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Influencer Marketing Agency

How To Choose The Right Influencer Marketing Agency?

Table of Contents

The popularity of influencer marketing has reached its peak. It has been proven to be very effective, as 61% of consumers trust product recommendations from influencers. In a study, 93% of marketers admitted to capitalizing on influencer marketing. In another study, 77% of marketers stated they are planning to dedicate a specific budget for influencer marketing. So, it can be predicted that the field will be more competitive for marketers, and only cautiously and calculated moves can ensure the best outcome for your influencer marketing campaign.

Influencer marketing involves promoting your product by being mentioned and endorsed by influencers with a trusting and enthusiastic fanbase. An influencer marketing agency links a business with the right influencer to represent and promote its products. These agencies also strategize and manage your whole influencer marketing campaign. Therefore, hiring the right influencer marketing agency enhances the chance of success for your marketing campaigns.

However, picking the right influencer marketing agency for your business involves carefully following a step-by-step approach. In this article, we will outline this process for you. 

1. List Down Your Expected Outcomes

Before planning any marketing campaign, you need to set your goals. In other words, what do you expect to achieve from this effort? It is the same with an influencer marketing campaign. Defining clear goals and understanding relevant KPIs are crucial to keeping your campaign focused in a specific direction.

Thus, start by listing down your expected outcomes from an influencer marketing campaign. However, do not distort your focus by emphasizing too many goals at once. 

Influencer Marketing Agency

Increase Sales

Generating sales is usually the most common goal of a marketing campaign. To generate sales, the best influencer marketing strategies to follow are affiliate marketing, offering discount codes, group shoutouts, sales promotions, and nurturing a long-term relationship with the influencers.

For example, many YouTube influencers often provide special discount codes for the brand they endorse to their viewers. You will also find many Instagram influencers directing you to their endorsed products with a specific affiliate link. Free giveaways, which work as a sales promotion for a brand, are also common marketing strategies executed through influencers. Morphe Cosmetics is a great example of brands using these strategies effectively. 

The most important influencer marketing KPI for tracking sales is conversion rate. Conversion rate refers to how many of your website visitors are converted into paying customers. Putting affiliate links in action makes it easier to track conversion rates for your influencer marketing campaign. The value of your KPI should reflect your targetted conversion rate. 

Grow Brand Awareness

If you are bringing a new product or service to the market, growing brand awareness is most likely to be your primary goal. To increase brand awareness, influencer marketing is the most popular strategy right now. You can offer free products, monetary compensation, or both to influencers to run such campaigns. However, you need to carefully choose your influencers as their actions and content will be associated with your brand name.

For growing brand awareness, the most important KPIs you need to track are the number of views, the brand’s social media followers, website traffic, total reach on all platforms, search volume, engagement, and the number of impressions (how many times an influencer’s content was displayed). Set your desired value for each of these KPIs.

Improving Social Engagement

Boosting social engagement is essential when you want to gather insights from your target market to optimize your offerings and promotional efforts better. Sometimes, working with this objective also helps you to gain more social media followers. Significantly improved social media engagement after an influencer marketing campaign proves that your influencers have done an excellent job of triggering their audience’s interest in your brand.

The relevant KPIs here include the number of likes, reactions, comments, pins, shares, reviews, use of campaign hashtags, and brand mentions. Your new potential customers are among these people who have been interacting with your influencers. Additionally, by analyzing what they are saying about your brand, you can get valuable insights on how to optimize your marketing mix to ensure substantial returns.  

Tapping A New Market

If you already have an established brand and want to attract a completely different target market with your new or existing products, influencer marketing can be the easiest strategy to follow. 

For example, suppose your backpack brand is popular among young adults. Now you want to market colorful backpacks to pre-teens. The best way to attract this new demographic is to use influencer marketing which can involve a group of popular teen influencers with a huge pre-teen fan base. A collaborative shoutout of this group alone can immediately create immense hype around your backpacks.

Since it is just the start of tapping into a new market, the most important KPIs here involve of the brand awareness goal. However, if your product is in the process of development and you want more insights from users, track the KPIs related to social engagement as well. Finally, if you want to determine whether the product or the campaign is profitable for your business, then you also have to track conversion rates. 

