Do I Need an Influencer Marketing Agency or Influencer Marketing Platform?

With the rise of influencer marketing across social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, brands are beginning to implement strategic plans for expanding their influencer marketing efforts. If you are trying to determine whether you need an influencer marketing agency, this guide will help you determine whether you need to engage an agency or need access to platforms that can help you scale your influencer marketing programs.

What do influencer marketing agencies do?

Influencer marketing agencies assist brands in identifying influencers / content creators (often from their own networks) for brands. In this process, they might be inherently limited to influencers they have worked for. While this may be good as they have been previously vetted by the agency, it can also be severely limiting to the brand. Furthermore, if the agency’s pool of influencers for a specific industry niche is narrow, the audience of that influencer will be saturated with sponsored posts.

What do influencer marketing platforms do?

Influencer marketing platforms provide brands with intelligence for identifying and analyzing the universe of influencers &content creators. Unlike influencer marketing agencies, many platforms – like Smartfluence– provide brands with access to data on any social media influencer. By being agnostic to particular influencers, brands can use influencer platforms to discover and vet any influencer they potentially want to work with.

Additionally, many influencer marketing platforms have influencer and campaign management tools that help brands create seamless processes for managing their influencer marketing campaigns. These are critical to help brands save time and stay organized when they are running extensive influencer marketing campaigns.

How do influencer marketing agencies make money?

Influencer marketing agencies make money by charging brands retainers for services, charging a fee based on advertising spend, and/or charging influencers for acting as an agent. Brands who have large 5-6 figure monthly budgets should consider using a combination of an agency and licensing a platform to retain control over their influencers. While agencies may be convenient for brands to offload a lot of the everyday work in building a successful influencer marketing program, it is important to also use influencer marketing platforms that can help you manage your influencer messaging and selection.

How do influencer marketing platforms make money?

Influencer marketing platforms typically charge a monthly fee to license the software provided.

If you’re still undecided about whether you need an agency and/or a platform, use this table below to help you decide!

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