We’ve said this before but can now, with data: influencer marketing is here to stay. According to recent research, budgets for influencer marketing will grow by over 30% in the next 5 years. And most of that budget will come at the expense of television and digital.

As influencer marketing matures, so should your strategy. Influencer Marketing is markedly different from digital or social because it’s so human and utterly reliant on the whims and business plans of the big social platforms.

So time to get smart and learn how to maximize your budget.

Do the Math: Qualified Engagement

Tech has come a long way for IM but slammed into a brick wall with programmatic offerings. Brand teams just aren’t going to relinquish content control to programmatic platforms, no matter how good the automatic safeguards.

Instead, tech has given us insight into the influencer audience, which offers our most meaningful area for cost savings. 

Let’s take a high level look at an example. A brand is trying to reach 18 – 24 year old females. Which should you go for? A macro with over a million followers or a mid-level influencer with 33,000 followers?

Yes, we’re focused on engagement and not impressions because that’s where the market is going. While we’re at it, ensure you’re paying by the engagement, too, so you further maximize your budget.

READ MORE: HOW TO GET MORE ENGAGEMENT FOR YOUR MONEY

This smart tactic really shines on campaigns with conversion tracking, for coupon downloads, for example. We have seen engagement/conversion rates of over 5% for our campaigns with audience targeting.

There are other ways to save money, but this time it’s on you, the client.

Reduce the Biggest Cost of Influencer Campaigns

The most expensive aspect of influencer marketing is not their fees, or technology. It’s the resource time needed to find influencers. And yes, platforms help but won’t get you all the way there, especially if the campaign is tightly targeted.

READ MORE: IT’S A WRAP (ON 2019 METRICS)

Modify influencer constraints like prior competitive posts, gender, parents, etc. Remember that you have access to influencer audiences; you should therefore be looking at that data for geography and brand affiliation, both of which are available in detail. Finding a group of highly specialized influencers whose audience is located primarily in Utah is considerably faster than finding very specific and rare influencers based in Utah.

Going this strategy can mean a resource savings of several person-days to find influencers. Pricing will reflect your requirements so you’re bound to save considerable budget.

Adding it All Up

When you focus on Qualified Engagement and ease up on your influencer requirements, leveraging audience data, you could be saving 10-25% on your budget. And even more if you insist on cost per engagement pricing.

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