The popularity of influencer marketing has spawned a new type of agency system. Our guest author writes about the influencer talent management space.
It’s 2022, and people have finally wrapped their heads around the thought that being an influencer is a booming career opportunity. That being said, the growth of the influencer marketing industry has successfully generated many other employment opportunities for creators of all kinds. If we take a moment to look at certain reports, or even if we just look around us on our respective social media handles, we can easily anticipate that influencer marketing will be at its peak in 2022.
Statistics show that globally, brands are likely to invest $15 billion in influencer marketing this year. According to GroupM INCA’s India Influencer Marketing Report, the country’s influencer marketing was worth an estimated Rs 900 crore, as of 2021. The report also stated that the influencer marketing industry in India will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25 per cent till 2025, reaching a size of Rs 2,200 crore.
Amongst the many factors, like an increase in the number of influencers, rising awareness about influencer marketing and the allocation of better marketing budgets by brands, there’s one more factor that has contributed to making the influencer marketing industry as big as it is today. It’s the influencer talent management agency.
It is hard to believe that influencer talent management took such a long time to come into the limelight, post the establishment of influencer marketing. These agencies act as middlemen between influencers and brands to get both parties the best deals possible.
There are generally three types of influencer talent management agencies today.
First, there are the former management agencies that branched out and include influencer representation in their existing model.
Second, there is the type of agency that represents both the brands and influencers.
Last, there are influencer talent management agencies that only represent the influencers.
Come to think of it, this model of talent representation has always existed in traditional advertising. But earlier, the belief around talent management was that it is only meant for celebrities. However, the need for influencer talent representation is felt now more than ever.
Talent representation has always existed in traditional advertising. But earlier, the belief around talent management was that it is only for celebrities. But the need for influencer talent representation is felt today.
When we talk about the evolution and growth of influencer marketing in 2022, we are consequently also talking about the evolution of influencer talent management. As marketing campaigns are now carried out on a large scale and with the greatest variety, it is essential for an influencer to have representation that looks out for their best interests.
In 2022, ideally, every influencer should have representation. Here’s why:
Influencers are best at creating content. Their job is to channel their talent into creating content that helps them build an audience, which will eventually help them as well as the brands they collaborate with, to generate revenue. So, it’s best to let them focus on their content, while their talent management agency focuses on getting them compatible brand deals.
A talent management agency is a gateway for influencers to find the kind of work that suits their communication style. Influencer marketing is based on niches. It’s the thread that connects everyone - influencers, brands and customers. Influencer talent management agencies can help amplify niche-appropriate collaborations, which are highly necessary to strike a tone with the target audience of both the influencer and brands.
Influencers collaborate with various brands of all scales. They are always working and have multiple projects lined up. An influencer talent management agency helps to streamline each project so none of their commitments are compromised.
Content creation is a time-consuming job. And so is dealing with brands, taking a download of the brief, negotiating deals and tracking the campaign performance. It’s best if the load is divided and both the influencers and their representatives do the deeds that they are best at.
And finally, it’s about professionalism. The hierarchy of the influencer marketing industry is set, wherein brands and influencers collaborate through talent agencies. So now, if an influencer does not have a representation, it may be perceived as unbecoming of them. So, to keep up with the decorum, it is ideal that each influencer is associated with a talent management agency.
In conclusion, influencer talent management agencies are now a part of the ecosystem of this industry. Their potential has been untapped for a long time. But, in 2022, we can expect a rise in the number of influencer talent management agencies and, hence, see more well-rounded influencer marketing campaigns.
(The author is COO, Alchemy Group and WORD.)