Influencer marketing platform vs. agency: what are the differences?
When you know that the Influence Marketing market should be worth 15 billion dollars in 2022 according to Business Insider Intelligence, and when you know the range of possibilities for activating this lever, it is essential to know where to position yourself. By positioning, we mean choosing the most appropriate and effective solution for launching and integrating campaigns into your strategy. While some brands entrust the task to specialised agencies, others prefer the in-house solution, using dedicated influencer marketing solutions and platforms.
What is an influencer agency?
Companies that choose to entrust the management of their KOL marketing campaigns to agencies are generally new to the sector and wish to be accompanied. Activated on an ad hoc basis or throughout the year, they become the intermediary between the brands that solicit them and the influencers.
With their knowledge of the latest market trends and the mastery of the codes of social networks and KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders), the agencies provide professionals with their expertise and their network to support them in :
- The definition of a clear influence strategy in line with their objectives;
- The operational implementation of campaigns: identification of activated profiles, drafting of briefs, etc.
- Optimising campaigns throughout their deployment,
- Measuring the results and performance of campaigns.
To guarantee optimisation, the knowledge and practices of the sector and therefore the success of a KOL Marketing campaign, it may be wise to use a specialised agency. However, in a context where social platforms are evolving rapidly and content creators are multiplying, many of them are often limited in their actions. Faced with this situation, they generally turn to influencer marketing platforms to support them in identifying profiles, setting up systems and reporting on campaigns in real time.
But how much does it cost? It is essential to understand that an agency is not an Influence Marketing tool, but rather a service provider who delivers and sells a service. And a specialised service provider also means costs and margins to be taken into account in the budget allocated to a KOL marketing strategy. This is an element that needs to be kept in mind and included in the various costs that a campaign may (already) have in order to build up a budget accordingly.
Focus on Influencer Marketing Platforms
KOL Marketing solutions such as Kolsquare offer turnkey technologies that allow brands to independently identify, manage and measure their campaigns.
If we had to define them in one sentence, we would say that they are essential tools for professionals who want to collaborate with several KOLs in one or several campaigns, at once or throughout the year. But also to control their relationships with content creators and to be truly aware of the results of their actions.
Often based on the latest technologies, they offer a wide range of data and functionalities providing all the strategic keys necessary to optimise influencer campaigns:
- A catalogue of KOLs: by audience type, by network, by engagement rate, by location, by profession, etc.
- A CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) for sending briefs, managing relations with KOLs, etc.
- A complete interface often presented in the form of a dashboard with all the KPIs and metrics to measure performance and results on a daily basis.
The main objective of these technological solutions is to allow professionals to be as efficient as the experts in the sector by finding, in one place, all the essential ingredients for the proper management of a KOL marketing strategy. Let’s try to illustrate these influencer marketing platforms as an aircraft at the forefront og technology with all the essential equipments to make the flight as smooth as possible. Now imagine yourself as the pilot of this plane who has all the controls required to get it off the ground and bring the passengers to their destination.
It should also be noted that these solutions are not only aimed at large companies with greater resources and/or DNVBs, but we will come back to this later.
For its part, Kolsquare has developed a data-driven KOL Marketing platform that helps professionals exceed their objectives at every stage of their campaigns by enabling them to :
- Identify the most relevant and affinitive profiles for their brands from a catalogue of +1.5M KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok,
- Manage all aspects of their Influence campaigns (making contact, sending briefs, direct messaging,…),
- Measure and analyse the results of their campaigns thanks to a reporting and an extremely efficient analysis of all their data.
What about the cost? There are many KOL Marketing technology solutions on the market and it is sometimes difficult to make the right choice. At Kolsquare, we understand the key role that this lever can have in the acquisition strategies and brand awareness. It is in this dynamic that we wanted to build our price list according to several criteria: maturity, needs and uses of each user.
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The advantages of internalizing Influence Marketing
Familiar with the KOL Marketing sector, brands that choose to internalise their campaigns have several advantages. Equipped with a technological solution that offers them the full range of data and functionalities discussed above, they can benefit from :
– A greater control over their Influence strategies and greater freedom in their actions. Thanks to the platform, they also have the possibility to collaborate and manage several campaigns simultaneously in one place.
– A considerable time saving in identifying the most relevant profiles for their brands and also in monitoring, in real time, the performance of their campaigns (by network, by KOL, etc.).
– A ROI-centric approach to Influence Marketing thanks to all the KPIs available on the dedicated dashboards of the technological solutions. At Kolsquare, professionals have access to the number of influencers active, the social accounts mobilised, the potential target reached, the content potential target reached, the content produced (posts, stories, videos), the ROI per KOL profile, the EMV (Earned Media Value) and all the market metrics in a daily updated report. A central element for brands wishing to measure the impact of their actions in order to adjust their next campaigns accordingly.
– A privileged relationship with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) since there is no intermediary, like a specialised agency, between the activated profiles and the professionals who activate them. This allows them to create closer links and a unique relationship with the influencers and facilitates exchanges when it comes to collaborating with them over the longer term.
– A differentiating influencer strategy compared to competitors: unlike influencer marketing agencies that apply the same influencer strategy to their entire client portfolio, the influencer platform allows clients to differenciate their brand with a specific influencer strategy.
– A team of KOL Marketing experts to guide them in the use of their technological solutions, to answer their issues on live and to allow them to increase their knowledge of the sector thanks to enriching insights shared throughout the year.
Best-in-class internalization example : LALALAB
Among the brands that have already taken the plunge is LALALAB. For more than two years, KOL Marketing has been fully implemented in the brand’s marketing strategy. It is one of their strategic levers for acquiring new customers. Amélie Brulé, Head of Influence Marketing & Social Media at LALALAB, a user of the technological solution, explains:
“We are dealing with the subject of Influence Marketing in a much more qualitative and relevant way since we have integrated the Kolsquare solution into our strategy. This allows us to better target the influencers we want to work with. Thanks to its database, Kolsquare allows us to quickly search / discover / analyse the most relevant influencer profiles for our brand. Its Chrome extension connected directly to Instagram is also very useful as it gives details of the data of each influencer we consult.”
LALALAB regularly collaborates with influencers gathering communities of over one million followers in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK. The brand also activates micro-influencer profiles according to its Influence campaign objectives.
The internalization of Influence Marketing has allowed the brand to analyze the KPIs of each influencer profile and to save a considerable amount of time when making decisions regarding the activation of KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Read all our clients’ testimonials here.
More than ever in recent years and even more since 2021, KOL Marketing has become a key part of brand strategies. From now on, the internalisation of this powerful lever is obvious for professionals who wish to master all aspects of influence and create unique relationships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Would you also like to take the plunge for your next campaigns? Do not hesitate to contact our experts for a demonstration of our solution.