It is of utmost importance that both brands and influencers know how much they need to pay or charge for collaborations on social media. The only issue is that agreeing on a price is sometimes easier said than done.
In fact, cost and rates are two of the bigger issues facing new brands and influencers because there is a lot of confusion surrounding it. Also, the fact that there are influencers that charge everything from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars per post doesn’t make it any easier.
However, after my many years of experience from the industry, I’ve learned a thing or two about what influencer marketing should cost and thought I’d share my best tips.
In the following post, I’ll share information about the factors that are affecting the price, and we’ll also take a look at the price difference between different platforms. I’ll finish the post off by providing examples of what certain influencers charge on average as well as the price tag for the world’s biggest influencers.
So, without further ado let’s figure out what influencer marketing really costs.
How Do Rates Work in Influencer Marketing?
There is a multitude of different aspects and factors that affect how much an influencer charges.
First and foremost, different platforms come with different prices, and the same is true for different industries. In addition, the type of campaign you’re looking for can affect the price, i.e. a long term collaboration or ambassadorship with several posts can cost less per post than a campaign with only one post.
Naturally, you’ll also have to include fees and charges if you use an influencer network or a talent agent instead of going through the influencer directly.
Traditionally, one used to pay influencers based on the number of followers they had on the account that would be used for the promotion.
In recent years, engagement, ROI, and CPE and demographic data have become increasingly more important for the pricing of influencer marketing, and it has made things a bit more complicated.
There used to be an “industry standard” stating that a brand would pay an influencer roughly $1,000 per 100,000 followers for a single post with room for some negotiation. However, with the introduction of micro-influencers, those numbers are not completely accurate anymore.
In certain cases, a micro influencer with very high engagement could expect to be paid more than that.
How Much You Should Pay for Influencer Marketing?
As you can see, it has become increasingly more difficult to set the price for Influencer marketing campaigns. In fact, these days it’s more of an art form than a science.
This means that you as a brand have to come prepared and know how the market works, what ROI you expect, and so forth.
Technically speaking, there are two ways of paying for influencer marketing.
1. Pay Based on Number of Followers
As mentioned above, the first one is to charge per follower which is more common with larger influencers. I share some examples below, but it’s good to know that experienced influencers with a lot of followers usually already have a set rate and it’s your job to try and negotiate that price. It's important to take demographiv data in consideration to make sure you don't pay for a large amount of followers that are irrelevant for you.
2. Pay Based on Engagement
The second way is to charge based on engagement which is trickier and mostly used for the smaller influencers. When charging an influencer based on engagement, you will have to take several things into account.
Firstly, you’ll have to figure out the influencer's engagement rate to have something to benchmark with other influencers. It is not always the case, but we often see that influencer with a high engagement perform better since engagement is an indicator of how great their inpact are on their followers.
After that, you will have to try and set up a payment based on an expected CPM or Cost Per Thousand impressions, similar to a regular online ad. You can also use CPC, or cost per click, by using traceable links, although an influencer will most likely not enter a collaboration without a price set in advance.
The Content Will Affect the Price
Besides the rather obvious factors that I mentioned above, the content you’re ordering can have an effect on the price depending on how much work the influencer have to out in.
At this point, it’s important to remember that you hire the influencer because they are professionals at what they do - which is content creation. They will be responsible for the creative part, styling, photo or film, editing, copy etc. Creating content is a lot of work, and of course they should be paid properly for the amazing work that they do!
Any skilled influencer has a great relationship with their followers and can, therefore, create content that is directly aimed at them with the goal of engaging the followers who, in turn, belong to your target group.
You see, the biggest difference between regular marketing and influencer marketing is the relationship that influencers have with their followers and your target group, and that is ultimately what you pay for.
Price Difference Between Platforms
The platform you’re planning to promote on will have a huge impact on the final price tag, so let us take a closer look at that.
Instagram is by far the most popular platform for influencer marketing, and it’s also the one with the most complicated pricing system.
As mentioned earlier, you can pay an influencer based on their number of followers, their level of engagement, or a combination of the two.
