Having worked in a certain area for a long time and have already received enough experience, you may start thinking about establishing your own enterprise. Being in charge of your company, managing all the processes based on your knowledge, hiring those people who you get along with well looks like a perfect idea.
Someone opens a small bakery when another one founds an influencer marketing agency. The latter, by the way, has become a very appealing area so far that is even called “the future of advertising”. An influencer is one of the best tools to attract customers to a product or service and eventually a key to all doors.
If this is your cup of tea and you are ready to embark on the path of entrepreneurship in the field of Influencer Marketing, let’s delve into the pertinent details of starting an agency to connect brands with right influencers.
What are the benefits of Influencer Marketing?
These days Influencer Marketing is collecting the praises and influencers themselves are equated with manna from heaven. No wonder. There are lots of weighty reasons for this. Collaborating with an opinion leader, it is possible to quickly solve several marketing tasks which previously took months to come to a logical final and beneficial results. Here are 5 the most valuable benefits to reward you with when starting a campaign with an influencer.
Influencer Marketing reaches your target audience effectively and quickly if you have chosen the right “social media engine” for your brand. Sometimes targeted ads do not cope with the task accurately as opposed to this type of marketing. You no longer need to waste your budget on finding your buyer personas using a heap of methods, as the majority of them have already gathered under one roof. Create an appealing offer that will definitely hook your audience, hand it over to a relevant Instagram celebrity and generate leads.
Followers of a particular influencer usually believe his recommendations on products and services. It is a kind of authority who has already tested the items of the brand on himself and if he were pleased with the experience thus he can advise them with certainty. Successful opinion leaders put much effort to prove their bona fides and build long-term relationships with their audience. People usually think the following way: if my favourite influencer tells that something is of high quality, it is really the truth. It gives you a chance of leveraging an already loyal audience that will associate your brand with a trustworthy person. What is more, the perception that the brand is a trustworthy company immediately appears as well.
Keep in mind: tick off what brands a chosen influencer has collaborated with and what reviews the products and services have among customers. It is crucial to check the level of honesty and clear up the intentions of an opinion leader. Unfortunately, there are such ones who are ready to promote anything the companies offer just to earn more.
Creating a buzz around your brand
To break through competitor lines and be noticed among other brands, you should not cease talking about your products and services. They should not make your target audience indifferent. Influencer Marketing drives conversation, makes people discuss and express their points of view regarding everything a social media celebrity shares in his account. If you collaborate with an influencer, followers’ eyes will be glued to your product. It will not definitely be missed in the information noise of the 21st century.
Therefore, you will expand your reach in the marketplace, improve the awareness of your brand and turn it into a hot topic.
High ROI (=return of investment)
One of the main skills of a professional marketing specialist is to increase profits while spending less. Influencer Marketing campaigns are relatively inexpensive compared to TV advertising or articles in a glossy magazine and they usually pay off. Scrolling a news feed and paying attention to a new bag in the hands of a smiling influencer, our desire to get the same goes off the scale. If a campaign goes viral and the word for it is spread over and over again, you will outweigh the costs at light speed. Do not also forget about the effectiveness of the method. People will notice the product or service in influencer’s account on Instagram quicker than on the billboard near the main road.
Providing your brand with a reputation of the trendsetter
Opinion leaders are trendy, known-alls and high-quality experts in their niches. Any novelty will not escape from their gaze. Aligning your brand with an influencer convinces people that your company is also a trendsetter in the industry. You are placed in the spotlight and are perceived as worth paying attention to, at least because a newfangled celebrity has already done it. What is more, your up-to-date and fresh product or service has the potential to go viral and bring more reach than you paid for.
The collaboration with social media experts is intended for success if only you apply a well-thought strategy and have chosen the right people that will set your campaign up for good results.
What does the Influencer Marketing Agency do?
