There’s no question that influencer marketing cost is a hot topic for marketers. With organic social reach at an all-time low, and with paid social an often-expensive proposition, marketers are finding using an influencer marketing campaign to be a great way to reach potential customers.
Unfortunately, unlike traditional forms of advertising, it is hard to know how much you should be paying for the full range of influencers, from nano and micro – influencers to mega – influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers.
I’m going to help you understand everything you need to know about what influences how much influencer campaigns will cost, some baseline numbers to get you started with your influencer marketing budgets, and the different ways in which you can pay your influencers depending on your relationship (including the average price of influencers and campaigns).
Factors That Determine Influencer Marketing Costs
Believe it or not, you can be in control of how much influencer marketing can cost you once you understand the different factors that determine influencer marketing costs across various social media platforms.
The more you require of an influencer and the more “influential” they are perceived to be, the more expensive they become.
Once you understand these factors, you can negotiate the influencer marketing cost or find other influencers who might do more for less. However, remember that you also need a balance between influencer marketing cost and ROI, because the “cheapest” influencers don’t necessarily give you the highest influencer marketing ROI and may not have the follower count necessary to truly improve your brand’s reach.
With all of this in mind, let’s see the different things that can affect social media influencer pricing:
Choice of Social Media Platform
Some platforms and forums are more costly than others for micro – influencers and mega – influencers alike. For instance, Instagram is the channel of choice for so many influencers. This contributes to a larger supply of influence, but it’s also a very effective channel – and very famous influencers still rake in the big bucks on Instagram. Chances are, you’ll pay more for YouTube, TikTok, or a blog due to the amount of work involved and the type of content being produced, but social network is just one of many factors.
Number of Followers
It goes without saying that if you are going to work with an influencer, you would rather get more than less exposure. That is why the number of followers is still one factor that is often looked at when developing influencer marketing strategies. The more followers an influencer has, the more money they will generally ask from you. Of course, this leads to the possibility of influencers buying fake followers in order to charge more, so you definitely don’t want to place too much weight on this factor alone, but instead consider it one of many considerations to take into account when evaluating the cost of influencer marketing.
Not all influencers are created equal. Some have larger followings, while others have an incredibly high engagement rate. When you’re thinking about what to pay an influencer, you’ll want to keep this in mind. If you aren’t willing to pay more for a better influencer, your competition probably is. Likewise, don’t overpay for someone who is subpar and pay attention to the average cost for different types of influencers. If you are not sure, perusing an influencer marketing agency or influencer marketing hub can help you determine what numbers you can expect.
How Much Work?
You wouldn’t pay employees without considering their real labor value, would you? There’s a reason that employees with skills make more money: they offer a higher return on investment, or it’s a more valuable resource. Likewise, with influencers, their main value is in the work they do. No matter the kind of content involved, if it takes more time to make, it’s worth more. Sure, you may be thinking about the impressions gained or some other KPI. But the influencer has to price based on the amount of work required to complete a social media marketing campaign. Time is their resource and they only have so much of it to sell. So, if you’re a cheapskate, then the influencer will likely go elsewhere.
The next two factors are directly related to this concept:
The Type of Post You Require
Whether you are asking mega – influencers to create a series of posts or you are interested in a smaller influencer creating a single reel, the type of post you require will determine influencer rates. A photo can be captured and edited quickly and easily, and will not be as likely to require a large sum. A video or reel, conversely, will require more time, editing, and attention to detail, and will require more money. All of these can be a useful influencer marketing tool, but will require a different level of investment.
Number of Posts Needed
Different influencers will have different social media influencer marketing bundles and prices, but it is generally understood that the more posts (and types of posts) you require, the higher your investment will be. If you want potential influencers to do a series of posts that can be completed as parts of a whole, the price per post may be lower. Micro influencers and a mega influencer alike will usually price according to the number of posts or pieces required to achieve your marketing goals.
Industry/ Niche / Competition
Some product lines have a lot of influencers chasing brands for sponsorship deals. Alternatively, some industries have a hard time finding the right influencers. As with so many other things in business, supply and demand helps dictate influencer marketing cost, whether it is for a blog post, a YouTube video, or an Instagram feed post.
Influencer rates can also be determined by your expectations of the influencer. If, for instance, you expect the influencer or influencers you are working with to work exclusively with your brand for the extent of your campaigns, you will have to pay more. After all, if their social media channel is no longer available for other work, they must be adequately compensated. The length of time you expect them to work exclusively for you will also determine the rates you can expect to pay.
Reuse / Licensing Rights
Another important determiner when breaking down costs is whether or not you want to retain usage rights to the materials created by the influencer. While you are paying for the service, the creator retains the rights to those videos, images, and more, and is only required to distribute them according to your contract. If you want to retain, reuse, and cross-publish images, blogs, and video content, you will need to pay an additional fee. As a rule of thumb, though, this can be a worthy part of your marketing budget–particularly if the marketing channel or social media post in question has high levels of engagement.
