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Influencer Marketing Agency vs. Influencer Talent Agency: What’s the Difference?

By Yuliya Gorenko 0 comments

Social media is a powerful marketing tool. In the past years, influencer marketing has played a big role in effective brand communications. Through efficient influencer marketing, brands can properly engage and harness the captive social media audiences of their chosen influencers. Influencer marketing and influencer talent agencies surfaced and have become brands’ partners. 

Agencies help brands in ideating and strategizing, polishing their messages, finding the right ambassadors, reaching their target markets, and measuring campaign success.

With the rise of numerous agencies, it may be difficult to find the partner that will give you the services you truly require. So how can you distinguish different agencies and how do you choose one that best suits your needs?

In this piece, we’ll break down the essentials between an influencer marketing agency and an influencer talent agency and help you understand which type can provide the most effective services for your brand.

Influencer Talent Agency

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Influencer talent agencies primarily focus on representing influencers. They discover promising social media influencers and help them seek and negotiate business opportunities. They earn from taking a percentage of the fees they can negotiate for their talents. 

Because of the nature of their work and their commission-based fees, most influencer talent agencies work with influencers who have larger followings – talents who have higher earning potential. 

Some influencer talent agencies only represent and negotiate contracts for influencers. They often do not offer other services. But there are some that may help craft the influencer marketing strategy for brands. While some also do campaign work, their level of involvement is minor.

The pros of working with an influencer talent agency:

  • Getting direct access to influencers – Working with a talent agency allows you to easily tap their pool of talents. Through them, you may be able to get more flexible deal terms, and the influencer you want will more likely be receptive to your proposal.
  • Achieving faster implementation – With direct access to a talent agency’s influencers, you can also expect a rapid response when it comes to securing deal terms. This will allow you to implement your campaign faster and get prompt feedback from content creators.
  • Cutting costs on unnecessary services – If you already have a campaign strategy and the means to implement it and to track its progress, all you might need are influencers. Working with an influencer talent agency will save you from having to spend on fees like conceptualization, strategy, and project management. 

The cons of working with an influencer talent agency:

  • Influencer list is limited – With an influencer talent agency, you are restricted to working with the talents they have available. Their rosters are usually limited to several dozens of Talents and might not include enough relevant channels or/and the specific influencer you are interested in.
  • You will have to manage campaign implementation and coordination – You need to have the capacity to implement, run, and manage the campaign yourself, as the agency will mainly focus on talent relations.
  • Talent agencies are focused on the best deals for their talents – While a talent agency will try to give brands the best deals, their main obligation is to their talents. So while they do look forward to working with brands, the needs and wants of their talents must always take precedence. 

Influencer Marketing Agency

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An influencer marketing agency is an agency that works with brands to conceptualize, execute, and manage influencer campaigns. They help brands plan the most optimal ways to promote their key messages across influencer channels. These agencies also recommend which influencers to tap, what types of sponsorships to pursue, and which social media platforms to utilize. Through their expertise, brands can connect with the right social media personalities.

Unlike social media marketing and other digital PR agencies, an influencer marketing agency focuses solely on influencer-related services.

The pros of working with an influencer marketing agency:

  • Strategizing your influencer campaign – Agencies won’t just help you find influencers and upload content. They’ll help you conceptualize and implement the entire campaign.
  • Finding the right influencers – As part of planning the campaign, the agency will recommend the ideal influencers and design how to integrate them seamlessly into a brand’s overall marketing strategy.
  • Negotiating with the influencers – Once you’ve approved the campaign strategy and the prospective influencers, the agency will take care of negotiating with these influencers for the most profitable and mutually beneficial work terms.
  • Legal details – Once deals have been settled with the influencers, agencies prepare all the legal documents for the campaign. Agencies ensure that the influencer contract includes all the necessary details to secure both brands and influencers.
  • Mediate between brands and influencers – Agencies take charge of briefing and handling all communications between their clients and their talents throughout the campaign duration.
  • Detailed KPI report post-campaign – After the campaign is concluded, agencies will review the effectiveness of the campaign based on key performance indicators (KPIs) and present a detailed report to the brand.

The cons of working with an influencer marketing agency:

  • Finding the right agency might be challenging – With nearly 200 new agencies sprouting up in the past few years alone, it might be hard to find the right one for your brand’s needs. Choosing an influencer marketing agency requires setting criteria and finding a partner that fits them. Be discerning when selecting, and you are more likely to find the right fit.
  • No guarantee on getting the influencer you want – Because factors like budget, schedule, core values, and brand conflicts may affect an influencer’s response to the agency proposal, working with an influencer marketing agency doesn’t necessarily secure you a sure deal with your chosen influencer. 

Agency tip: if a brand wants to hire a particular influencer for their campaign, an influencer marketing agency may have to contact a talent agency that represents this influencer. As some influencers are now being exclusively represented by talent agencies, having another intermediary might increase the costs. However, experienced influencer marketing agencies often can negotiate with talent agencies for lower rates. 

Influencer Talent Agency vs Influencer Marketing Agency – Let’s compare the two

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Which Type of Influencer Agency is Right for You?

When it comes to selecting the right partner for your business, you need to ask yourself what your basic requirements are and decide on the services you need most.

There is also the question of whether to hire an agency at all. Will this be more cost-effective than doing the work in-house or through online software? 

The answer to this relies on the specifics of your brand’s campaign, including the budget you can work with and the outcome you want. In most instances, despite the availability of online resources, it is still hard to replace agency expertise when it comes to hitting marketing goals.

If you are looking for an end-to-end marketing partner, an influencer marketing agency might suit your needs the best. This type of agency can not only assist you in securing the right influencers, but they can also help with your campaign every step of the way.

In this day and age, with social media channels overflowing with brands and advertisers jockeying for space, having the right influencer marketing agency can help make sure that your brand message cuts through the noise and reaches the right audience.