How to Find Good Influencers on a Tight Budget | Social Studies
How to Find Good Influencers on a Tight Budget

How to Find Good Influencers on a Tight Budget

There’s a common misperception in influencer marketing that if you don’t have a six figure budget to activate A-list content creators, you won’t succeed. And that is patently false. While you certainly should anticipate investing some amount of money to create an influencer-led campaign on social media, it’s still possible to hit your targets on a tight budget. Here are Social Studies’ top five tips for finding good influencers without breaking the bank, so you can spread your brand message without getting any angry emails from your finance department.

1. Think Micro Over Macro

Social media is a numbers game. Simply put, the more influencers you can activate, the more eyeballs you’ll get on your brand (as long as they’re a good fit for your brand, but more on that below). With a small budget, you’ll find it more beneficial to work with a roster of micro-influencers over just one or two macro influencers. These smaller-scale creators tend to have audiences that fall between 10K to 50K followers versus a macro that can have up to 1 million followers.

There’s a few reasons why we suggest going micro—and it goes far beyond lower fees. For one, activating a handful of these creators can help you reach a number of different audiences at the same time. By diversifying your spend, you’ll minimize risk, in the case that any of them don’t perform well. Plus, you might find that it’s far more enjoyable to work with up-and-coming creators that are super eager to impress brand partners and forge long term relationships.

2. Calculate That Engagement Rate

Seriously, stop looking at follower count on its own! Engagement rate is a much better metric for learning how an influencer’s content actually performs—and it shows how sometimes a micro influencer with a high engagement rate can be more effective than a macro with a significantly large audience. An engagement rate between 1 to 3% is considered good, but a high rate is often anything over 6%, meaning you can trust that the content you’re paying for will actually get in front of some real eyeballs. All while racking up likes, comments and shares.

Looking at engagement rates will also help you decipher which influencers have bought followers (these faux influencers will usually have extremely low engagement rates) and will allow you to pick out those who are hashtagging for likes, which could also lead to lower rates. By focusing on engagement rates, you can be sure that you’re investing in genuine content creators with loyal audiences.

3. Look for Brand Alignment

Not to risk sounding like your mother, but you should spend your money wisely. As in, do you research and make sure your influencers are actually aligned with your brand. There are a couple of ways to do this, the most simple of which being to find influencers who are already customers of yours. Since they organically like your product, they’re going to create authentic content and they might be willing to work for a lower fee in exchange for free product or even just the chance to work with their favorite brand. You should also be sure to work with influencers that truly match your brand DNA, who embody your brand’s values, your aesthetic and even your customer profile. Which leads us to…

4. Seek Out Your Target Audience

So, you’ve found the perfect micro influencer with a high engagement rate, strong brand alignment and the exact look for your company. That’s great – but none of that will matter if their audience isn’t your target audience. Do a little digging or simply ask outright for the influencer to provide their follower breakdown, from gender and geography to age, and make sure it matches the profile of the customers you want to speak to. It sounds so obvious, but it’s easy to stray from your target customer base when you’re being wowed by a glamorous creator’s lifestyle or their picture perfect imagery.

5. Do Quality Control

If it’s Reels you’d like to see created, it really only makes sense to work with influencers who actively produce Reels already. If you’d like to promote a skincare range, working with an influencer who organically promotes their go-to SPF and has done prior campaigns to highlight their favorite face oil is just good common sense. These are the types of quality control measures you should consider before sending out a contract to a creator. Consumers are smart these days and they can sniff out an inauthentic partnership within seconds of scrolling – and they won’t be shy about taking their observations in the comments section. Avoid any potential crises by doing your research and making sure your sponsored content won’t look forced or posed on their feed.

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