2. Do Research On Influencer Marketing

Once you have decided what you want from an influencer marketing campaign, now you need to have an extensive overview of what you are getting into. Study the field of influencer marketing meticulously and determine if it is actually suitable for your brand and products. You can start by exploring the following aspects of influencer marketing.

  • The statistics and experts’ opinions on the past, present, and future of influencer marketing.
  • Stories of successful and failed influencer marketing campaigns.
  • The businesses that use influencer marketing strategies.
  • Details on the KPIs we have mentioned and how to measure them.
  • Popular social media platforms and the expected ROI derived from there.
  • Different types of influencers, their expertise, content, and audience base.
  • How to manage an influencer marketing campaign.
  • Websites of popular influencer marketing agencies.
  • Other relevant blogs, news, and videos.
Influencer Marketing Agency

3. Set A Budget

After setting your goals and doing the necessary research, you need to determine how much you are willing to spend to achieve your desired outcomes. You need to balance the amount of return you want and the quality of your campaign. Setting such a budget for influencer marketing is a complicated process. The professionals in this field, such as influencer marketing agencies, can do this job the best. 

However, given that you have not hired any agency yet, you still need to make a rough estimate by yourself to prepare for a financial commitment. You can get insights from various relevant articles and videos, other businesses and experts involved in influencer marketing, and the agencies websites. Keep your defined goals in mind when doing this research.

After gathering some information regarding influencer marketing costs, refocus on your needs. Then, ask yourself the following questions.

  • What platforms do you want to use for promotion? 
  • What type of influencers can you afford? 
  • What sort of content (shoutouts, reviews, blogs, and so on) do you require? 
  • How are you planning to compensate them? What non-monetary incentives (VIP experiences, exclusive access to products, invites to events, etc.) are you offering? 
  • What is the estimated amount of the compliance fee for preparing legal contracts? 
  • How much do influencer marketing agencies typically charge, and what services are offered?

Based on all these insights, determine a budget while leaving some room for negotiation. Based on your KPI goals, estimate your ROI. If you are satisfied with the forecasted ROI, proceed with this budget. If not, revise your KPI expectations or estimated cost figure.    

4. Make A List of Potential Agencies

By now, you should have a full picture of influencer marketing and how you can capitalize on it. Next, start listing down the potential influencer marketing agencies that can best serve your goals. There are two ways to do this, and you can follow any or both of these.

The first one is conventional. Browse through different agencies’ websites and social media pages. Also, during your research phase, if you liked any particular campaign from a certain agency, include their names as well. 

The second way is to find influencers who are popular and credible among your target market. Then, identify the ones with interests relevant to your product or brand. For example, if you are marketing skateboards. Your list will include the influencers who are skateboarders themselves and have a huge follower base that trusts these influencers. Next, find out which influencer marketing agencies have or are working with them. List the names down.

Now that you have a list of names, you can proceed to the next stage. However, we recommend an extra step at this point to save some time later. Try to gather some information regarding the service cost of each agency on your list. Websites, past and present clients, or even relevant articles can give you a rough estimation. If you find any agency on your list that is beyond your budget, you can omit that and proceed with the rest. 

5. Check The Agencies Client Base and Past Campaigns

At this stage, you need to study the agencies on your list. Before starting your research, we recommend keeping a scorecard for each agency and scoring them on various aspects. However, the most effective method is to note down your findings in short instead of just putting a number on them. Your scorecard factors may include the following.

  • Cost
  • Quality of work
  • Professionalism
  • Influencer network
  • Expertise
  • Creativity
  • Included services
  • Effectiveness
  • Responses
  • Dissemination of information
  • Reputation
  • Platforms they specialize on
  • Client base and their reviews

Now, start searching for relevant information. You may not get all the information you require, but try to gather as much as you can. Aside from searching on Google, try reaching out to the past and present clients of your listed agencies, so that you can collect detailed reviews. 

More importantly, track the past and present influencer marketing campaigns managed by your selected agencies. You can evaluate the quality of their work, get an idea of their common strategies, and if they are able to help achieve your goals while keeping your desired brand image undiluted. 

During this information hunt, keep updating your scorecards. After the process, take a look at the scores and notes you have taken. Do a careful and thorough assessment of them and identify the top five to seven agencies for the next stage. 

