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Influencer Agencies vs. Platforms: What is the Difference?

A business will pay or gift an influencer, someone who has a large social media presence and high engagement levels, to advertise their brand. Due to the rise in social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, and the power influencers have over the masses, influencer marketing has become a popular channel for businesses to advertise their products and services.

What Are the Benefits of Influencer Marketing?

Let’s explore the huge benefits of influencer marketing, starting with the top five…

1. Increased sales – most influencers share intimate parts of their lives with their followers to create a more organic and trusting relationship with their fans. So, when an influencer advertises a product or service, the audience trust their recommendations and are more likely to engage with the brand. Businesses may want the influencer to offer discount codes to entice more sales, this also helps track return of investment.

2. Bigger, louder, bolder – influencer content is more likely to appear on social media news feeds compared to paid advertising. So, you already have a head start in showcasing your brand and all it has to offer.

3. Save time – influencer marketing automatically connects you with existing audiences who fit your market niche. For example, if your business sells vegan skin care, once you find an influencer who promotes veganism and / or skincare and has high engagement levels (an influencer may have a large following, but low engagement levels – you want to look for a high number of likes, comments, and re-shares on their social media posts) – you have already found a large audience, who will instantly be engaged with what you’re selling. Bingo!

4. Save money – while the cost of paid advertisements continues to rise, the cost of influencer marketing is fairly reasonable. The cost depends on the audience size you want to reach and the niche of your product or service. A way to lower your outgoings is to offer the influencer performance-based commission. Once you have established a strong, collaborative relationship with the influencer, your brand will have more consistency too!

5. It’s all about word of mouth – the power of social media is that it offers unlimited sharing potential, whether that be in the form of a review, a post, a like, a share, a video, a discount code, a recommendation… And all these engagement activities have dramatically increased, because now you have an influencer on your team!

What is an Influencer Agency?

An influencer marketing agency helps businesses find the right influencers to suit them. There are lots of factors to consider when finding the perfect influencer match for your business, such as target audience, advertising content and pricing. An influencer agency has the expertise and industry contacts to build strong relationships with high-profile influencers and create a long-term influencer marketing strategy for your business – helping you with the finer details such as negotiating fees and contracts, to ensure you get the most out of your investment. Influencer marketing agencies are also responsible for setting out publishing schedules, editing, reviewing content, and regularly reporting on the progress and success of the campaign.
Teaming up with an award-winning agency will ensure your online advertising brings you a return of investment in no time!

What is an Influencer Marketing Platform?

While an influencer agency is based on manual selection of influencers who best match a business, an influencing marketing platform selects the influencers via a software application based on specific profiling, and then goes on to advertise the business’ product or service. The platform shortlists the right influencers, helps manage influencer relationships and provides data to measure return on investment.

As the platform is software led, it saves time on manual processes such as automating transactional emails, and then the platform will notify you when you need to respond to someone. The platform also enables you to create customised workflows which help track every stage of the campaign process. Saying goodbye to manual processes helps you to focus more of your precious time on fostering relationships with the influencers in your team.

Which Should You Choose for Your Business?

So, now you know the benefits of influencer marketing and how lucrative it could be for your business, and you know the two different types of influencer marketing – but how do you know which one is right for you?

Reasons to choose an influencer marketing agency

Influencer marketing agencies are most popular amongst big businesses who have more disposal income to invest in an agency; their campaigns also tend to have long-term timelines and involve complex processes which must comply with regulations. You should also choose an agency when the campaign’s progress and forecasting needs to be measured and changed over time. If you want to be able to measure the engagement levels an influencer is bringing to your brand, and therefore your return of investment – it’s best to hire an agency so you can get live statistics and regular reporting as and when you choose.

Reasons to choose an influencer marketing platform

Most start-ups and small businesses will use an influencer marketing platform; this is because the costs are often lower than a marketing agency. Also, the main objective of the advertising campaign will be to reach out to the masses, rather than measuring levels of engagement – as most platforms are not able to measure the engagement levels of an influencer. Often businesses who choose influencer marketing platforms will already have an in-house team with experience in influencer marketing, which makes navigating the platform software a much easier task. The advertising campaigns also tend to be small, one-off, and straightforward, without the need to follow strict regulations.

When it comes to choosing the right influencer marketing strategy for your business, whether that be with an agency or a platform, there is no one rule for all. Now you have all the knowledge to make an informed decision, get excited about the huge benefits influencers can bring to you and your business and start making connections today!

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