KickoffLabs Blog:

How to Generate Leads With Influencer Marketing on a Budget

By Meagan Kral

Oct 4th, 2021

Influencer marketing is rising, with research showing that this market’s value grew from $6.5 billion to $13.8 billion between 2019 and 2021. Knowing how to find and partner with the ideal influencers can help build brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, generate valuable leads, and increase sales!

social graphic

Finding and working with online influencers to promote your contest or upcoming product launch isn’t always a walk in the park. Most people give up at the thought, “How in the world do I get Beyonce or Kylie Jenner to give me a shoutout.”

The good news is that you don’t need a famous, hard-to-afford influencer to promote your brand! Every industry has “micro-influencers” who are approachable and willing to partner on a reasonable scale. When you begin your journey of looking for influencers to work with, leverage these best practices to guide your search. These tips will help you locate influencers most likely to help you launch a successful campaign!

1. Know Your Goals

clipboard of goals

Before selecting your influencers, the most important place to start is knowing and defining your goals. What kind of an influencer do you need? What do you want them to do for you? Setting clear goals will help you locate the right influencers – the brands, accounts, and people that will best help you reach your target audience and achieve your goals.

Begin building your influencer marketing campaign by defining the goals of your campaign. For example, your marketing goals may include:

  • Audience building
  • Brand awareness
  • Brand identity
  • Customer loyalty
  • Revenues
  • Sales
  • Engagement and website traffic
  • Link building

Important: By clearly defining your primary goals, it’s easier to evaluate influencer relationships and determine if they’ll help you achieve the expected results.

After identifying your goals, you need to find influencers related to your industry. But how exactly do you discover the right influencers for your business? Here are the top three tips to finding an influencer for your industry:

a. Run a Contest to Find Influencers in Your Audience

people in front of computer

Contests are a less “sales-y” way to market your business. They are a unique way to improve audience engagement and brand awareness without directly promoting your business. They provide an interactive and fun way for individuals to engage with your brand. You may leverage applications such as KickoffLabs to get the best influencers for your brand.

When you run a contest on KickoffLabs, every lead has a score determined by their level of engagement. They earn more points if they refer friends, follow you online, share your content, etc. Anyone that earns more than a few points is worth building a better relationship with!

Run a contest and find the influencers during the promotion. For instance, you may decide to look for people with more than 2 or 3 referrals. Search for individuals that have spent more than a few minutes engaging with your brand or sharing it with their audience. When you get the top 5-10% participants, those are the people you’ve already connected with that are micro-influencers.

b. Look at Your Competitors’ Followers


To get the right influencers for your brand, find micro-influencers currently working or who have worked with brands like yours. Such influencers are more willing to write and share content about your brand. You can browse industry-related hashtags on social media to see the influencers that regularly share content about your competitors. Then, reach out to them to strike a deal.

Also, you can look at who your close competitors are following or their tagged images on their feed to identify reliable micro-influencers to promote your brand. The chances are that your competitors have tagged or follow micro-influencers that market them.

c. Use Tools

Influencer Marketing platform

Instead of manually looking for influencers, you can leverage tools to find the perfect influencers for your next campaign. These tools will help you identify, assess, and contact top social media influencers, publishers, and bloggers.

Scrunch: This freemium solution is designed to provide all you need to get started with influencer marketing campaigns – from discovery to analytics. Its extensive filtering options ensure you get the influencers that best match your requirements for specific campaigns.

Heepsy: This tool allows you to access more than 11 million influencers on various social media platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

Modash: This is among the best influencer databases that allow brands to discover influencers that best fit their marketing needs. What’s more, the tool enables brands to organize creators in orderly databases.

Buzzsumo: This tool allows you to find some of the most authoritative influencers on Instagram and Twitter.

inBeat: If you’re looking for a spam-checked database of influencers, look no further than inBeat. This tool depends on metrics and seed keywords to deliver fruitful and relevant results. inBeat allows you to find influencers through keywords, hashtags, or your competitors’ brand names.

Klear: This tool allows you to discover influencers by location and category. Its extensive features let you focus on influencer tier, social channel, niche topics, audience demographics, etc.

Followerwonk: This tool allows you to increase your targeted followership and matches you with the right influencers for your brand. Followewonk connects you with influencers on Twitter and will enable you to research their audience to see if they are suitable for your brand.

Social Studies: This is an influencer discovery tool that connects you with some of the best influencers in the market.

There’s an ideal online influencer out there for all brands. The challenge is to find an influencer that matches your business needs. These tools are a surefire way to find you the best influencer for your business.

You can add more tools to the list. The goal is to find authoritative people with 10k or fewer followers.

3. Look for Influencers who Share Your Audience

Large group of people

Micro-influencers do not necessarily have to be in your industry. Influencers with whom you share an audience can provide as much value to your brand as those related to your industry.

Carry out an in-depth target audience analysis to determine their interests, needs, and the sites they visit. This analysis will help you in identifying the non-industry micro-influencers among your audience.

4. Personally Reach Out & Build Connections

Whatsapp messenger

Influencer marketing is without a doubt one of the most powerful ways to promote your brand. That’s why you should do all it takes to have yourself the best influencers for your brand – even if it means personally reaching out to them and building connections. Spend an hour or so in a day reaching out to them via DMs or email. Inform them of your existence and make a stronger connection.

Make sure you do the following while reaching out to the specific influencers through messages or emails:

  • Greet the influencers by their names
  • Let them know how and why their content resonates with your brand
  • Introduce your brand and gives reasons why you and the influencer could be a great fit
  • State your expectations
  • State what benefits the influencers will receive from the collaboration
  • Leave your name at the end of the message so that the influencer can know who you are.

P.S. Remember to keep the message brief!

5. Offer up Some Free Product

Free product box

You may not have millions hanging around to pay influencers per post, but you surely can give away some of your products for free. Give the influencers products that will trigger their emotions and consequently push them to work with you. A free product shows your commitment to the influencers and helps you market your products simultaneously.

Wondering how to choose the perfect gift or product for your influencers? Here is a guide that will help you in selecting the ideal gift for them:

  • Check the influencer’s social media accounts to understand them better
  • Find out when their birthday is and send the product as a gift
  • Make sure your package stands out
  • Customize your product for the influencer
  • Send a mail that features a product and request to send it to them

Treat the gifts or products given out as an investment rather than an incurred cost. For example, free samples in exchange for a mention or a post will help get your brand out there.

6. Invite These Influencers Into a “VIP Program” for Your Brand

Join Facebook Group

You can make the micro-influencers comfortable enough to promote your brand through the right platforms, strategies, and approaches. Invite the influencers into a “VIP Program” for your brand. Organize a meeting with the company’s CEO and other leaders and invite the influencers to join.

Let them chip in ideas on how you can best run your ads, create compelling content, and promote your products. The goal is to allow the influencers to have closer access to your product team and give them the tools needed to promote your products, contest, or brand online in a more profound way than they could on their own.

Some of the platforms you can leverage for these meetings include:

  • Private Facebook Group
  • Private Slack Group
  • Private Discord Server
  • One-on-one meetings

Inviting the influencers to a VIP Program helps them understand how and why their content resonates with your brand.

Score Your Next Influencer Partnership Today!

A strategically outlined influencer marketing campaign that features the influencers most relevant to your niche, brand, audience, and goals can lead to higher sales, revenues, and brand awareness.

We hope this guide provides you with everything you need to find the right influencers in your niche. Then, create effective marketing campaigns that will help increase your brand visibility, generate valuable leads, and boost your sales. Finally, leverage these tools and tips to develop future influencer marketing campaigns!

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