4 Essential Tips For Influencer Marketing On A Budget

Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful techniques to reach your target market today. Social media influencers are experts of their industry, they hold a trusted relationship with their following, they boost brand awareness through creative thinking, and generate increased sales and web traffic.

Sounds pretty good, right? Of course it does, but with the average cost of a single social media influencer post coming in at approximately $1000 per 100,000 followers, establishing a reach in that niche market is not always cheap.

It seems frustrating that without a bottomless pit of financial resources, you won’t be able to make an impression on your desired market. But that isn’t necessarily the case.

This post will explore the less financially burdening ways to use influencer marketing and gather that web traffic needed to generate sales and continued brand awareness.

Compensation models for influencer marketing

People are often sceptical about the power of social media influencers – and you probably should be. Just because someone has a large audience doesn’t necessarily mean they can generate you a large amount of sales. Throwing thousands of your limited budget at one Instagram post is a big risk (especially for smaller businesses and start-ups).

This is where compensation models help to redistribute the power between the business and the influencer. Take ‘Pay Per Post’: this is the most common form of influencer post. It is a one-off payment that ensures an influencer will be paid for a social media post dedicated to the product/service you have agreed. This method is often expensive, difficult to predict reliability, and doesn’t always reach the right crowd.

As a solution, ‘Cost Per Acquisition’ ensures that a payment is made to the influencer based off of the number of sales/subscribers that they generate for your business. ‘Cost Per Click’ provides a similar sentiment, although this payment method is based upon the amount of traffic that is driven to your website as a result of the influencer’s post. These methods save you from shelling out on an ad campaign with a possible dead end, with greater payments only made if there is greater traffic driven to your site/sales.

Use Micro-Influencers

For a business on a budget, getting a Kim Kardashian on board to boost your businesses reach may be a little intangible. However, a recent sweeping trend of micro-influencers is being used by smaller companies to get an early reach, at a much cheaper cost. Research conducted by Collective Bias suggested that just 3% of consumers were actually influenced by celebrity endorsements when making a purchase. By selecting the right micro-influencer, you have a very powerful tool that allows you to access the niche market that you have been trying to find. They’ve already done the work for you.

Take this for example – @blissedhappiness is Karina Blackwood’s Instagram account. With just over 18,000 followers, this page is dedicated to promoting Karina’s passion for fitness, health and wellbeing, and clothing. For a small fitness apparel company, Katrina obtains a gathering of follows that would suite their target demographic. Her engagement is genuine, she has a trustworthy rapport with her followers, and acts as a promoter for her reliable audience. The big numbers aren’t everything, right?

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The tricky bit about using micro-influencers is finding the correct ones. They tend to be more difficult to find than macro-influencers for obvious reasons. However, there are tools to to help you. BuzzSumo is a search engine that generates suggested social media accounts based on a keyword search. A ranking of these pages is based on website domain authority and their number of followers. You can quickly see who is generating the most attention in your niche market, also allowing you an insight into the most popular content.

Use influencer marketing tools such as Shopcast

Using free software tools is the perfect way for your business to test out the latest influencer technologies, and stay on top of your industry. Bunting’s brand-new ecommerce product, Shopcast is currently taking free beta sign-ups for the first 10,000 people. The tool allows influencers to bring their engaged shoppers to your site and shop with them live, creating a fun and social experience. Whereas social media posts often rely on an influencer posting a link (which is not even possible on Instagram posts), Shopcast allows influencers to actually bring shoppers to your site and engage with them live.

Shopcast

Use your customers and in-house experts

Have you got experts on your team who can fly your company’s flag? Or maybe your own customers have an engaged following on social media and could promote your products at a far lower cost than more established influencers.

Tools like Shopcast don’t have to be used by established influencers, either – someone on your team with a great knowledge of your products can do a live Shopcast, sharing their coveted wisdom with your visitors. Shoe expert Jenni Bailey from specialist retailer Calla Shoes recently used Shopcast to showcase her summer products for ladies with bunions, sharing her vast knowledge of styling for this condition. The session saw an impressive 18% conversion rate.

To wrap up…

Influencers are the modern-day masters of marketing, they provide content to an audience that trusts their opinion. But after all, it is your decision. Be picky about how you are spending your limited budget and explore all the options before making a decision.

Remember, a mass following does not always ensure results. Be careful about who you select, considering multiple micro-influencers rather than one macro-influencer, as they usually have a much more loyal following.