If diamonds are women’s best friends, in that case, influencer marketing agencies are the best friends of marketers. To start a campaign with an opinion leader is a task that demands much time, patience and effort. Lost among other tasks, a marketing specialist often cannot devote himself to deal with it. Influencer marketing agencies come to the rescue, ready to assume all your “headache”. Basically, they were created to get brands and influencers together, build rapport between them and facilitate collaboration. These agencies are interested in the successful campaign as much as brands because this affects the image and their place in the market. In contrast to PR or digital agencies, influencer marketing agency is solely focused on marketing with social media stars. Nowadays, there are a lot of specially designed tools and platforms to find social media celebrities and track your collaboration. However, it is always better to rely on professionals and do not worry that you have just blown all of your budgets.
The main functions of Influencer Marketing Agency:
- Discovery of relevant influencers for a particular campaign. Usually, agencies have a selection of social media personas they partner with. Sometimes you need to look for new ones in marketplaces or using special tools. The core task is to find a good fit for a brand to reach predetermined marketing goals.
- Creation of influencer marketing campaigns. Such agencies are in charge of all the processes of a campaign. They should be aware of the brand’s target audience, tone of voice, followers’ preferences regarding visuals, behaviour patterns, etc. to choose the method of advertising and correctly set the task to an opinion leader. Influencer marketing agencies also select a social media channel that will perform the best for your brand. They also give recommendations on how to develop a unique marketing strategy to achieve the goals. Among the campaigns, there are giveaways, contests, product placements, theme campaigns, hashtag campaigns, native advertising, and others.
- Negotiations with an influencer. Briefs, establishing schedules, talking points, and goals, rates and contracts, discussing nuances regarding the campaign – everything falls on the shoulders of the agency. In a word, you, as a brand, just make changes when needed and approve the final variant of the campaign.
- Execution, management, control, and optimization of a campaign. The agencies are also with eyes wide open and with a hand on the pulse to make corrections and change the vector of work when something goes wrong. The brand just has to approve the final variant of the campaign and agree to launch it.
- Reporting and measuring the success of a campaign. The agency has to report on the results obtained and all the work done after its completion. The brand should clearly understand what the agency has spent the budget on and get all the insights regarding the performance. Documented, of course.
In fact, influencer marketing agency acts on behalf of the brand: it creates a campaign with a social media expert from scratch and tackles it till the very end.
What questions to ask yourself before starting an Influencer Marketing Agency?
You might think a hundred times before getting the idea off the ground. You should make sure that this is definitely your “mountain” and then start conquering it patiently and persistently. To understand whether you are on alert, ask yourself a few questions. Be honest and do not exaggerate your resources and capabilities.
Do I have enough strength to survive the highs and lows when starting my business?
When you are about to start an influencer marketing agency or any other business, you will have to get ready for sleepless nights and hard work on your way to the cloudless future. Only those who understand this and do not give up halfway, achieve the desired results. Your success depends on your ability to keep moving forward.
How much money do I need to start? Do I really have such funds at the moment?
You will have to put not only much effort into the affair but much money as well. In the beginning, there are chances to earn nothing, later – to cover the expenses, much later – to get profits. Make a rough calculation and find the answers regarding the costs. Imagine that your business will give you less income than you expect. How long will you be able to bear it?
What is the unique selling point of my influencer marketing agency?
It is vital to look for distinguishing features to differentiate your business from the competitors. New ideas and extraordinary decisions will contribute to your standing out from the crowd. It might be competitive pricing, unique offers, particular niches you work at and thus are experts in a certain area, quirky influencer marketing campaigns, whatever. Ponder and create something amazing to attract customers and seize the market.
Do I have enough knowledge about Influencer Marketing and how it works?
In fact, such agencies are founded either by the influencers themselves or by marketing specialists who were responsible for working with social media stars in some companies. Be sure to have knowledge and experience in this area to understand the mechanism of work. You can take a chance and establish a company based on materials you have read on the Internet or the notes you have made within the business courses. However, hands-on experience always wins over the theory.
How will I attract influencers and brands to collaborate with my agency?
Establishing a unique selling point mentioned above is not enough to conquer the hearts of brands and influencers. Focus on their needs first, not yours. Study their pains and offer a pill to relieve them. Sales will follow if you adapt everything based on the needs of your customers. Also, spread a word about your agency and create a positive image.
5 key steps to start an Influencer Marketing Agency
First of all, it’s all about personal interests, knowledge, and dreams that drive you crazy and make wheels turn. If you already have these ingredients, then start thinking more strategically.
