How much does it cost to work with social media influencers? This is a question we’re asked a lot, but there isn’t a straightforward answer – much like the proverbial length of string, there is no finite amount.
There isn’t an official influencer rate card, and their fees aren’t subject to regulation, which means these digital trendsetters can essentially name their figure – it’s the digital Wild West. There are a number of factors, however, that brands can take into consideration to determine whether a cost quoted represents good value for them. There are also very broad ballpark figures that brands can use as a quick gauge of whether an influencer is inflating their worth.
Before even considering affordability and worth though, brands should focus on the relevancy of an influencer. Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo might be an Instagram uber-influencer with 472m followers, but are his sport-fan followers going to be interested in, influenced by or even trust a post about pensions? No. this might be an extreme example, but irresponsive of how much reach an influencer has, it is a poor marketing investment if they aren’t well-aligned with your target audience and their interests.
It is also easy to be impressed by follower numbers, thinking they are the mark of an influencer’s impact, but engagement rates are a far better indication of how much sway an influencer has over its followers. Look beyond this vanity figure and interrogate influencers on their ‘behind the scenes’ analytics to get a granular look at their engagement rates and follower demographics.
Once these considerations have been addressed, cost is the next part of the equation. ‘Mega-influencers’, the term used for social media stars that have more than 1 million followers, can command eye-watering figures. For most brands, working with these digital A-listers isn’t an option, but for those with deep pockets, expect to pay six-figures upwards. Kylie Jenner, the world’s highest paid uber-influencer, charges just shy of £1 million per post!
For the majority of companies, it is micro or nano influencers that hold the most appeal as they are effective yet still affordable, and typically have solid engagement rates. Definitions of these groups of influencers vary, but micro influencers typically have less than 100,000 but more than 1,000 followers, whereas nano influencers may have even fewer than 1,000 followers, but they tend to be particularly influential in their community or niche.
So, to the all-important question: what is a reasonable charge?
Looking specifically at Instagram and micro-influencers, the below provides ballpark figures of what you might expect to pay…
For those at the lowest end of the micro influencer scale, 1,000 – 10,000 followers with engagement rates of 3% upwards, expect to pay a minimum of £250 for a one-off grid post, whereas a Story, because of its low production values and temporary nature, will be a little more cost effective at £200 or more. Reels, which are currently the best performing posts from a on organic perspective, are more expensive and will cost upwards of £300. These figures naturally go upwards the higher the follower number and vary for other social media platforms.
Cost savings can be made if you work with influencers on a longer-term basis, so that the cost per post is reduced but there will be numerous posts, and this has the added advantage of creating more authentic, believable brand advocacy. It’s also worth noting that it isn’t always essential to pay influencers to mention your product or brand, #gifted influencer marketing can also be an effective marketing tactic, but there is an art to getting good results.
Although these starting costs are feasible for most brands, it is unlikely that one single post will have much impact. Brands should therefore consider a robust influencer strategy before investing in any marketing of this nature, to ensure that any spend delivers a strong ROI and meets objectives. If you would like to discuss what influencer strategy would be best for your brand, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.