don't work for free anymore, so paying people involves setting them up in your payroll system, or your vendor system, cutting them checks, sending them 1099 forms at the end of every year (yup, everyone's going to need their tax forms). And, perhaps most importantly, you need to know what to pay. Is this assignment worth $250 or $5,000? How do you know based on what the industry standards are, and what the norms are, what you're asking? You could end up seriously overpaying or end up getting a negative response if you're drastically underpaying.
#5. Content Strategy
This is something that should never be overlooked. You'll need to consider which person on your team is responsible for figuring out the content strategy. And there's a front-end component to this, and a back-end component. On the front-end, you're going to want to know what kind of content is going to resonate, both theme wise and on different social platforms. Then on the back-end, you need a strategy for what you're going to do with this content beyond the influencer sharing it. If you're planning to share the content on your channels, is there a boosting strategy involved? If you already have someone on your team who can do this thinking and execution in-house, great. If not, you may want to consider an influencer marketing agency.
#6. Metrics and ROI
You're going to need to know how the campaign performed, so properly understanding measurement is one thing (such as engagement, impressions, and ROI). But then, you really need to make sure you understand campaign insights and metrics against industry benchmarks (such as content performance and influencer performance). So, you need some numeric capabilities to know who you should hire next time, which piece of content should get used again, all those components need to be built into a formal structure.
#7. Trust the Experts
Finally, industry experts who have done influencer marketing a lot are always going to know things that people who do this as a side job are not going to know. At Carusele, we've run over 120 influencer marketing campaigns in the last few years, and we've learned a lot about what works in certain situations and what doesn't work. You can avoid some of those mistakes by going with an expert. But if you have a lot of expert experience in-house, that's a wonderful thing.
If you're still contemplating hiring an influencer marketing agency, consider Carusele for your next program. We'll get the conversation started after you complete the form below.