When marketers consider incorporating influencer marketing as a part of their overarching marketing strategy, deciding whether to work with an influencer marketing platform or an agency often cross their minds.
But, what is the difference between the two? How do you choose the best solution for your product and goal? To find out, we chatted with our influencer relations team, and came up with 5 key differentiators.
At Matchmade, we work closely with advertisers, influencers, and agencies. We made it our mission to make influencer marketing great, easy, and transparent for everyone involved. Don’t forget to let us know what you think about this article by tweeting or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Selection of influencers
- Level of involvement
- Creatives and production services
- Type of stakeholders
- Data reporting
Both influencer marketing agencies and platforms have a network of content creators available for you to choose from. More importantly, the relationships both parties have built within their network are personal, which, in return, saves you the hassle from trying to find and connect with the right influencers. However, agencies often only recommend the influencers in their own roster. And, (most) platforms are neutral so the list of influencer recommendations you see most often includes all the creators that are relevant to your product. You can also find or even request out of network influencers if the ones available are not quite what you were looking for, or if you have someone specific in mind that you would like to partner with.
How much you want to be involved in your influencer marketing campaign can also be a key differentiator between influencer marketing agencies and platforms. For instance, if you rather someone else take charge of the strategizing, creating, running, and analyzing phases of your campaign, partnering with an agency would be a more suitable option because of their white-glove service. But, if you want to work with influencers directly but avoid all the manual work of finding and negotiating with them, platforms will enable you to do so as they are essentially a tool to manage influencers and create campaigns. They are also great for first timers because some platforms (like Matchmade!) provide performance and cost estimates for each recommended influencer.
Psst… when you register on the Matchmade platform, you get a dedicated customer success manager available 24/7 to address any of your questions and concerns.
As we’ve briefly touched on in the previous section, influencer agencies offer a variety of services that help optimize your campaigns from start to finish. This often includes their in-house creatives and production services — which could be appealing if it is what you’re looking for. However, if you trust that the creator knows what suits your audience the best, using a platform might be the more ideal option because of two reasons. The first being that the list of recommended influencers you receive is generated through a data match. The second being that these same influencers are experts, who have past experiences talking about products similar to yours.
It’s common to come across influencer agencies that either only serve the needs of advertisers, or the needs of influencers. Influencer marketing platforms, on the other hand, serve the needs of different, if not, multiple stakeholders — such as advertisers, influencers, influencer managers, MCNs (multi-channel network), and agencies. It is also important to note that platforms enable advertisers to reach multiple agencies from a single place as well.
Double psst… We’re currently building our agency and manager “suite,” and are looking for early users. If you’re interested in helping us build great tools for you, sign up here.
As the data side of the industry has posed a challenge, marketers often have to learn by trial and error without sophisticated analytical tools to guide their decision-making process. It appears that when advertisers are working with agencies, the responsibility of tracking their success ultimately falls back on them. However, influencer marketing platforms tend to be more data-driven. Some platforms (yes, like Matchmade!) have an algorithm that automates all product-channel matching, and base the assessment of each campaign performance on audience reaction, engagement, and demographic.
Triple psst… We support most 3rd party data partners, and offer real-time campaign performance metrics on our dashboard. Users registered on the Matchmade platform now have access to our advanced analytics reports on the performance of their campaigns. Learn more about our Advanced Analytics toolset here.
Tada! These are the 5 main differentiators you need to consider when choosing between an influencer marketing platform and agency. Thoughts? SHARE ON SOCIAL! Tweet us @matchmadetv, send us an Instagram DM at @matchmadetv, or simply email us email@example.com.