Try out new technologies. Optimize on your influencers ability to engage with your potential customers by experimenting with new products and ideas, like Shopcast.

If you would like to find out more about Bunting’s influencer marketing tool, get in touch with the team.

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Micro-influencers: 4 Reasons You Need Them In Your Marketing Strategy

You might not immediately consider micro-influencers when you embark on your first influencer marketing campaign. They have smaller audiences – typically in the region of 10,000 or fewer followers – when compared to more well known influencers. You’ve likely never heard of most of them, but if you look a little closer, you’ll see that there is much for marketers to be excited about.

Micro-influencers have a dedicated following and far better engagement rates than their macro-influencer counterparts. They’re becoming increasingly in demand, and for good reason.

Here are four reasons why you should be using micro-influencers in your marketing strategy.

1. Micro-influencers make your brand look authentic

Micro-influencers are seen completely differently to celebrities or macro-influencers. When a celebrity posts sponsored content, the public’s reaction is often of distrust or cynicism – people often just don’t believe that the celeb uses the brand they’re promoting. They have all the money in the world to buy whatever brand they want, right?

Micro-influencers, on the other hand, carry a far superior level of authenticity, and their audience listens to them. They’re often experts or enthusiasts about their particular niche, and their opinion, therefore, holds more weight.

Ultimately, micro-influencers are regular people like you and me.

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This beauty influencer @IFEBOB has a relatively small following of just under 23,000 followers, but is a makeup artist and expert in her field. This makeup tutorial is done in collaboration with a makeup company with links to the products she used. While this is a sponsored post, it doesn’t really feel like one – her opinion is trusted, and people can see how great the products look on her. Her engagement for this post was 41 likes per thousand followers.

2. They have higher audience engagement

Engagement is so important in influencer marketing campaigns. If an influencer gets tonnes of likes, comments, questions and shares on their posts, it’s a good indication that people care about what they post.

And that’s the great thing about micro-influencers. Believe it or not, they typically have much higher engagement rates than large-scale influencers. Just look at the research by Markerly, below.

Comments and like rates decrease dramatically as an influencer grows in numbers of followers.

beauty influencer

3. You’ll save money with micro-influencers

These great engagement rates also mean you get a lot more bang for your buck. According to the agency Hello Society, micro-influencer campaigns are 6.7 times more efficient per engagement than macro-influencers campaigns, and therefore more cost effective, too.

Micro-influencers typically cost far less than celebrity influencers, who can charge eyewatering fees in excess of $250,000. Some celebs, such as Kylie Jenner, are estimated to charge a whopping $1 million per sponsored Instagram post. Micro-influencers, on the other hand, are more likely to charge somewhere between $150 – $1000.

However, be aware you may not have rights to use the content in other places, and you may be charged to use the image in other marketing.

4. They’ll use their creativity to make your brand look good

We know that blatantly promotional posts aren’t as effective as they used to be. As influencer marketing grows, it’s important to find new ways to capture followers’ attention and imagination. Instagram is overflowing with celebrity sponsored posts that look – and are – completely staged. Let’s not forget Scott Disick’s Instagram fail, where he copy and pasted the Bootea marketing team’s message on a post to his 20+ million followers. Eek!

Micro-influencers love having creative control, and are much more likely to put time and thought into your joint campaign. A survey by Crowdtap found that their favourite projects are the ones that allow them creative freedom. Allow your influencer’s ideas to lead the way – they’re content experts after all, and have built their following through their carefully crafted content. Look beyond social posts and consider other types of content, such as videos, interviews, tutorials, or top tip articles.

Specsavers recently launched a microinfluencer campaign, where they featured social media influencers on their website wearing their favourite pair of glasses. They allowed the influencers to explain their choices, letting them show their personality with a link to their chosen glasses.

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influencer fail

To wrap up…

Research has found that 82 percent of consumers reported they were highly likely to follow a recommendation from a micro-influencer. They’re trusted, have higher engagement rates, are cost-effective and love the chance to get stuck into a creative project.

When it comes to deciding between a micro or macro-influencer, you might just choose the micro-influencer, after all.

To find out more about how to get started on your next micro-influencer campaign, get in touch: hello@bunting.com

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Influencer Strategy: 5 tips to create a successful marketing campaign

Influencer marketing has exploded.

No longer do brands reach out exclusively to celebrities for endorsements. Now, they look to influencers: bloggers, thought leaders, and social media stars who have built their following through their carefully curated content.

