How to craft an influencer marketing strategy that fits into your budget

January 02, 2020

how to craft an influencer marketing strategy that fits into your budget

If you’re a digital marketing professional, you’ve probably heard the term “influencer marketing” pop up as it’s begun to grow in popularity and demand. If you’re a social media user and home enthusiast at all, you’ve absolutely seen the rise in popularity of ‘influencers’ on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest in addition to “sponsored posts” and #ads.

But is it really lucrative for home brands or is it just a digital marketing fad with little return?

The numbers speak for themselves:

For every $1 spent on Influencer Marketing, you receive $5.20 in earned media value - that’s a 520% ROI.

As a result, 65% of companies increased their influencer marketing budgets this year.

Home brands are seeing huge success with influencer marketing because it really is the perfect marketing method for our industry. You’re able to grow awareness and traffic in a way that is authentic, targeted to your audience, and highly relevant to your specific products. Additionally, influencer marketing gives you the opportunity to work with highly successful (and customer qualified) creatives to generate new content, photography, and bring unique perspectives and authenticity to how you sell your product.

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Sounds like a marketers dream, right? So where do you begin?

Here’s how we recommend you create an influencer marketing strategy for your budget:

First and foremost, what are your goals?

Let’s start here. What do you want to achieve specifically with an influencer marketing campaign? It’s good to think about what the goals of your current activities are. Do you spend money on social ads to drive traffic to specific products and boost sales or are you putting out more general ads? What’s the goal of your own social pages and posts? Are they to introduce products or more to build brand character and voice? What about your on-site content: what actions do you want users to take when they interact?

As the home industry influencer marketing agency, we see a few different “top goals” from our clients:

  • To grow brand awareness
  • To drive traffic and, ultimately, sales
  • To reach a new target audience
  • To generate UGC (user generated content)

There are plenty others and often many can be achieved through your campaign but it is necessary to know what your main goals and objectives are before strategically planning.

Determine what percentage of your budget should go to influencer marketing:

This is very important as it drives what you’re really able to do with your campaign and at what level so you can set reasonable expectations. This is a difficult thing to work out if you don’t completely understand influencer marketing pricing and averages. We’ll tell you what we do with our client brands to make the process simple:

Many brands that come to us have accepted, or at least understand, that other marketing methods such as print marketing, Adwords, and even social ads are difficult to master as users are becoming “ad blind”. They know that they need to find somewhere more impactful to place their budget. So a good way to look at this is “Where are we currently wasting money and how much are we willing to invest in something that could get us a much higher return?”

Full transparency, most of our brands initially spend between $10,000-25,000 on an initial 3-month campaign and are comfortable with this and see results.

But this doesn’t mean it’s the end-all, be-all magic budget to get you into influencer marketing. Depending on your goals, you may need more or less - we will get into that next. But beforehand, it is good to have an idea in your head of a number that your team would be comfortable with allocating.

Macro or micro influencers?

One of the biggest determiners of how expensive or inexpensive a campaign will run, as well as the type of results you’re going to get, is the size of the influencers you choose to work with. There are generally two types we categorize them into: Micro and Macro.

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As you can expect, they yield different results. Macro-influencers are great for growing brand awareness within a specific demographic or creating product-focused content. They are more expensive - think of them like a print ad in a magazine. A lot of eyes but quite pricey. Micro-influencers are better for niche markets and getting higher engagement. Micro influencers also tend to be much more inexpensive and some may even accept product as payment - opening the door to collaboration if you’re budget conscious. This is more grassroots marketing than a big campaign but still can bring you incredible results.

Determine the deliverables that match your goals:

Once you have an idea of what kind of influencers you want to work with, you need to determine what deliverable are most important to your campaign. Again this goes back to goals. Typically, we have a few different options that we ask of our influencers:

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  • Instagram feed posts
  • Instagram stories with swipe up links
  • Blog posts with links
  • Pinterest posts
  • Newsletters with links
  • Original high resolution photography assets

It, of course, what type of content to create depends on where the influencer’s following is. We generally see the best results on Instagram but blog post links can be helpful for you in growing website traffic, improving search engine optimization (SEO) and backlinks to products.

Typically, our brands want a certain number of post views and some sort of link back to their website. Here is what we recommend: 1-2 Instagram feed posts, 2-4 Instagram stories with swipe up links directly to their websites or product pages, a blog post (we confirm the influencer has a blog) and optional Pinterest pins or Facebook posts. This is a good mix that takes advantage of both the influencer’s following and photography that also links back to their site.

Pay based on expected return: reach and engagement:

A good way to determine a deliverable’s value to you is the expected return. We have tools that help us determine influencers’ reach and engagement to better price campaigns and give our clients expected benchmarks. For example, if you’re working with a macro influencer who has 150,000 followers, we will determine for clients that we should expect to pay around $2,250 for one Instagram feed post. For a micro influencer with 25,000 followers, we may pay $375 for one Instagram feed post.

Here is a very generic equation you can use: follower count divided by 10,000 then multiply by $150. This, on average, is how much you will pay per Instagram feed post.

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With these numbers, you can determine how many influencers and deliverables you can afford and where to allocate your budget.

Making the most of it:

From here, take those deliverables and influencer “spots” you know you can pay for and going out and find the ideal candidates, working with them to create the most unique, relevant content for your brand and your goals. We work closely with our brands to determine a clear creative direction in a ‘creative brief’ and then use this brief to manage the campaign, influencer onboard and content creation, start to finish for our clients.

Our creative brief includes:

  • Visual guidelines
  • Messaging guidelines
  • Mandatory messaging, links, tags and hashtags
  • Campaign deliverables

This way we get quality, brand-focused content and posts for a successful campaign.

As you can see, so much of influencer marketing is what you learn on the way and depends on your ability to set creative direction and work strategically with these proven content creators to leverage their influence in a way that is effective for your brand. It is a lot of work but the returns are unmatched in terms of digital marketing methods today.

Interested in working with us on your campaign? Get a free personalized quote.

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