How to use influencer marketing on a tight budget

An influencer creates content promoting and marketing your brand and products.

In this current age of the internet, social media, and algorithmic content feeds, influencer marketing is an excellent way to help your business grow, especially if you're running an online shop. Most successful businesses nowadays use influencer marketing, and it can be a good strategy to use, no matter the size of your brand. While it's good for your brand to spread through word of mouth, sometimes you may want or need to jumpstart the process and employ the help of a personality with a following online.

However, it may be hard for new businesses to spring for a relatively well-known influencer, celebrity, or personality. You're more likely to have a small budget for your operations, and most of it may be better spent on your production, logistics, and other overhead costs. Not to worry, however—you can still pull off effective influencer marketing on a tight budget, and this article will give you tips on how to make the most of it.

How to utilise influencer marketing on a small budget

Here are some considerations you need to make when maximizing your influencer marketing budget.

Stick to your budget

The first rule is to not go over your budget, even when it seems tempting to get a big name. As you’ll find out, sometimes, a big name isn’t what you need to grow your business, and you can spread the word about your brand without going straight to someone with a lot of followers. Save the big names for when your business grows bigger, and you can afford it.

Consider partnering with a micro-influencer

You’ll need to find the right influencer for your brand or product—make sure that the influencers you’re eyeing match the profile of your customers. And given your budget, it may be best to partner with a micro-influencer, which is a personality with a social media following of around 10,000 to 100,000. Due to their smaller followings, micro-influencers often charge lower rates

Experts believe micro-influencers may be more effective than bigger names because they tend to get more engagement from their followers than celebrities who typically don't interact with the thousands or even millions of people following them.

Once you find the right influencer that matches your business—and your budget—it will be easy to draw customers to your brand.

Opt to offer freebies instead

Sometimes, you can get some publicity without having to pay. Micro-influencers (and even some bigger names) may be open to posting your product or service in exchange for getting it for free (usually known in the Philippines as an “exchange deal” or “x-deal”). Giving away some of your products for free can be a low-cost way of getting some good publicity, especially if the influencer is happy with your brand.

Turn regular customers into influencers

You can even choose to offer freebies to some of your loyal customers, too, as people might also listen more to a repeat customer over someone who was asked to post about your product. If you have any regular customers, engage them, send them a few products for free to thank them for their support, and watch them post about how you’re a great business that treats them right. Played right, this can draw more positive attention toward your brand.

Have a clear agreement for the content

You've contacted the influencer, they're interested, and you're getting ready to send some of your products to them. Make sure that you're getting what you pay for by having a clear agreement with them for what you’re expecting They should know that they should create the sponsored content and publish it on a specific date, and if you want them to mention any particular details about your product or brand, make sure to establish that up-front. Don't slip up by playing loose with your terms.

Frequently asked questions about influencer marketing

What’s the minimum follower count I should consider when I partner with influencers?

A micro-influencer account can have anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 followers, so that's the ideal minimum follower count to spread the word of your brand effectively. You may find it easier, if your budget is particularly tight, to look at accounts with even fewer followers. If so, try to make sure that the audience of these influencers is highly focused and engaged. This means you’re more likely to see a positive result from the promotion.

How can I ensure that the content the influencers will make comes across as authentic?

To ensure the content featuring your brand or product doesn't sound too sponsored, it's best to let influencers work the way they usually do. That means outside of the important initial guidelines for your brand, you shouldn't interfere too much in how they produce their content to get the best results. In turn, the influencer's followers will accept their opinion on your product because of their expertise.

How will I know if my influencer marketing works?

While it's easy to set the bar for influencer marketing on the amount of buzz your brand or product gets, of course, the most important metric to follow is sales and conversions. It's one thing to have many people talk about your business, and it's another thing to have them actually buy and support you. Once they do, you’ll know your influencers are working.

Influencer marketing doesn't have to be a huge expense to get results

Once you’ve found the right influencers to partner with, you can expect whole new interactions and engagements for your brand that you can capitalize on. Make sure you do your research well before committing to an influencer and watch the opportunities come in as they promote your business.


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