Many brands that want to work with influencers prefer the in-house strategy to secure complete control over their campaigns. However when such a decision is made, a brand’s team must have significant resources and knowledge about how to effectively build the marketing process, choose the right influencers and predict cooperation results.
In this article, you’ll get to know about the in-house influencer marketing advantages and disadvantages. Also, you’ll discover a selection of influencer marketing measurement tools and valuable tips on how to optimize your workflow.
Table of content:
- Things to consider when you do influencer marketing in-house
- The benefits of in-house influencer marketing
- What are the challenges with in-house influencer marketing?
- How to get started with in-house influencer marketing
- Best influencer marketing software in 2021 to use in-house
Like all forms of digital marketing, influencer marketing has to be properly managed in order to achieve optimal effect. Working with influencers is a complex multi-stage event. Thus, to start using this marketing tool, you should keep in mind at least these three things:
- Maintain one central database with data on all the individuals that you collaborate with. This will allow you to quickly communicate with influencers and always have up-to-date information about your campaigns.
- Set KPIs and constantly analyze your influencer marketing process based on them. This will allow you to understand whether cooperation with the selected influencers is effective or not.
- Design a framework for compliance oversight. Provide real-time visibility of all influencer marketing efforts.
It would be wise to develop an Influencer Strategy Playbook for your business. There, you can specify the rules of engagement for influencer outreach, negotiation and collaboration.
Once a campaign is over, you should analyze its results based on the measurable deliverables. You should discuss the efficiency of this campaign with your influencer marketing team and draw conclusions that will help you optimize your future marketing activities.
The most significant pros of doing influencer marketing in-house are the following:
- Complete transparency: you can track and control every step of the process.
- Reduced costs: if you hire an in-house team, it might cost considerably less in the long term than outsourcing professionals for one-off projects. This is especially relevant for startups and emerging brands.
- Experience: the more projects you run, the more skills you gain, and the better you understand the industry. Thanks to continuous practice, your team will deliver consistently better results.
- More accurate advertising and mentions: brands know their target audience well; they can develop advertising messages quickly. In cooperation with agencies, these messages will also be accurate and effective but it will take a little more time to work on them.
Now, let’s compare the merits of in-house influencer marketing with the advantages that agencies offer:
- New brands might struggle to sign contracts with macro-influencers and celebrities without the help of reliable intermediaries. When influencers choose which brands they would like to collaborate with, the agency’s reputation serves as one of the key factors of their decision-making.
- Agencies have a set of data of influencers in specific industries. It enables them to accelerate the process of finding optimal candidates for each brand and campaign.
- They keep up to date with the latest trends of their sphere. They can create top-end content for you with guaranteed high levels of engagement.
- Agencies have strong legal teams who can write contracts, negotiate the best rates with influencers, meet compliance requirements and handle all other legal aspects.
- Agencies can provide detailed metrics and insightful project reports. They understand very well which metrics are the most important for each particular campaign.
- With their help, it might be easier for you to scale up your project through the right strategy on the right platform.
You might want to collaborate with an agency if you realize that you lack the time, skills and expertise to carry out an urgent campaign yourself. Later on, when your team gains experience, you’ll be able to perform all these duties without third-party help.
Apart from the multiple benefits, you should be ready to cope with a few inevitable shortcomings. These are the primary challenges of doing influencer marketing in-house:
- To become a true expert in this field, you should gain a lot of experience. You won’t be able to avoid mistakes. The best thing you can do is to concentrate on drawing smart conclusions from every failure and avoid repeating the same blunders in the future.
- Influencer marketing is a relatively new area, so it might be tricky to find top professionals who would be ready to work for you.
- For teams with little experience, it might be challenging to distinguish high-quality influencers from fakes and scams.
- If you work only with an in-house team, it might limit your access to new influencers. Brands that collaborate with agencies will quickly detect new talents and channels of communication with the audience.
- For in-house teams, it might be difficult to enter a global market because they aren’t familiar with foreign influencers. They might need to hire new managers and fine-tune their strategies, which might take a lot of time and money.
- It will be more difficult for you to reach top influencers and negotiate contracts with them.
- As long as your in-house team is gaining experience, they might fail to find proper wording for legal documents. It might be challenging for them to foresee any controversial aspects or possibilities for reviewing.
Apart from carrying out their immediate duties, your marketing team needs to expand their knowledge consistently. Your teammates should read, watch and listen to industry news, attend profile events, analyze your competitors’ activities, and get to know what’s going on with the influencers with whom you’ve collaborated.
