5 Tips for an Influencer Marketing Campaign with a Small Budget
The coronavirus pandemic, along with its effects on the global economy, has vastly changed the marketing landscape, prompting brands and business owners to recalibrate their strategies. Several companies have had to cut their marketing budgets. Small business owners are now compelled to resourcefully strengthen their online presence.
But, even if you only have a small budget to work with, it’s still possible to run a successful influencer marketing campaign. Having a strong data-driven strategy that consists of the right platforms to use, the right content to offer, and the right type of influencers to collaborate with can drive impressive results despite a modest spend.
Among the most viable channels for influencer marketing is YouTube, which has surged in popularity and usage, with more than 500% increase in views today compared to its usual daily average. It may be worthwhile for brands to focus efforts on YouTube influencer marketing.
And while collaborating with YouTube influencers may sound expensive, there are online personalities you can tap without exhausting ad funds. The challenge is in identifying the influencer who suits your brand and whose following matches your target audience.
In this article, we’ll be providing practical tips on how to run a YouTube influencer campaign effectively even with a small budget. These tips are backed by our experience with a recent case study, which we’ll be using to highlight how each given strategy can be implemented.
Reasons Why Brands Might Opt for a Small-Scale Influencer Campaign
Some brands choose to partner with small-scale influencers over online personalities with a bigger following, particularly when:
- The brand is new to influencer marketing
The brand may not have prior experience in working with influencers and is approaching this marketing strategy with caution. They might start with a small budget first, analyze the results, then scale the campaign later on.
- The brand’s agency partnership just started
The brand may have just gotten a new influencer marketing agency on board. Doing a small-scale campaign with a new partner is a prudent way of building trust or evaluating competence and ways of working.
- The brand is launching a campaign on a new market
The brand may just be trying out a campaign on a new market. Through small-scale influencers, they’ll be able to gauge the market’s initial response and identify the adjustments necessary for an amplified campaign.
- The brand is navigating through the new normal
In today’s crisis, many variables are unknown, and several brands are taking a more restrained marketing approach.
- The brand integrates influencer marketing into a 360° campaign
Because the influencer campaign is usually part of a suite of activities within a complex marketing mix, it may just be a supplemental role to other campaigns, like PR and user acquisition.
5 Strategies for a Successful YouTube Influencer Marketing Campaign on a Budget
Some may find YouTube influencer marketing difficult to implement with a small budget. But with these tactics, you can make the most of your limited resources and achieve your campaign goals.
- Partner with micro-influencers
Influencers with a smaller audience base actually tend to have more devoted and engaged followers. They’re perceived by their subscribers as experts in their respective areas of interest.
Micro-influencers are also more open to trying out new products or experiences. If they find a brand very interesting, they’re likely to talk about it more on their channel in the future. Additionally, by working with micro-influencers, you might actually be able to afford collaborating with multiple content creators. This would enable you to reach different audiences. You can look into different types of creators and explore how they can benefit your campaign.
Agency Tip: When collaborating with micro-influencers for YouTube social media influencer marketing, we recommend creating gameplay videos over shout-outs. With an average view count between 1,000 to 20,000, a shout-out has the risk of not getting enough attention, resulting in lower ROI.
Case Study: A good example of a small-budget YouTube influencer marketing campaign is our work for Exos Heroes. Cloutboost collaborated with one top-tier influencer and five micro-influencers on YouTube to generate a buzz across various gaming communities.
- Find content creators best aligned with your campaign
When working with a content creator, make sure that their field of expertise is aligned with your brand’s identity and campaign. Study the content they create closely, look into how they approach content creation and video editing. Compare influencers who use the same platforms and specialize in similar genres. This will provide you with deeper insights about their strengths and help you choose the right content creator to partner with.
Case Study: In promoting Exos Heroes, a free-to-play mobile RPG game, we carefully searched for and selected the influencers we worked with. To reach different relevant audiences, avoid overlaps, and increase ROI, we ensured that each of the influencers focused on one of the features of the game. As a bonus, one of the influencers enjoyed the game so much, he posted another gameplay video of Exos Heroes, showing his progress along with his feedback on the game.
- Create additional value by leveraging resources
Aside from the actual content produced by the influencers, you can also look for other ways through which they can add value at a minimum or no cost. For instance, consider news sites that cover the relevant genre or platform. Oftentimes, when brands sponsor a YouTube video on their channel, such news media offer to feature the video on other platforms they run. This additional earned media helps boost awareness and build credibility.
Case Study: For Exos Heroes, we were able to obtain additional exposure by partnering and creating first-look videos with 3 different gaming news channels on YouTube. These channels cover MMO news and updates. They manage MMO-related websites, and the game was featured on 5 different news websites. This is on top of the 3 gameplay videos. Because of this, our client was able to get sufficient audience attention for their new game.
- Look into relevant top series lists
Being included in top series lists is a quick way to get noticed. These lists can drive potential views for your brand at a low placement cost. The low cost could allow you to have your brand featured in different relevant lists, which means wider exposure.
However, note that there’s a possibility that your brand might be overshadowed by competing products or services featured in the same list. You can avoid this by negotiating your placement and ensure that your game is featured in the Top 3 section of the list.
Case Study: In our work with Exos Heroes, we were able to negotiate the game’s placement, so that it was featured as the Top 1 in the Top 10 list of best free-to-play games for iOS and Android. With this, the game stood out from other similar games.
- Repurpose influencer content
One of the benefits of influencer marketing is that influencer content can be repurposed. Content repurposing is a great way to save money on future content creation.
To find out more tips on how to reuse influencer-generated content, you can read our post about this topic here.
Agency Tip: If you’re planning to repurpose the influencer-created content, discuss it with the creators beforehand to avoid any potential issue. The most common scenarios that could play out are:
- The influencer permits repurposed content at no additional cost.
- The influencer allows content repurposing for an additional fee and bound by a limited timeframe
- The influencer doesn’t agree to grant the right to the content, although this scenario is very rare with micro-influencers.
To preempt any issues, it’s best to include content repurposing in the agreement with the influencer beforehand.
Whether it’s your first foray into YouTube influencer marketing or your brand has trimmed down the budget allocation for it, you can still implement a successful campaign. Even if a lower budget may seem like an obstacle for some, it can push you to be more creative and find ways to produce high-quality, fresh content using limited resources. With the 5 YouTube influencer marketing tips that we’ve listed in this article, you’ll be better equipped to implement your campaign.