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Social media influencers: how do you find them? And, once you do, how do you get them to work with your brand? Enter the social media influencer agency. These agencies connect your brand find relevant influencers. What’s more; they can help you carry out a campaign or develop an influencer marketing strategy. Here’s what you need to know about social media influencer agencies. Plus, you’ll learn why working with one can be the right choice for your brand.

What Does a Social Media Influencer Agency Do?

When you  hear the word “agency,” you might immediately think of talent agents. We’re not talking about the people who partner with actors, musicians, and others to help their clients find work. We’re talking about a social media influencer agency. They’re similar in that agents help clients (influencers) find brands for partnership opportunitiesBut social media influencer agencies often do much more than simply find gigs for their clients.

Some agencies serve as a go-between between the brand and the influencer. They help brands develop a strategy for influencer marketing. They also help negotiate fees with the influencers with which they decide to work.

A social media influencer agency can also ensure influencer campaigns comply with disclosure rules. The Federal Trade Commission states any content created on behalf of a brand in marketer needs to be disclosed. Agencies can enforce these specific rules for each individual they represent.

Why Would You Use a Social Media Influencer Agency?

Working with a social media influencer agency can help to streamline the process of influencer marketing. That’s especially true if your brand is completely new to influencer marketing. Working with an agency can make it easy to get a sense of how the process works.

Using an agency can make it easy to find the right influencer for your campaign. You know your ideal candidate for partnership but don’t know how to find them. Partnering with an agency keeps you from having to trawl through social media. They match you with an influencer with the right amount of engagement and the appropriate subject niche.

Using an agency doesn’t just simplify the process of finding an influencer, it saves you a considerable amount of time. Conducting a DIY influencer search can lead to mixed results. There’s no way to know if the influencers you find are looking for partnerships. In contrast, the influencers who are on an agency’s roster are likely all looking for work.

There’s another, more important reason to work with a social media influencer agency. Your brand will benefit from the agency’s experience and expertise in influencer marketing. Brands, particularly brands that are new to working with influencers, often have a lot of questions about the process.

For example, you might be unsure how much to pay influencers or what a fair price is for a campaign. An agency can help to guide you through the negotiation process with an influencer and give you a good idea of the going rate for a campaign, based on the influencers’ clout and engagement rate.

Things to Look for In a Social Media Influencer Agency

When you’re on the hunt for a social media influencer agency, what should you look for? A few things. You want to choose an agency that’s legit and that will actually be able do the things it claims to do.

Here are things to check:

Track record/history

How long has the influencer agency been around? While social media influencer marketing is somewhat new compared to other forms of marketing, you don’t necessarily want to work with an agency that started up last month. Get a sense of the company’s history and a sense of the type of work they have done in the past.

Depth of Influencers

Who’s on the company’s roster of influencers? If the company only works with big-name, high-priced influencers, it might not be a good fit for you if you’re on a limited budget or if working with micro-influencers makes more sense for your product niche. It’s also worth confirming the agency actually has a connection to the influencers it claims to represent. As Digiday reported, it’s sometimes the case that agencies and platforms claim to be connected to influencers when in reality they aren’t.

Services offered

What will the agency do for you? Will it only find you an influencer or does it offer services such as campaign strategy and payment negotiation?

Special features

Does the agency offer any special features such as the ability to ensure that an influencer’s posts are in compliance with various legal requirements?

Social media platforms available

Is the agency platform agnostic or does it focus on just one social media platform (like Instagram, Twitter, and so on)? Depending on your goals, it might make sense to work with an agency that lets you create campaigns on multiple platforms. Otherwise, you might have to find a new agency and new influencers for every social platform you want to use.

How to Find the Right Social Media Influencer Agency

Now that you know what to look for in a social media influencer agency, how do you go about finding an agency that’s right for your brand? Here’s what to consider.

Your budget

How much you can spend on an influencer campaign is going to play a big role when it comes to choosing an agency. A full-service social media influence agency might be out of reach for the most cash-strapped of brands. But an agency that offers limited services or that operates more like a marketplace or platform can be a more affordable option.

How much support you want or need

If you are a do-it-yourselfer who enjoys figuring out things as you go, you might not benefit from the services offered by an agency. Or, you might be better off choosing an agency that offers a limited menu of services.

The flexibility of services offered 

As your business grows or changes, your influencer needs might also change. It’s helpful to find an agency that will grow and scale with you so you don’t have to change agencies as the needs of your brand evolve.

One last piece of advice for finding the right social media influencer agency: Always try before you buy. Schedule a consultation with an agency and ask for a demo to make sure the services offered by the company are a great fit for your brand.