Brands looking to expand their reach and impact often end up outsourcing influencer campaigns.
However, with so many agencies offering their services in this field, it can take time to choose the right one.
Many factors go into this choice, including cost-effectiveness, previous campaign success rates, and projected future ROI.
Let’s explore the pros and cons of outsourcing influencer campaigns to agencies.
Outsourcing Influencer Campaigns Vs. In-house Marketing
Before we get into the pros and cons of outsourcing influencer campaigns, let’s look at the basics.
Difference between outsourcing to agencies and in-house marketing.
In-house marketing refers to marketing activities handled within a company by its employees.
Outsourcing to agencies refers to a company hiring an outside agency to handle its marketing activities.
Why Prefer Outsourcing Influencer Campaigns to Agencies
Agencies typically have a dedicated team of professionals responsible for managing influencer campaigns.
This allows them to respond quickly to any inquiries or issues that may arise, helping to resolve any issues promptly.
If you’re unhappy with one influencer or their content, they can find another who better suits your needs and makes new content that fits the bill.
Access to Specialized Knowledge and Expertise
Agencies specialize in influencer marketing and deeply understand the industry, including the latest trends, best practices, and effective strategies.
Agencies know what works and doesn’t, which platforms the best suit your needs, and how to manage your campaign effectively.
They can bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to your campaign, helping you achieve better results.
They have access to a limited set of influencers and can provide a quicker turnaround on campaigns.
Curated Lists of Influencers
Agencies can help you with a solution if your campaign request matches the vetted pool of influencers who fit your target audience.
They can also give you information on what they think each influencer will bring to the table.
The agency might have worked with many creators, so they know their strengths and weaknesses well.
When you work with an agency, you don’t have to hire interns to research, social media managers to handle accounts, client servicing to communicate with influencers, and strategists to plan the campaign and pay them a salary.
Well, it does not end with salary. Cost per hire, training costs, and any additional benefits come along.
You can focus on your core business while letting the agency handle influencer outreach and management.
Good for Quick Experimentations
If you’d like to experiment with influencer campaigns, outsourcing is the right thing to do.
Because agencies know about running an influencer campaign, and given your instance, you need not hire an extra professional to handle the campaigns.
Agencies can help you get results quickly by strategizing and working with influencers with an established audience.
Outsourcing allows you to focus on other business areas while the agency handles the influencer campaign.
Agencies have experience running these types of campaigns and have a network of influencers you might need help accessing.
Agencies also know how to develop a campaign strategy and manage the process from start to finish.
Why NOT Prefer Outsourcing Influencer Campaigns to Agencies
No Brand Understanding
It will take time for an agency to get to know your brand well enough to find the right influencers for you (time that could be better spent elsewhere).
The influencer they select should align with the brand’s values and messaging since they’re a messenger now for your campaign.
Few agencies might not be equipped with resources to find the right influencer.
Their lack of knowledge about each potential influencer’s capability will take a direct hit on your brand’s reputation.
Influencer Options Are Limited
Since we discussed how agencies could give you a quick resolution to your campaign requirements, let’s take a look at the downside.
- Will the agency have details of every influencer on the social media platforms?
- Will the agency help target audiences across demographics?
- Will the agency find nano and micro-influencers from your niche?
To answer the above questions (among quite a 100s every marketer has in mind): it’s mostly maybe or no.
A good agency might have a decent number of influencers onboard; again, the options will revolve around their onboarded influencer list.
Agencies might also recommend influencers who they have constantly work with (agency-markup.)
No Direct Contact Between Brand and the Influencer
When you outsource your influencer outreach, you are not hiring an employee to do the work for you.
You don’t get to communicate with the influencers, which is a big marketing red flag to look out for.
There’s a high possibility of miscommunication, and forming a good relationship with influencers is zero (which is mandatory on a marketing basis.)
Lack of Transparency
Not having the authority to supervise how your campaign is framed is a very big disadvantage, when choosing to outsource your influencer campaigns.
Challenges you’ll face regarding transparency with agencies:
- Influencer profile options are hidden.
- Unsure of the agency charges.
- The difference between influencer quoted price and agency quoted price.
- You won’t have a say in choosing an appropriate influencer for your brand, which could be a waste of time if they don’t fit with your audience or target market.
The agency may not have control over how much work the influencer does. You could end up paying for an influencer who doesn’t produce quality content or isn’t willing to adhere to your brand guidelines.
Multiple Hidden Costs
There are several hidden costs involved in working with agencies.
There’s always agency markup added for their services.
For example: If the influencer chosen for your brand campaign has quoted Rs.15000 for an Instagram video. But the agency quotes you Rs.25000 per video.
Though the concept is an example for you to understand, the context is that because of the lack of direct relationship with influencers; you will not have a clear idea of the cost quoted as the actual cost.
Cannot Scale Your Influencer Campaigns
One of the biggest cons of outsourcing is that it isn’t scalable.
When you hire an agency, they will quickly run out of influencers to work with, and you’ll be forced to find new ones from their existing list, who may not even be in the same industry as your brand.
Your last resort would be to approach a different agency or work with ones who don’t align with your brand values.
Since the relationship between the agency and the influencer is out of your control, the entire campaign flow might go wrong.
Here’s a list of what’s discussed till now:
|Why Prefer Outsourcing||Why Not Prefer Outsourcing|
|Risk management||No brand understanding|
|Access to specialized knowledge and expertise||Influencer options are limited|
|Curated lists of influencers||No direct contact between brands and the influencer|
|Cost-effective solution||Lack of transparency|
|Good for quick experimentations||Multiple hidden costs|
|Saves time||Cannot scale your influencer campaign|
Many companies are considering outsourcing as a viable alternative to in-house sourcing. While there are numerous benefits, they also come with some drawbacks. It’s important to consider all aspects of outsourcing before deciding on whether this is the right option for you or not.
Outsourcing saves time and money, but it can also complicate your marketing efforts by adding another layer of complexity. Outsourcing may be best for short-term goals or specific projects, but it’s not always appropriate for long-term strategies that require continuity and consistency.