Working With Influences on a Budget

working with influencers on a budget

Article Author
Sadie Priestley

Influencers, we’ve all heard of them, some of us even want to be them. Whether your opinion on influencers is positive or not, you can’t deny they’ve shaken the marketing industry in recent years. 

Whilst some people don’t appreciate being referred to as Social Media Influencers and prefer Content Creators, they’re given this title because of their large following on Social Media. They’re able to influence their audience with their personal opinions on anything from politics to skin care products.

They do this by posting aesthetically pleasing pictures and reels on Instagram, creating engaging content for YouTube and TikTok and staying up to date with current trends. Often if an Influencer is large on one social media platform they will also use other platforms to interact with their online communities. 

As a Senior Content Executive at eComOne, I understand the importance of creating content that captures an audience’s attention and inspires them to form opinions that they can relate to. I think influencers are an amazing way for brands to increase exposure and create brand awareness. 

Influencers come in a range of sizes from micro-influencers with 10,000 to 100,000 followers, to macro-influencers with 100,000 to over a million followers. It’s important to understand that businesses shouldn’t base who they want to work with on follower count alone. 

Many things should be taken into consideration when choosing an influencer to promote your brand. 

  • Do they have a high engagement rate?
  • Are their likes consistent?
  • Do they post regularly?
  • Do they interact with their followers and have a strong connection with their audience?

You should also think about their field of expertise, what are they known for? Does this suit your brand? Do they align with your values?

Many influencers will only promote products they believe in, that they use on a daily basis and can vouch for. This is to show their authenticity and commitment to being transparent with their audience.

Promoting a product that doesn’t work for them isn’t beneficial for their personal brand or yours. It is very clear when an AD is genuine or is just a good money maker for the influencer. 

Working with influencers with 100,000+ followers can sound attractive, however, can be expensive if you’re a small to mid-sized business. Here I will be giving guidance on how you can work with influencers on a budget. 

The things you really need to know

I want to start by saying if you want to bite the bullet and use your marketing budget to establish a relationship with a large Influencer such as Saffron Barker, Molly Mae, Elle Swift, Dani Dyer or Stacey Solomen, go for it! 

There is no doubt that working with a large influencer will supercharge your business if you’ve got a great product to back what they’re saying. I truly believe it’ll be money well spent. However, not all businesses have the spare Advertising budget to spend on Influencer Marketing, and that’s where these tips could help. 

Start “small” 

Find an influencer with around 10,000 – 50,000 followers whose starting rates are a lot lower. This way you could work with multiple influencers over a few months to increase brand exposure, making it more appealing for larger influencers to work with you in the future.

PR packages 

Send PR packages to influencers you’d like to work with. Whilst they have no obligation to post about your products if they do happen to love something you’ve sent them they may talk about it on their socials which creates free exposure. 

Be open

Unless you have a specific product you’re wanting to push due to a new release, I recommend letting the influencer pick an item from your site that they believe their audience is most likely to connect well with. If they believe working with you will be beneficial to their own growth as well as yours it will be a more appealing offer. 

Discount codes

Offer the influencer a discount code for their followers in return for a small reduction in fees. This has a 50/50 track record of working. Whilst you need to value the amount of time and effort influencers put into creating quality content, effectively you’re both running businesses and therefore fair negotiation is key to getting what you need at the right price whilst respecting the influencer. 

Don’t rush straight into the pricing 

Explain to the influencer exactly what you’re looking for before asking for their availability and price point. I would recommend asking an influencer for their media pack to find out their prices before telling them how much you’re willing to pay. This will help you decide whether to completely dismiss someone because they’re way out of budget or if it’s something you could come to an agreement about. 

Tell the influencer your story

Remember influencers are humans. They may have an Instagram account with hundreds and thousands of followers, however, they once started with 0. They grew their social media accounts just as you’re trying to grow your business. 

So, if you’ve got a small business and really believe in your products, explain to the influencer why you need their help and why it’s them specifically. Often influencers want to help businesses that they believe in.  

Speak directly to the source 

If you’re having to email a management team to negotiate a deal you know this influencer is used to doing brand work, therefore you can expect a slightly higher price point. I would recommend trying to speak directly to the influencer themselves as you will be able to have a more authentic discussion about each other’s requirements. However, don’t be disheartened if you do initially discuss your needs with a management team, you can still create a great relationship this way too. 

Allow them creative control

From experience, creative control is best left to the influencer. Whilst it’s fine to give them pointers on what you want to include in the written copy. They’re more likely to feel comfortable working with you if they get creative control over their imagery.

This way it can fit with the aesthetic of their grid or usual video content. If you’re looking to have more creative control you can expect to pay more for this. 

You will of course be able to approve influencer content before they put it live on their account and this should be discussed at the start of the agreement. Some influencers will agree to make a certain number of creative changes before terminating their agreement with you. 

Offer future opportunities

Many influencers, especially those who’re just starting to grow their platform will be pleased to hear you may be able to offer them ongoing work. You may start with an Instagram post but with the promise that if it works well you’d be interested in campaigns on their other socials with an increased fee as their following grows. 

Whilst these are tips on how to work with an influencer on a budget there are a few things to take into consideration before you start liaising with an influencer. 

  • Be respectful. It’s understandable that you’re working to a budget. However, if an influencer states their fee and it’s a lot higher than your budget, respectfully say thanks and explain that unfortunately you’re financially unable to work with them at this time but will definitely consider them for the future. 

Do not tell them you think their fees are too high. Do not ask them to work at an extremely discounted rate. Remember for many of them social media is their full-time job. If they’re potentially willing to work with you at a lower rate they will ask you for your budget after this discussion. 

  • Don’t be disheartened if the first influencer you contact doesn’t respond. You will find the right influencers for you in time and with perseverance. If you’re struggling to find influencers to work with your brand then get in touch with us at eComOne and we’ll be more than happy to help. 
  • Ensure your business’s social media is in the best possible shape. Influencers will often link to your social media page when posting on Instagram. They can do a great job on their collaboration post, but if consumers are led to an Instagram page with low engagement and uninviting pictures it won’t entice them to trust in your brand, click that follow button or make all important purchases. 

I have found that influencers can make a real difference to a business’s brand awareness and shine a new creative outlook on marketing. If you need further guidance on Influencer Management, get in touch with our team!

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