An influencer marketing agency is a firm that specializes in working with social media influencers, typically on YouTube. These agencies are often involved in the management of influencer accounts, working to curate relevant content for their audience. Other responsibilities might include helping brands partner with these “influencers” through paid endorsement deals or collaborating on creative projects that benefit both the influencer and brand.
To properly answer this question, let’s first look at what an “influencer” is. In marketing, anyone who has a high degree of reach online is considered an influencer. But for our purposes here, think of an influencer as someone with a large following on YouTube or any other social media platform. Now that we know what a YouTuber is and how they can benefit brands, let’s see why a firm would be needed to help manage their accounts and deals.
Why do Brands need Influencers?
It may seem obvious that brands will want to work with influencers because they have a built-in following – that regularly shows interest in the type of product or service offered by the brand. However, think about the cost. If a small company wants to hire an influencer to promote their product they will need to pay them and then hope that it translates into sales. And if the brand only has a few hundred dollars to work with, high-profile YouTubers might not be interested in working with them at all.
That’s where agencies come in. Agencies can help brands identify relevant social media influencers and negotiate deals on their behalf – all under one roof so to speak. When looking for an agency these should be some things you ask:
1. Are they certified members of your preferred influencer marketing platform?
You’ll want to ensure that the agency you’re working with is registered on any of the major social media influencer platforms and has proof of certification. These networks require members to adhere to certain rules and regulations in order to best serve their community/clients.
2. How many YouTube channels do they manage?
As mentioned before, an important benefit to using an agency is their ability to find relevant YouTubers for your brand. More specifically though, look for agencies with expertise in your industry or specific niche market. If it’s a food review blog you’re looking for then don’t work with an agency that only represents beauty gurus! (unless you’re doing a beauty-food campaign of course, which might be interesting!)
3. Do they have any case studies?
If an agency can provide proof that their marketing campaigns resulted in increased sales for companies, this is the best indication that they’ll be able to find high-value channels for your product. If you see affiliate links on their site then it’s likely they are using this opportunity to sell their own services without proving any notable results.
4. Can they connect you with some YouTubers personally?
A lot of agencies also have their own lists of YouTube creators who are suitable for specific brands or products. They should have access to these contacts and if not, providing them with information about your campaign (industry, type of product, etc.) should allow them to make some personal connections within their network.
5. Will they manage the entire campaign for you?
Agencies are often thought of as “middlemen” between brands and influencers because they’re not always directly involved in your campaign. However, it is important that they will be available throughout the process to answer questions or resolve any issues that may arise. Look for an agency that can provide you with a direct line to their account managers so that your needs are being met from start to finish.
6. Do they have experience outside YouTube? What other platforms do they specialize in?
YouTubers aren’t the only social media influencers out there – at least not anymore. In fact, there are a number of up-and-coming influencer marketing platforms that will allow brands to connect with creators from different channels. Look for an agency that not only manages YouTube but also Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch among others!
7. Do they have experience managing product placements within the content?
When you want a YouTuber to review or feature your brand it’s always best if they don’t come across as too salesy. There should be some sort of balance between explaining the benefits of your product while making it seem like a natural fit in their content flow. An agency should be able to work closely with you on this aspect so that the campaign is as seamless as possible.
8. If they do take a cut, what does that entail?
Agencies manage your campaign so it’s understandable that they will want to make a profit. However, some agencies take a much bigger cut than necessary because their service is essentially making them rich. Instead of worrying about the percentage, you should look at how many campaigns are serviced per month. If your agency is taking on too much work then this could be an indication that they’re not able to give each client the personal attention they deserve.
9. How do their payments work?
Some agencies don’t charge upfront but only collect money for completed campaigns or milestones reached during the process. This is great if your budget is limited because you’ll only have to pay once everything has been finalized and delivered. Otherwise, agencies may require a certain amount of money as either a deposit or an upfront payment before they will begin working on your campaign. This should be made clear to you and there should be no hidden fees or charges that may appear later on!
10. Do YouTubers want something in exchange for reviewing/featuring your product?
Of course, it’s always nice when influencers include links to your products but this isn’t the only thing they’ll expect from you if they partner with you. Some YouTubers ask for free products (which is fine) but others actually expect cash payments, referral fees and travel expenses to compensate them for their work. If this information has not been shared with you then make sure you’re aware of it and won’t be surprised if you’re faced with unexpected costs down the road.
In the digital age, it’s no longer enough to just have a catchy slogan or clever ad. You need something that will go viral- and there are few things more reliable for this than an influencer marketing agency! If you’re looking for help managing your social media presence in a way that creates engagement with potential customers, we’re here. We’ll work with you to provide creative content and promotional deals that boost both your brand recognition and customer base. With our help, we can make sure every piece of content is worth its weight in gold. If you want to learn about how we could be able to partner on behalf of your business, feel free to contact us at any time!