Best Ways to Pay Influencers When You Have a Small Budget

Whether you’re a startup or an established business, I’m sure you realize the importance of influencer marketing by now. Not only is it great for creating brand awareness, but a successful campaign can also boost sales and grow a followership on social media.

Due to its growing popularity, influencer marketing has unfortunately become increasingly expensive and influencers have become more demanding – for good reason. Influencers put a lot of effort, time, and energy into developing compelling content for your brand. And it’s only fair that they are compensated for their services – whether it be monetary or not. A couple surveys from TapInfluence and Crowdtap found that brands usually fail to offer adequate compensation to influencers.

According to Crowdtap, 68% of influencers are willing to work with a brand again if the brand offers fair compensation. This indicates that compensation is important, and it encourages and motivates influencers to create the content that adds value to your brand, rather than fluff.

Offering fair compensation to influencers is also a gesture of respecting their time and effort. You wouldn’t blow off a photographer and model invoice for their time, so why would you an influencer?

Even with a small budget, influencer marketing can be effective, but fairly compensating your influencers will add value to your brand. Understand how you can go about compensating them in ways that both suit your budget and may not cost you at all.

Work your industry

Another way of compensating your influencers is to work the industry you’re in. An all-expenses-paid trip is best suited for brands who are in the travel industry who can get perks at a discounted rate. Influencers can experience your hospitality and services first-hand and also enjoy a luxurious vacation at a fraction of the market cost.

Those who are thought leaders in the industry looking to promote themselves through speaking engagements can also invite influencers to large events in-lieu of payment. The average major fashion show ticket goes for $500, and the average industry conference ticket costs $1500 for 3 days.

This strategy, if implemented correctly, can create a lot of buzz around your brand. This will also send across a positive and motivating message to your influencers. They’ll feel valued with event invites, unique products and other industry-exclusive offerings.

One brand that nailed this trend on the head was Air Canada, when they crafted a campaign to promote their new flight route from Vancouver to Brisbane. They created a social media campaign and offered their influencers an all-expenses-paid trip to Brisbane from Vancouver.

Image via Instagram

For the airline’s announcement of the new flightpath, Air Canada offered a free flight to influencers located in Vancouver, hoping to spread the message genuinely through influencers rather than advertising. Not only was this an opportunity to explore the beauty of Brisbane, but also a trip of a lifetime for the influencer and awareness to the new flightpath. Talk about great bang for your marketing buck!

Work with Micro-Influencers

Another way to execute a successful influencer marketing campaign on a small budget is to work with micro-influencers. Micro-influencers generally have between 5K to 10K followers of hyper-engaged audiences. They’re a great option for those who are looking to work with niche accounts who produce authentic and honest content, reviews and messages on their accounts.

According to a Bloglovin’ report, more than 95% of micro-influencers charge less than $500 for a single Instagram post. And nearly 84% of micro-influencers are likely to charge you no more than $250 for a single post.

Another advantage of working with micro-influencers is that they can generate maximum engagement and conversion rates with smaller audience sizes. According to a study by HelloSociety, micro-influencers can generate engagement rates that are 60% higher than that of larger influencers. Since they have a smaller following, there account is more personable, and people following the account are genuinely interested in what the influencer posts about.

Booster Juice recently kicked off a local campaign that worked with micro influencers to announce their ‘health kick campaign’ for the month of January. Using a locals such as Natalie_Adele, who has just shy of 5,000 followers and is an unofficial mommy blogger – proved that micro-influencers really work! Her initial post drove 546 likes and 30 likes, whereas another post drove over 600 likes and nearly 60 comments!

Image via Instagram

The campaign turned out to be successful as the brand’s reach increased to local audiences they didn’t previously have access too and drove thousands of likes in the local area.

Offer Long-Term Partnerships

Let’s be frank, influencer marketing campaigns are a lot of work. Reaching out, recruiting, organizing, brainstorming, optimizing, tracking, proving to your boss that it’s all worth it – it’s a lot! Offering long-term partnerships to influencers can help both parties. Influencers get continuous work, assuming they will be making more money based on a one off post compared to multiple – and the brand saves time and money finding new influencers for each campaign.

This isn’t anything revolutional, brands have been doing this and you can tell by using the #partner hashtag attached to each post. The trick is to try finding those influencers who are already using your product or service, or those of your competitors.

Instead of a one-off campaign, many influencers prefer a long-term collaboration with brands. Offering a long-term partnership to an influencer demonstrates the amount of trust and confidence you have in their ongoing content. This also strengthens the portfolio of influencers when they are displayed on your website, social media feed, etc. further adding to their credibility when it comes to working with other brands.

Final Thoughts

Influencer marketing campaigns are doable for businesses big and small, whether your budget permits or not. By leveraging the power of influencers, you can tap into a whole new audience you wouldn’t have had access to before – and brownie points if they’re hyper-engaged with the content they follow (cough* micro-influencers *cough).

Author: Brooke

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