Are influencer marketing agencies worth the money?


Influencer marketing has become one of the essential strategies for building long-term brand awareness. Just hearing about an influencer campaign can drive hundreds of thousands of visitors to your website. If you consider investing in an influencer marketing agency, you must understand how they work and what you expect from them.


What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing has evolved over the years. Initially, it started with bloggers selecting products to talk about on their blog posts and YouTube videos. As technology advanced, so did influencer marketing – social media channels like Instagram came into play, allowing marketers to engage directly with consumers through sponsored content posted by influencers. Marketers could now use influencers as tools to promote their products and enhance their brand’s reach.

An influencer is a person or group that influences potential buyers of a product or service. In the context of social media, an influencer could be an individual who has amassed a significant following on Snapchat, Instagram, etc., through regular posts about what they are doing every day. Teenagers typically view these individuals as incredible trendsetters with fashionable clothing, trendy opinions on beauty products, etc. Marketers can tap into this audience through influencers who have large social followings. As you can imagine, there is no shortage of people claiming to be influencers – it is easy for marketers to get fooled into working with the wrong person.


The Problems with Influencer Marketing Agencies

Several influencer marketing agencies offer to connect brands and market their products to consumers through influencers. Many agencies will charge the client a hefty fee at the start of an agreement and then charge additional fees if the agency does not meet certain milestones and goals.


Agencies commonly promise clients results such as:

However, marketers should be careful when entering into influencer marketing agreements with agencies. Agencies may over-promise on results, especially in terms of ROI – they want you to sign up for their service because it is easy money for them. The risks associated with working with these types of services include:


1) Lackluster Results

Many individuals who call themselves influencers do not have loyal followers or a significant social presence at all. Marketers can waste a lot of their budget on influencers who do not have the promised number of followers and engagement.


2) Lack of Transparency

Agency agreements are often written so that agencies cannot be held accountable for delivering results. For example, contract clauses may prevent disclosing essential client information like advertising budgets; it is also common for contracts to contain confidentiality clauses preventing influencer posts from mentioning the agency or client they are working for. Such language makes it impossible for marketers to benchmark results against other campaigns and make informed decisions about their return-on-investment (ROI). Marketers should avoid signing non-disclosure agreements before talking with an influencer marketing agency – ideally, you should be able to see the contract before you sign it.


3) Excessive Fees

Agencies may charge hefty upfront fees with additional payments per post. The fee structure should be outlined in your agreement, but ideally, agencies should pay influencers a flat fee for each post, regardless of its type or length. This removes ambiguity around payments and allows marketers to benchmark expected costs.


4) Unreliable Data

Often, marketing agencies do not have the infrastructure to measure the results of their campaigns, especially when they are working with influencers on social media, which is inherently difficult to track with most analytics tools. Marketers are forced to rely on agencies’ inaccurate data instead of directly measuring campaign success metrics. Only work with influencers who publish the tracking link from a post to your site so that you can monitor traffic yourself.


In addition, agency tactics for measuring engagement generally involve setting up a street team of 10-20 people to like and comment on posts about your product. This may artificially inflate follower numbers and result in fake feedback. Marketers should conduct their social listening research to ensure that influencers are talking about their brand and seeing an increase in conversation volume due to campaign activity before working with influencer marketing agencies.

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