Social media influencers can be an incredibly beneficial choice for your brand. Whether you’re bringing them in by commission through your affiliate program, you’re paying a flat rate for a number of posts, or you’re partnering with them over a period of time, social media influencers can help you get more eyes on your content.
We’ve compiled factors impacting influencer rates, as well as how much you might expect to spend on influencer posts.
The Factors Impacting Influencer Rates
Every component of an influencer’s online life can contribute to the cost of a social media post. However, these are a few of the most common factors that impact the rate you should expect to pay.
Number of Followers
This is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you consider how much you should expect to pay an influencer. Most marketing groups are now splitting follower numbers into four or five groups:
- Nano-influencer: 1,000-10,000 (This is a new category, and some marketing groups consider “influencers” to start at around 10,000 followers.)
- Micro-influencer: 10,000-50,000
- Mid-influencer: 50,000-250,000
- Macro-influencer: 250,000-1,000,000
- Celebrity/Mega-influencer: 1,000,000+
As you might expect, on average, the higher the follower count, the more expensive the influencer content.
Social Media Platform
The specific social media platform this individual is popular on will also play a key role in how expensive your content is.
- YouTube is generally considered the most expensive social media site because of how much time and effort YouTube videos usually take.
- Instagram is next; getting a single strong Instagram shot can take an entire day, even if it’s just a picture.
- Facebook can also be very expensive per follower, but it’s often hard to grow a following, so there are more micro and mid-influencers on Facebook.
- TikTok is growing in popularity, but engagement can be low when compared to the number of followers a person has. TikTok influencers with higher levels of engagement will charge more.
- Twitter and Snapchat are usually the least expensive, as content on these platforms takes the least amount of time and effort to create.
Assume that you’ll pay more for an influencer that creates content closer to the top of this list.
Type of Content
The type of content will also play a part in how much you’ll pay for an influencer post. Long-form video content is the most expensive on average, followed by full-scale photoshoots, short-form video content, quick snapshots, long-form written content, and short-form written content. Content you expect to stay on someone’s account permanently will also be more expensive than content posted to Stories or other short-lived content. This is, however, only a general guide, and you should just remember that the more time and effort the influencer puts into the content, the more expensive it will be.
There are also other various factors that may or may not play into how much you spend. Here are a few of those factors:
- Travel time and expenses
- Exclusivity agreements
- Usage rights
As you can see, these factors are only present in certain types of content, not all content that you would commission from an influencer.
Types of Influencer Payments
There are a few different ways you may pay an influencer for sponsored content, including these options:
- Flat Rate Payment
A flat rate is one of the more common types of payment for influencer posts. With this, you agree to pay a certain dollar amount for a certain type of promotion. For example, you might pay an influencer $500 to create a post on Instagram. The most common starting point to calculate a fee for flat rate payment is one cent per follower ($10 per 1,000 followers). Consider the factors above as well–YouTube influencers will often charge about $20 per 1,000 subscribers, while TikTok influencers will often charge as little as $5 per 1,000 followers.
- Commission on Purchases
It’s also possible to use an affiliate marketing strategy for influencer payments. With your affiliate marketing program through Refersion, you can provide an influencer with a link or referral code that will provide them with a percentage payment when they direct new customers to your website. If you’re planning to use an affiliate marketing strategy, then you’ll usually need to allow the influencer complete creative control, as they have to put their own money, time, and energy into the product with no guarantee of payment. Commission rates around 10-20% are common, though every industry has its own baseline.
- “In-Kind” Payment
Especially when it comes to nano- and micro-influencers, “in kind” payment, where you provide a free product in exchange for a review or a post directing people to your account, can be a great way to spread your product. However, be aware that this strategy will only provide you with very minimal content creation options. Many brands choose to send out free products to influencers who have expressed interest in their product without assuming that the influencer will make content.
- A Mix of Payment Options
Finally, mixing these payments can make it easier for you and an influencer to settle on the right commission payment for both of you. For example, many brands choose to mix in-kind payment and commissions, or in-kind and flat-rate payment, to encourage a creator to make more content with the free product.
Paying out Accurately to Your Influencers
Remember that paying out to your influencers is one of the most critical components of influencer marketing. If your influencers aren’t getting paid on time or aren’t getting paid at all, they’re going to start having a negative opinion of your brand, which can reach to their content creation. A tool like Refersion Pay automates your influencer payments for easier payment.
The Bottom Line
Social media influencers can vary dramatically in how much they charge per post, but this is a good starting point for understanding the structure. Whether you choose to pay per post or end up paying commissions, these points will help you grow your brand awareness.