Low-Budget Influencer Marketing Hacks for Startups

It may not be surprising that quite often marketing is not something that startups are rushing to invest in. If you are a boot-strapped startup you are likely to think that influencer marketing is unaffordable and not that effective to its price. However, as it turns out, there are many ways to work with influencers and it doesn’t have to cost you a whole heap of money, while bringing better ROIs than other marketing techniques.

The research conducted by eMarketer concluded that more than 80% of marketers would launch at least one influencer campaign within the next twelve months. It is also believed that millennials do not see content promoted by influencers as advertising and hence are more prone to like the product.

There are a couple of things you should know if you want to run successful influencer marketing without parting with your funds.

Myths 1. Influencer Marketing is Extremely Expensive.

Many startups avoid investing into influencer marketing believing the results and ends won’t justify the bill. If we are not talking about celebrities-turned-bloggers, this is not entirely true. Influencer marketing can be far more budget friendly and effective than traditional advertising also allowing you to get an immediate feedback from your target audience.

Advice: Start working with smaller niche blogger with fewer, or micro-influencers, but more engaged, followers - they are more affordable, effective and useful. Given a relatively small following base, a blogger is also more likely to better engage into a conversation and respond to comments. According to the HelloSociety, marketing agency (acquired by New York Times), micro-influencers drive 60 percent higher campaign engagement rates. Those campaigns are 6.7 times more efficient per engagement than influencers with larger followings, which makes them more cost effective.

Myth 2. Influencers always charge for promotion of the product.

Indeed, a commercially successful endeavour should be rewarded accordingly. However, not every influencer will be immediately putting a price tag on the partnership with a startup, especially if they can connect with the idea and like your product.

Advice: First of all, make sure that values, expertise and interests of a given influencer are matching those of your brand, to insure the integrity of the campaign and achieve the best results. Be upfront and straightforward about your budget and make an emphasis on a long-term partnership rather than a one-off campaign. If the idea is compelling and influencer likes the product, there will be a lot of room for negotiation. “At Glossier, the influencers are regular people—customers who engage with the brand on Instagram, Slack, and at pop-up events.”

Myth 3. The more followers, the better.

The number of followers is by far not the only metric reflecting the relevance of the influencer to your startup: engagement with the content is by far the most effective way to estimate the influence a blogger has. The stronger engagement is, the higher are the chances of a successful campaign.

Advice: Pay attention if an influencer is actually heard by followers and their advice is considered. Ask them to respond to a couple of comments, share a discount code with the audience, and also see how your own audience on your social channels react to the shared content by this influencer.

Myth 4. You cannot measure ROI of influencer marketing. The best way to measure the success of your marketing campaign is to select the right metrics and criteria. Do you want to increase brand recognition? Or measure engagements and shares? Do you want to make them take a specific action? Or increase your conversion rate? The most important thing is to know your goals and purpose.

Advice: The simplest way to track the amount of visitors coming from the influencer’s channels is to use Google Analytics, Facebook or other main analytics intelligence platforms. Using a discount code or downloadable materials with the prior registration will always make it easier to see how many people driven from influencer’s platform actually used your service or bought your product rather than just visited the site.

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