Typically, when creating social content, an influencer will charge according to the number of platforms the content is being posted on. The potential cost of cross-promotion will vary, typically dependent on the amount of labor required to cross-promote, but this can help increase the average rate of engagement and improve your likelihood of seeing larger results. Nevertheless, because it requires additional work, you will be charged an additional sum.
Previous Performance (if you can get data)
If you are not sure where to start, or have not yet crafted a set-in-stone marketing budget, consider the influencer’s previous performance rates. Some influencers will deliver these numbers freely, in order to develop a solid base from which to work, while others may not readily publish this information. If you’ve worked with an influencer previously, it is important to make sure you are still up to date on their influencer marketing rate, as influencers will typically increase their prices as their following and work load grows.
Common Pricing Models for Determining Influencer Marketing Costs
As we all know, influencer marketing costs aren’t always easy to pin down. For instance, some influencers are highly effective and charge high prices for their influencer marketing services. However, the ones who are just starting out might be happy with freebies. Let’s take a look at the different ways in which brands compensate influencers.
Single post fees
By far the easiest way to pay influencers is with the flat fee. In this case, you will compensate influencers for the content they have created and posted on their chosen platform. These could include Instagram posts or Stories, Facebook posts, blog posts, YouTube videos, and so on. From the influencer’s point of view, this payment method tells them exactly how much they will profit out of a collaboration. On the other hand, there isn’t much incentive for them to go the extra mile, because they get paid the same no matter how well the content performs.
From a marketer’s standpoint, flat fees also have the advantage of pricing certainty. However, this is often hard to determine. In order to avoid taking advantage of the influencer, marketers have to agree on a price that both sides agree is fair–without knowing the results in advance.
Pay by campaign
If you’ve worked with an influencer for a while, it might be time to purchase more than one post at a time. Typically, the posts will be put up over time, say, a couple weeks or a month. This works especially well with companies in the travel industry, because you can pay an influencer to take many pictures of his or her trip, and post them on Instagram. Each is a separate advertisement for the tour company. Here, the idea is to draw the audience in to the overall story. From the influencer’s standpoint, this is a larger paycheck that they can count on. Marketers find them advantageous in terms of locked in pricing and fewer individual transactions.
Affiliate marketing is probably the oldest online version of influencer marketing. Here, you give the content creator a special link that pays out when people buy stuff. That way, you’re only paying for results. Because there’s no guaranteed pay, the influencer will work hard to generate sales on your behalf to boost commissions. However, make sure that you pay enough commission for influencers to consider this kind of arrangement profitable.
Some influencers might appreciate a performance marketing type of relationship, especially if they can also offer a discount code to their followers that will make them look good. However, getting influencers to work ONLY for affiliate income is a hard sell.
Therefore, offering an affiliate commission should be one of many things that you can bring to the table in a negotiation, but it should be augmenting the other fees you pay an influencer, not replacing them.
Finally we have the concept of giving products for free in exchange for an influencer post. While most influencers won’t want to work for free, based on the relevancy and desirability of the product, there is always a chance that a smaller or up-and-coming nano-influencer might be interested in working with you.
Most influencers actually start out by getting free or discounted products in exchange for their sponsored content. Doing it this way doesn’t cost marketers that much, because they really only have to consider the cost of production and shipping into the equation, not the markup. Not only that, but it pays the marketer back in terms of the influencer getting to really try out a product before talking about it. Speaking (or creating) from experience helps them represent the product more easily.
On the other hand, influencer gifting might not be enough for more experienced influencers. Especially when their reach is significant, or if they have a very high conversion/engagement rate, the free product might not be valuable enough to compensate them fairly. In these cases, you might consider a combination of free product and cash. Going this route allows the influencer to experience the product and still get adequate compensation.
Commonly Quoted Costs Per Platform
With all these factors at play, it’s easy to see why influencer marketing cost can seem so hard to determine. Fortunately, there are some commonly quoted prices available to let you get an idea how much to pay. However, these are VERY much ballpark figures and some influencers can cost way below these rates while others will be much more expensive.
Take these with a grain of salt and understand that, like everything else in life, prices are negotiable ;-)
- Facebook $25 per 1000 followers
- YouTube $20 per 1000 followers
- Instagram $10 per 1000 followers
- Snapchat $10 per 1000 followers
- TikTok $5 per 1000 followers
- Twitter $2 per 1000 followers
From a professional perspective, I question both why Facebook is so expensive and why TikTok is so cheap. Either way, as indicated above, follower count is just ONE of MANY factors, so don’t feel like you need to somehow stick to this scale, because you absolutely don’t.
