This article is about influencer marketing. I already know that because I’m going to be distributing this article to a few different communities of readers that I will be getting some mixed feedback on it simply because of the topic. Influencer marketing has come into vogue vis-a-vis the mass adoption of social media. People who were just average, everyday bloggers started garnering enormous followings online and instantaneously had more awareness and viewership on their online profiles than TV, billboards and other types of traditional media. IT didn’t take long for brands to clue into the enormous marketing potential that these influencers had and started paying them huge sums of money to promote their products. Influencers can now receive thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars per post just for supporting a product and telling their fanbase to use and or purchase it.
The use of social media influencers has received mixed sentiment due to enormous fees paid to individuals and the questionable authenticity of some social media accounts (to be discussed in another article). The use of social media influencers has become so prevalent that it has forced the increased protection of consumer awareness through the mandatory labeling of compensated advertisements (#ad) on social media platforms. The issue with social media influencers is that they are a phenomenon that occurred so quickly, that many traditional marketers had trouble truly adjusting to rapidly changing marketing environment and the way in which to use these influencers to maximize their effectiveness and connect with their target audience without blowing through their entire advertising budget. Even in 2019, we still see many firms struggling with this relatively new concept which leads me to the reasoning behind the writing of this article.
Influencer marketing is essential. Why is it essential? Ad blindness is a real thing.
A quick google search can show that customers relate to people over brands in almost every single scenario. When we look at the reasoning why it all stems from basic psychology. People are able to build meaningful relationships with other people. It’s extremely hard to build an emotional connection or a meaningful relationship with a brand. This is why influencers have become so valuable and why you, as a business — need to leverage them to connect on a more intimate level with your clients. Not to mention that through the use of influencers, you’ll be connecting with your target client on platforms where they spend most of their time (social media).
The evolving marketing landscape is changing at such a rapid pace, businesses have to understand that in-house marketing counsel may not be the best suited to properly leverage these individuals. Trying to do everything yourself (even if you are an established brand) may end up costing you more than it’s worth to find, hire and execute effective campaigns with influencers.
Here are the top 5 influencer marketing firms available today to help guide you and your company through the perplexing new world of influencer marketing. In line with the topic, I’m not receiving compensation from any of these firms for writing this article.
Established in 2011, Mediakix is a leading influencer marketing agency connecting the world’s top brands with passionate socially-engaged audiences through social media influencers, influencer marketing, YouTube influencers, top lifestyle bloggers, and Instagram influencers.
They strategize and build high performing campaigns for top brands to engage with their target audiences on YouTube, blogs, Instagram, and emerging social media channels. Mediakix’s influencer marketing campaigns have been among the highest performing campaigns for their clients including Nordstrom, Blue Apron, HauteLook, David Yurman, Birchbox, Indiegogo, Hallmark, NatureBox, Sleep Number, BarkBox, and many more.
The Mediakix network of publishers include thousands of blogs, YouTube, and Instagram channels in the fashion, home, design, lifestyle, men’s, travel, photography, and tech space that reaches an audience of over 25 millions fans.
HireInflence is an award-winning influencer marketing agency for the world’s most prominent brands. They’ve also been delivering expert strategies and industry-leading results since 2011. They label themselves as a full service influencer marketing agency, specializing in customized promotional campaigns and consulting. Some of their clients include Microsoft, Gatorade, eBay, Warner Bros, Payless Shoes, Oreo, Cosmopolitan, Howard Johnson, Adidas, Southwest Airlines, Vizio, Vanity Fair, NutriBullet and many more. They focus on a holistic strategy, offering the following services to their clients.
- All-inclusive content strategies
- Influencer casting & placement
- Event on-site engagement support
- Creative influencer experiences
- Ongoing UGC creation & promotion
- Influencer marketing consultation
3. Viral Nation
Viral Nation has orchestrated some of the most viral marketing campaigns to hit the Internet in the last half-decade. Home to one of the largest exclusive influencer networks in the world, Viral Nation has created meaningful relationships between brands and their consumers to ensure long-term retention and performance-driven results.
Led by a team of social media’s top creators, experts, and strategists, our full-service agency is engineered from the ground up to elevate your brand’s image and audience organically. Whether offline experiential events or digital influencer campaigns, they pride ourselves on their diverse brand partnerships that span every sector. They claim to have the largest exclusive talent network in the industry. They include some large, well-known brands in their client lists, including GoPro, Disney, CocaCola, Nestle, and McDonalds.
A firm initially established in 2011, and acquired by the New York Times in 2016, HelloSociety has been on the forefront of influencer marketing since it became a thing. They have worked with over 500 clients and created over 1500 campaigns, citing them to be trusted industry veterans.
HelloSociety boasts some extremely impressive stats, stating that their campaigns deliver a 54% higher engagement rate than the industry average. They also leverage their expertise by achieving a 95% higher average engagement rate on paid campaigns and a 22% higher average engagement rate on organic campaigns year over year. Their client list is extensive, including well-known brands such as Airbnb, CocaCola, Bacardi, Bose, Chevrolet, FedEx, and EY, to name a few.
One of the first agencies, they claim that the best brands have trusted Ignite Social Media since their inception in 2007. They’ve led the way, watching trends come and go, and have been the original creators of some industry practices that are now widespread. Their claim to fame is the Social Media Agency of the Year award which they won in 2016.
Ignite has the in-house expertise and relevant experience to deal with end to end influencer campaigns. From content creation to community management, influencer relations to promotions, strategy to reporting, media buying to data analytics, they do it all.