Find a delicate balance: leave the team enough time for development — and at the same time, ensure that they remain productive
The main challenge of collaborating with an agency is finding a good one. You shouldn’t strive to work with the most famous agency. When choosing a partner, you should get to know how flexible they are and how easily they can meet your demands. There is no such notion as “the best agency” — but there are agencies who are very good at listening to their clients and helping them reach their goals.
To make the best, you might consider using platforms that connect brands with influencers. Such platforms automate many processes, for example, finding the right candidates. Influencer marketing platforms operate on the self-service principle, provide maximum transparency and charge reasonable fees. Some platforms, such as BuzzGuru, also offer agency services.
Professionals in charge of in-house influencer marketing should have skills and experience in the following spheres:
- Integrated marketing communications
- Social media
- Public relations
The team responsible for working with influencers should deliver a unified strategy, methodology, measurement framework, and tools to support brand storytelling, product launches and community building.
The list of day-to-day operations of an influencer marketing function includes the following types of activities:
- Maintaining one system-of-record for influencer management
- Providing regular reporting
- Managing data-driven influencer selection
- Creating a unified influencer experience
- Ensuring compliance with the terms of cooperation by an influencer
You’ll need to manage an influencer database that features key facts on each individual, including outreach, content and engagement tracking, task management and relationship history.
You should set specific goals and detect the KPIs that allow you to measure your progress as you move towards achieving this goal. You might need to concentrate on the following categories of metrics:
- Measure your activity when you’re just getting started. You’ll be able to evaluate how much effort you put into achieving each particular goal. For example, your influencers made X videos that mentioned your product, the lengths of these videos varied from Y to Z seconds and you paid a certain sum of money to each of these influencers.
- Analyze the direct results of your actions. For instance, 100,000 people viewed your videos and 2,000 users shared them.
- Evaluate the impact of your influencer marketing activities on your business objectives. Let’s say your campaign helped you to increase your sales by 15%.
To get a notion on how to work with influencer metrics, visit BuzzGuru. The platform enables you to check out YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch influencers, analyze their performance indicators, and choose the right ones to run result-oriented campaigns with them.
BuzzGuru features the complete database of opinion leaders which you are easily able to sort and filter by your special needs across such parameters as "Chanel topic", "Views", "Subscribers", "Influencer’s country", "Broadcast Language" and others. You can start for free and evaluate the functionality in your personal account right now!
So, when evaluating the potential of each particular influencer, you should pay primary attention to the following characteristics of each candidate:
- Audience size
- Engagement rates
Plus, you should analyze which channels, brands, and topics are most aligned to a specific influencer.
Last but not least, you should be ready to coordinate your activities with legal teams. Also, you’ll need to monitor influencer engagements for contractual requirements where applicable. Apart from the legal requirements, the notion of compliance embraces establishing and maintaining brand guidelines for influencer programs. This might include influencer vetting, content, compensation and engagements across the company.
BuzzGuru is a platform for in-house influencer marketing teams. Its extensive database contains the following categories:
- 21M+ influencers
- 232.61k+ applications
- 1.57M+ sites
- 55.8k+ games
BuzzGuru offers its clients many useful tools and opportunities. For instance, you could want to collaborate with a particular YouTube influencer — but you fail to remember their name. In this case, the BuzzGuru algorithms will help you find that person using the title and description of their video.
Also, you’ll be able to check all the websites, apps, and games that an influencer has ever mentioned in their videos. This should help you to understand how this person fits that specific type of product. Additionally, you’ll get to know whether they have already collaborated with some of your competitors.
BuzzGuru allows you to check all the videos that mention a particular website. Again, this should help you to analyze your competitors’ campaigns. Besides, you’ll find out about all the organic mentionings of your site if they ever took place.
Thanks to BuzzGuru, you should be able to make the most of your in-house influencer marketing. This platform will save you a lot of time and effort. You’ll be able to pick optimal influencers for your brand, products and campaigns and accurately analyze the efficiency of your activities.
In-house influencer marketing can be a rather time-consuming strategy of brand promotion for which you will need to allocate resources. However, this type of advertising has its essential advantages, such as transparency at every step of the process, reduction of costs in the long term, more accurate and catchy advertising messages, and as a result, more audience’s loyalty and more new customers for your brand.
Nevertheless the two big challenges for brands that choose in-house influencer marketing are to select the right opinion leaders and build communications with them. BuzzGuru helps marketers at all the stages: discover all the influencers on popular platforms, analyze them and create personal lists with suitable candidates. Try BuzzGuru and see how it works in a free personal account right now!