Influencer Marketing: Who “Owns” It?

Influencer Marketing: Who “Owns” It?

December 5, 2016 3:25 pm

There’s a reason influencer marketing has been the fastest-growing marketing channel in 2016. Influencers generate strong returns on investment, delivering $6.85 in earned media value for every $1 of paid media according to AdWeek.  Thus, more companies than ever are turning to influencer marketing for customer acquisition.  eMarketer states that 84% of marketers planned to launch an influencer campaign within the year.

Several recent acquisitions of influencer marketing agencies by established players like Google, Twitter, and The New York Times have caused companies in many different industries to take notice.

The questions on everyone’s minds: What role should PR firms, ad/creative agencies, media agencies, digital/social agencies, multi-channel/multi-platform networks, and influencer marketing agencies play in this quickly growing space?  With increasing cost pressures from clients, many if not all may be tempted to add “influencer marketing” to their laundry list of services in the hopes of securing additional revenue streams.

Let’s first look at what each of these entities traditionally handle:

  • Public Relations Firms: Public Relations (PR) firms run point on external brand communications.  They craft messaging that aims to influence consumer opinion on behalf of their clients.
  • Advertising/Creative Agencies: Ad agencies employ a wide array of strategies to create and execute campaigns based on client needs. Ad agencies can range from independent shops to large holding companies with capacity for market research, creative, account management, and much more.
  • Media Agencies: Media agencies ensure that all their clients’ messages are reaching the right consumer, at the right time, and that they are paying the best price.  They often use specialized (programmatic) software to buy ad inventory across many channels as efficiently as possible.
  • Digital/Social Agencies: Digital agencies help their clients manage their presence online which can be a daunting task. Many provide both strategy and tactical services for managing day-to-day operations and content for brands’ YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. They also may interact with consumers on these platforms to promote relevancy and a more personalized brand experience.
  • YouTube Multi-Channel/Multi-Platform Networks: MCNs or MPNs are third-party providers aligned primarily with YouTube channels. Their offerings include audience development, creator collaborations, and content programming among other services.  It is important to note that YouTube does not endorse specific MCNs.
  • Influencer Marketing Agencies: Influencer agencies typically focus exclusively on connecting brands and agencies with the top influencers in many content verticals. The advantage of influencer agencies is that they are typically platform-agnostic.

While these agencies have different functions, they have a shared focus:

  1. Protect their clients’ reputations and optimize positive exposure
  2. Influence their target audience to elicit certain behaviors/responses
  3. Grow awareness of a product, service or brand by reaching new and existing customers

As such, influencer partnerships between these different entities are complementary, not competitive.   For example:

  • Media agencies can work with their clients to build influencer campaigns into yearly plans and decide how best to allocate budgets.
  • Advertising agencies and PR firms can originate and optimize the overall campaign messaging.
  • Digital agencies can organize the social platform strategy.
  • Influencer agencies can recommend the best influencers for a given campaign while also managing the tactical execution.

Trending Family is an influencer agency that only works with the top, family-friendly influencers across social media including YouTubers with 50M+ total subscribers and 1B+ monthly views.  If your brand or agency is looking for a partner to manage influencer campaigns from start to finish, look no further. Our campaign management includes campaign ideation, all communication/logistics with the talent, timely release of all posts, optimizing any native media across social, and providing detailed post-campaign reporting.  Don’t hesitate to contact Trending Family for more information.




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