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The Complete Guide to Choosing the Best Influencer Marketing Agencies in 2023

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Influencer marketing stands out as one of the fastest growing digital marketing strategies today. As more brands realize the power of leveraging influencers to reach consumers, the industry continues seeing rapid adoption – expected to reach $20 billion by 2024 according to Business Insider Intelligence.

But while interest grows, many brands struggle to identify the right influencer marketing agency partner to meet their specific needs and deliver ROI. With agencies all promising robust influencer network access, superior campaign management and turnkey execution, separating quality from hype becomes a challenge.

This comprehensive guide aims to simplify that agency selection process for brands. We’ll explore the core benefits of partnering with an influencer marketing agency, provide an in-depth profile on 10 leading options, and equip you with an evaluation framework to determine the best fit to achieve your brand’s goals.

Why Every Brand Needs an Influencer Marketing Agency

Before reviewing the top influencer marketing agencies, let’s revisit the unique value an agency provides compared to handling influencer campaigns fully in-house.

Access Targeted, Pre-Vetted Influencer Talent

The starting point for any successful influencer campaign lies in identifying and connecting with the RIGHT influencers – namely ones with audiences highly aligned to your brand. This process alone can consume hundreds of man hours for brands between research and outreach.

Influencer marketing agencies diminish that hurdle through existing relationships with vast managed influencer networks. These agencies vet potential influencers for qualities like audience relevance, content performance and authentic engagement. That means brands benefit from a pre-qualified talent pool of genuine influencers more likely to drive results.

Mediakix, for example, vets each of the over 100,000 influencers within their managed community before activation. Brands can start campaigns immediately with confidence in the influencers presented.

Strategize Campaigns Driven by Audience Insights

The most effective influencer campaigns connect directly with target audience interests to feel organic. Agencies make that possible by handling audience research upfront to inform data-backed strategies for campaigns.

From psychographic analysis to studying micro trends in UGC and conversations, agencies gain the audience familiarity to blueprint campaigns for relevance. IMA Research, the insights and strategy division within influencer agency IMA, exemplifies this through their in-depth audience immersion prior to campaign planning.

Handle Tedious Influencer Relationship Management

Beyond talent scouting and strategy, influencer marketing involves extensive coordination pre-and-post campaign launch for relationship management. This spans negotiation, contractual agreements, content creation, approval cycles and compensation tracking.

For brands new to influencer marketing managing these complex working relationships poses a headache without the right systems and experience. Influencer marketing agencies have established processes to seamlessly handle the human element while keeping campaigns progressing on target.

Track Performance & Optimize Campaigns

Even after campaign launch the work continues. Setting benchmarks and tracking against KPIs throughout flight periods provides visibility so agencies can actively optimize activity. Adjusting targeting parameters, trying different content approaches and leveraging higher performing influencers gives agencies the agility to continually improve results.

Open Influence stands out in campaign performance tracking through their Robust Analytics Dashboard providing 10+ real-time metrics into engagement levels and conversion performance.

This end-to-end support across strategy, talent management and performance monitoring explains why so many brands choose to work with influencer experts rather than tackling completely alone.

Now let’s explore 10 leading influencer marketing agencies to consider for 2023 campaigns.

10 Best Influencer Marketing Agencies

1. Ainfluencer

Overview – Founded in 2018, Ainfluencer‘s unique influencer marketplace and campaign management platform is used by over 12,000 brands worldwide. Their automated tech handles influencer discovery, campaign launch, negotiation, compliance tracking and payment processing.

Core Differentiators

  • FREE self-service access to managed network with over 500,000 authentic, high-quality influencers
  • Performance guarantees ensure brands only pay influencers after content meets promised engagement
  • Real-time performance analytics provide transparency into content and engagement before paying
  • Category-leading tools for workflow automation, fraud protection and compliance enforce best practices

"We used Ainfluencer to activate 3 influencer campaigns resulting in over 2 Million video views. The platform gave us transparency we couldn‘t find with any other provider." – Lenovo

Consider Ainfluencer if you want to launch influencer campaigns completely risk-free backed by performance as their post-pay model ensures their interests stay tied to your success.