6. Study The Influencers Involved

Now that you have the names of the agencies you want to work with, start digging deep into the influencers they have previously and are currently working with. Most agencies link you to your pre-selected influencers even if they do not work with them. However, you need to realize that these influencers will be the face of your brand, representing your products and recommending them to their followers. Therefore, you need to ensure you are getting the right people.

Check the popularity and niche of the influencers your selected agencies work with. Assess their follower base, reach, and engagement of their posts, what they are famous for, how they conduct influencer marketing, and how their followers respond to their content. Keep a close eye on the audience demographics to pinpoint which influencers are the most influential to your target market.

Moreover, do some background checks on them as well to ensure your name does not get associated with something controversial. Also, see who they have collaborated with in the past to figure out if they have endorsed any products from rivals. If you do come across such influencers, try to omit them from consideration because endorsing multiple direct competitors lowers an influencer’s and the relevant brands’ credibility. Finally, take note of all the influencers you believe can help achieve the goals of your influencer marketing campaign.

By now, you should have a list of suitable influencers that your pre-selected agencies work with. If you have any influencer in mind who does not work with these agencies yet, include them as well. 

7. Ask For A Detailed Brief

After extensively researching your selected agencies, now is the time to contact them. Reach out to the agencies and clearly state your goals and specific KPI expectations for the campaign. From each agency, ask for a detailed brief that includes a general overview of how they will plan, design, execute and manage the campaign. 

Influencer Marketing Agency

The briefs should contain the following information.

  • Overview of the company.
  • A short, stepwise plan of the project.
  • A timeline.
  • Target audience.
  • Suitable influencers and their profiles. 
  • Platforms considered.
  • Types of content planned and some samples.
  • KPI estimates.
  • Reporting and management process.
  • A detailed cost structure.
  • Critical rules and regulations.

After receiving the brief, examine them carefully. Not every aspect would be suitable for you. Although you can always discuss and negotiate things you want to change, you should not proceed with the ones that do not align with your campaign or goal. Keep three agencies that offer an attractive and realistic brief. And remember, if it is within your budget, do not compromise quality for cost-saving. Sometimes you may have to expend most of your budget to get the best possible outcome. 

8. Understand the Agency’s Processes and Strategies

Now that you have your finalists, it’s time to evaluate them. Start with learning about each agency’s work processes in detail to determine if you can trust and comfortably work with them. Ask about how they begin a new project, choose the platforms and influencers, strategize the projects, execute and monitor them, and ensure KPI goals are reached within a given time.

You can also get introduce yourself to the project manager who will be communicating with you on behalf of the agency. Understand their reporting style, schedule, and process. Estimate how much input you can give on the project details. If the agency has an integrated system for individual project management and progress tracking, check if you can get access to yours once it starts. 

In the initial brief, the agencies may or may not suggest multiple strategies. Try to gather information about the different types of strategies they have been using. Measure their success in these strategies to understand their capability to work with diverse projects. The world of information is rapidly changing, and your chosen agency must be capable of quickly adapting to such changes. If an agency has experience in successfully implementing different influencer marketing strategies and tackling volatility, you can rest assured it has the right creative minds, resources, and expertise to serve you the best.

9. Hire The Right Agency And Monitor Its Performance

Now that you know almost everything about the top three influencer marketing agencies on your list, rank them based on who you see yourself achieving your goals successfully with. 

Big brands often recommend building a long-term relationship with your influencer marketing agency as the field is new, and everyone involved is still learning through performative actions. In the long term, your now-hired influencer marketing agency may be the one bringing you the most profit. Therefore, pick the agency with which you can build a mutually beneficial and long-lasting partnership. 

After you finally find and hire the right agency for your brand, keep track of its performance and output. Monitor the project’s specifics regularly, and take corrective actions if needed. Every influencer content should be published after your approval. Periodically compare expected and actual outputs and resolve issues before they inflate. Overall, your involvement is required to make your project successful, no matter how good of an agency you picked.

Final Words

It is possible that even after being thorough and careful, you end up hiring the wrong influencer marketing agency for your brand. Such an outcome may be frustrating, but it should not be a reason to give up. Finding the right agency is a process of trial and error, and you will identify the perfect one for you sooner or later. We hope this guide helps you streamline your search process and pairs you up with the most suitable influencer marketing agency.