In the last ten years, influencer marketing has gone from a tiny niche within the e-commerce landscape to one of the core elements of any digital marketing campaign.
According to this case study by the Influencer Marketing Hub, driven in part by the growing number of people who now buy products directly from social media platforms, influencer marketing was a $13.1 billion industry in 2021.
While some brands or startups partner with influencers, many—like Samsung and Sony—go through influencer marketing agencies.
These organizations connect brands to influencers in their networks plus craft the marketing copy for social posts.
Notable agencies—like The Influencer Marketing Factory, HireInfluence, and IMA—allow brands to worry less about influencer outreach or talent sourcing. Some top influencer marketing agencies even provide the following services:
As the influencer business has grown significantly, so have the number of influencer marketing agencies pitching themselves to brands.
Here are a few tips for finding an agency that matches your goal:
Some full-service influencer marketing agencies, like Viral Nation, possess the know-how to work as both a talent agency for influencers and a brand marketing agency.
The award-winning company recruits and represents many top influencers and content creators on Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat.
Viral Nation connects influencers with brands whose products, services, and brand stories align with their core target audience. The agency also assists brands with these activities:
Viral Nation has signed on 1,200 social media influencers with a collective reach of over a billion people. Companies like Twitch, Match, and Aston Martin have all run social media campaigns collaborating with Viral Nation.
As influencer marketing grows, marketing agencies are trying to stand out by narrowing their focus on niche industries. Brands should look for leading influencer marketing agencies that are well versed in their target audience.
For instance, agencies like New York-based LiveCraft and Los Angeles-based Twofivesix focus on gaming. They tailor their campaigns to reach those core audience demographics.
The key to a successful influencer marketing campaign is measured after the campaign ends, and brands analyze what worked and what didn't.
How many people saw your campaign, and what kinds of people were they? How many visited your site after seeing an influencer post? How many people bought the product/solution?
Identifying which metrics agencies track will be essential when picking the right partner.
TikTok, in particular, has been frugal sharing data, but a few marketing agencies now have access to the TikTok Creator Marketplace API.
That is important because the API gives more detailed data on who views your content and how those viewers are changing over time.
Currently, agencies like Captiv8, Whalar, and Influencer.com are among the few agencies to have this level of access to TikTok data.
Several companies are now committed to building a database of influencers looking to work with brands. One of those websites is Upfluence, which allows you to search for influencers by platform, engagement rate, and follower count.
Upfluence breaks down where each influencer's most engaged audience is, their typical pricing for a sponsored post, and the cost per engagement (CPE).
More than 150,000 influencers have signed up for the influence.co database from popular Instagram influencers to micro-influencers. Influence.co lets brands search for influencers based on follower counts and keywords.
If you're looking to work specifically with a user interested in BookTok (aka Book TikTok), this influencer marketing platform can find them for you.
You can always connect with influencers yourself. TikTok and Instagram each have online databases of influencers available to work with brands.
If you want to test out influencer marketing with a handful of influencers to see if it's a good fit, you can use these in-app databases to do it yourself.
The TikTok Creator Marketplace, for instance, lets brands search for influencers based on their follower counts, engagement rates, the overarching themes of their posts, and more.
Then, once influencers publish a video for your brand, the Creator Marketplace shares their internal metrics.
It's important to remember that customers will inevitably ask questions about your product in the TikTok or Instagram comments when you launch your influencer marketing campaign.
Chatdesk Teams hires customer service representatives who are real fans of each brand to reply, in real-time, to viewers in both the comments and in DMs.