When launching an indie game, influencer marketing should be one of your core approaches to advertising. The potential to reach a very targeted and active audience is too auspicious an opportunity to pass up. By working with influencers, you get the benefit of a trusted voice pushing your project. Unfortunately, good influencer marketing doesn’t typically come cheap and you can expect to pay well over $1,000 per post for a well-known personality.

But what if you have a very limited budget? Influencer marketing can still be within your reach, so long as you follow these five budget-friendly tips for working with an online personality. 

Work with Nano & Micro-Influencers

When we talk about the expensive side of influencer marketing, we’re largely referencing macro-influencers, or personalities with anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million followers. To save a little money, you’re going to want to focus on quantity and target a number of nano (100 to 10,000) and micro (10,000 to 100,000) influencers.

Not only are their rates generally less expensive, but they’re also more likely to have a closer bond with their audience. Many nano and micro-influencers haven’t quite reached the status where they get too big to actively engage their audience in more than just broad, general conversation. So, when they push a game, it’s organic, encourages real discussion, and sounds less like a paid advertisement. 

Offer Freebies & Merch Instead of Pay

Do you have something to offer other than money? When you’re working with a tight advertising budget, you sometimes need to get creative with how you secure influencer marketing. Maybe you can have custom merch printed specifically for influencers or offer them a mention in your game as an NPC or interactive object. Since being an influencer is all about the community they’ve built, you can also offer something they can distribute to their viewers, such as game keys.

It can be intimidating to approach a situation without a significant budget, but some influencers may be willing to exchange services for goods or game keys. It never hurts to reach out and ask.

Cross-Promote With Other Developers/Publishers

Is there another game out there that may align with yours? There may be an opportunity to cross-promote with in-game unlockables or mentions. Many indie developers are in the same situation as you, trying to find the best way to market their title. The chance to do so without dipping into the advertising budget is definitely a win. 

Consider games that are similar, but not direct competition. It’s important to connect with the developer a bit before pitching anything to make sure their values align with yours.   

Pitch a Featured Article/Listicle Involving Your Game

Gaming outlets are frequently on the prowl for new features, which is a great marketing opportunity for you. Consider pitching a feature article or listicle that your game would fit into. You can approach this as a sponsored post, where only your game is mentioned. Since this will technically be a sponsored post, you’ll have to dip into your marketing budget a little. However, it’s worth it when you choose the right outlet. 

When researching outlets, much like when looking for another dev to work with, pay attention to core values and definitely review their monthly reach. An outlet that only reaches 1,000 viewers per month likely won’t get you the returns you need. 

Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate

Never be afraid to counter an offer you’re presented with. Let the influencer come up with an initial figure, though, as it may be lower than what you expected to pay. But, if it’s not, negotiate. If you have merchandise or a game key to throw in, anything that’s not monetary, add it to your counteroffer. 

Don’t be pushy or aggressive with your counter, though. Politely explain your budgetary constraints, and if they don’t accept the offer, thank them for their time and move on. The last thing you want to do is burn bridges, because you may be able to work with them on a future project. 

Leave the Influencer Marketing to Loopr

Don’t let the fear of burning through your budget get in the way of effectively marketing your game. Keep these five tips for budget-friendly influencer marketing in mind as you plan out your advertising campaign. Be sure to contact Loopr PR & Marketing so we can connect you with the influencers that will best help you sell your game. Our team will help you navigate any of these tips to save you on your marketing budget.