The average global cost of a mid-sized Instagram influencer is $300 per post but, as you can imagine, that is a very vague number. Based on the latest numbers that I’ve seen, the average rates for posts on Instagram looked something like this:
- $150 to $350 per post for 2,000 to 10,000 followers
- $350 to $700 per post for 10,000 to 50,000 followers
- $700 to $1,000 per post for 50,000 to 100,000 followers
- $1,000 to $3,000 per post for 100,000 to 500,000 followers
- $3,000+ per post for more than 500,000 followers
With that said, the rate of a single post by an influencer with more than 1 million followers doesn’t have a ceiling.
There are many examples of massive influencers (think the Kardashian clan, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande) charging well over half a million dollars for one post, but more about that further down.
Compared to Instagram, YouTube is usually more expensive per post. In fact, YouTube is one of the priciest platforms today, although the content is very different and you can expect the influencer to put in a lot more work in a video featuring your brand and products.
Similar to Instagram, there are two ways to charge for a YouTube video. You can either pay the influencer based on their number of subscribers or based on the number of views they get. In some cases, you could be expected to pay a combination of the two where the influencer will ask for a starting price and then an additional pay per view if the video reaches a preset milestone.
On average, a YouTube post in 2019 will cost you:
- $20 per 1,000 subscribers
- $50 - $100 per 1,000 views
Blog posts remain one of the most popular advertisement channels for influencer marketing although pricing isn’t very straightforward.
If you want to order a blog post, you should expect to pay based on the influencer's monthly page views, visitors, and the length of the post.
Also, if you expect the influencer to do keyword research and publish an SEO driven post, you should expect to pay a lot more.
Most serious bloggers these days have a media kit on their blog where they clarify exactly how much a post costs.
Examples of What Some Influencers Charge
I understand that this probably seems rather confusing, and it is really complex.
So instead of trying to explain it ever deeper, I will provide you with some examples.
To start off, I’ll offer a look at some larger and smaller influencers from the American market, and then we’ll compare those prices with the smaller, yet up and coming Swedish market.
The Price of American Influencers
According to Later.com, 66% of American businesses have reported that they pay less than $250 per post while 27% report that they pay between $250 and $1,000 per post.
As you can see, that is a rather low number, and there is a good explanation of why. In the past few years, micro influencers have become increasingly more popular which means brands are paying less per post while ordering more posts from several influencers.
Therefore, the total price of a campaign is still similar to back in the days.
Besides that, the American market is also home to the world’s most expensive influencers. According to CNBC, Kylie Jenner was the most expensive influencer in 2018, charing an average of $1 million per post.
Kylie Jenner was closely followed by Selena Gomez who charges $800,000 per post.
In third place, we find Cristiano Ronaldo who happens to be one of the few European male influencers that can compete in this class with an average of $700,000 per post.
Note: Cristiano Ronaldo does have deals with sponsors meaning he might not be paid per post but rather following a yearly marketing plan which makes his situation unique compared to other influencers.
The Price of Swedish Influencers
In Sweden, which is one of the most up and coming influencer markets in Europe, things look a bit different. Below is an example of two of the most popular and biggest influencers in Sweden and what they charge per post.
Therese Lindgren is one of the biggest influencers in Sweden with close to 1 million subscribers on YouTube and 1 million followers on Instagram.
In a 2016 interview, she explained that she had charged 150,000 SEK ($15,000) for a 7-minute video and we can only assume that she charges many times more today, three years later.
Besides being born into one of Sweden’s most famous families and making a career on TV, Bianca Ingrosso has also made a name for herself as a leading influencer. Today she has close to 1 million followers on Instagram and just under 300,000 subscribers on YouTube.
In an interview with the biggest newspaper in Sweden, she explained that her most expensive product is Instagram posts for which brands pay upwards of 200,000 SEK ($20,000) per post depending on the brand and the product.
By now, it should be obvious that influencer marketing rates are a complex topic that’s affected by a multitude of factors and aspects. Because of this, we always recommend that you enter the market with a plan and that you have an idea of what type of ROI you expect from each campaign.
And as a last piece of advice, don’t forget that influencer marketing is supposed to be an investment just like any other form of marketing, but if it's done correctly most often with really great results!