Some agencies specialize in handling influencer marketing for businesses. However, it can pay to manage your influencers in-house rather than contracting the work out to a third party. Explore the reasons why this is and learn more about what it takes to build a successful influencer team from within your organization.
Why Manage Influencers from Within?
Handling influencer campaigns and managing influencer relationships in-house means that you can have direct leadership over influencer campaigns. You’re in control when you don’t leave this important strategy to a third party. An in-house team can ensure that your brand partners exclusively with influencers who are ideally suited to your general marketing goals. They’ll also work hard at making those partnerships stronger and more direct.
The more direct your connection is with an influencer, the more likely they are to genuinely appreciate your brand. Good relationships with influencers can lead to more authentic campaigns that reflect each influencer’s genuine enthusiasm for your products and positive feelings about your brand. It’s harder to forge that kind of honest connection when you’re working through an agency conduit.
Think about it this way. Influencers, particularly those who already have large followings and a lot of social capital, often field dozens of offers at a time. You can stand out by being both well organized and showing a genuine interest in the influencer as an individual personality. When you have a dedicated team, you can devote the time necessary to creating good pitches and forging strong, ongoing relationships.
Roles in an Effective In-House Influencer Team
It’s a good idea for your in-house team to be dedicated to influencer marketing as a distinct activity. Every brand has its own strategy for and approach to influencer marketing. However, there are a few universal job roles that should be part of every influencer team. These roles cover the basic bases for regular job activities that are vital to your team’s continued success.
Keep scale in mind when you strategize how many people should be on your influencer team. Your organization may not be big enough to break each of these roles out into an individual job title just yet. But it’s still important that your team handles these tasks. You can combine these different roles and split them between any number of people on a smaller team.
If you plan to create a multi-person influencer team in-house, make sure there’s a clear leader to whom everyone else on the team reports. The person at the helm can make big-picture decisions about strategy and take responsibility for the success of the influencer marketing program.
Finding the right influencers to work with your brand can be a major undertaking, particularly if you want to really lean into this marketing strategy. Designate a person whose job focuses both on research to find the right influencers and on outreach to make deals with those influencers. This person can be responsible for making sure initial contact is done right, including vetting influencer accounts for audience quality.
The influencers you work with might have their own management teams. It’s still helpful to have someone on your side to be the point person for coordinating promotions and answering questions. This role can be one that handles onboarding, arranges payment, schedules posts, proofreads content and makes sure all agreements are signed.
It’s important to make sure that your influencer marketing efforts are actually paying off. Data collection and analysis of KPIs is an essential part of any influencer team.
Do traffic and sales increase noticeably after an influencer posts something relating to your brand? Are you tracking general growth relating to particular campaigns? How is engagement for both your brand and your influencers’ branded posts? Someone on your team should be responsible for gathering and sharing this data with the team, particularly with management.
Compliance and Legal
Influencers need to follow a lot of rules when they post sponsored content. You should also have clear, detailed contracts with your influencers that hold up in case of any disputes. You may not want to bring in a dedicated lawyer to handle influencer contracts and compliance full-time. There should still be someone who keeps track of influencer content to make sure it always follows applicable rules and laws.
Moving Forward with Your In-House Influencer Team
In-house influencer marketing teams are usually treated as marketing department teams. It’s a good idea to speak with marketing leadership in order to come up with an implementation plan. Your existing marketing team may have members who are experienced with influencer marketing. Their current job responsibilities might also line up with some of the influencer team roles described above. That means you may not need to do extensive hiring to get your team off the ground.
Whichever direction you decide to go with hiring, understand that influencer marketing team members should generally be outgoing and enthusiastic. This is especially true if their jobs require outreach and relationship management. Influencer marketing offers an exciting promotional opportunity, but it’s important that you get your approach just right to maximize your potential for success.