I recently caught up with co-owner and marketing mastermind behind Boston co-retail space For Now, Kaity Cimo. She runs the space with friend and business partner Katharine ReQua. They opened a year ago and have played home to over 80 brands in that time.
9 Instagram Marketing Agencies You Should Be Working With
I don’t need to tell you how important Instagram is for your business. With 1 billion active users, 80% of which follow one or more businesses, and 75% of which take action after viewing a brand’s post, it’s a marketing channel that you can’t afford to ignore.
Instagram marketing agencies can help you to make the most out of your marketing endeavors with minimal effort on your part. However, there’s a big difference between a good marketing agency and an average one.
That’s why in this post, we’re going to be looking at the top 9 Instagram marketing agencies that you should be working with according to your needs (marketing, design, influencers).
Let’s get started!
Why use an Instagram marketing agency?
Instagram marketing takes a lot of time and resources; time and resources that your business might not have to spare. In fact, a third of CEOs said they would prefer to spend less time on their social marketing efforts.
Agencies exist as a solution to this problem. They take care of the planning, execution and reporting for you so that you can get back to doing what you do best, running your business.
That being said, there are some benefits to taking care of Instagram marketing in-house. We’ve summarized the main pros and cons below.
An Instagram agency might not be the right fit for every business, but you should definitely consider it if:
- Instagram is one of your key marketing channels
- You’re not seeing results or adequate ROI in your existing Instagram campaigns
- You don’t have the time or resources to manage your own social campaigns in-house
You don’t have to be a large enterprise to benefit from Instagram agencies either, there are solutions out there for businesses and budgets of all sizes.
What to expect from your marketing agency
A good agency will start with a consultation where you can discuss your project requirements and overall goals. This will usually be done with an in-depth Q&A followed up with some contextual clarifications.
The goal of both parties as this stage is to assess fit – most agencies specialize in a few things and it’s important to find one that aligns with your current and future business needs. Similarly, agencies are going to be looking for a situation where they can add value – they want you to succeed and will look for opportunities to inject their expertise.
Typical services and specialties include:
- Instagram account management
- Photography services
- Content design and creation
- Campaign planning and ideation
- Instagram growth hacking
- Influencer outreach
- Paid ads/sponsored post management
- Data, analytics, and research
We’ve done our best to categories these into three buckets so let’s explore the best agencies for each!
Instagram marketing agencies
First up, let’s talk about general Instagram marketing agencies. Rather than specializing in any one particular area, these companies tend to offer a broad range of services and full-stack marketing solutions for businesses.
Here are a few of our favorite Instagram marketing agencies:
True North Social
True North Social is a Los Angeles-based social media and Instagram marketing company that designs and implements killer social media strategies, tailored specifically to each of their clients.
According to one of their founders, Kellis Landrum, True North puts a lot of emphasis on communication: “We talk to (our clients) constantly. We understand that your success is our success. We’re here to help when you need it.”
When it comes to Instagram, they help build and deliver both advertising campaigns and influencer campaigns. Their team of writers, designers, and social media marketing experts take the time to get to know your brand to create the best content possible and target the right audience.
They’re very data-centric and use advanced techniques and tools to create a campaign that can’t go wrong.
3 things we like about True North Social:
- They take the time to get to know your brand
- They leverage data effectively
- They’re results-focused and transparent
The Digital Picnic
The Digital Picnic is a digital media company based out of Melbourne that specializes in providing social media marketing training to small businesses. According to senior strategist Michelle Nick, “Through our training, we hope to empower every attendee with the knowledge they need to utilize social to create positive change in their business.”
They’re experts in what they do and have trained more than 1,500 attendees through their online masterclasses, courses, ebooks, and face-to-face training workshops. If you’d rather keep your Instagram marketing efforts in-house but you aren’t sure where to start, they’re a great company to work with.
But it’s not just about training. They practice what they preach and offer full-service social media management services including Instagram strategy development, content planning, and influencer outreach.
3 things we like about The Digital Picnic:
- They’re experts in all-things-social
- They work closely with their clients
- They offer both training and management services
Jumper Media is a full-stack Instagram marketing company, meaning they offer the whole package. They handle every aspect of your campaign: content creation, ads, influencer marketing – pretty much anything a brand would need to jump-start their social efforts.
