Digital marketing revolutionized the way businesses big and small can get their products and services in front of potential customers.

As the internet becomes increasingly social, social media sites give access to more information about users.

This information ranged from ages and professions to likes and dislikes. As a result, the ability for businesses to fine-tune and cater their messages to a specific niche has increased

While new targeting techniques were coming into prominence, so too was a new label for celebrities with large followings on social media – “influencers.”

It didn't take long for advertising professionals to learn that influencers were an excellent option for getting products and services seen and sold.

While an influencer marketing campaign may feel like something only big brands can afford, with the right approach, you can set a budget for influencer advertising which works for your company.

What Are Influencers?

The simplest way to think of influencers is as celebrities who have a lot of strongly committed fans who are willing to follow the celebrity's lead.

When an influencer says they like a specific product or service, that endorsement is likely to cause many of their fans to want to try it too.  

Some influencers have gained their acclaim for outside reasons, such as athletes or actors, and then cultivated that further through their social media presence.

While other influencers make their name entirely online, either route can result in a powerful influencer for your brand.

Why Do Brands Like Influencers?

The appeal of partnering with an influencer is in the ability to increase awareness and interest in your business.

When social influencers give you a push with sponsored posts, it has the potential to radically increase your brand recognition overnight.

A big enough Instagram influencer can take an unknown company and transform it into a phenomenon with just a single tweet.

How to Choose the Right Influencer for Your Brand

While every brand would love to have their products being pushed out by influencers whose followers count into the millions, when you have a smaller budget that may not always be possible.

Even if you aren’t able to land the latest teenage megastar, that doesn't mean you can't work with micro-influencers within your niche to get more bang for your buck.

Start Early

If you aren't ready to launch your campaign right away, you should begin planning as soon as possible.

The more time you devote to your influencer marketing campaign planning, the more effective it will be.

Think about what your goal is from the campaign, whether it's to raise awareness, increase traffic, directly sell a product or something else.

You should also familiarize yourself with the options you have when it comes to the payment structure.  They are:

  • Cost Per Engagement (CPE) - you pay for each like, share and comment
  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) – based on the number of closed sales or landed clients
  • Cost Per Click (CPC) pays out every time someone clicks on the sponsored post.

Each has its own benefits depending on your goals.

Determine Your Target Audience

The best way to use sponsored posts on a budget is to focus on a specific audience and then find an influencer who can reach out to that audience effectively.

An influencer with 10,000 followers in your niche who has a loyal and engaged fan base may get you more leads than one who has millions of fans but with less relevant followers.

Pick a Size for Your Influencer

The size of your influencer is a big decision. With a larger influencer, you will be seen by more potential customers.

However, the prices will be steeper, and the availability is likely limited.

With a micro-influencer, you can agree to a valuable partnership within your budget. You can still benefit from an increased number of sponsored posts by the social influencers with whom you work.

Be Authentic

The easiest way to waste money on an influencer campaign is to strike up a poor partnership. When it comes to maximizing your results, authenticity is key.

Choose an influencer who would be naturally inclined to use products or services like yours anyhow, or better yet, one who already does.

The authenticity of the endorsement shows and increases the success of your campaign.

Track Your Results

Like all campaigns, it is important to monitor the results of your social influencer efforts. Pay attention to increases in traffic and sales.

If possible, include trackers in the sponsored content to track links from the sponsored posts directly.

More information can help you continue winning efforts or adjust future campaigns for better results.