Once a trend, influencer marketing is now an integral cog of the marketing machine for most brands. Social media is bigger than ever, and as a result, you now have all kinds of brands across countless niches promoting their products and services on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
As a result, brands are collaborating with influencers to further their reach. They follow different approaches depending on the type of campaign they want to run (among other factors). The two main methods to run an influencer marketing campaign are:
- Influencer marketing platform
- Influencer marketing agency
In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about both approaches.
Why Do Brands Prefer Influencer Campaigns To Social Media Ads These Days?
Brands choose influencer marketing over social media ads for a variety of reasons. The most significant ones are:
- Authenticity. Unlike social media ads, influencer marketing has a human touch to it. After all, influencers are real people, promoting products, services, and brands using their own unique voice.
- Trust and credibility. Trust and credibility go hand-in-hand with authenticity. Influencers tend to have a solid relationship with their followers that they’ve nurtured over time through tons of effort, trust, and credibility.
- Targeted reach. Since influencers already have a highly engaged and specific audience that aligns with their values, you can expect to see high engagement rates.
- Warm leads. Getting warm leads goes hand-in-hand with targeted reach. Unlike with most forms of marketing, influencer marketing allows you to target a niche audience. The leads that you get from targeting a niche audience are further down the sales funnel – they are generally in the evaluation stage, and closing in on the purchasing stage.
- Brand Loyalty. An important added benefit of influencer marketing is a long-term partnership. Partnering with the right influencers helps you solidify a relationship with your customers, who are likely to vouch for you, in turn increasing your brand loyalty.
How To Run An Influencer Marketing Campaign
There are two ways to run an influencer marketing campaign:
- Influencer marketing platform
- Influencer marketing agency
The steps to run an influencer marketing campaign are largely the same using either method.
However, the difference is influencer marketing agencies manually select the influencers and execute influencer campaigns, while an influencer marketing platform uses a software application to select influencers based on profiling.
How To An Influencer Marketing Campaign With An Influencer Marketing Platform
Here are the steps to run an influencer marketing campaign using a platform:
- Identify your target audience, goals and objectives. Before you get an influencer to promote your brand, you need to identify the audience you want to reach. You also need to be clear with the goals you wish to accomplish with your campaign.
Based on these goals, you ought to keep track of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure your progress. For example, if sales is your goal from this campaign, you could track KPIs like number of sales or number of clicks.
- Look for influencers. It should go without saying that you need to select a niche before searching for influencers. Once you niche down, head to an influencer marketing platform and enter a niche or an interest in the search bar. You will find a host of influencers to choose from.
For example, you can enter “travel” or “skincare”. Or you could enter an interest like “actor” or “comedian.”
Once you do this, you will find a bunch of options to choose from. You can further fine tune your search based on filters like platform, gender, location, followers, etc.
- Select an influencer. Influencer marketing platforms allow you to review each influencer’s profile. You can take a look at their engagement rates, previous campaigns, etc., before you decide to work with an influencer.
- Create a campaign. At this stage, use the influencer marketing platform to create a campaign and manage performance, payments, and contracts.
While creating a campaign, you need to create a comprehensive brief explaining the goal, dos and don’ts, and all the other critical details that your influencer needs to know.
Some common examples of campaigns include sponsored influencer posts, giveaway competitions, affiliate marketing, product collaborations, and so forth.
- Finally, monitor the campaign’s performance. You can use the platform’s campaign reporting feature to track content performance, view audience analytics, and so on.
How To Run An Influencer Campaign With An Influencer Marketing Agency
Running an influencer campaign with an influencer marketing agency involves the same steps. However, in this case the agency handles the entire process.
- Identify your target audience, goals, and campaign objectives. You can work with an influencer marketing agency to research your target audience and identify your goals and objectives.
- Select influencers. You can count on the agency to find and select the right influencers for your campaign and negotiate and manage the influencer contracts.
- Create your influencer marketing campaign. Unlike when using a platform, you do not have to plan the campaign yourself. The agency will plan, execute, and manage the campaign. This includes creating the campaign brief, setting goals, etc.
- Monitor campaign performance: The agency will use social media analytics and other tools to measure and track the campaign’s performance. The agency can also adjust the campaign if needed.
|Influencer Marketing Agency||Influencer Marketing Platform|
|Personalization||Personalized service and support||Self service|
|Services offered||Influencer research and selection, campaign creation and management, content creation||Tools to research and find influencers, and create and manage campaigns|
|Campaign Management||Agency handles the entire campaign from start to finish – planning, execution, and management||Tools to help you manage your own campaigns|
|Expertise||A team of experts with experience in influencer marketing||Tools and data to help you find an influencer and run campaigns|
|Cost||Expensive due to a wide range of services||Cheap. Perfect for brands on a budget|
|Scalability||Not all that scalable since brands cannot run their own campaigns on their own budgets||Helps brands run campaigns independently according to their budget|
|Time-saving||Agencies require more time since they handle the entire process||Time is saved because multiple tasks are automated|
|Customization||More room for customization, agencies tailor and adjust campaigns to the brand’s needs||There isn’t a lot of room for customization|
|Data & Analytics||Not as much data and analytics as provided by influencer marketing platforms||In-depth data and analytics|
|Automation||Not as much automation, the agency handles the entire process||Processes like influencer research, contract management etc., are automated|
What’s Right For You?
Before you decide to opt for an influencer marketing platform or agency, consider the following factors:
- Campaign goals and objectives
An influencer marketing platform is perfect for you if:
- You have a tight budget
- You are running a relatively small and simple campaign
- You have a team that is sufficiently experienced in influencer marketing
However, you are better off opting for an influencer marketing agency if:
- The campaign is drawn out and complicated
- If you do not have an experienced team and are looking for a team to handle the entire process
- If your campaign requires time and needs to be monitored frequently
To recap, influencer marketing is here to stay and serves as a more efficient and authentic marketing alternative to social media ads and other forms of marketing. The two primary ways to run an influencer marketing campaign involve using a platform or agency.
Both methods can help you create, run and manage effective influencer marketing campaigns. However, you will have to review your goals, budget, time, required expertise, and other factors to choose the right approach for you.