December 5, 2017

Influencer Marketing on a Budget

In the last four years, influencer marketing has exploded as a trend, being searched 100x more than before. It has quickly become one of the most affordable channels to gain more customers, and with just a little strategizing and planning, you too can get the most ROI with minimal investment on your very own influencer marketing campaign.

Below are some tips on how to spend your marketing dollars wisely to gain optimal results. 


You should have a clear idea of your budget prior to beginning any influencer campaign.  The smaller the budget, the more important this budget becomes, due to the fact every dollar spent needs to have a positive return on investment.

Not only should you budget your overall spend for each influencer, but don't forget to take into account all of the free products and experiences you will be providing. Gifting can be an excellent way to get your brand or product in front of the right audience without stretching your budget. 

Gifting becomes far more seamless when you can quickly take advantage of opportunities for exposure, so make sure you have inventory set aside in advance. Knowing your gifting limits allows you to better decide if an opportunity is worth the product.

Choose a compensation model that works best for your campaign

Deciding on a compensation model that both your campaign and the influencers will benefit from is of great importance.  

Below are some common compensation models you can use in your campaigns:

Pay per post-
Compensating influencers with a fixed amount in exchange for each created post.

Cost per acquisition-
Compensating influencers for every subscription, or sale, they drive for your business.

Cost per engagement-
Compensating influencers based on the amount of engagement they generate for your business, i.e. shares and comments.

Cost per click-
Compensating influencers for every click, or traffic, they drive to your site. 

Some smaller budgets don’t allow for monetary compensations, so alternative payment options, such as free products or experiences, can be agreed upon with the influencer. 

Partner with micro-influencers

Consider using micro-influencers when working with smaller marketing budgets. Micro-influencers are influencers with significant followings, but have less of a following than some of the 'top' influencers. Micro-influencers charge less for sponsored posts, making them more ideal for brands with limited budgets.

 97% of micro-influencers charge less than $500 for one Instagram post, and 84% charge less than $250.00. According to Bloglovin, a $5,000 budget could help you generate 35-100 influencer posts on Instagram reaching 200,000 people.  This amount could also help you reach close to 315,000 followers on blog platforms and Twitter.  The key to success with micro-influencers is finding someone that is highly relevant to the demographic of your brand or campaign.

Activate your fans as influencers

Investing in your existing fan base and turning them into influential advocates for your brand could save you money.  It’s a good idea to sift through your own followers and see who has a significant following that would align with your brand. Get a list of potential followers you could utilize within your campaign and activate them as influencers.

The benefit of this reciprocal exposure is actually twofold: not only does it give your brand valuable content for your marketing efforts, but it also conveys a strong relationship between the influencer and brand. 

Simply reach out to these chosen followers and convince them to promote your business or brand with their own followers.  Since they are already familiar with your brand this may be an easier task than reaching out to other influencers. Rewarding these influencers for their loyalty and performance with discounts and free gifts, instead of monetary compensation, can cut marketing costs. Make sure to give these influencers a unique promotional code, or URL, so you can track their conversions.

Collaborate with non-competing brands

Collaborating with complementary brands can boost your bargaining power and open up the potential to secure highly impactful opportunities on a smaller budget. Identify brands whose audiences closely align to your target demographic, and make sure they are non-competing with your goals. If you’re at an agency there may be opportunities between your already existing clients creating a win-win. 

Work to educate brands on the value of long-term influencer partnerships, and prioritize campaign goals by investing a budget into strategic relationships.  Don’t forget to discuss successful campaigns or partnerships that you can continue to work together on in the future. Recurring partnerships are highly effective and help establish familiarity among potential customers. 

Performance and spend tracking

Tracking the spend and progress of your influencer marketing campaign is a must regardless of your budget. Tracking can help you gain a clear understanding of the performance for each influencer, and how effective your marketing dollars are being invested.  Tracking your spend will also help keep you from overspending throughout your campaign.

Track how each influencer is driving results so you can make adjustments in your campaign to better suit your needs.  Try using the tool Assembly to properly track influencer marketing campaigns in real time. This tool can help you track overall ROI, performance of influencers, manage spend, streamline communication, and provide transparency when managing multiple campaigns.

Influencer marketing is such a wide niche you can leverage without resorting to expensive or conventional formats. By utilizing the right tools and creative content strategy, you can work wonders for your brand.

By: Stephani Nunez
Marketing & Lifestyle Blog

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