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Influencer Marketing - In-house vs Agency




Influencer marketing is growing beyond a supplementary marketing tactic to the main advertising method for businesses. Using an influencer to promote your business and endorse its products or services is the new normal. This is more effective than the other forms of traditional marketing and has innumerable possibilities and an ever-expanding reach without boundaries.


Influencer marketing can be done by using a business’s in-house resources or using an influencer marketing agency. Both of these approaches have their benefits and demerits. Let us discuss this in detail and understand what each one is and can do for you.


In-house

Using this approach, businesses use their employees as strategists, campaign managers, and executives. These people build the campaign strategy, identify and connect with the influencers, manage the partnership and communicate with the influencer in the course of the campaign, execute the campaign and finally measure, and assess whenever required.



Influencer marketing agency

From this standpoint, the business partners with an influencer marketing agency that has the experience and expertise to optimize the campaign and has the experience to manage it. They start by selecting an influencer for your business as per the needs of the campaign and do everything required from start to finish including in-depth analysis and reporting during the campaign till its completion. Also, if the campaign needs improvisation they inform the business and do the necessary to see it through.

These were the basics of running an influencer marketing campaign using an in-house approach or hiring an influencer marketing agency for it. So, what are the advantages of hiring an agency over using in-house resources for the campaign?



End-to-end service

An influencer marketing agency provides businesses with capabilities for full service starting from influencer sourcing, helping in devising a strategy for the campaign, and execution of the campaign to required optimization. Their specialized tools will provide in-depth analytical reporting beyond basic metrics or the social media channel’s inbuilt tools.



Expertise

Agencies have industry experts as their operatives and are also able to provide the latest insights and current trends. Influencer marketing is a dynamic scenario and being up to date can be a challenging ordeal. While executing an influencer marketing campaign every step is very important and needs proper attention. An agency has the required expertise to prioritize the steps and allot resources for each keeping in mind the current trends and business goals. They address the strategies of the planned campaigns keeping in mind the latest insights and trends.



Scalable campaigns

The agencies also provide scalable results for the investment done by the business. They scale the campaigns to meet the objectives of the brand aiming to exceed the goals and delight. The ability to customize the approach based on the business objectives and budget can only be brought to the table by an influencer marketing agency. This is so because they will have access to data-driven insights and their capability in scaling a campaign based on industry trends and the overall performance.



Relationships with influencers

An agency will have tie-ups and work experience with influencers from their past campaigns and also be known within the circle of influencers. This comes in particularly handy when new influencer collaborations need to be forged as per the brand’s needs. An agency will be able to connect your business to the most relevant influencer and for that matter any influencer, and thus, craft a success story for your business.



Data-driven analytics

Agencies have access to exclusive tools which can offer their partnering brands access to in-depth data and detailed reporting. They have dedicated teams of data analysts and experts who can pull real-time data using dynamic campaign analysis, conversion tracking, data-driven insights, final reporting, and ROI analysis.



Negotiation and contracts

Influencer marketing agencies take care of negotiations, contracts, required licensing, payments, and rates. These are not easy tasks and need expert intervention and are jobs by themselves. The relationships of the agencies allow them to take care of all legal issues keeping in mind the business objectives and the overall vision.

While there are many positives of working with an influencer marketing agency, it is also worth discussing some of the potential restrictions of doing so.



Budget constraints

Budget limitations could be a major factor in hiring the right agency for you, especially if you are a new business. Most agencies need a minimum budget for a campaign package deal before even considering a partnership.



The wrong agency could do more bad than good

Selecting the wrong agency could cause serious communication errors between brands and influencers, which could cause further cause dilution of the campaign and decrease its efficiency. This could hamper your chances of an effective campaign and future campaigns because of a bad name.


After discussing the positive and negative attributes of an influencer marketing agency, let us look at the benefits of doing an influencer marketing campaign with your in-house resources.


Businesses have the best KYC

Businesses know their customers best, especially when they are complex. Brands targeting a particular demographic or type of customers will know what their customers want. While they launch their in-house managed campaign they can reach out to the influencers best fitting the presence and demographics of their audience on social media channels. They will be able to craft a strategy that will best suit their business. However, this will need a dedicated team to research and manage the campaign as it will not be an easy task to accomplish.



Long-term partnerships

Many businesses prefer and can benefit from the long-term approach. A long-term model provides more stability and audiences feel this is a more consistent approach and genuine when an influencer is connected to a brand for a long amount of time.



Create your list of influencers and relationships

Having a relationship with a variety of influencers lets your business test and filter a list of the best influencers for your business. This will let you develop strategic relationships with influencers so that you can create your influencer portfolio and use them wherever they fit best.


These were the pros of running an in-house influencer marketing campaign. Now let us look at the cons or demerits for better understanding.



It could be expensive

Trying to do what you are not specialized in could prove to be costly. Influencer marketing has been around for some time but the relatively new industry means less information and knowledge. You can be easily spending way too much more than required to the influencers and encounter problems causing more expenditures without the required experience.



Building influencer relationships are not easy

Building up influencer contacts takes a lot of time and effort. Scouting, connecting, communicating, negotiating, managing, paying, and keeping the relationship active is not an easy feat to accomplish.



Analytics and reporting

Drawing out the correct kind of data and creating extensive reports require an analytical view and a data-driven approach. Making those reports timely needs expertise on the kind of data. Once again, not an easy task to do.



Industry knowledge

Awareness about the latest trends and changes in the scenario requires updates that only a presence in the industry can know about. Without the necessary updates, it is not possible to stay on top of the industry’s inside knowledge.


An influencer marketing agency outweighs in-house management by a long distance. However, to do an effective campaign you must select the right agency for your business and campaign.