These days, more and more brands do influencer marketing in-house. That’s all well and good for those who have the budget.  But companies that don’t have that budget? How do they find social media influencers? And how can they create campaigns that have an impact? Fortunately, social media influencer companies help brands and marketers with influencer marketing. And they do it for a fraction of the price of in-house.

Working with a social media influencer company gives you the backing of years of experience in the industry. Plus, you get access to a full network of influencers. Here’s what you need to know about working with social media influencer companies. And that includes how your brand can get started working with one.

What Do Social Media Influencer Companies Do?

The exact services provided by social media influencer companies vary based on the package a brand or marketer purchases. But services offered by social media influencer companies can vary greatly themselves. Some companies are full-service and provide a range of packages. These can include DIY software as well as fully managed services with a team of support.

Take a look at a few of the services commonly offered by social media influencer influencer companies:

Connect you to influencers.

Nearly three quarters of brands have said that finding the right influencer is the biggest challenge they face with influencer marketing. Social media influencer companies help you overcome that obstacle. They often offer a searchable network or marketplace full of influencers who are looking for partnerships. Look for influencer discovery by platform, engagement rates, and subject matter expertise.

Help you negotiate rates.

Another challenge is figuring out how much to pay influencers and how much a campaign costs. An influencer company can not only provide guidance when it comes to rates, it can also act as a go-between for your company and the influencer, giving you each a chance to bid and negotiate a rate that works for everyone involved.

Help you develop a strategy.

How should your brand approach influencer marketing? What are your goals, and how can you go about achieving those goals? A social media influencer company can work with you one on one to create a strategy and plan for success.

Provide influencer marketing software.

Some social media influencer companies have custom software that can help your brand streamline its workflow, put together entire campaigns, and generally simplify the entire process.

Provide campaign analytics.

It’s not enough to just put the campaign together — you also want to be able to track its performance and see the results. Influencer companies often offer campaign analytics so that you can see which platforms perform best, whether one influencer has more of an impact than others, and what you can do to make the campaign’s posts more effective.

Help you promote or distribute content.

Influencer companies also often provide tools to help brands promote the posts created by influencers, or help brands leverage influencers to promote other forms of content.

Keep your influencer marketing campaign in compliance.

The FTC has specific rules when it comes to influencer marketing, and it’s important that posts comply with those rules. An influencer company keeps up with the latest compliance regulations and ensures that your brand’s influencer posts all include the appropriate disclosure statements.

Who Uses Social Media Influencer Companies?

Since the services offered by social media influencer companies are so flexible, a wide range of brands and marketers often use them to launch or maintain influencer campaigns. Pretty much every single company that wants to try influencer marketing — from established Fortune 500 brands to the smallest of start-ups — can benefit from working with an influencer company.

Why Should You Use a Social Media Influencer Company?

Working with a social media influencer company offers plenty of benefits to brands large and small.

Expertise

Perhaps the biggest benefit is that your brand gets access to the expertise offered by the company. While some influencer companies are new, some have been around for more than a decade. They are staffed by people with inside knowledge of the industry, and with years of experience working with influencers.

Guidance

Another significant benefit of working with a social media influencer company is that doing so can demystify the process of influencer marketing for your brand. When you work with a company, you get access to a network of influencers who would otherwise be difficult to connect with.

Insight

You also get an inside look at the process of creating a strategy and putting together a campaign. Working with a social media influencer company takes the guesswork out of influencer marketing.

How to Get Started With a Social Media Influencer Company

How can you get started with a social media influencer company? The first step is to review and vet the companies out there

Not every influencer company is the same. The first thing to look at is how long the company has been around, or what the collective experience of its team is. You probably don’t want to work with a company founded by someone who woke up yesterday and decided to get into influencer marketing. Years of experience matter, as does overall expertise.

Another thing to look at is the brands that have partnered with the company, either currently or in the past. Does the company provide examples of its work, or has it worked with some big names or recognizable brands?

Next, it’s a good idea to get a demo from the company so that you can get a sense of what services it offers and how those services can help you. You don’t want to rush into a partnership with a company without knowing what it does and seeing how its processes work.

When it comes to influencer marketing, you don’t have to do it “in house.” In fact, working with a social media influencer company can be the ideal way to help your brand dip its toes into the influencer marketing waters and see the benefits of using influencers firsthand.

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