By Felicia Guthrie
Do you think your limited marketing budget is preventing you from working with influencers that can boost your brand awareness and engagement? Think again.
A smaller budget doesn’t mean you can’t work with influencers. If you’re ready to work with influencers and feel like budget is stopping you, here are a few things to help you make the most out of your limited budget.
Assessing your budget
Assessing your budget is the first step to finding out how much you can actually afford to spend on influencer marketing. It’s important to keep in mind that while there are influencers who will talk about your brand in exchange for getting complimentary products, many also have a set rate or fees. Many influencers will have a rate card that will lay out all of their fees – whether you want an image, a video feature, an Instagram Stories feature, or something else.
Once you have an idea of how much you have in terms of a monetary and a product budget, you can use that as a guide when selecting who to work with.
Next, you’ll want to research to ensure you’re not spending your limited budget on something that won’t work, like influencer campaigns that don’t reach your target market, influencers that don’t align with your brand, and so on. Think of your target market. You can start by checking out which influencers your audience – and even your competitors – already follow. Research influencers who have the same audience as you. If your business is in a niche industry you can even search specific hashtags to see if there are influencers within your industry. Finding influencers who speak to and relate to your audience is only part of the battle, so you’ll also want to research each influencer. Google them, do some social listening, and check out their engagement to get a better picture of how others see them.
Less can be more
This is super important… DO NOT overlook smaller creators! Your instinct might say go big or go home, but in this case, it’s wrong. The Kylie Jenners and celebrity influencers of the world talking about your brand is not the be-all and end-all of influencer marketing. In fact, one survey found that 82% of consumers said they are “highly likely” to follow a recommendation made by a micro–influencer.
While the terminology has shifted slightly as the influencer industry continues to grow, micro-influencers, are generally influencers who have 10K – 50K followers, while nano influencers will have 1K – 10K followers. These influencers are often seen as more relatable, trustworthy, and will have a more engaged community of followers – this makes them ideal to work with especially if you have a smaller budget and/or offer a niche product.
Want to know more about micro-influencers? Check this out.
So, you’ve figured out your budget, you’ve done your research, and you have a list of influencers you’d love to work with, what next?
Before you jump into anything, you may want to begin with building a rapport. Engage with them by commenting on their posts, ask them if they’d be interested in working with you, ask if they have a rate card, etc. By doing this you can see how well you “gel” with them, build a relationship with them, and you’ll know what their compensation expectations are.
The PR Package
Part of your influencer budget will likely be spent on packaging and shipping your products to selected influencers. If you’ve ever watched a PR unboxing video, you have likely seen some extravagant packages, but I promise you, it’s not necessary to be over-the-top. Instead, focus on how you can make the package personal, perhaps with a handwritten note. You can also include something to sweeten the deal, so to speak. Many brands will include items such as chocolate or candy, mugs, and other small items to give that extra oomph. Again, you don’t need to spend money creating and curating an over-the-top package to make an impression.
And while we’re on the topic of the PR package, aside from extravagant and elaborate packages not being necessary, many influencers have actually been speaking out against elaborate PR over the past several years – largely attributed to the waste created by them. Keeping a PR gift small and selective can help you save money, can be more sustainable, and it can still make an impression.
So, let’s do a quick recap… if you want to tap into influencer marketing on a budget you’ll need to:
- Figure out your budget so you know how much money and/or products you can afford to spend/give.
- Part of making the most of your budget is spending what you do have wisely. Working with smaller influencers will reach a smaller audience than mega influencers, but they’ll be more accessible to smaller brands and they’ll be more trustworthy and authentic to audiences.
- Skip out on elaborate PR packages and instead focus on how you can make it more sustainable and personal, while still paying attention to aesthetics and presentation.
Does this all sound like A LOT? That’s ok. You can always reach out to an expert for help! We can help you connect with credible influencers and have already built relationships with numerous influencers. We have done the research for you, manage influencer relationships, track results, and can help build the PR package. If you have limited resources such as money and time, or if you’re not comfortable or confident in doing it all yourself, this may be a great option for you.
Whether you’re ready to work with influencers, ready to work with media, or facing another marketing challenge, feel free to book a FREE 20-minute consultation with us to find out how we can help you!