How Much Does Influencer Marketing Really Cost?
This is a question that every single marketer asks themselves when researching the possibilities in making influencer marketing a part of their marketing strategy.
But the catch is that the question “how much does influencer marketing cost?” is quite complex, and you won’t find a lot (or good) answers online.
When people try to answer the question in an attempt to try to explain how much influencer marketing really cost, it seems like they’re only touching the subject briefly.. or gives numbers that are completely off.
In this article, we’ll try to explain every single detail to deciding what influencer marketing costs.
How Much Does Influencer Marketing Really Cost?
The answer is that it depends. But of course, that’s not an answer we’ll satisfy with. The price on an influencer marketing depends on a ton of different factors, so let’s study them a bit more carefully.
What determines the price?
First of all, you have to know that there’s a big difference between celebrity influencers and “regular” influencers. Why? Mainly because the celebrity influencers don’t follow the general guidelines for pricing when it comes to endorsement posts. Well, okay, maybe they do, however, it’s what brands have to pay on top of that, that is the changing factor. And that is the trust and respect that comes with getting your brand recommended by a celebrity.
And often times, the price for a celebrity is double the price of an influencer with an equally large following. Sometimes even more. That’s just thanks to the “status” that comes with getting recommended by a celebrity.
Now that we got that out of the way, we can focus on what really matters. The influencer.
The influencer’s promotion costs is usually the most costly part of an influencer marketing campaign, unless you arrange with a big production behind the campaign and use the influencer to spread awareness.
As you know, the price that influencers charge for promoting a brand can vary greatly. This is why it is important as a marketer to have a good idea of how much different influencers should charge. You need to know what is a reasonable cost and what is too much.
Knowing this can be quite tricky, but below, we have listed the most important factors that affect how much a social media influencer can charge a brand. And as you will notice, there are far more factors that affect price than the follower count.
Whether they are micro-influencers with 10, 30 or 50K followers, or an influencer with 2 million followers, the pricing guidelines below apply to them all.
Here are the most important factors that decide the price of influencer marketing:
- Follower count
- Which the brand is
- The structure of the campaign
- The duration of the campaign
- How long the post should be up
- Who the influencer is
- How many posts you buy
Let me explain all the points above, one by one.
This is probably the factor that plays the biggest part in the pricing of the influencer. However, the only issue is that it can be misleading.
What brands really are after when partnering with an influencer is impact and engagement. Their purpose with the marketing campaign is to increase brand awareness and ultimately generate conversions, and just because the influencer has a high follower count doesn’t mean that the people who follow will become customers.
For example, the influencer might have bought half of their followers, yet still, base their price on the current follower situation. This means that the brand pays for, let’s say 500K followers, yet only gets the engagement of 250K people.
In addition, studies show that a higher follower count means a lower engagement rate, and that’s also the reason why micro-influencers has become so immensely popular.
If you’re asking for a “pricing based on followers”, I can give you one, but you have to know that there are so many other factors that change this number. In some cases, this number might be extremely expensive, because the influencer can’t generate an ROI that repays the investment, and in some cases, the price I’ll present might be insanely cheap because the influencer gives an ROI that repays your investment several times over.
A general number that a lot of people speak about is $250 per Instagram post for influencers with less than 50,000 followers, then add roughly $1,000 per 100,000 followers per post. And personally, I dislike mentioning numbers quite strongly because no influencer is like the other. There are influencers with followers who charge $40 per post and still generate better results than those who charge $2250.
For the inexperienced, more followers mean bigger popularity, but it’s not quite that simple.
An important factor is also engagement, and this brings us to the next point.
Engagement is based on mainly likes and comments on platforms such as Instagram, but things like retweets and shares can be taken into account when working with other platforms. When speaking about engagement, people often talk about an engagement rate in percent. It might sound complicated but it’s actually really simple.
Simply take a look at the influencer’s last 10 posts (the more the better) and then estimate an average like rate of their post.