Ways to Pay Influencers
Before we talk about numbers, it’s important that we do some housekeeping. Influencer marketing cost is measured in terms of influencer fees and the price of any influencer marketing tools you use. However, it’s more complicated to make these calculations, because cash isn’t the only way to pay influencers. At the same time, there’s more than one way to get that compensation to them.
Pay the influencer directly
This one’s arguably the easiest and most direct method, because you can pay through PayPal and other online payment providers. Just set up the payment and walk away, while the accounting department keeps track of what has been spent. However, there are drawbacks to paying directly, such as taxation issues and the higher potential for fraud. In addition, by paying directly you will probably have to handle every aspect of the transaction yourself.
Use an agency
Especially if you don’t want to do much work of your own, agencies are a handy option. Often, you just need to tell the agency what they want and they’ll give you a quote for the influencer marketing cost. Unfortunately, by using an agency you are at their mercy. They typically pick the influencers themselves, and then do the negotiations. You might not have much creative control over the content, either.
Take advantage of influencer marketing platforms
Influencer marketing platforms, including influencer marketing marketplaces, help you with more than just influencer discovery. Depending on the service level you choose, they’ll let you handle all of the detail or very few. Some have payment processing built in, and most have analytics capabilities. The nice thing about using a platform is that it makes the process of influencer marketing somewhat less intimidating and safer. On the other hand, if the right influencer isn’t on the platform you’re using, then you might miss out. Finally, platform fees can be quite pricey.
Ideas to Help You Reduce Your Influencer Marketing Costs
Influencer marketing statistics show that influencer marketing can be expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to keep the price down if you’re willing to be creative.
Develop relationships with influencers and skip the agencies
Depending on how much staff you have, assigning someone to do most of the influencer discovery and management can be more cost effective. Agencies tack a markup onto everything, and having an intermediary also weakens the relationship between you and the influencer.
Launch a brand ambassador program with your customers who are active in social media
Not all influencers are people you reach out to specifically for the purpose of creating a large campaign. Utilizing brand ambassadors who are already fans of your products and services can help lend an air of authenticity to your marketing materials, and can help foster loyalty between your brand or company and existing customers. Even smaller accounts can have an impact when they share products or brands they love with the people closest to them.
Remember your employees
Once shunned by human resources, employee advocacy is a powerful, and cheap, tool. Let your employees talk about what an awesome employer you are or encourage them to tout the cool stuff you’re selling. Maybe all they need is some giveaways, or even just permission to speak out.
Avoid the superstars
Successful influencer marketing doesn’t require using the superstar influencer. Many smaller level influencers are very effective at their job at a lower price. By carefully vetting the people you hope to use as influencers, you may be able to find someone who is perfect for your brand without the celebrity price tag.
Measuring the ROI of Influencer Marketing Cost
The way in which you measure ROI for influencer marketing depends heavily on the goals set for the campaign. For instance, if your goal is brand awareness then the number of impressions or amount of engagement with the post will tell you a lot. On the other hand, for a direct sales result consider using a discount code or other promotion. This way, you can attribute at least a large percentage of the resulting sales to the chosen influencer. At the end of the day, your ROI is the extent to which campaign goals are met.
With so many variables, it’s hard to properly track influencer marketing cost. Fortunately, with this guide you can see the ways in which these variables affect pricing. I hope that this has been helpful to you as you plan the next campaign.
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
Influencer Marketing Cost FAQs
Influencers charge differently every marketing campaign due to some factors that impact their rates like:
1. The influencers number of followers and their engagement rate
2. The platform they use
3. Number and type of content to be created
4. Effort required from the influencer
5. Where will the ad be promoted/cross-posted
6. Agency fees if applicable
Based on the recent reports, here is a list of how much an influencer with 500,000 followers charges per platform:
1. Instagram – $500–$5,000 per post
2. YouTube – $1,000–$10,000 per video
3. TikTok – $125–$1,250 per post
4. Twitter – $100–$1,000 per post
5. Facebook – $1,250–$12,500 per post
The amount of money you can earn with 100k followers doesn’t necessarily depend on your follower count. It depends on how actively you get clients and jump on ideas on how to make money on Instagram. There are different ways on making your account profitable through affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, and others. But to give you an idea of the average charge, a survey showed around 42% of influencers charge $200 to $400 per post.
According to reports, famous and big TikTok influencers can earn from $500-$200,000 per video for brand promotion. And just like other platforms, they aim to receive a high engagement rate from their audience. TikTok influencers earn money in the platform from sponsored content, cross-promotion, gifting, brand collaboration, and selling merchandise.
Yes, Instagram can pay you, and here are some ways on how to make money on the platform:
1. Growing Instagram account
2. Do Instagram marketing
3. Perform affiliate marketing
4. Sell your photos
5. Sell your account
6. Drive traffic from Instagram to your own site
7. Promote your business on Instagram