Influencer Marketing Strategy

Is an In-House Influencer Marketing Specialist the Best Way to Scale?

Thinking of adding an influencer specialist to your marketing team? This post breaks down the pros, cons and alternatives to managing influencers in-house.

in-house influencer marketing specialists vs platforms cover photo

Most brands we talk to are eager to kick off their influencer campaigns and we’re here for it!

The problem? People often underestimate just how big of a job influencer campaign management really is. Consider all that has to happen before you see a single piece of content:

Vetting creators. Conducting outreach. Negotiating and managing expectations.

And that doesn’t even scratch the surface.

You might be floating the idea of hiring or transitioning an employee to take on these tasks. 

But would it be better to invest in a scalable influencer platform that does the work for you?

Good question! Below we break down the pros and cons of each management approach to figure out what makes sense for your brand.

What is an In-House Influencer Specialist?

An influencer specialist is an expert that runs your company's creator campaigns in-house. These specialists understand the best practices of social media and managing influencers.

Aside from being social-savvy, these specialists know how to run influencer marketing campaigns. They not only know where to find influencers but also the best ways to pitch specific brands and products to them.

An “in-house” influencer specialist is a full-time hire that manages relationships and campaigns. Their day-to-day responsibilities vary but often include:

  • Researching relevant influencers and conducting outreach.
  • Drafting creative briefs, agreements and additional campaign materials.
  • Developing and executing a brand’s influencer marketing strategy.
  • Managing influencer relationships including negotiations, expectations and fulfillment.
  • Tracking the progress and performance of influencers’ content and campaigns at large.

Whew! If all of the above sounds like a full-time job, that’s because it totally is. 

In-house influencer managers often act as a brand’s sole liaison to influencers. The role requires a variety of specialized skills related to social marketing. This includes pitching, campaign reporting and developing a content strategy.

Instagram Influencer Campaign Manager Spreadsheet

In-House Influencer Marketing vs. Scalable Influencer Platforms

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing an influencer marketing campaign. 

Factors such as your budget, industry and campaign goals will determine what makes sense for your business. Let’s look at the pros of cons of bringing on a full-time team member versus outsourcing to a scalable influencer marketing platform.

Hiring an In-House Influencer Specialist 

Many companies choose to manage their influencer marketing campaigns completely in-house.  This approach is popular among startups and businesses with dedicated influencer marketing budgets that want to maintain total creative control of their content.

Pros Cons

    • Specialists can guide campaigns to meet your brand’s goals. Experienced specialists can help you see an actual ROI based on your campaign goals. They know what influencers want and how to reach them.

    • When your specialist is absent, your campaigns come to a halt. If your team member suddenly leaves your company, what happens to your campaigns? Someone has to pick up the slack immediately before you run the risk of ghosting influencers or missing payments.
    • Take time-consuming tasks off your marketing team’s plates. When all influencer duties are handled by one person, you instantly free up the rest of your team’s bandwidth. Likewise, that person becomes an expert when it comes to campaigns and what they should look like.
    • No guaranteed content. Another hurdle with any sort of in-house approach is that there’s no guarantee that a certain # of influencers will post. You’re essentially paying a specialist for their time spent conducting outreach and managing relationships versus a specific amount of content.
    • Control. Since your specialist is handpicking influencers on behalf of your brand, you’re in complete control of who represents your company and what you want them to say.
    • High cost relative to your influencers’ output. Consider that you’re not only paying your employees’ salary but also any costs of managing influencers in-house. This includes shipping costs, marketing software and more.
    • Reach more influencers than you could totally DIY. Although one person can only do so much, experienced specialists know how to streamline tasks such as pitching, briefing influencers and reporting on campaigns.

    • Scaling is tough with a single team member. With all the tasks and time involved with managing influencers, you’re restricted on how much you can scale even with a dedicated specialist. From conducting outreach to handling product shipments, the time required to coordinate just a handful of posts can add up quickly.

In-house influencer marketing is definitely a double-edged sword.

On one hand, the right hire can speed up your influencer management process and free up tasks for the rest of your marketing team.