Explore Ainfluencer‘s Free Tools

2. Mediakix

Overview – Founded in 2011, Mediakix builds custom influencer campaigns through their full-service agency model and internal influencer network with reach across multiple platforms.

Core Differentiators

  • Full-scale agency services for campaign strategizing, influencer talent management, content production, execution and reporting
  • Proprietary performance optimization layered into each campaign for continual improvement as it progresses
  • In-house studio, Parachute Media, develops campaign assets optimized for platforms from YouTube to TikTok
  • Over 100K managed influencers make up their own network supplemented by external influencers as needed

Mediakix makes for a solid choice for mid-large brands that value a hands-on agency approach and appreciate their depth of influencer marketing expertise since 2011.

3. Obviously

Overview – UK & Spain based Obviously takes a boutique, high-touch agency approach focused heavily on Instagram influencer campaigns.

Core Differentiators

  • Local market expertise within EU gives them an edge for regionally focused brands
  • Highly tailored management and attention catered to each client as a "boutique" firm
  • Instagram makes up over 75% of campaigns thanks to their deep connections with relevant lifestyle creators
  • They discover micro and nano-influencers others may overlook to unlock unique partnerships

Obviously brings a very hands-on, high-communication agency model to provide white-glove treatment for EU-focused mid-market brands wanting Instagram reach.

4. Fanbytes

Overview – Fanbytes specializes exclusively in creator partnerships and viral video campaigns on TikTok to deliver brands record engagement.

Core Differentiators

  • Early adopters on TikTok since launch, their campaign creative expertise is unmatched
  • Over 5 billion TikTok video views produced through innovative influencer content
  • Launch "Resident Creators" program connects brands with their exclusive network of managed pros
  • Real-time performance dashboards make campaign measurement and optimization transparent

For brands prioritizing TikTok specifically as part of their social media mix, Fanbytes is the definitive agency choice for proven viral video creative.

5. Whalar

Overview – A global influencer agency, Whalar builds campaigns targeted at Gen Z audiences through branded storytelling.

Core Differentiators

  • Massive Gen Z reach through network of over 100,000 creators on Instagram and TikTok
  • Campaigns focus on key messages and compelling story angles relevant to young audiences
  • Full-scale production studios craft campaign assets sized for vertical mobile
  • Roster of high-profile brand clients like Uber, Channel 4 and L’Oréal

Consider Whalar if resonating with hard-to-reach Gen Z consumers is a priority through voyeuristic and interactive content styles.

6. IMA

Overview – IMA focuses heavily on influencer campaign strategy rooted in in-depth audience insights and market research.

Core Differentiators

  • Award-winning global agency trusted by leading brands like Porsche, Pepsi and Marriott
  • Uses social listening, focus groups and data analysis to inform strategies matching audience interests
  • End-to-end in-house production through IMA Studios handles all video and photo content needs
  • High-touch service model provides dedicated management and attention for larger budgets

IMA differentiates through heavy upfront investment into audience insights to create highly targeted, effective campaign strategies for big brands.

7. Fullscope

Overview – NYC based Fullscope takes an educator approach ensuring clients build internal capabilities while executing campaigns.

Core Differentiators

  • Begins every engagement by formulating research-backed macro strategies for channel selection
  • Proprietary “School of Influence” training program shares best practices to elevate in-house skills
  • Flexibly runs one-off influencer seeding opportunities up through year-long ambassador promotions
  • Boutique firm provides high-touch support and consultation for micro brands to enterprises

Consider Fullscope if you value guidance to bolster internal influencer marketing knowledge while tapping into their execution experience as needed.

8. Open Influence

Overview – Compliance vetting and performance transparency are pillars of Open Influence’s tech-enabled agency approach.

