How to Launch an Influencer Campaign With No Money

Social media has provided marketing opportunities that never previously could have been imagined. Now, more than ever before, companies are able to get their message out to the masses. There is one problem, however.

Generating a positive ROI through marketing is hard. It is tough to figure out your messaging and target market. It can also be very expensive. More often than not, companies go out of business because they spend too much too fast and aren’t able to figure out a way to market themselves effectively.

There are many options available for an E-commerce company. Google AdWords allows you to find people actively using the search terms you want to target. Facebook Ads allows you to target the exact type of person you are looking for. Targeting mega-influencers allows you to instantly get thousands or even millions of impressions for your company. All of these methods sound amazing in theory. But, all of these methods have been over-used, and their market is at the point of saturation where it has become extremely competitive and increasingly hard to make money.

In this blog post, I am going to teach you a marketing technique that does not require any money to get started. It is very easy to get started, but also extremely scalable. It is a method that we call Influencer Hunting.

Influencer Hunting is the art of getting your product into the hands of influencers to promote your product.

Here are the steps:

  1. Find influencers in your target demographic. For example, if you are selling clothes then try your best to find influencers that have “fashion” in their bio. These influencers should have between 5 and 50 thousand followers and should have between 500-2500 average likes. You can do so by searching a term similar to your brand on Instagram and then looking at the top posts. Once you find the influencers, you can look through their comments (usually they will be friends with other similar influencers) and look at the suggested influencers underneath. Buzzsumo is a pretty neat free tool to help find more influencers and our basic package is a good way to find them quickly in bulk.
  2. Make a template that you will use for the influencer outreach. This template should explain what makes your company great, why you want to work with them and what they can get out of it. 
  3. Launch the campaign using an email automation platform. This allows you to contact all of the influencers at once and track the campaign. There are a ton out there to choose from, but I personally use Yesware and love that it gives a free trial where you don’t need to put it your credit card.
  4.  Reply to the influencers and create custom discount codes that their followers can type in to get a discount. A method that     I’ve found works is when the discount code is used, the influencer gets 10% of the sale and their followers get 10% off. If you can’t afford those margins, then increase the price of your product while this campaign is occurring.
  5. Track each influencer post and the use of the discount code. Understand that the effect might not be immediate, and you might need influencers to post more than once. A general rule of thumb is that just 20% of the influencers will make you money,  but that 20 % will make you more than enough to make up for all of the costs involved. 
  6. Double down on the influencers that works. If an influencer is proving to be valuable, negotiate with them to have them become brand ambassadors. We’ve had multiple companies generate tens of thousands from single micro-influencers.

This is the basis of the influencer hunting method. Don’t be dismayed if not everyone is answering as usually these campaigns only generate a 10-30% reply rate. The trick is reaching out and working with as many influencers as you possibly can.

Getting a few good brand ambassadors is like finding a treasure chest. These influencers will be creating content for you and promoting it to thousands of people who already trust and choose to follow them. This is incredibly valuable and almost impossible to get through paid advertisements.

Good luck and happy hunting!

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