Not every brand has a huge budget set aside for influencer marketing. Especially if you’re a smaller brand just starting to dip your toes into influencer marketing, you may find yourself outsourcing and asking other teams to borrow some of their budget to run your influencer activations.
To get buy-in from the rest of your organization — particularly your leadership team — you need to make a case for influencer marketing, how it can solve various pain points for your business, and how it can impact ROI.
So where exactly do you find the money for influencer marketing if you don’t have a dedicated budget? Let’s discuss some of your options.
3 Ways to Source Budget for Influencer Marketing
The most obvious place to start is your social media and PR budget. Not only are influencers social media masterminds who can transform your brand’s social presence, but they’re also a great source of promotion across many different channels.
But creators can support many different parts of your business, outside of just social and PR initiatives. Here are 3 other areas that can fund your influencer program.
Paid advertising budget
Your paid ad budget usually covers social media, search engine marketing, and display advertising. The best paid media campaigns include a hybrid of all of these activations.
But since consumers are persuaded more by real people than ads, brands need to add a human touch to their paid advertising and include influencer partnerships as part of their paid media strategy.
If you’re working with the right creators, your influencers will have an audience that matches your target demographic, create content that matches your brand’s aesthetic, and craft up messaging that can effectively drive sales.
Use some of your paid ad budget to repurpose your highest-performing influencer content into paid ads. Because influencer content is produced by a diverse group of individuals from all walks of life, you can pick and choose which pieces of content to use to personalize your paid ads and hyper-target your audiences. On Instagram and Facebook, you can even run an allow listing campaign to run ads from your influencers’ social accounts. Similarly on TikTok, you can boost creator videos through the Promote tool and have your ads run under their TikTok handles.
Influencer marketing can be a powerful awareness play, and if done well, it can also have a big impact on increasing conversions. Use your paid ad budget to support your influencer program and boost your return on ad spend.
Content creation can be one area that consistently swallows a major chunk of your brand’s budget each year. If your company has a separate budget for content creation (for studio-shot ads, images for your product pages, etc.), consider using some of it for influencer marketing. In addition to its ability to generate brand awareness and sales, influencer marketing can also drastically reduce your content creation costs.
Enter influencer-generated content (IGC).
IGC refers to the images, videos, and other creative that social media influencers create, usually in partnership with a brand. Here are just a few ways that IGC can reduce your content creation spend:
- Negotiating image rights to an influencer’s content is drastically more cost-effective — not to mention less time consuming — than a full-blown professional studio shoot. In fact, it costs a fraction of the price. MakeupEraser co-founder Elexsis McCarthy once told us that she used to spend $3,500 for one video to be created professionally. Now, for the same price, she can get 10 videos and 30 pictures by partnering with influencers.
- Instead of shooting in-house content, repurpose influencer content across all of your marketing channels — including emails, paid ads, website, out-of-home activations, or your branded social media channels. In 2021, brands cut 52% from their content creation spend by repurposing influencer content on their marketing channels. This allows you to support every single stage of the funnel with eye-catching, high-quality content without spending any more of your budget.
- For the same amount of money you spend on a professional photoshoot, you can source a handful of influencer content that will attract more interest from your target audience. As a matter of fact, studies show that IGC garners double the engagement of brand-directed content and UGC-based ads (including content from influencers, customers, employees, and other members of a brand community) get 4x higher click-through rates.
Whether it’s to produce highly engaging content to target your audience or to fuel all of your marketing channels, it’s a smart move to invest some of your content creation budget into influencer marketing.
To get executive buy-in and a dedicated budget for influencer marketing, you need to make a case for how it helps the business as a whole. Follow these steps to prove the value of your program and get a budget solely for influencer marketing.
- Sell the value of influencer marketing. Define your marketing objectives, as well as the goals of your organization as a whole. Outline the pain points you’ve been dealing with, and how influencer marketing provides a solution to them.
- Outline your strategy. Each influencer campaign requires a different strategy, depending on your campaign goals, the channels you’re using, and many other factors. Lay out a concise strategy that will help you reach your goals. For instance, if your goal is to source a large quantity of authentic content, perhaps your plan is to work with on-brand micro-influencers, who create high-quality content at a cost-effective price.
- Research and estimate the expected costs. Make sure you’re taking into account the fees paid directly to influencers, the fees associated with seeding product, and the fees associated with any third-party help, such as an agency or influencer marketing platform.
- Estimate the results that you expect to achieve from the influencer marketing campaign. Compile your results from previous campaigns and show how your influencer activations have contributed to greater company goals. For example, if you ran a brand awareness campaign, track metrics like impressions, branded search volume, and social media mentions to determine the number of new potential customers who’ve become aware of your brand through your campaign. Learn more about measuring influencer marketing ROI here.
Overall, the key to getting buy-in from your company’s decision makers is to do your research. By understanding the value of influencer marketing and planning a detailed strategy, you’ll be on the right track to getting buy-in and a dedicated budget for your influencer program.
Make a case for influencer marketing
Even if you don’t have a huge influencer marketing budget, a little can go a long way. Whether you’re borrowing from your content budget or you’re fighting for a dedicated influencer marketing budget, take a 360° approach to influencer marketing and ensure other teams also have access to the parts and pieces of your campaign. That way, it’ll be easier to pull budget from different areas of the business and get buy-in from your whole organization.
Learn more about investing your money into influencer marketing: