15 May Should You Do Influencer Marketing In-House Or Work With an Agency?
This question comes up a lot for brands who are new to influencer marketing: Is it better to do Influencer Marketing in-house or should I enlist the help of an agency? There’s no one right answer to this question; it all depends on your brand’s needs and circumstances. Let’s break down some of the biggest factors and give you the tools to assess for yourself which path is right for your brand.
Project Size & Frequency
Are you planning a small one-off campaign or several large ongoing campaigns? If you are looking to activate an one-off campaign, or are new to influencer marketing and experimenting with different strategies, an agency has the tools and knowledge to maximize your efforts, eliminating the learning curve and saving you time. By working with an agency on these projects, you can focus your time on developing a long-term strategy that builds from the success created by your initial campaign, while the agency worries about managing the nitty-gritty details from negotiating with influencers, to making sure the right messaging and hashtags are used. Typically, brands aren’t looking to hire a new head count for one-off projects, so we always recommend exploring working with an agency for these activations to make the most of your efforts.
If you are ready to invest in regular ongoing influencer campaigns, enough to make it worth hiring an experienced employee, it might make sense to bring your influencer marketing in house. By bringing on a dedicated employee, you’ll find that you can experiment more with various strategies and develop ongoing personal relationships with influencers to better serve as brand ambassadors. If needed, you can always scale your efforts by partnering with an agency for larger campaigns along the way.
Consider how big a role Influencer Marketing will play in your overall marketing strategy. If you are ready to make it a large part of your marketing strategy, you can justify hiring or training someone to get it done in-house. If you just want to try it out, or you anticipate it being a very small part of your larger strategy, outsourcing it might be the better way to go.
Size of Budget
As always, budget is a major factor when it comes to marketing strategies. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer for whether in-house or agency work will fit your budget better. For in-house, the factor you need to consider is mainly the cost of hiring or training employees and paying for tools. Agencies, on the other hand, can vary widely in cost. In a study done by RhythmOne, an influencer marketing solution, the average spend for a single campaign totaled $70,685, and from previous experience, we can assume a campaign of this magnitude activated on average 25-50 micro-influencers, depending on deliverables requested. If you’re on the fence, it’s probably worth shopping around at a few agencies to get a sense of the cost, and compare that cost to what you’d have to pay to acquire the resources (human and otherwise) to do the same work in-house.
Importance of Speed
As we touched on above, the timeline of your campaign can be a factor in the in-house vs. agency debate. In-house marketing will entail more time-consuming efforts up-front, including hiring and/or training. While it does take time to coordinate with external parties if you’re outsourcing, an agency can be quick to respond, since they have the processes in place and a full roster of qualified influencers. Once you’re over the learning curve, however, and have in-house processes in place as well as a roster of reliable influencers, in-house influencer marketing can be quicker to execute.
Importance of Convenience
This can be a major factor when choosing between in-house and agency marketing. Agencies provide a lot of convenience for brands. They have a qualified roster of relevant influencers ready to go, as well as experience negotiating contracts, managing influencers and campaign timelines, and negotiating all the nitty gritty details. If convenience is your biggest factor, working with an agency is typically the best way to go.
There are lots of reasons you might choose either in-house or agency influencer marketing for your brand. If you have a small, one-off project, are new to influencer marketing, need to start quickly, or value convenience, employing the help of an experienced agency may be the way to go. If you’re in it for the long haul, willing to put resources into learning influencer marketing (or hiring someone with that knowledge), and have the time and budget up front to build a strategy from the ground up, choosing to do things in-house may pay off in the long run.
Still not sure which option is right for you? You can always drop us an email to get our two cents on what agency or in-house influencer marketing would mean for your brand!