The cost of influencer marketing is all over the map. While pricing varies between agencies, the range is even larger from influencer to influencer. Some influencers severely undervalue the community they’ve built, while others place a premium and charge a lot more.
At the end of the day, the value of an influencer is tied to the size and engagement of their community. With that in mind, the vetting process is so important. Otherwise, you could run into a situation where you pay to reach bought and/or fake followers.
It’s logical to assume that if you’ve found this blog you’re either:
1) New to Influencer Marketing, and want to know how pricing works.
2) You’ve received quotes, or perhaps ran a few campaigns, and you’re trying to understand fair market value.
Now let’s look at each of these options…
You’re New To Influencer Marketing
In the most unpatronizing tone I can deliver on the internet, “Good for you!”. You’re ahead of a lot of marketers because you’ve identified influencer marketing as something you need to start engaging in.
The goal of every influencer campaign is different, but no doubt, before you go out there and start shopping, your goal and audience must be defined before you start reaching out to influencers and agencies.
Influencer marketing works because the stars of YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram are able to sell the attention of their followers to advertisers. They promote the advertiser by deploying content that resonates with the advertisers desired market segment (on the advertisers behalf).
Smart advertisers are realizing that having your product/service promoted by an ambassador on a platform that people tune into works much better than banners on a website that we’ve trained ourselves to ignore. When you consider that word of mouth is still the best way to gain new business, it makes sense that the digital version will be highly effective. As a strategy, it’s becoming increasingly popular with 5x – 10x return on investment commonly reported.
Buying Influencer Marketing is Different
The difficulty in transitioning media budgets is that advertisers are accustomed to purchasing inventory based on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) or cost per click (CPC) or cost per acquisition (CPA). However, these methods do not apply to influencer marketing. This is because:
- Followers do not equal reach, and reach doesn’t equal impressions. So you don’t typically buy on CPM
- Most influencers are not interested in a CPA model where they have to sell a product to be compensated
- There is no cost per click offering
Of course, there are exceptions where influencers agree to be paid on performance, but it’s becoming less common as content creators recognize their value.
So if you’re not paying for performance, but rather the projection, what measurements are important when assessing what to pay and who to pay?
- Followers and Subscriptions – While this shouldn’t be the core criteria, it does matter.
- The demographics of the following
- Quality of production
- The rate of engagement
- Have they worked with a competitor?
- How often do they promote products?
- Are they suitable to represent your brand?
- How long will the content they created on your behalf live on their platforms?
- What platforms will they be using? Video production will cost more than a single image.
- Can the content be used for other marketing purposes?
It’s important to keep in mind that you’re dealing with people instead of platforms like Google AdWords, or Facebook Ads. People are a lot less predictable and reliable than those platforms, so it’s important to be detail oriented and diligent with the execution of every campaign. Honest mistakes can happen, so crystal clear instructions and strong follow-up are the name of the game. Shameless plug alert: The reason why a lot of brands go to an influencer marketing agency is precisely for this reason – sourcing, negotiating, managing influencers, tracking and achieving marketing goals, and reviewing analytics is hard work that requires a professional skill-set. Many brands prefer to lean on experts while focusing their attention on other priorities.
General Price Points
Understand What You’re Paying For
Keep in mind that the price points below are strictly general, and loose based on a variety of factors. As stated at the beginning of this article, cost will vary based on how the influencers value themselves – but also how they value your product, service, or cause.
Here are some of the factors that dictate the cost of influencer marketing:
- The engagement level of the influencers community (as defined by likes, comments, and shares divided by their following). More engagement equals most cost.
- If an influencer loves your product, service, cause, etc. they may produce content at a discounted rate – or even for free – i.e an animal lover supporting an animal shelter.
- The type of content required – i.e photo, written content, video content.
- The platform being used – i.e Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc.
- The amount of content being requested, and whether different content will be required for different platforms.
- Is there an element of exclusivity? – i.e does the agreement prevent the influencer from working with related brands?
- How long will the content exist on the social feed of the Influencer? This is something that’s important to specify, as some influencers delete the content a few weeks after posting.
- Does the influencer have additional reach beyond their social channels? Perhaps they have additional reach across TV, radio, third party websites, etc. These complimentary channels offer additional value to the brands.
As you can tell, there are a lot of factors to consider.
Now let’s look at a variable pricing model:
Instagram Influencer Pricing
|0 – 50,000||$250 – $2,000 per post|
|50,000 – 100,000||$1,000 – $4,000 per post|
|100,000 – 500,000||$2,000 – $10,000 per post|
|500,000 – 1,000,000||$7,500 – $15,000+ per post|
What percentage of that 250,000 is male or female?Looking at this, you might be of the opinion that paying $3,000 for an influencer with 250,000 followers makes sense, but keep in mind that you need to vet the demographics of that 250,000.
What percentage of that 250,000 is in their 20’s?
What percentage of that 250,000 are in the cities or country you’d like to connect with?
Have you double checked if all their followers are legitimate?
If you’re not going through an agency that looks after these details, and you’re not investing in demographics tools, then you’re going to need to use some common sense as your guide.
A piece of advice we can offer as a guiding light… Take a look at the influencers posts over a 3 – 6 month period and look for any spikes in likes and comments that don’t make sense. Read the comments and see if they’re from real people. If you’re satisfied, ask yourself if you’re paying above or below $1 for each like and comment.
If the influencer with 250,000 followers seems to get 4-5K likes on their photos with a couple hundred legit comments, you’re probably in the right ball park.
Now let’s take a look at social platforms that highlight video production…
Snapchat Influencer Pricing
|1,000 – 100,000 views||$0.10 – $0.35 per view|
That’s right – there not too much of a sliding scale in our findings. Despite the 24 hour expiry, the views are worth a lot, period. It’s a lot of work to build a snapchat following and the fact that views on snapchat are intentional makes them worth a lot more than any other view. Snapchat followers are pound for pound the most engaged kind of follower of any social platform and the engagement rates are the best.
YouTube Influencer Pricing
|1,000 – 100,000 views||.05 – .15 cents per view|
It depends a lot on the brand, the YouTuber, and how the sponsorship is weaved into the video. If the video content was created primarily for your marketing campaign with links in the description, the YouTuber has essentially created a commercial for their audience and that’s when you start to pay more per view.
The great benefit of Influencer marketing is that it provides both production and distribution. Typically, brands need to create content and then figure out how to target the right people. Influencer marketing removes that challenge because the content is produced and deployed to a captive audience.
The content produced by Influencers also doubles as great material for social advertising. So if you’d like to expand the reach beyond the organic community of the Influencer (which is definitely advisable), the content can be promoted to highly targeted individuals.
So there you go! A general and loose framework for influencer marketing pricing. Keep in mind there are a ton of variables that dictate cost, but hopefully this proves to be a helpful reference.