How much should you pay influencers? 6 factors to consider

When planning your influencer marketing budget, no doubt this question comes up: How much should I pay influencers? The answer is it depends! The influencer marketing industry has matured and creators are now working full-time on brand partnerships. As influencer marketing continues to deliver results for brands, influencers are becoming adept at negotiating higher fees in recognition of their work. But as a marketer looking to stretch your budget as far as possible, how do you decide how much to pay influencers? 

The price you pay a creator for participating in your campaign will be based on several factors. Influencer prices vary from influencer to influencer, platform to platform, and between industries. In this article, we’ll examine the 6 most important factors that affect how much an influencer will charge for your campaign. The cost of an influencer partnership also depends on industry trends (although there are no clear-cut rules) and the compensation model you decide to use. We’ll take you through all the elements you need to consider when deciding how much to pay influencers. 

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6 factors that impact an influencer’s rate

   Number of followers 

The size of an influencer’s audience will determine the reach they can offer brands. Influencers with a greater number of followers have a more valuable reach for brands. More followers = more eyes on an influencer’s post that promotes your brand. That’s why creators with a larger audience will charge much higher fees than those with fewer followers. Celebrities and macro-influencers charge the highest fees. Hopper’s Instagram Rich List shows that world-famous celebrities such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylie Jenner, and Selena Gomez charge over $1 million per Instagram post. 

Top Tip: Depending on your industry and campaign goals your budget might be better allocated to paying several micro or mid-tier influencers who can help you target specific segments of your customer base instead of dedicating all your budget to a celebrity influencer. 

   Influencer engagement and performance 

In addition to their reach, an influencer’s engagement rate and performance metrics demonstrate their value to potential brands and will affect how much it will cost to work with them. Brands should seek influencers who have an audience that is actively engaging with their content. A large reach can generate impressions, but engagement is a better indication of an influencer’s potential to drive conversions for your brand. You want to be sure that their followers are posting comments, sharing posts, and clicking on links in posts published by your creators. That’s why it’s worth spending more on influencers with an above-average engagement rate. 

   Social media platform

Influencer rates also vary according to social media platforms. When calculating how much to pay influencers, you need to consider the time and effort needed to create a post. One YouTube video that lasts 10 minutes will need more time and effort than one Instagram photo or a 30-second Story. Influencers will usually adapt their prices based on the content format associated with a specific platform. Data from Influencer Marketing Hub highlights how average prices can vary between platforms:

  • YouTube Mid-tier influencers: $1,000–$10,000 per video
  • Instagram Mid-tier influencers: $500–$5,000 per post
  • TikTok Mid-tier influencers: $125–$1,250 per post
  • Twitter Mid-tier influencers: $100–$1,000 per post
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   Type of campaign

The expectations of your campaign will impact how much you can expect to pay creators. Brands should consider the amount of content and the type of content they’re requesting. A one-off Instagram Story doesn’t require the same amount of time and effort as creating three Instagram Reels and several feed posts. The quantity and quality of content expected will in turn affect the influencer’s fees. If you’re expecting a long-term commitment or a series of posts, then this can also increase an influencer’s fee. Live video content or hosting events will also cost a premium. 

   Exclusivity

Negotiating exclusivity will come at a price! If you want a creator to turn down other partnerships in favor of an exclusive collaboration or brand ambassadorship then you can expect to pay more. Depending on the level of exclusivity required, creators will need to negotiate a higher rate to take into account the loss of income from turning down other partnerships.

   Ownership

If you want to own the influencer’s content or have the right to reuse it on other channels, you can expect additional costs. Paying extra to own an influencer’s content for a set amount of time (or indefinitely) can be a worthwhile investment as reusing influencer content on paid channels can deliver even more results for your brand. Owning high-quality and authentic content that can be repurposed across multiple channels is a surefire way to maximize ROI from influencer-generated content. 

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Calculating influencer rates 

While every influencer campaign brief is different, there are some common guidelines used across the industry to help you calculate a fair price to offer your influencers. These prices are not set in stone. Indeed, all the factors we’ve analyzed above will need to be taken into account before defining a final price. That said, the pricing below can be a useful guide. 

  • $100 per 10,000 followers/subscribers 

Another industry trend to understand is that influencer marketing spending will continue to grow. 

As more and more companies are turning to influencers, they will face more competition to work with the best influencers. The most popular creators will be highly solicited, so brands will need to offer attractive compensation to secure a deal. 

influencer marketing spending
Image credit: eMarketer

Choosing a compensation model

How much you pay your influencers depends on the type of compensation you offer them. You can use the insights above to calculate a flat fee for an influencer’s participation – but that comes with the risk of losing ROI if an influencer under-performs. Performance-based pricing or a revenue-share model can help to minimize the risk of over-spending as you will only pay for concrete results. 

  • Performance-based pricing

You will set a price according to specific KPIs linked to your campaign. You can set a fee according to the number of clicks, number of engagements, number of conversions, etc. Each influencer will then be paid based on their individual performance. 

  • Revenue-share and affiliation

This model works best if the goal of your campaign is to drive direct sales through promo codes or affiliate links. In this case, influencers are paid a % of the actual revenue that they generate for your brand. You will pay influencers based on the number and the value of sales that they generate during the campaign. 

Deciding how much to pay influencers is a huge consideration for planning your influencer marketing budget. With a deeper understanding of the factors affecting influencer rates and some top tips on how to minimize costs while offering fair compensation, you’re now in a better position to calculate how much you should pay your influencers.

To make sure your influencer payouts fit in with your overall strategy and goals, check out The Ultimate Influencer Marketing Strategy Guide

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