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[REPORT] Beyond Follower Count The Real Factors Driving Influencer Rates (Surprising Data From 250K Payments)


[REPORT] Beyond Follower Count: The Real Factors Driving Influencer Rates (Surprising Data From 250K Payments)

Influencer marketing rates have long been assumed to correlate directly with an influencer’s follower count. However, new research analyzing over 250,000 influencer payments totaling half a billion dollars reveals a more complex reality.

The research comes from Lumanu, a fintech company serving as a payment vendor for brands and agencies collaborating with freelance creators. Their data encompasses payments across YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, user-generated content, and creative productions from over 100 brands and agencies.

[REPORT] Beyond Follower Count: The Real Factors Driving Influencer Rates (Surprising Data From 250K Payments)

“Landing on a fair fee for an influencer program takes a lot of consideration from both sides,” Katie Stoller, a top voice on influencer marketing on LinkedIn, says in the report. She explains that influencers must account for costs like production resources and leveraging their audience. Meanwhile, brands need to weigh potential reach and projected return.

While follower counts remain a factor, Lumanu’s data shows the relationship is not as linear as some online calculators suggest. After running a regression analysis across the entire dataset, they found only a 0.56 correlation coefficient between follower count and payment amount. Analysts say a coefficient of 1.0 would indicate a perfect linear relationship.

[REPORT] Beyond Follower Count: The Real Factors Driving Influencer Rates (Surprising Data From 250K Payments)

“Rates can vary based on vertical niche, celebrity status, ability to connect with audiences across social media platforms, etc.,” the report states.

According to the research, even within a single platform like TikTok, payments span a massive range for creators in the same follower tier once you account for variables like deliverable scope. The data shows some brands pay under $500 for mid-tier creators while others pay over $15,000.

Other key takeaways from the analysis:

  • Instagram dominates investment, receiving 71% of total payment volume compared to 19% for TikTok and 10% for YouTube.
  • 89% of sponsored Instagram collaborations involve Instagram Stories as a deliverable.
  • The overall average payment was $2,300, with a $800 median.
  • 76% of creators were paid below the average amount.
  • Payments for Instagram averaged $2,567, versus $1,581 for TikTok and $1,322 for YouTube.

The data also provides insight into payment models beyond simple flat fees:

  • One in four payments involved an affiliate commission component, with high earners receiving $10,000+ payouts.
  • On average, brands using a flat fee plus commission model paid 25% less for content creation than a flat fee alone.
  • Roughly one in ten payments incorporated a percentage of ad spend, with brands typically paying 1-7% of the ad budget.
  • This ad spend model saw a 20% lower average content fee of $1,800.

“To further refine influencer marketing strategies, add more data and analytics into the decision-making processes,” Lumanu recommends in the report. It advocates leveraging insights to negotiate better rates, test commission models, build long-term influencer relationships, and holistically measure performance. Read the full report here.

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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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