5 Questions to Ask Your Next Influencer Marketing Agency

Not all influencer marketing agencies are created equal. There are so many out there (I would know – I’m the president and CEO of one). From boutique shops to mega-agencies with offices across the world, it can be overwhelming. What makes them all different, and which one has the resources for what you need?

Like any interview, you’ll want to ask effective questions. Finding the right influencer marketing agency can be a game-changing experience for your brand and business.

There is no hard-and-fast rule to shopping around for “The One,” but there are certain indicators that a good influencer marketing agency should have. Sure, “experience” and “time in business” are obvious ones. But let’s go beyond the basics and look at 5 key questions to ask when considering an influencer marketing agency.

influencer marketing

1. Can you tell me about past brand collaborations and campaign management experience?

Project management details are critical. We know that today’s consumers are drawn to brands that they feel an authentic connection with — that’s the role influencers play. However, these collaborations can be complex to produce. The work that goes into them can sometimes be overlooked or undervalued.

Ask an agency what their day-to-day process is like. How much experience do they have with the nuances of working with managers, negotiations, and contracts? Remember: you are outsourcing and putting your business name on the line. It’s an investment. A positive influencer collaboration associated with your brand can introduce long-term partnerships and loyalty.

Find out what elements of a campaign are most important to them. Dig deeper: do they have examples of past campaigns that exceeded expectations, and why? Are there case studies they can share? See if their previous results fall in line with what you hope to achieve. Ask for client testimonials and references.

Top influencer marketing agencies will create a sensory-driven strategy that connects your brand message with your desired demo on an emotional and psychological level. You’ll want an agency who not only delivers results, but can zero in on your goals to achieve what you have in mind — maybe even beyond what you planned. They need to demonstrate a keen understanding in this space.

2. What sets your agency apart?

Influencer marketing is not a new practice. It has evolved overtime to become a major part of modern business strategies. The result is thousands of agencies competing for your business. Ask your agency: How do you distinguish yourself from the others?

An experienced agency with success under its belt will be able to demonstrate why they’re different. It could be years of collective experience across the team. It could be success scaling campaigns or special knowledge of unique niches. Have they won any major awards or secured repeat clients? Whatever their “standout” quality is, they should have a solid answer and evidence to back it up.

3. How many influencers do you have access to?

Pay close attention after you ask this question. Does the agency you’ve approached represent influencer talent, in addition to selling influencer marketing services? Or are they purely an influencer marketing agency without operating as a talent management agency?

If they advertise having a network of influencers, do they strictly use their own influencers, or do they go beyond to find the right candidates for your brand? And if they don’t have a network, then how do they find influencers for campaigns?

Top agencies will have a third-party technology platform to aid researching, vetting and securing influencers. These platforms have filters to help narrow down the search for influencers. A good agency partner should be able to tell you what those data points are: audience data, demographics, engagement, affinities, past brand collaborations, etc.

How many targets are they able to provide you? Do they use a technology-minded approach for recommendations, or will they use a combination of tech and hand-vetting? I’ve learned this is a “common sense” business. Computers can’t do everything.

4. How do you measure and report metrics?

You’ll want an agency that places a strong emphasis on metrics and understands the importance of stats tracking. All clients are different, but in my experience, the top data they are most interested in is: Impressions, reach, video views, engagement, engagement sentiment analysis, and clickthrough rates. Ask your agency what their reporting will show, and if they can provide an example of a report.

Most technology platforms will provide real-time tracking for key metrics. Influencers can also manually provide screenshots of analytics to be transcribed for reporting.

Ask your agency  what their reporting cadence is like. How soon after a campaign is completed will the metrics be available? Can the performance of the influencers’ posts be seen in real time through a shared dashboard? Sometimes you need answers right away, especially if you may want to pivot or put paid behind a post..

5. What is your knowledge of platform trends?

Meteorologists follow the weather, economists follow the market, and influencer marketing agencies follow online trends. A good agency should be able to answer this question on their feet. Ask them to highlight 3 trends they’ve seen happening online.

Your agency needs to have its finger on the pulse. Things change every day and sometimes that means pivoting a campaign on the fly. Ask your agency what they do to elevate their awareness of what’s happening online. How might they communicate sudden changes or opportunities to you? Go even further: Can they show any examples of past client successes that occurred because they took advantage of a trend?

These 5 key questions should guide you to specifics that go beyond the same sales pitch. Take time to get the answers you need, and don’t get blinded by glitzy credential decks.

The right influencer agency can change the trajectory of your brand, and the research is the reward! See examples of winning agency relationships here.

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Paula Bruno
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