This year, we’ve noticed a shift in the questions we answer about influencer marketing, pointing toward the practical application of the strategy and focusing on the real issue: “What can it do for me?” In this post, we’ll flesh out some of these questions and provide a roadmap to help you get the answers you need, and build the strategy that’s right for your business.

Where does it fit?

When you’re deciding when and how to bring influencer marketing into your fold, the first thing is to consider is who should own it. Fair question. Our recent study with Altimeter, a Prophet Company, revealed that marketers who are leveraging influencer marketing are struggling to find the proper home for the strategy within their own teams. Social Media? Digital Marketing? Content Marketing? A department of its own? As you’re navigating this decision for yourself, assess the skills you have on your team and work to understand areas you can strengthen with the help of influencers.

What’s the best solution?

As the industry expands, a variety of different solutions have risen up to meet the clamor for influencer marketing services. Keep in mind—all influencer marketing is not created equal. You need to understand the needs on your team, assess your resources, and then decide what’s right for your business. If you need some help comparing solutions, check out this handy resource: The Guide to Influencer Marketing Investments. You’ll find everything you need to choose the solution that delivers on your unique goals.

How much does it cost?

Maybe this should have been question #1. Cost is one of the most commonly-discussed and widely-misunderstood aspects of influencer marketing. And, we’ll let you know—it varies. Influencers are unique and if you’re new to the industry, it can be difficult to understand what to expect from a pricing standpoint. But we have good news: There IS a way to select and budget for influencer partners based on past performance. The TapInfluence platform allows users to search for influencers using the Cost Per Engagement metric. Translation? You can find influencers who deliver a lot of engagement for just a little spend, based on what they’ve delivered for similar customers in the past. Cool, huh?

We hope this has helped clear up the concept of influencer marketing, and figure out how it can support your goals, whatever they may be. If you’re looking to dive deeper into these, or any other influencer marketing-related questions, sign up for our premiere webinar with Brian Solis of Altimeter and Clint Bagley of Current Marketing. They’ll provide expert insights into the state of influencer marketing, as told by thousands of professional influencers and marketers who execute in this space every day. Sign up to attend here.