So, you want to know how much influencers charge for sponsored content. How else would you decide on a budget for influencer marketing?
You frantically Google “influencer pricing” and get swamped in various answers. They’re unstandardized and clouded in mystery.
Just take a look at these two influencers — one with 20K followers and another with 108K (and verified!)
You’d expect the latter to charge much more than the former. But guess what?
They. Have. The. Exact. Same. Price.
It’s challenging to navigate what fair influencer pricing is. Either influencers set their own prices, throwing stuff on the wall and seeing what brands would be willing to pay. Or agents seep in and mark up the rate for their cut.
Not to mention influencer pricing is also dependent on the social media platform, the size of the influencer, and deliverables.
No one would blame you for being a scatterbrain when determining what to pay an influencer. Luckily, you can minimize the frazzled guesswork with this guide. We’ll cover:
- 4 factors that determine influencer rates
- How much can you expect to pay an Instagram influencer
- How can you negotiate with influencers effectively
4 Factors That Determine Influencer Rates
There are several factors affecting influencer rates. Content creation for influencer marketing is time-consuming and intensive — requiring skill, passion, and production costs.
While the list here doesn’t cover everything going into influencer pricing, these are the four things having the most significant impact on what influencers charge:
#1: Size & Engagement (Or Tier)
The biggest factor to consider is the tier of the influencer you’re talking to. Many people also refer to this as the “size of the influencer” or the “type of influencer.” There are primarily four tiers of influencers:
- Micro-influencers: 5-100K followers
- Mid-tier influencers: 100-300K followers
- Macro influencers: 500K-1M followers
- Celebrity: 1M+ followers
Why is the tier important? The tier influencers belong to determines how many followers they have, the engagement rate they can provide your brand, and how much the influencer charges.
There’s often a caveat online in the division of these tiers — many people also have categories of nano-influencers and mega-influencers.
The number of tiers doesn’t matter as much as understanding how they affect influencer marketing costs.
For instance, social media influencers coming under the “celebrity” tier won’t even respond if you offer them a free product in exchange for posting.
You have to understand who you’re dealing with before you begin.
Deliverables are the influencer-generated content you expect from the influencer.
Do you want them to just post Instagram stories? Or do you also want them to publish an influencer post? Maybe you also expect them to repurpose the influencer content for TikTok.
It’s not difficult to see how the type of content affects the average price of an influencer. Making an Instagram video isn’t the same as conducting a giveaway.
Be realistic with the time and effort required from the influencer and pay them accordingly.
#3: Usage Rights
If you’re planning to repurpose some influencer content for your own marketing channels, you need to discuss it ahead of time and outline it in the influencer contract.
You may think you don’t need this, but every influencer marketing strategy should have usage rights. Why?
Social media influencers are professional content creators. Their primary skill set involves creating thumb-stopping content that converts. Missing out on reusing some of their high-quality content is saying goodbye to a massive chunk of your return on investment from an influencer marketing campaign.
The standard marketing usage rights consist of a 30-90 day window, and that’s plenty of time to utilize influencer content for your own social media marketing.
#4: Length of Term
Lastly, influencer marketing costs are also dependent on the length of your contract with an influencer.
Is the influencer posting just once? Or is the influencer working with you for a period of time, say three, six, or 12 months, with certain deliverables for each month?
The longer the duration of the contract, the higher the influencer rates. But you can also expect to ask for a discount if you enter into a long-term partnership with a social media influencer.
These are the big four determinants of costs associated with social media influencers. But influencer pricing isn’t limited to these factors alone.
For instance, do you expect an influencer not to work with other competing brands? Demanding exclusivity in your contract means you’ll be paying extra for influencer partnerships — since signing a non-compete agreement means asking an influencer to give up on potential income.
Similarly, the price tag is also dependent on the social media platform. The rates differ widely from TikTok influencers to Snapchat to LinkedIn.
Many influencers often also rely on influencer marketing platforms like Tapinfluence to set their rates.
With that said, let’s get our hands dirty with some numbers and see how much you can expect to pay an Instagram influencer.
Influencer Pricing: How Much Can You Expect to Pay an Instagram Influencer
The contributors to pricing are plenty. Clearly, there’s no formula per se in these human-to-human interactions.
But here are some starting points on influencer pricing for Instagram. Remember, these numbers are just an estimate of your starting offer. You can always go up or down based on your budget and desire to work with a particular influencer.
#1: Tier & Deliverable
The following prices are what you can expect to pay for each tier of influencers if you want the deliverables to be one Instagram story with swipe-up enabled.
In-feed is when you want the Instagram influencer to post a sponsored post on their profile. In-feed + story is when you also want them to post a story about your product along with an influencer post. And lastly, the in-feed + story set is when you want them to post multiple Instagram stories about your brand on their profile.