Core Differentiators

  • Rigorous vetting using AI checks all influencers against fraudulent indicators, historical consistency and more pre-activation
  • Real-time performance dashboards with 10+ tracked metrics provide visibility into campaign progress
  • Flexible compensation models include CPM, CPA options to align payments to goals beyond just deliverables
  • Enterprise-level agency support services backed by VP level strategy guidance

Open Influence appeals to data-driven brands wanting assurances around influencer vetting along with visibility into granular performance analytics.

9. Her Family

Overview – Based in NYC, Her Family represents over 5,000 mom influencers making them experts within motherhood and parenting content.

Core Differentiators

  • Highly targeted niche network on Instagram and YouTube delivers authenticity for parenting focus
  • Influencer products sent match mom lifestyles transparently
  • Direct brand access to communicate 1:1 with niche network through Her Family platform
  • Campaigns blended with macro and micro influencer content to vary reach

For baby, mom or family brands, Her Family offers unmatched specialization and genuine influencer resonance.

10. TheAmplify

Overview – TheAmplify accelerates influencer efforts through integrated strategy inclusive of owned, earned and paid channels.

Core Differentiators

  • Goes beyond just standalone influencer activations by tying strategies back to core brand owned channels first
  • Uses voice analysis technology to map consumer journeys across touchpoints measuring influence
  • Manages an Emerging Creators Network focused specifically on diverse, up-and-coming talent
  • Competitively priced offering scaled rates for emerging brands on tighter budgets

Consider TheAmplify if you value guidance on holistic channel strategies that amplify influencer campaigns across websites, communities and social platforms.

Comparing Influencer Marketing Agencies

While the above list summarizes some of the most reputable influencer marketing agencies, brands need to weigh numerous factors specific to their unique needs. Use the following comparison chart as you evaluate agency options:

Agency Key Platform Focus Core Differentiators Budget Suitability Geography Served
Ainfluencer Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, Youtube Performance guarantees, post-pay model, 500K+ influencers All sizes Global
Mediakix Holistic, YouTube Full-service campaign delivery, 100K managed influencers Mid-market & Enterprise US-focused
Obviously Instagram High-touch boutique agency, EU market expertise Mid-market UK & EU focused
Fanbytes TikTok Viral video creative, early TikTok adopters Mid-market & Enterprise Global
Whalar Instagram, TikTok Gen Z brand storytelling, content production Enterprise Global
IMA Holistic Data-driven campaign strategies, Fortune 500 clientele Enterprise Global
Fullscope Holistic Influencer education, flexible campaign support All Sizes US-focused
Open Influence Holistic Compliance vetting, performance tracking Enterprise US-focused
Her Family Instagram, YouTube 5K mom niche influencer network All Sizes US-focused
The Amplify Cross-channel Owned & earned media acceleration Emerging Brands US-focused

Use this high-level snapshot as a starting point for determining which agency alignment makes sense. From there, dig deeper into specific elements of their offerings and past case studies to ensure the partnership looks primed for success based on your budget, audience, platforms and other variables in play.

Vetting the human dynamic with sales and account representatives is equally key to determine if you click with their communication approach and personalities. Ultimately choosing an influencer agency comes down to comfort and confidence levels that they uniquely grasp your brand challenges to craft impactful solutions.

Ainfluencer makes launching influencer campaigns easy for all brand sizes through their innovative self-serve platform. Key advantages include:

500,000+ Influencer Network – Instantly access pre-vetted, high-quality creators spanning Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and more niches. New options added daily.

Automated Campaign Management – Self-serve dashboards handle messaging, collaboration, approvals, publishing and reporting without any manual agency involvement.

Post-Pay Model – Only pay creators after content meets promised engagement levels for 100% campaign transparency.

Full Feature Access Free – Robust platform access forever free including performance tracking, fraud prevention and workflow automation tools.

Give your influencer marketing a boost in 2023 by tapping into Ainfluencer’s incredible creator network and technology built to simplify execution. Sign Up Today!

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