How to Run an Influencer Marketing Campaign with a Limited Budget
Influencer marketing means big business for e-commerce.
It’s not only the fastest growing method for customer acquisition online, ROI on influencer campaigns have jumped up 63% since 2014. With gains as high as $11.20 per $1 spent, it’s no wonder why influencers are demanding big bucks for access to their audience.
After all, there are platforms dedicated solely to representing and brokering opportunities for these niche experts and social media stars with companies from HP and American Express to emerging designers and small accessories brands.
A recent Adweek article puts some campaigns in the “hundreds of thousands” of dollars range, depending on the influencer.
Unbelievable? Well, not really.
From brand awareness to sales, influencer marketing is becoming a legitimate channel with the advent of social media. And as more and more shoppers look to social for product recommendations (with reports as high as 70% among consumers) influencers are only becoming more and more valuable. It’s all about putting your brand in front of the right eyes.
Just think of all the benefits:
- engaged viewing audience with intrinsic trust
- fresh, high-quality content
- potential for additional press
You’ve probably gone from “is influencer marketing right for my brand?” to “how do I get a piece of the action?”
Like any other marketing channel, influencer marketing requires strategic planning and ongoing management to get the best results.
It should be part of your marketing mix and contribute to an even broader media strategy, and not be done simply because it’s popular.
And even though it may be one of the most cost-effective methods to advertise online in this digital era, that doesn’t mean it can’t be considered expensive. ‘Too much’ is a relative term when it comes to price but even a social media executive confessed in Digiday that “we threw too much money at them and did it too quickly” in reference to past influencer campaigns.
With large companies, mistakes can be easily absorbed. But what about your business? You see the value of influencer marketing and know what it can do for your brand, but what if you’re operating on a limited budget?
Well, here are 3 ways to work with influencers, even if you’re a bit strapped for cash:
Give the influencer a stake in their success. Generate an affiliate partnership with the brand ambassador through a specific tracking link or coupon code. That way, at the end of the pre-determined term, the influencer will receive a cut of the sales (usually between 10-12% to be competitive) that they were able to refer to your online store.
Influencers given the license to create usually produce more authentic, compelling and engaging content. Co-branding a product with that influencer (i.e. collaborating on an exclusive design) gives them an opportunity to extend their influencer into the realm of product but also provides added motivation with a personal stake in product doing well.
This last one is a bit risky but complimentary gifting is a great way to get the conversation started. After making initial contact, offering the ability to receive and use the product with ‘no string attached’ gives you a chance to impress the influencer organically and may result in a mention or review because of a positive experience.
If you’re not ready to shell out a couple grand to engage in an influencer marketing campaign, then these alternatives are your best bet for generating quality influencer partnerships and adding a new and thriving dimension to your overall marketing strategy.
Commerce Corner: How much would you be willing to pay for an influencer partnership? What expectations would come with the price tag?