Influencers are masters of their personal brand. They know their audience, and connect with them by delivering value. People scroll their feeds to be entertained, educated or to feel connected.

Given the respect they command, it’s no wonder a single promoted post from an influencer can cause a product to sell out in a matter of minutes. The earning potential for businesses is huge, and that’s why 65% of brands plan to increase spending on influencer marketing this year.

But, as with all great things, there are of course downfalls and things to avoid. Influencer marketing fraud is becoming increasingly problematic, with brands unknowingly paying for the services of influencers with purchased followers.

Here are our top tips for crafting your lucrative influencer strategy:

1. Choose your influencers carefully

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The influencer you choose needs to be the right fit for your brand and audience. Marketers are no longer looking to the influencers with the most followers but, rather, the people with the audience most aligned with their brand.

Likewise, influencers are protective of their image and reputation – and are unlikely to work with a company they don’t feel fits with the ethos of their personal brand.

Micro-influencers – those with fewer than 50,000 followers – are more in demand than ever, and for good reason. They have a targeted group of followers, not to mention are more affordable. They often have a very dedicated, niche following, and typically have higher engagement levels than that of influencers with large audiences. In addition, they may put out fewer sponsored posts, meaning their audience has a different degree of trust to that of large-scale influencers who heavily use sponsored posts.

You might even want to incorporate your in-house experts or even customers into your influencer strategy – a great option for those with a low budget.

2. Do your research

With influencer marketing fraud on the rise, it’s important to do your due diligence. It’s not uncommon for a brand to pay an influencer huge sums of cash for a social post sent out to to thousands of fake followers. In fact, a recent study on influencers and marketing spend found that 12% of UK influencers bought fake Instagram followers in the first half of 2018.

Look beyond followers to engagement – look at the interactions on their posts. What kind of conversations are taking place? This will give you an insight into the authenticity of the audience.

There are tools that claim to be able to algorithmically detect fake followers. These tools can help you look out for things such as large overnight follower spikes that can ring alarm bells.

3. Be creative

creative influencer

We’ve all seen the myriad sponsored social media posts with an influencer showcasing a product in some way with an accompanying #ad hashtag. But there are so many others ways to create content collaboratively and stand out from the crowd. Influencers love having creative freedom. In fact, a survey by Crowdtap found that for most influencers, their favourite projects are the ones that give them creative freedom.

Work with your influencer to create something special. Consider videos, interviews, tutorials, live Q and A sessions or top tips articles. If you’re a food brand, it could be sharing a much-loved recipe, or if cosmetics is your thing, a tutorial on the latest makeup or skincare trend. What content would your audience enjoy? How about your influencer’s audience? Whatever you do, make sure the content is relevant, provides value, and doesn’t come across as spammy  or overly promotional.

4. Try and be as authentic as possible

You’re legally required to state when a piece of content is sponsored, so you need to work harder to overcome consumers’ cynicism when it comes to promotions. This is why it’s so important to choose an influencer who fits with your brand values and ethos, and why the content you create needs to avoid being too salesy. A post which effectively states ‘buy this’ just won’t cut it, and while you may get a few more sales, it risks harming your brand’s reputation. Be sure to identify a clear brand voice and guidelines for your content in your influencer strategy.

5. Set clear goals and measure

There are a host of reasons why you might want to use an influencer: raising brand awareness, loyalty, or raising sales of a specific product line. Regardless, you’ll need to set clear KPIs for what you want to achieve.

Influencers can provide value in ways that are not easily measured, such as raising brand awareness amongst a new audience. That being said, you do need to find ways to measure the impact of your campaigns.

Some ways to measure impact include:

Traffic – request that your influencer uses tracked links so you can measure the traffic driven to your site.

Conversions – Likewise, by using trackable links you should be able to detect conversions that came directly from an influencer campaign.

Social media stats – measure the impact on your social media followers and engagement.

Mentions – are people talking more about your brand? Use tools like Mention to see if conversations around your brand are increasing on the web.

That’s all for now folks…

So, we all know influencer marketing is a hugely hot marketing tactic right now, and you might want to dive in straight away. But do remember it’s so important to get that influencer strategy nailed before launching your first piece of content. Don’t forget to do your due diligence, plan effectively and strategise how you and your chosen influencer will work together.  Importantly, have fun!

We hope you enjoyed the tips in this article. Good luck on your influencer strategy endeavours and let us know how you get on!