On the flip side, you’re putting a ton of responsibility on one person. Not to mention you’re making a big investment with no guarantees when it comes to content or campaign results. 

For reference, Glassdoor notes that the base pay for an influencer specialist is ~$48,000 annually. Then, take into account additional costs such as shipping or having to pay for database software. These tools can cost up to $2,000 per month. Think about how far you could stretch that budget with a scalable platform.

In-House Influencer Management at a Glance

Working with a Scalable Influencer Platform (Statusphere)

Let’s assume your company has outgrown the DIY approach but you aren’t sure if an in-house specialist is a smart move.

Consider how a scalable influencer marketing platform can help.

Scalable platforms (like Statusphere!) do the legwork of matchmaking, product shipping and managing relationships with influencers for you. In short, your campaigns are managed and streamlined from start to finish. 

Pros Cons
    • Guaranteed content from vetted influencers that want to work with your brand. By handpicking influencers for their networks, our platforms can afford to be selective. In other words, we only partner with proven micro-influencers that see legitimate engagement. This results in high-quality, creative content.
    • Maximize your digital marketing budget. Brands shouldn’t waste on money influencer marketing agencies or tools that don’t deliver. Likewise, you shouldn’t spend a cent on creators that ghost you. With our platform, brands always get what they pay for.
    • Time saved and no stress for your team. No surprises here. Streamlined influencer hiring means the process is almost entirely hands-off for your team. You don’t need to worry about outreach or making sure influencers post. 
    • Serious scalability. If you want to scale your creator campaigns without adding a dedicated in-house team member, a scalable influencer platform like ours can make it happen. We offer short-term (or campaign-based) contracts at a fixed price per post.

    • Campaigns learn over time. Because our platform is programmatic, your campaign targeting optimizes over time.

    • Financial flexibility. Unlike the commitment of hiring a full-time employee, platforms like Statusphere allow you to ramp up or scale back your campaigns based on your results.
    • You trade some creative control for time savings. Scalable platforms don’t typically offer brands the ability to pick every influencer posting about your product (or provide a brand review process before the content is published). Instead, we handle that process and make judgments based on what you’ve communicated about your goals.

If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of creative control, the time saved can be huge with a scalable platform. You don’t have to think twice about outreach, negotiating or shipping, either.

This hands-off approach to influencer management doesn’t just benefit your business, though. It also empowers influencers to post quickly, efficiently and on their own terms. You can get your products into the hands of a specific target audience faster. 

Oh, and platforms like Statusphere also guarantee content unlike an influencer marketing agency or in-house specialist. 

Note that you’re paying specialists for their time spent reaching out to and coordinating with creators. The same applies if you hire an influencer agency. How much content you get is tied directly to your budget and their success rate during outreach. You’re paying for time versus content which means your ROI is really up in the air.

If nothing else, scalable service providers have experience building campaigns. They know what instructions to give creators to nail your brand's goals. 

The end result is authentic, meaningful content that you can promote time and time again. 

Scalable Influencer Marketing Platforms at a Glance

webinar best-kept secrets of high performing influencer campaigns

What’s the Best Alternative to In-House Influencer Marketing?

Building a successful influencer campaign requires experience and a track record of working with creators.

While an in-house influencer specialist can provide that expertise, they can only do so much.

If you want to run campaigns with confidence, outsourcing to a scalable platform is the way to go. Doing so will yield better results and allow your marketing team to focus on their own efforts.

Statusphere has run countless campaigns generating thousands of pieces of influencer content. When you work with us, you also work with our handpicked network of vetted content creators.

Our approach helps brands save the most time possible on their campaigns. That’s because we handle everything from creator matchmaking and fulfillment to tracking results. Want to learn more about how the process works? Get in touch with one of our consumer-to-consumer marketing specialists to see how we can get more people posting about your brand ASAP.

This article was first published in November 2018. It was last updated August 10, 2022.

Similar posts

Get new influencer marketing insights

Be the first to know about the latest tools, trends and strategies in influencer marketing for brands.