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How Much Should You Pay an Influencer?

It is important to pay your influencers for their posts and videos. But how much should you offer? In this post, we discuss the cost of hiring an influencer.

Influencer marketing is a powerful outreach method that allows you to grow your customer base, increase brand awareness, and build engagement and loyalty within your niche. But how much will it cost you to get a post from a top influencer on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or another site?

In this post, we are going to go over typical pricing for influencers based on how many followers they have.

But before we dive into the cost of hiring an influencer, let’s address a basic question many companies have: “Do I need to pay influencers at all?”

Yes, You Should Almost Always Offer Monetary Compensation

Many businesses that are new to influencer marketing think that being an influencer is a hobby. They believe that all they need to do to pique an influencer’s interest is offer them free merchandise.

There are cases where this is okay—when influencers are just starting out, sometimes they are essentially hobbyists. If they do not already have some kind of public identity on which to build their follower list, they may struggle to expand their reach.

How Much Should You Pay an Influencer? - Net Influencer

These types of influencers are sometimes called “nano” influencers (more on that in the next section). Free products and the chance to potentially expand their reach through the collaboration may be all they are looking for.

But usually, it is still best to offer to pay them something, even if it is small. Chances are good they are trying to turn this into a job. Even a nominal $10 payment is better than nothing. But a more competitive offer is more likely to garner a response.

Instagram Influencer Pricing by Reach

Now that we have talked about why it is important to offer compensation to influencers, let’s look at some actual numbers.

The figures that are most frequently cited with respect to influencer pricing are these that come from Andrew Macarthy. These numbers are specifically for Instagram:

  • Nano Influencers (1-10k followers)           $10-100
  • Micro Influencers (10-100k followers)     $100-500
  • Mid Influencers (100-500k followers)      $500-$5k
  • Macro Influencers (500k-1m followers)    $5-$10k
  • Mega Influencers (1m+ followers)            $10k+

Each of these are per post. So, for example, you might need to pay up to $5,000 for a post by an Instagram influencer who has 500,000 followers.

As you might guess, rates may be even higher if you are paying a social media influencer for something more elaborate, such as a product giveaway or a 30-minute video review.

How Much Should You Pay an Influencer? - Net Influencer

You also may be able to get on an ongoing cycle with some influencers. You can pay them a monthly sum in exchange for a certain number of posts or mentions.

Also, if you manage to contact a celebrity for influencer outreach, do not be surprised if they charge as much as a million dollars for a single post.

Sometimes, you will also see estimates for influencer marketing costs broken down by the cost per post per thousand followers.

For example:

  • Facebook: $25 per post per 1,000 followers
  • Instagram: $10 per post per 1,000 followers
  • Twitter: $2 per post per 1,000 followers
  • YouTube: $20 per video per 1,000 subscribers
  • Snapchat: $10 per post per 1,000 followers
  • Blogging: $60 per post per 1,000 unique visitors

Source: WebFX

So, for example, say you want to hire an Instagram influencer with 10,000 followers for one post. At $10 per post per 1,000 followers, that comes out to $10 x 10 = $100. You can see that this is entirely in line with the lower end of the “micro influencers” estimates we shared previously.  

As another example, let’s say you want to hire a Facebook influencer with 100,000 followers to do two posts. Again, the rate is $25 per post per 1,000 followers. That would come out to $25 x 100 x 2 = $5,000.

Keep in mind that the pricing estimates above are all just that—estimates. There are other factors that can cause prices to vary, and every influencer can decide for themselves what to charge. So, sometimes you might be surprised by the prices an influencer lists, or counteroffers they present.

Do You Make an Offer, or Do You Ask for Pricing?

The next question you might have is whether it is up to you to make an offer to an influencer for compensation, or if you should simply ask them what they charge.

To a large extent, this is based on context. If you are reaching out to a nano influencer, it might make sense to just make an offer. This might be particularly true if they are toward the lower end of the scale with respect to followers, and might be open to negotiating a price and/or simply accepting freebies.

But with a well-established influencer, you probably should just ask them what they charge. They are far less likely to consider negotiating, since there are plenty of other businesses likely competing for their attention.

How Do You Get the Best ROI from Influencer Marketing?

With all of the above under consideration, how do you maximize your return on investment when partnering with influencers?

One recommendation is to go out of your way to work with some nano and micro influencers. Their reach may not be as significant in terms of quantity, but it can actually sometimes be higher with respect to quality.

Look at it this way—would you rather pay $5,000 to an influencer with 500,000 generic followers who are only going to have a lukewarm interest in your product, or would you rather spread $5,000 among a dozen nano and micro influencers who all have targeted niche audiences that are likely to be thrilled by your product?

Another suggestion is simply to put careful thought into selecting each influencer. Make sure that their persona, values, aesthetics, presentation style, and audience are all an ideal fit for your brand before moving forward. Do not just pick someone because they have lots of followers and said “yes.”

How Much Should You Pay an Influencer? - Net Influencer

One final recommendation is to scale up as you go. When you are first starting out with influencer marketing, you are bound to make some mistakes. Starting with micro influencers will make those mistakes less expensive.

As you get a feel for what works and what does not, you can start paying more to influencers with more followers.

Compensate Influencers Fairly to Build Lasting Relationships

Offering to pay influencers well to work with your brand will help you to successfully initiate contact and get your first collaboration with each.

But when you provide competitive pay, you also give influencers incentive to work with you again in the future. That is the key to building relationships that provide you with long-term payoffs.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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