The introduction of Key Opinion Leaders has shifted the scope of marketing from traditional advertisements and campaigns to activating influencers.
These social media “stars” considered experts in their area of expertise possess loyal, engaged and interested followers. Product recommendations are deemed organic and authentic, with audiences genuinely captivated by content the influencer creates.
With brands and marketers implementing influencer marketing into their marketing efforts, a well-thought strategy is essential since there is no “one size fits all” approach to influencer marketing.
At first glance, it may be tempting to keep marketing in house for financial reasons, but ultimately, a successful campaign requires a team of experts and a multitude of perspectives to ensure that activations are planned and executed to fulfill the campaign’s objectives.
Consulting with an influencer marketing agency is recommended given the knowledge and industry experience they possess. Once you’ve made this decision, there are steps required to procure the agency that best suits your campaign’s needs.
The first thing to consider is the type of campaigns the influencer marketing agency has experience with. Ultimately, you should select an agency with a track record of successful campaigns with businesses similar to yours. If however, you decide to partner with a firm that isn’t a veteran within that particular industry, you should request an outline of how they plan to manage your influencer campaign, and how they would select the influencers taking part. Are they utilizing audience analytic data? (Hint: they should be). It’s also important to look at how the agency deals with influencers—are they able to maintain a healthy relationship between the brand and influencer? According to this marketing agency, the dynamic between the brand and the influencer is critical to the success of the campaign.
Secondly, your brand should assess how involved they want to be in the process of selecting an influencer and managing the activation—this will enable you to choose an agency accordingly. Regardless of the level of involvement, it’s paramount that the influencer marketing agency is transparent.
Take pricing into account. Pricing is paramount to finding the best fit. Your chosen influencer marketing agency should have a clear structure that allows your brand to calculate any fluctuations—enabling you to plan your budget appropriately. It’s also wise to check how the agency handles FTC compliance as these rules have recently changed.
Measuring the results and success of a campaign is crucial, so calculating how an agency manages this is a hefty contributor to selection. Your brand should question how they calculate engagement and reach once a campaign has ended. Are they using an influencer marketing platform to automate and streamline while improving transparency? Lastly, it is meaningful to look at how the influencer marketing agency is differentiated from others—what makes it unique, and how will it benefit your brand?
The involvement of an influencer marketing agency is essential for maximizing marketing efforts.
In a May 2015 study conducted by marketing research corporation, 84% of marketing and communications professionals reported they will launch at least one influencer marketing campaign in the coming year.