They know how to do Instagram the right way and understand that it’s all about creating meaningful conversations and building real relationships with your customers.
Numbers are important, sure, but those followers don’t mean a thing if they’re not engaged with your brand. Jumper Media know this and aim to help you to target the right people and build real, loyal fans.
They also do video creation, which is great if you’re looking into IGTV as part of your campaign. They also try to balance quality with affordability, so this may be the way to go if you’re a small business looking for a low-cost option.
3 things we like about Jumper Media:
- Low-cost services
- Focus on creating meaningful conversations
- Offer video creation
Instagram ad & design agencies
Moving on, let’s look at some of the best Instagram ad and design agencies on the market. An Instagram advertising agency like these will design and execute stunning ad campaigns. Their primary goal is to create posts to help you to reach new audiences, boost brand engagement, and drive sales.
Some of these agencies offer other services too, like account management and influencer marketing, but what they do best is ad campaigns. Here are three of our favorites:
Swift is one of the leading Instagram advertising and design agencies. They’re the masterminds behind some of the most successful visual marketing campaigns and have worked with all the biggest and best brands.
Their clients include titans of industry and megacorporations like Google, Adidas, YouTube, Starbucks, and more.
You only have to take a look at Swift’s website to see that they’re true masters of design. The page itself is dynamic, vibrant, and completely surreal – in a good way. They specialize in creating cutting-edge visual content that breaks the mold. As you’d expect, this design prowess is perfect for marketing on Instagram – a platform built on visual content.
They favor clean, playful, abstract compositions and put a lot of effort into creating a color palette and theme for their clients’ feeds. If you’re looking for an agency to help you to create the best Instagram content possible, and you have the right budget, there’s no better option.
3 things we like about Swift:
- They have a track record of delivering world-class results
- They’ve worked with some of the biggest enterprise-level clients on the market
- They’re masters of design and create stunning visual content
Tinuiti (formerly OrionCKB) is another Instagram advertising agency that specializes in paid ad campaigns and sponsored posts.
They were one of the first social media marketing agencies to recognize the huge potential of Instagram and understood how to run seamless, effective campaigns while other marketers were still catching up.
According to Katy Lucey, “paid social solutions drive real business results for clients. We provide full-funnel social strategies to align customers with powerful brand messaging in real-time across social channels including Facebook and Instagram, and combine data-driven recommendations with optimized creative to reach the best possible audiences for our clients.”
They’ve worked with an impressive line-up of clients ranging from startups to huge enterprises, and are happy to showcase their results via case studies on their website.
If one of the goals of your Instagram campaign is customer acquisition or lead generation, definitely consider working with Tinuiti.
3 things we like about Tinuiti:
- Experts in social advertising campaigns
- Extensive history of successful projects and happy clients
- Transparent about their results
Instagram influencer agencies
Instagram influencer agencies specialize in influencer marketing, the new gold-standard when it comes to social media marketing as it generates more ROI than any other method.
As you’d expect, a whole industry has cropped up around this one marketing technique, and influencer agencies are ubiquitous. A good influencer agency will specialize in working with social superstars to create effective influencer marketing campaigns.
Many of them double up as ‘talent agencies’ and actually represent the clients they pair you with. Services differ, but often they’ll include full-stack influencer marketing services and will perform influencer outreach, create content, and manage the whole campaign.
Here are our favorite Instagram influencer agencies:
The Mobile Media Lab
The Mobile Media Lab has been laser-focused on Instagram since its founding in 2012 and offer a range of marketing services like strategy ideation and consulting, photography, content creation, and influencer marketing. They even take their marketing services offline by connecting brands up with their audiences for ‘InstaMeets’ aka photography meetup events.
They take a holistic approach to Instagram marketing and were early pioneers of the Instagram influencer marketing model.
3 things we like about The Mobile Media Lab:
- They take time to connect your brand with the perfect influencers
- They focus exclusively on Instagram
- They’ve worked with an impressive line-up of clients
Viral Nation is a superb Instagram influencer agency that really sets the bar high. They’re a prestigious agency that’s won numerous industry awards and claim to be ‘the number one influencer talent agency on the planet’.
They’re one of just a handful of agencies that doubles up as a talent agency, meaning they represent their influencer talent. This cuts out a lot of time and hard work as you don’t need to worry about building a relationship with your influencer first – they already have one.
