How to Use Influencer Marketing on a Tight Budget
There’s no denying that social media marketing has become an integral part of a company’s marketing efforts. That’s why we see so many brands reaching out to influencers in hopes of gaining more exposure for their business. If you’re a small company that wants to reach a wider audience, influencer marketing may help you achieve just that.
What began as celebrity endorsements on television, influencer marketing has taken over the social media world by storm. Individuals with large followings can take advantage of their platform and promote products/services, which is good news for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Here, we’ll discuss what influencer marketing is all about and how you can utilize it to reach your target audience.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a social media marketing tactic that focuses on product mentions and brand endorsements. Influencers with a dedicated following on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok promote a product/brand in exchange for monetary compensation, freebies, or discounts. Because these individuals are considered experts in a specific niche, customers can trust that the product they’re promoting is reliable and of good quality.
Now, you may be wondering whether it’s worth investing in influencer marketing or not. According to Statista, the value of influencer marketing has doubled in the past three years, sitting at $13.8 billion in 2021. Collaborations between brands and creators are skyrocketing right before our eyes, and it would be a waste not to take advantage of this unique opportunity.
How much should you spend on influencer marketing?
It’s safe to say that in 2022, influencer marketing is a viable tactic to grow your business. But the question is, how much should you spend on it? Well, the answer is it depends. Creators with more significant followings will charge more for promoting a brand than lesser-known influencers. Their rates will also depend on the type of content they’ll create. Videos will cost more than Facebook or Instagram posts as the creator will use more resources.
Here’s the average cost of influencer marketing, depending on the platform and the creator’s number of followers
- Twitter –$2 per 1,000 followers
- Instagram –$10 per 1,000 followers
- Snapchat –$10 per 1,000 followers
- YouTube – $20 per 1,000 subscribers
- Facebook – $25 per 1,000 followers
If you’re just starting influencer marketing and don’t have much room to spend, Twitter is the most economical choice. Snapchat and Instagram are also compelling choices for small-to-medium-sized enterprises, although we would stick with the latter as the platform has more active users. As you gain more exposure and your budget opens up a bit more, you can spend on more powerful platforms like YouTube and Facebook to reach more people.
Remember that these rates are just averages of how much brands spend collaborating with creators. We suggest you reach out to multiple influencers to get a good idea of how much you should spend on influencer marketing.
How to use influencer marketing on a tight budget
Regardless of how small or big your brand is, you can utilize influencer marketing to your advantage. Those testing the waters will be best served by collaborating with micro-influencers with an average following of 10,000 to 50,0000. Macro-influencers (creators with 100,000 followers and up) will have more expensive rates, so it’s a good idea to rule out celebrity influencers from the get-go.
The key to using influencer marketing is to plan the collaboration process with your chosen creator. This step-by-step process will help you achieve just that.
Step 1: Understand your target audience
The first step to influencer marketing is to understand your target audience. Social media analytics will tell you everything you need to know about your customers, like their age, location, and interests. These things are crucial to influencer marketing as you want the creator’s message to resonate with your audience.
When you have a solid understanding of who your customers are, it allows you to build stronger relationships with them. Influencer marketing revolves around personas, and offering personalized interactions is key to winning them over.
Step 2: Look for the right influencer
You can hire a prominent individual to promote your brand, but you won’t generate any results if they don’t connect well with your customers. Make sure the creator you’re working with shares the same voice and value that your brand echoes. Beyond that, you want to look beyond the creator’s number of followers. Your influencer marketing efforts won’t be as effective if they have a solid following, but their reach is relatively low.
Another thing to consider is how often their followers interact with their posts. Like we’ve mentioned, personalized interactions are essential to developing customer relationships, and a high post engagement means their followers are interested in what the creator brings to the table.
Lastly, you want to ensure that your chosen creator is well-respected in their field. The added trust factor makes it easy for them to vouch for your product/services and make their followers more interested in your brand’s offerings.
Step 3: Set a budget
Once the first two steps are complete, it’s time to set a budget for influencer marketing. Ask yourself, “How much can I afford to pay an influencer?” The good news is rates can be flexible depending on the creator you’re working with. Some influencers charge a flat fee, while others charge per engagement or impression.
We suggest that small businesses stick with a flat fee first, so you don’t end up spending more than you initially planned. For example, you can choose to pay the influencer per post. The advantage of this is that regardless of the post’s performance, you’ll pay the same rate, whether a video, an image, or a text post.
Results-driven pricing models like pay-per-click or pay-per-view are more aggressive and are suited for businesses with more budget to spend. The benefit is that you won’t have to pay top dollar for a post that doesn’t perform well. But be prepared to pay more when the post generates a lot of clicks or views.
You can also leverage the value of your products to compensate the creator by offering discounts, freebies, or even a percentage of the sales from the promoted product. Take a look at your budget to determine the most effective form of compensation for the creator.
Step 4: Submit a proposal
Social media influencers receive a lot of emails, and if you want to get noticed by these creators, you need to create a unique proposal. Mention in your email why you want to collaborate with them and how they fit perfectly with your brand. Once they accept your proposal, you’ll need to create a contract for them to sign.
State in the contract how much compensation the creator will receive, the length of the agreement, the collaboration workflow, and the number of posts they need to create. Be specific as possible when drawing up a contract. The last thing you want is to dispute with the influencer over undisclosed details, which could affect your chances of working with a creator in the future.
5. Measure the results and adjust accordingly
So the creator has accepted the offer and your influencer marketing campaign is up and running. The next logical step is to track the campaign results and make necessary adjustments. Depending on your goals, you will need to follow different KPIs to measure success. For example, if the campaign aims to increase brand awareness, check how many new followers you acquire on your social media pages. On the other hand, if the focus is more on sales, track how many recent sales come from the custom URL you’ve provided.
By tracking your results, you’ll be able to determine whether or not the influencer you chose is worth spending the marketing dollars on. Also, if your influencer marketing campaign isn’t producing the results you want, you can always try other digital marketing tactics that deliver more bang-for-your-buck.
Often it’s not about changing the influencer that will deliver results. It’s about tweaking the content so that the influencer resonates with your target audience. If their posts aren’t performing well, they may need to switch things up by offering a different personality or creating fresh, dynamic content.
There’s no denying the impact of influencer marketing on brands today. With how social media is integrated into our daily lives, utilizing different platforms can be an excellent method to build your business. But influencer marketing isn’t for everyone, and it should always be one aspect of your digital marketing strategy.
When implemented correctly, influencer marketing can generate brand awareness and strengthen your online reputation. If you’re working with a tight budget and are looking to try influencer marketing, make sure to follow the tips we’ve outlined.
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