After that, divide their average like rate with their follower count. That’s their average engagement level.
You should aim at working with influencers who have an engagement of over 1%. As mentioned previously, engagement matters more than followers, and with influencers, there are people who fill up the whole scale. From 0.3% (which is extremely low) to 5% (which is good, above average) up to 10, 15% (which is extremely good).
When it comes to niche, what will have the biggest effect on the price is how many brands who work with influencer marketing, and how many influencers exist.
If you were to describe this matter shortly, it all depends on supply and demand.
If there are more influencers than there are brands who want to work with them, there will, of course, be a competition on which influencer gets to work with the brands, and many influencers will lower their prices in order to be more attractive to brands.
If there, on the other hand, are fewer influencers than there are brands, the demand is bigger than the supply, and therefore, the prices for the few influencers who exist will go up.
Which industry you plan to work with influencers from will also affect the price of the influencer.
The industry affects the price for several reasons. Firstly, the more lucrative business you are in, the higher the prices will be, generally.
Influencers are aware of the marketing power they have, so let’s say their post results in getting a $50,000 watch sold, $250 sounds silly in the context and the ROI for the brand is extremely high.
Industries which sell more valuable products such as cars, jewelry, cars etc. are often (but not always) more expensive to find influencers in.
Which the brand is
This will depend a lot on who the influencer is and also how large their followings are.
But the following scenario is most common regarding small, medium (and sometimes large influencers).
If the influencer finds your brand very interesting and strongly believe in your brand, they will sometimes just satisfy with a product sample. This lets you get exposure for your brand at a very low cost, the cost of making the product you’re giving away.
And this influencer marketing setup is not uncommon for brands with low marketing budgets. There are businesses who build their entire brand on contacting micro-influencers, asking them for a post in return for your product. If the influencer really likes your product, the chances of them saying yes is very big.
Also, if you’re asking larger influencers who like your product, they might want a product and then give you a great price for a post.
The structure of the campaign
Depending on what kind of campaign you want to run together with the influencer, the price might differ.
For example, if you want the influencer to create the content, the price might be higher because it takes time for the influencer to come up with photo ideas, take the photos/create the video, edit the photos, create a caption and post it.
Maybe you want the influencer to come to your studio and have a full-on photo shoot and then share the content on their page. If that is the case, you can expect to pay quite a lot more based on the time they have to spend.
Of course, on the other hand, if you are the one who creates the content and provides them with a caption, the price might be lower, however, not all influencers are willing to do this because their followers will be able to tell that the message doesn’t come from the influencer.
The duration of the campaign/how long the post should be up
Many influencers offer various promotional packages where the time the post is up is given. For example 24 hours, 7 days, 1 week etc.
Some influencers base their prices almost solely on the time the marketing post is up, and some influencers couldn’t care less and let it be up forever.
Note that almost all engagement on the marketing post is generated in the first 24 hours so if the price differs a lot, it might not be worth paying double for 48 hours, since it is the first 24 hours that really matters.
Who the influencer is
The price of an influencer post will also depend on the actual person you’re dealing with.
Some influencers are only pursuing social media as a passion and therefore have very low prices because they really enjoy what they’re doing and don’t actually need any income from their social media.
Others have social media as a full-time profession and need to have higher prices to finance everything.
How many posts you buy
Influencers often offer brands package deals which give better prices the more posts they buy.
Purchasing 10 marketing posts before you have seen what kind of results the influencer can generate might not be a good idea, because they might just have bought fake followers, tricking you that they have more influence than they actually have.
A good idea is, to begin with, one post and, if you’re satisfied, you can start buying bulk posts to save money by getting better package deals.
So how much does influencer cost? Well, from this article, you’ve learned that the price can vary a lot and that there are many different factors that affect how much influencer marketing costs. But with the criteria mentioned above, it will hopefully be easier for you to estimate the cost of influencer marketing for your future campaigns!