Whether you are a startup or an established brand, you are probably looking to expand your influencer marketing efforts – and with good reason. Influencer marketing is one of the most cost effective forms of marketing and is growing rapidly. With this growth has come many platforms tools to help you reach out to these influencers, but they can come at a price. Let's explore the pros and cons of utilizing influencer marketing platforms vs. doing it yourself.
First, let's talk about the different kinds of influencer marketing networks. I split them up into 2 main categories: Influencer Marketing Platforms/Tools & Full-Service Influencer Marketing Companies.
Influencer Marketing Platforms/Tools
I call this category "tools" because they won't actually do the work for you. These tools typically just organize your influencer marketing outreach by giving you a platform that makes it easier to manage your communication with the influencer. Most of these platforms provide extensive lists of influencers, but you still need to take the time to sift through the hundreds of thousands of influencers to find the ones you want. It is kind of like a CRM for influencer marketing with a database of leads. You still need a "sales person" or influencer marketing specialist to utilize it, but it gives you more control over your campaign.
• More control over your campaign
• Direct access to influencers
• Easier to track communication with influencers
• Some have reporting features
• Typically costs between $750 - $2,000 per month with an annual contract
• Still need to hire someone to manage the campaigns
• Most times you must handle the fulfillment and verification that influencers have followed directions
Full-Service Influencer Marketing Companies
Paying for a full-service influencer marketing company will take significantly fewer resources on your part. Although you will still have input on the campaign, you will not need to do all the tedious influencer outreach and follow-ups. You can get full-service influencer marketing campaigns through some PR and specialty agencies.
• Less resources from you
• More experience (since they specialize in this area)
• Usually provide reports
• Typically more expensive than influencer marketing tools/platforms, but you won't need to hire someone to run it
• Less direct control over the campaign
• Higher minimum campaign cost (many start have $25k to $50k minimums)
• Don't typically handle shipping
Statusphere is a little different. We have found a way to offer influencer marketing in a scalable and affordable manner. Whether you are a start-up or an established brand, we have packages to match your budget and goals, and you only pay us when we deliver the influencer-generated posts. We focus on micro-influencers, which actually have 4x the engagement of large influencers. At scale out influencers will will move the needle for your brand in a much more cost-efficient way. If you would like to learn more about if your brand is right for Statusphere click here.
• Handle fulfillment and reporting
• Affordable packages for businesses of all sizes
• Quicker turn-around time
• Less direct contact with the influencers
DIY Influencer Marketing
You can always go the full do-it-yourself route as well. Keep in mind that this tactic is not very scalable, but if you don't have the resources for the tools and networks above it is a good way to get started. If you want to learn more about how to DIY influencer marketing, check out my post How to Start Influencer Marketing.
• No direct monetary cost
• Not scaleable
• Takes a lot of time
• May need to build an internal team to handle it