Can I afford influencer marketing? That’s a question often asked by our clients. Influencer marketing is becoming an increasingly popular way to spread brand awareness but can you afford it? If, like many brands, you’ve already trashed the idea labelling it ‘too expensive’, think again. Influencer marketing works well in all sectors. As Director of a content marketing agency with extensive influencer marketing experience I know this all too well.
One Size Fits All? Not When It Comes To Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is all about creating a buzz around your brand. This is done in style by connecting with well-known celebrities, thought-leaders or insightful people from your particular industry with a dominant social media presence and a significant following on Twitter and other platforms.
If you want high-profile, A-list stars to promote your brand you should expect to flash some cash. The rich and famous have a high price tag and will rinse your bank account for one simple tweet. That said; influencer marketing doesn’t have to cost the earth and differs from person-to-person. According to recent reports, average influencers on the following platforms will charge the following:
These figures are relatively affordable for large companies. But if they’re not, there’s no need to brand yourself ‘uncool’ and disappear into a dark hole where no-one can find you. The good news in this whole scenario is that there are many kinds of influencers and prices are not set in stone. With the right knowledge and plenty of determination, it’s still possible to pursue influencers even when your budget is tighter than Kim Kardashian’s yoga pants.
A Trio of Influencers: Which One Is Right For Your Brand?
Influencers are typically placed into three categories depending on how many social followers they have. There are positives and negatives with all influencers and as a brand, you must think carefully about who you want to work with. Before you make your moves, don’t forget to look at:
- ROI – what can you expect to get for your influencer marketing involvement?
- Past campaigns – how successful have influencers been in the past?
- Business fit – does the influencer match your brand?
- Engagement rates – are they expected to make one tweet only or engage with users?
- Will you provide the content or will the influencer?
- Are there any compliance issues involved? If you work in finance the answer is yes and all posts must pass through your compliance team before they’re published.
Let’s delve a little deeper into influencer types.
These guys dominate the social media sphere and are active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and all the most prominent channels. Justin Bieber is a macro influencer, for example and with a following of over 105 million on Twitter alone, his outreach is extensive. This is why global brands like Calvin Klein have hit him up in the past.
Positives of working with macro influencers: One word from these guys can literally put your brand on the map and you’ll probably find your social accounts surge in popularity. Visits to your website may also increase and if you leverage your influencer marketing efforts through awesome PR, you can expect attention for some time. But remember, the social media world is fast-paced and fickle. Today’s news is easily forgotten so to stay in the limelight you’ve got to graft and come up with ways to create excitement throughout the year.
‘Michael Jordan pimped our brand once’ simply won’t fly if you’ve since slipped into the shadows – no matter how cool it sounds.
Negatives of working with macro influencers: Macro influencers are expensive. Selena Gomez reportedly charges AUD$724,000 per promotional Instagram post. As well as cash, many celebs can also be persuaded to take to Insta if the conditions are right. This means lavishing them with expensive gifts or treats. Mariah Carey mentioned Airbnb on Instagram when they let her stay in a $22 million home during her trip to Aspen Colorado.
So, if you want to work with macro influencer, the general rule is to have a decent budget or at least some awesome swag to offer.
What’s more, while the outreach of macro influencers is nothing but impressive, one-on-one engagement and interaction is likely to be poor. Why? Because they’re too in demand, get too much fan love and don’t have the time for all those little extras that could help elevate your brand.
Middle Power Influencers
Middle power influencers are biting at the heels of the top dogs but don’t reign supreme. They tend to have an audience of between 10,000 and 250,000 and many have worked with top brands.
Benefits of working with middle power influencers: Their outreach is still impressive and they’ve perhaps got more time for increased engagement. For example, if someone comments on their post, there’s a chance they’ll reply without the need for a contracted agreement. Middle power influencers have loyal followers and are dedicated to keeping them happy, after all.
Negatives of working with middle power influencers: They know they’re value and can still charge quite a whack. They’re in high demand and therefore catching their attention may be a challenge.
Unlike the Beyonces of this world, micro influencers tend to have a small, niche following of 10,000 or less.
Benefits of working with micro influencers: The more followers the better, right? Well not necessarily! Micro influencers have a less dominant presence on social media but they can be renowned and respected within a specific industry. Macro influencers within the crypto world, include Nick Szabo, Andreas.M Antonopoulos, Vitalik Buterin. But lesser-known influencers still have an impressive following and make significant contributions. For example, ICON project founder Min Kim, Bitcoin trader Jamie Redman and Bitcoin entrepreneur Lawrence Nehum.
It is the regular interaction and dedication to answering follower comments which give micro influencers the power. Followers tend to be part of a close-knit, loyal community and therefore can be heavily impacted by an influencer marketing post. This in turn could have a positive knock-on effect on your brand. Micro influencers also tend to have more realistic price tags.
Free Influencer Marketing
If you’re still scratching your head wondering how you can afford anything connected with influencer marketing, don’t despair. There are ways you can increase exposure and catch the attention of influencers who can do wonders for your brand without spending a penny. How? Let’s find out.
#1 Be totally and utterly awesome
Want to get noticed? Then you must be totally awesome. There’s so much competition these days. So you have to be highly active on social media platforms and follow all the right influencers. You also have to post fantastic, thought-leading and innovative content. Stand out, be different and set yourself apart from others with social material that’s creative, unique and highly relevant to your sector. If an influencer picks this up and shares it, you’ve managed to bag some free marketing!
#2 Write about influencers
Want to be part of the in crowd? Then you’ve got to join the party! With regards to content this essentially means writing about juicy topics such as ‘top ten finance micro influencers’ in which you can link to the social pages of the relevant people.
Top Tip: Pop micro influencers on your list. The big guys get mentioned all the time and will probably ignore your efforts. As discussed above, micro influencers are more likely to acknowledge, comment on and even share your post which is essentially what you want to happen.
#3 Become an influencer yourself
One of the best ways to attract attention to your brand is to become an influencer yourself as this will naturally attract like-minded people and could potentially lead to collaborations down the line. To do this you should absolutely make sure that your online reputation is on point, so:
- Update your LinkedIn profile and start writing blogs which focus on interesting topics.
- Comment on the work of others and share posts that are of a high quality as by doing so, the author will perhaps be more likely to take notice of you in the future and share your work.
- Engage with people in social communities such as Telegram and Steemit depending on your particular business niche. Ask questions and respond to questions with intelligent insights.
- Write articles for well-known publications or feature in PRs that you can place in top locations.
- Carve your personal brand by crafting your own website.
You should also:
- Attend networking events and pre-arrange meetings with influential attendees from your sector.
- Make sure your brand is knowledgeable as any flaws can be easily highlighted.
So there you have it. Influencer marketing can be expensive, but it can also be free. It all depends on how skilfully you develop your brand. Don’t have the time or energy for all that? Chat to me today.