As you’d expect, Viral Nation has worked with the biggest enterprise clients including Disney, CocaCola, GoPro, and more. As such, neither their prices nor their services are probably the best fit for small businesses. However, if you’re a larger business, definitely check them out.
3 things we like about Viral Nation:
- They’re the gold-standard when it comes to influencer agencies
- They represent all their talent
- They handle the whole creative process for you
Socialyte is another leading Instagram influencer agency and content production studio. They were one of the first companies to enter the influencer marketing space and have over 10 years of experience in executing brilliant influencer marketing campaigns that deliver results.
Over those 10 years, they’ve run over 10,000 successful campaigns, worked with hundreds of clients, and garnered a global talent pool of award-winning influencers. According to Senior Manager Kelly Burns, “our full-service client concierge works with you at every stage of your influencer marketing campaign. From guiding strategy and leading ideation to casting talent, and overseeing campaign direction.”
They offer a ‘white-glove’, full-service, end-to-end influencer marketing solution, handling the whole campaign for you right from the beginning.
3 things we like about Socialyte:
- Over a decade of experience
- A huge global talent pool
- Full end-to-end campaign management
Last but not least, we have Mediakix. Mediakix is another leading Instagram influencer agency that shares a lot in common with those we’ve already mentioned above. Namely, a portfolio of impressive enterprise clients, a history of delivering superb results and ROI, and a talent pool of top social media stars.
According to the company, “our influencer campaigns have been the highest performing among all other advertising formats for our clients, surpassing KPI goals and metrics.”
While they don’t represent all the influencers they work with, they have built up established relationships and will negotiate contracts for you to get your campaign up and running quickly.
They offer end-to-end execution of data-driven campaigns at competitive prices.
3 things we like about Mediakix:
- Partner with top-performing influencers
- Data-driven campaigns
- End-to-end solutions
Vetting an Instagram marketing agency
As we mentioned earlier, there are countless agencies out there and it’s important to do your homework before hiring one.
Here are a few things you should do as part of the vetting process:
Make sure they align with your company goals
Make sure the agency understands what you’re trying to achieve and has a proven track record of being able to deliver services that meet your needs. For example, are you trying to boost brand recognition or drive sales? If it’s the latter, you’ll want to work with companies that can deliver ROI as well as reach and exposure.
View their case studies/portfolio
The best way to see if an agency can deliver is to view their previous work. If they don’t list any case studies or campaigns on their website, ask for some. A good agency won’t hesitate to give you a few references.
Watch out for fake results
It’s possible to fake marketing results. Common measures of Instagram success, like engagement, follower growth, and clicks can all be generated by fake accounts and bots. Real results will look and feel organic. When you view their case studies, look out for warning signs like sudden spikes in growth and low follow-to-engagement ratios.
Look for big brands / enterprise-level clients
One of the easiest ways to see how good a marketing agency is to see what kind of clients they work with. If they have a history of working with enterprise customers, it’s clear that big brands see their potential and a good indication that they’re good at what they do.
Check the agency’s Instagram accounts
Don’t just look at their previous clients/brand partners, also check out the marketing agency’s own Instagram account. How many followers do they have? How well are there accounts performing? If they can’t market their own business on Instagram, the chances are they’re not going to be able to do it for yours.
Ask about their content development processes
High-quality Instagram marketing agencies won’t shy away from questions about their content development process. They should have a clear strategy in place that starts with thorough brand research.
Make sure it’s all done in-house
The best Instagram marketing agencies carry out their services themselves and don’t outsource it to anyone else. You don’t want to work with middlemen, you want to work with experts. If possible, try and arrange a face-to-face meeting with the marketing agency to meet their content creation team.
Vet their influencers (for influencer agencies)
If you’re working with an Instagram agency for an influencer campaign, make sure you vet their influencers first. The best influencers are those whose values align with your brand, who have a strong relationship with their followers, and who consistently generate high engagement on the platform.
Make sure there’s a connection
This one might seem obvious, but communication is the key to any successful Instagram campaign, so aim to pick an agency that you really gel with.
What are your thoughts?
Have you worked with any Instagram marketing agencies in the past? If so, how would you rate the experience? And what qualities do you consider to be most important in an Instagram marketing agency? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Good luck with your campaign!
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