- Plan your business. This is a departing point that is to set the tone for all next steps. This item includes everything from defining your target market and creating a name for your agency to making a complete strategy. You will be able to correct later but at the same time, you should know your goals and your way at least in outline.
- Create a website. This is a calling card for this kind of business or even for any business at present. It should be appealing, trendy, easy to use and contain all the necessary information both for brands and influencers. It is an obvious item. But if you suddenly made up your mind to avoid it for unknown reasons, here is the prevention not to.
- Legalize your company. You will have to tinker with getting the official right to establish a company. Nevertheless, it is of great importance to protect your privacy and act according to the law. Register for taxes, obtain necessary permits, open a bank account, etc. If you feel uncertain to figure it out yourself, seek help from professionals on these issues.
- Star looking for influencers. No matter whether you will do this search manually or in the marketplaces, you should have a shortlist of people to collaborate with on a regular basis. It will be also necessary later to specifically search for personalities to match particular campaigns. At the very beginning, you are unlikely to attract celebrities to join your agency, just nano or micro-influencers. By the way, they are highly appreciated and brands chose them more often these days. Gain experience, work your way up the ladder and expand the base of influencers.
- Make up a team. Don’t take it all yourself to save money. A good team and a skill to delegate are key points for success. For a start, you will need managers, an accountant, a web developer, and a marketing specialist if it is not you.
These are the steps that you can’t ignore or miss in no way. Depending on your personal preferences and expectations about your influencer marketing agency, the number of steps changes and/or increases.
Influencer Marketing Agencies to know and take for an example
This is a full-service agency that carries on campaigns from the very beginning (selecting influencers) until the very end – analyzing the results. Having a special platform for the management of the campaign, it makes easier for brands to keep up with all the processes in a logical order.
Obviously has its huge database of over 400,000 influencers, offers an elaboration of influencer marketing and social strategies, and even organization and conducting live events with the participation of influencers. What is more, you can legally purchase already made influencer content to use in your purposes, ask for delivering your products to influencers, and embody any idea within your campaigns.
This agency was standing at the gates of the beginning of influencer marketing therefore we can legally call it the pioneer of the area. IMA has already built long-term relationships with lots of social media stars throughout the world, realized eye-catching campaigns, and executed various strategies. The agency takes on coordination of all the stages: from developing creative concepts to reporting on the results. Among the services, there is competitor analysis, creation of brand benchmarks, a bespoke social listening analysis, production and content creation, etc. IMA has already successfully collaborated with such well-known brands as DKNY, Farfetch, Diesel, Calvin Klein, and others.
Being a global influencer marketing and talent agency, Viral Nation is engaged not only in influencer marketing campaigns but also in developing compelling content for other marketing purposes. The company confirms in being a qualified professional of analytics in the influencer marketing space that is a key item for brands who strive for being aware of the results. If a brand wants to promote its services or products with the help of influencers but does not know why and how, Viral Nation will provide it with an ultimate strategy, undertake its implementation and bring the matter to victorious results.
This agency convinces using an absolutely different approach to dealing with campaigns. What kind of? They created the Content Performance Index™ to track, test and score content in real-time and therefore identify the best performing content and optimize the campaign. The Carusele Way passes the following stages: create, test, amplify, engage. The company has a focus on metrics and uses different methods to boost the content and provide the clients with expected reach and spreading campaign messages.
6Degrees. agency has chosen a particular direction of work and focused on beauty, fashion, and fitness. They say in the agency that influencer marketing is much more than reach and engagement. It is a story to tell about a brand and that is why the agency digs deeper. They study the background and personality of the business to launch a beneficial marketing campaign. 6Degrees. is engaged in influencer identification, relationship and campaign management, measurement and reporting. The company introduces itself the following way: “We aren’t representatives for talent. We represent our clients, and we don’t like limiting their options”.
Influencer marketing agency seems a lucrative kind of business, a very interesting and trendy area which will only grow and expand its horizons. If you came up with the idea of founding such an agency and are ready to stand all the ups and downs, propel it forward and become one of the potential competitors for those agencies mentioned above.