Digital Influencers: An Affordable Marketing Solution for Startups

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How do start up companies work with limited budgets to create a compelling marketing strategy and online presence? Digital influencers. 

The Daily Edited founder Alyce Tran recently commented in a Business Insider article about the allure of social media influencers. 

“Think about Marlboro cigarettes, and having a James Dean figure smoking them – this sort of marketing is old. It’s really just basics,” Tran said.

Celebrity endorsement is old school. The new celebrities are influencers with 1 million Instagram followers. Believe it or not, there’s a lot of them. 

The number one benefit for brands is that many influencers are ‘niche influencers’. Due to the intimate nature of social media, Instagram & Snapchat especially, influencers share their day to day activities and special interests. 

What this means is, for example, a female influencer who has 500 thousand followers is a vegan. She shares pictures of vegan food, cafes, and products she loves amongst other things. To put this in perspective, she receives on average 10-20 thousand likes per photo. A start-up company developing any type of natural or vegan product can pay this influencer (price varies - expect $300-$1,000 per post for followings above 500 thousand) to promote their product. Across numerous influencers, paid posts could easily generate 50-60 thousand likes for a few hundred, or thousand dollars. What most brands don’t accept is this is a bargain. Let’s not forget that you can expect to pay anywhere between $6-10,000 for full page advertisements in magazines that only have readerships of 50 thousand. 

But start ups don't have to go for the most popular influencers. By targeting talent with smaller audiences, and therefore smaller fees, start-ups can leverage promotions in exchange for free product or services. However, a ‘small audience’ in influencer terms is still 5,000- 20,000 followers. Influencer marketing is also sending users directly to a brand's Instagram account, growing their following and consumer awareness.  

By cutting costs in marketing, and marketing smarter, start ups have a unique advantage over their competition. 

Have you used influencer marketing? Comment below.