Running an Influencer Marketing Campaign: In-House, Talent Agency, Platform, or what?

Congrats! After scouring our site, checking industry reports, and talking to a few knowledgeable colleagues, you agree that it’s time you start investing in influencer marketing.

Now what?

If you’re a larger company, or maybe just a little ambitious, you might try to tackle the concept of influencer marketing in-house. Realistically, it can’t be that challenging to find Instagram accounts that might work with your brand, and convince them to start promoting your products, right?

Do-It-Yourself

An in-house solution faces two main challenges: a large initial investment of time and the inability to scale. The former results from the amount of time your marketing department will have to invest in understanding the influencer marketing realm, which starts with basic questions, and evolves into more complex ideas.

Who are the key players that resonate with your brand? How much should they be paid? How does a typical campaign play out in terms of content creation, promotion, and tracking? These questions can inundate your marketing team, prevent them from succeeding in their day-to-day, and add to potential issues when running an influencer marketing campaign.

Influencer marketing programs require a lot of insightful planning, collaborating with various partners, and strategic design.

If your company is able to launch an influencer marketing campaign, it’s more than likely it will be a pilot project that needs a lot more work to be validated. For example, you might find better conversions and traction with one influencer, but how do you find another ten just like that one? What does a cohesive influencer marketing campaign look like? These are questions that would be difficult for a marketing department who just entered the field to answer, and potentially a full job in itself.

Talent Agencies

If your team decides the idea of influencer marketing is too big a task to tackle, the solution might be to work with a PR/Talent Agency. After all, many agencies have influencers and personalities that are exclusively managed by their teams and are bolstered by their years of experience in the media and entertainment industry.

Solely working with a management team or agency has its pros, but one of the reasons why clients choose to work with other solutions—in addition to talent agencies—is to increase the scale of influencers they can choose from. Talent agencies typically have rosters of less than 100 influencers to choose from. The largest talent agencies have rosters of several thousand, at most—Creative Artists Agency reports having 3400 artists on their roster (source). 

For comparison sake, #paid has over 12,000 vetted and onboarded influencers available for brand collaborations, allowing you to determine the very best matches for each of your campaigns. #paid is proud help many of our talent agency partners connect their artists, creators, and personalities with the many brand clients we work with. Talent managers and agencies can provide a lot of value, but we believe that working with a solution—like #paid—helps brands and creators find the best collaborations.

Software Solutions

It’s possible that neither your team nor an agency is a good fit, so the next step might be to look into the exact industry that created the phenomenon of influencer marketing: software. A skilled team of programmers would have the knowledge to develop an algorithm that can quickly sort through the millions of Instagram accounts and find the one that works perfectly for your brand.

Software development is never this hype, or easy.

While movies like The Social Network might give you the impression that these solutions are easy to come by, the reality is much different. A typical software solution will start between $50,000 and $100,000 to develop, and will likely fall between the $150,000 and $450,000 range. Despite the allure of influencer marketing, that can be a hard pill to swallow.

The other challenge is the industry experience that these software developers lack. Marketing agencies know the amount of work it takes to solidify the branding, legal, and financial backing to a marketing campaign, and it is no different with an influencer marketing campaign. Using a software solution alone or attempting to approach influencers yourself can leave your brand vulnerable to legal repercussions from the influencer, along with costly inconsistencies with regulatory bodies that ensure, for example, that food and drink ads are safe for consumers.

The Perfect Combination

The ideal scenario would be to have an experienced talent agency that had the ability to leverage a software solution to serve your brand. This way, you would avoid the dangers of entering an industry you are unfamiliar with, but would optimize your budget through the use of technology opposed to gateway fees and other additions that an agency would tack on for access.

#paid is that solution. Our technology keeps costs low, using a tailored algorithm to find matches between our plethora of influencers and your brand, along with features like RealView™ that gives you the autonomy to review and approve your content before it goes live.

Furthermore, to make every dollar count, #paid’s analytics platform helps you to track the success of each influencer campaign to see what works. Having this information gives your brand the ability to tweak influencer campaigns just as you would with a paid ad campaign, making the most of your budget.

Conclusion

It can be thrilling to finally validate a new marketing channel for your campaign, although you may see influencer marketing as less accessible as you’d want. While doing it yourself, finding a talent agency, or pursuing a software solution can seem to be viable options, each has their own drawbacks that will make running an influencer marketing an incredible hassle.

Your brand deserves the help of experts and the power of technology to make influencer marketing work for you. We’re happy to help – you’d be surprised how far your budget takes you!

What can your budget do for you?