Influencer marketing is a discipline that’s continuing to grow and attract brands’ attention: More than half of marketers recently surveyed have reportedly increased their budgets for influencer marketing in 2016.

This comes as no surprise, as we know that influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to seed authentic, searchable content that drives purchase over time. The Motherhood found that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands they’ve read about from a trusted blogger, and additional industry data reveals that marketers who implemented an influencer marketing campaign earned an average of $6.85 in media value for every $1 they spent on paid media.

As influencer campaigns are on the rise, many brands are exploring the most effective and efficient ways to incorporate a sponsored content strategy into their overall marketing plans. One of the most critical decisions is whether a brand will manage influencer marketing in-house or through an agency. As evidenced by Google’s search history for the term “Influencer Marketing Agency,” brands are exploring their options at a record high rate.

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The Motherhood team is made up of professionals who have worked at the world’s top PR agencies, so we have a unique, first-hand understanding on how these decisions are made by brands at the firms that represent them. As a social media marketing agency that specializes in influencer marketing, we understand the power and perks of leveraging a specialty network to act as an extension of a brand’s team.

Three advantages of using an influencer marketing agency

1. Gain an expanded circle of trust. Hiring an influencer marketing agency requires that the marketer allow the agency to act as a steward of their brand — and leap of faith requires a great deal of trust. The Motherhood understands this — we’ve been on the other side! However, marketers should feel confident that hiring a credible, long-standing influencer marketing agency will offer a level of expertise and reliability that expands far beyond the four walls of a brand’s headquarters.

While many agencies tout their large networks of influencers, it’s imperative to know that the agency you’re engaging has a unique understanding of each individual influencer’s preferences, strengths and specialities. For marketers who want to create mutually beneficial partnerships built on a foundation of trust, pride in the brand and investment in creating exceptional work together, quality — rather than quantity — should be weighted heavily.

2. Save time, save money. A partnership with an influencer marketing agency allows brands and their PR agencies to work more efficiently by eliminating the time internally that’s required to research, identify, vet and manage a group of bloggers. A survey found that 75 percent of professionals consider identifying the right influencers to be the biggest challenge of a sponsored content campaign. Influencer marketing agencies have the right institutional knowledge and infrastructure in place, offering a better and more efficient way to manage relationships with influencers.

Using our proprietary database, The Mometer, The Motherhood makes it our business to provide the most strategic, targeted partnership recommendations between our bloggers and the brands who trust us to help represent them.

3. Offload details. When you hire an agency that specializes in influencer marketing, you’re gaining a partner with a deep, fine-tuned understanding of how to run a successful sponsored content campaign. Brands can weigh in on the aspects of the campaign that are most relevant to their direct role: key messaging, coverage pacing and key performance indicators, for example. However, turning over the reins to an experienced influencer marketing agency means that someone else will handle minute but important details such as blogger negotiations, product shipping, giveaway rules, managing bloggers’ adherence to the coverage deadline, disclosure compliance and hashtag use — just to name a few. When using an agency, these details are not the responsibility of the brand; rather, the agency is on-call for all related program management and implementation.

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If you are interested in teaming up with The Motherhood on an influencer marketing campaign, please email contact@themotherhood.com.