Influencer marketing is one of the most effective growth strategies that startups can use to reach a massive audience. Businesses that use influencers to promote their business and products earn as much as $6.50 for every $1 they spend. This kind of ROI can help your startup achieve a lot.
There is, however, one big hurdle when it comes to creating an influencer marketing campaign.
Most influencers, like celebrities and journalists, are too expensive. They might charge $300K or more for a single social media post. This is not what your startup can afford. You can use micro influencers who have a small impact, a limited but targeted audience, and influence a specific niche. Micro influencers tend to be cheap (mostly free).
The best part, micro influencers are 6.7 times more efficient than influencers.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve a multinational company or you’re selling ebooks online or you own a small local agency, influencer marketing is for everyone. It is for every business. You just have to make it work for your brand.
Yes, partnering with influencers (and micro influencers) is challenging especially when your startup is still new and unknown.
I’ll show you how you can do it even if you launched your startup today.
1. Offer free product or service
The best and the free technique to partner with a micro influencer is to offer him your product or service for free and show them how awesome your startup is. Imagine if you could impress some 15 to 20 local micro influencers in your niche via your product, they will promote your startup and products for free.
It becomes easier if you’re in the B2B industry because your product will be of interest to these micro influencers. However, it works for B2C startups too.
Once you establish an initial contact with micro influencers, you’ve to get in touch again and ask them to share their experience with their audience.
2. Local bloggers
Local bloggers can turn out to be a massive asset for your startup. They have decent readership and influence (as a whole). Besides, they won’t charge you a penny to cover your startup.
Here is an overview of how to find and approach local bloggers.
Identify a geographic location such as a state or a city. Based on your target market, you might have to divide your target market into several small regions. For instance, if your target market is Asia, you can treat one country as a geographic unit.
Find local bloggers by running relevant search queries in search engines like:
Keyword + bloggers + location
Here is an example.
Prepare a list of all the relevant bloggers.
Contact bloggers smartly. You can offer trials, free products, or partner with them.
3. Micro influencer affiliate marketing
Micro influencers love affiliate marketing. This is why most of them won’t promote your startup for free.
Use affiliate marketing to bring them onboard. Offer micro influencers a certain percentage for every sale they generate. Better yet, you can move your product to an affiliate network such as ShareASale or CJ.
This won’t cost you any money but since you’ll be sharing a certain revenue percentage with the micro influencers, therefore, you’ve to price your product smartly.
Amazon is already partnering with influencers as affiliate marketers via its Amazon Influencer Program. It partnered with WhatsUpMoms which is a leading parenting YouTube channel.
You can do something similar for your startup by joining hands with micro influencers in your niche.
Treat every micro influencer as your business partner and continue to engage and grow your relationship with all of them. Don’t just look at generating heaps of sales instead try building relationships with them.
This will help your startup for its life.