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14 min read | October 29, 2022

How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Startups


If you are a startup business, then one of your biggest marketing goals is likely to be getting your brand name out there. This can be difficult because you probably need to build your reputation from scratch. But perhaps the biggest challenge is that you are likely to have a very limited marketing budget. This means that the strategies you use need to be cost-effective and worthwhile. And this is why influencer marketing is often the perfect solution. Influencer marketing for startups can help you expand your marketing reach and get potential customers engaged with your brand, without breaking the bank.

So, what’s the secret? Which influencer marketing for startups strategies work best?

Let’s take a look at a few strategies you can use to get the most from your influencer marketing campaigns.

 Are you tired of the infinite back and forth when pitching a campaign to an  influencer? Download our Influencer Outreach Guide to create flawless briefings and  unambiguous contracts.

Identify the Right Influencers

The first step in any influencer marketing for startups campaign is finding the right influencers for your brand. You can search for influencers in a number of ways. You can do it manually by searching through different social media platforms and using industry hashtags to find who your target audience is following. Or you can speed up the search by using an influencer marketing platform and applying a range of filters to home in on the right candidate.

Whichever method you choose to use, you need to conduct as much research as possible to make sure you pick the right candidate. This means reviewing their performance metrics to see how active they are and how engaged they are with their followers. However, the research doesn’t end there. In fact, the biggest mistake you can make is choosing an influencer just because they have a high number of followers. You need to dig much deeper to make sure you have identified the right match for your brand.

Take a look at their audience. Are they your target market? Will they be interested in your brand? Are they active and responsive?

Once you’ve done that, take a look at the content that the influencer usually posts. Do their values align with those of your brand? Which brands have they collaborated with in the past? Were their campaigns successful?

If you influencers is not a good fit for your brand, then your campaign is unlikely to be successful, regardless of how many followers they might have. 

Be Creative

The best influencer marketing for startups campaigns all have one thing in common: they are creative. Think outside the box and build content that will create a buzz and attract the attention of your target market. Your content needs to appeal on an emotional level and serve one of two purposes: inform or entertain.

Above all, it’s important to relinquish a bit of control here. Although it’s important to provide the influencer you choose with as much information about your brand and campaign goals as possible, you also need to allow for a degree of creative freedom. After all, the influencer understands their followers far better than you do, and they will know which types of content will resonate best with them. Make sure they understand that you are open to input and suggestions at every stage of your campaign. This is a vital strategy for getting the maximum benefits from your influencer marketing campaigns.

Launch Social Media Takeovers

Another method you can incorporate in your influencer marketing for startups strategy involves collaborating on a social media takeover. Essentially, this means you allow an influencer to take over your brand’s social media accounts for a period of time instead of getting them to post about your brand through their own profiles. This can be an effective social media marketing strategy for expanding the reach of your own profiles and attracting more followers to your pages

Plus, if the influencer promotes the fact that they are temporarily taking over your social media pages, then many of their fans will follow them to your page to see what all the fuss is about: If the influencer I follow is interested in this brand, then I probably will be too!

Contests and Giveaways

Contests and giveaways can be great tools for creating noise around your brand. The best way to do this as a startup is to offer an influencer one of your products for them to give away to their audience. They would then create a contest post announcing the giveaway and clearly explaining what followers need to do in order to be in with a chance of winning the prize. This might be liking or sharing a post, tagging a friend, or signing up to your brand’s mailing list

With the right influencer, the right prize, the right hashtags, and a clear call to action, this can be a highly effective strategy for making a name for your brand and engaging potential customers


Finally, shoutouts can be a simple and cost-effective way to boost your influencer marketing for startups campaigns.

Essentially, a shoutout is when an influencer publicly endorses your brand and asks their followers to support you. This support might be in the form of a follow, a like, or even purchasing your products, for example. The idea is that, if a social media user sees that the influencer that they follow is talking about you, then they will instantly feel more trusting of your brand.

This strategy can work on a number of social media platforms, but it is particularly effective on Instagram. You can, of course, ask an influencer to give you a shoutout in exchange for one of your products. However, it’s always best to negotiate a paid brand promotion. That way, you can agree in advance what they are going to say, and you can be sure that their shoutout will make a positive impact on your influencer marketing for startups campaign. 

Download free: Influencer Outreach Guide

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