Depending on the type of influencer, you can expect to pay the following range for these deliverables:
#3: Usage Rights Bump
If you plan to use the influencer content for your own marketing channels — like website, email, and social media — you can expect to add the following amount as extra to what you were already paying different tier influencers:
#4: Length of Term
The duration of the contract is where all the previous formats contribute.
Your formula would become Tier + Deliverables + Usage Rights (+ Length of Term) = $Money You’d Be Paying.
For example, if you want two in-feed posts with 90-day usage rights for three months from a mid-tier influencer, your price point would look as follows:
$1,000 (two in-feed posts) + $500 (90-day usage rights) = $1,500/month
Or $4,500 ($1,500 * 3) for three months
The rule is that the longer you work with an influencer, the higher a discount you can probably negotiate.
When you reach out to an influencer, the media kit is their standard pricing. But does this mean they won’t go lower or higher to form a partnership with your brand? Absolutely not.
Don’t Get Ripped Off: How to Negotiate With Influencers Effectively
Brands often make influencer negotiation mistakes that not only cost them their influencer marketing budget but also lose thousands of dollars worth of return on investment.
Here are a few influencer marketing mistakes causing your brand big bucks:
#1: Relying on the Pay-Per-Post Model
There’s no easy way to say this: The pay-per-post model for influencer rates is dead. Why?
Influencer organic posting often relies on building a transactional relationship with the influencer. It’s impersonal, lacks authenticity, and forms the influencer partnership based on asking instead of giving.
Not just this, organic influencer posts also often have limited reach on social media platforms.
So, what can you do instead? Generate free content. How? Through product seeding — or sending free products to relevant influencers in your industry with no strings attached.
This will help you generate non-hashtag-ad posts from influencers at no cost.
The best part? The influencers will also be genuine product adopters rather than social media influencers paid to talk positively about your brand.
But, what do you do with all the influencer marketing budget allotted to pay per post model? Reassign it to ad spend via influencer whitelisting — the process where an influencer permits your brand to handle their social media accounts and run ads from it.
How is influencer whitelisting more lucrative than pay per post? Influencer sponsored ads take away the dependency on social media algorithms by offering you complete control over the distribution through paid media.
Don’t believe us? Calculate the ROI of your influencer whitelisting efforts through the following formula:
CPM (Cost Per 1000 impressions) / 1000 (Impressions) = X (Ad Spend Budget) / Influencer Audience Size
It does not matter whether your partnership is with micro-influencers or celebrity influencers — this formula will help you project the ad spend required to make the most out of your influencer marketing strategy.
#2: Beating Around the Bush
It’s essential to be clear and upfront with social media influencers. Respect their time and move as quickly as possible.
Take the example below from our template outreach email to show you mean business.
If you’re offering a free product for a one-off deal or forming an influencer partnership with a micro-influencer, start with a free product and include it in the initial outreach email. Go from there if an influencer or their agent responds with pricing.
#3: Failing to Make a Thorough Contract
A contract in influencer partnerships is non-negotiable. Even if you’re opting for the free-product-for-post model, you need protection.
But a bigger mistake is not making a contract that’s thorough enough — including everything from the type of content to marketing goals.
Here are some things you should never fail to include in your influencer contract:
- FTC Guidelines: These parameters are important for both your brand and the influencer. Usually, FTC guidelines are included in the contract as an addendum.
- Approval rights: You need the ability to approve the content before an influencer publishes it in partnership with your brand. Make this explicit — simply aligning on messaging and script isn’t enough. Here’s how you can imbibe approval rights into your contract:
- Usage rights: Usage rights require an extra fee, but they’re worth it to repurpose across your social media, website, email, ads, etc. But make ownership and timelines clear in your contract. This is what it looks like in action:
- Exclusivity: If you want to prohibit the influencer from partnering with competing brands for a certain period of time, you need to add an exclusivity clause in your contract. The standard is a one-week buffer period before and after the influencer marketing campaign. The campaign window should be three or four weeks minimum.
And bingo! Now you have the best deal on your hands without compromising on protection.
Influencer Marketing Budget: Break a Leg, Not the Bank
The influencer marketing realm is like the wild west when it comes to influencer pricing. While there are market rates thrown around, it’s more about looking at your influencer marketing budget as a whole and optimizing it in the best possible way.
Paying an influencer fairly for their hard work is one of the cornerstones of building long-lasting influencer relationships. But that doesn’t mean you want to overspend outside your budget to maximize return on your influencer marketing strategy.
Hopefully, this guide has given you the tools, resources, and numbers you need to approach influencer rates with confidence. Still not sure how to go about it? Book a call with us! We ensure you’ll get the most bang for your buck from influencer marketing.