“How much do influencers charge per post?” is a million-dollar question – pardon the pun!
While the industry is maturing somewhat, payment is still a bit of a grey area. Mainly because it can vary so greatly from one influencer to another – or indeed one brand to another. This can make the issue of budgeting for campaigns tricky, especially when you’re first starting out. How much budget to allocate, how many influencers to use and what kind of return you can expect to see for you to determine the test a success are no doubt the questions running through your mind.
There are a number of variables when it comes to influencer pricing. First of which is the platform of choice for your collaboration. As Instagram is the most popular channel for collaborations, that's what we'll be focusing on today.
How Much Do Influencers Usually Charge Per Post?
Mostly, and I stress ‘mostly’, influencer pricing for Instagram is based around reach – or the total number of followers the influencer has. This kind of pricing is called CPM-based, which stands for cost per 1000 impressions (or indeed potential impressions i.e. followers).
ZINE has been working with influencers for a number of years, and part of our work involves helping influencers apply a standardised approach to pricing.
To understand the advice we give to influencers read our influencer blog post on How Much To Charge For A Sponsored Post here.
The average CPM for Instagram is between £4 – 8. Although this will be greatly affected by the following variables.
How Influencers Calculate Their Rates
For a single image collaboration, Influencers who charge on a CPM rate (which we advise) use the benchmark (£4-8) then multiply this by their number of followers, then divide by 1000.
E.G. An influencer with 25, 000 followers on Instagram using £5 as a benchmark CPM should price a single Instagram post as follows:
5 x 25,000 = 125,000
125,000 / 1000 = £125 for the post.
How Much Do Influencers Charge Per Post – The Variables
The format of your Instagram collaboration will have a great impact on the cost of the post. For a single image you should use the benchmark explained above. The variables that affect influencer pricing include:
The reason different content formats have different pricing is that they can incur the influencer different production costs, they take varying amounts of time, and take up a different amount of real-estate on the influencer’s profiles.
Stories: A single story with no additional features often require minimal production costs and time to create. They also have the shortest shelf life, and take up minimal real-estate on the influencers profile. If on the other hand you wish to include a post + a story, you can expect to pay on average 10 -25% extra, depending on whether you have a swipe up link, a story highlight or a poll.
Instagram link in Bio: If you’d like your influencer to include a link in their bio, you can expect a surcharge, and for the link to have an expiry date (usually 24 hours).
Carousel: Asking the influencer to post more than one image using a carousel is likely to incur a small fee.
Video: A video (depending on production costs and time of course) can bump up the costs by as much as 50% over the benchmark CPM.
Number of posts
The number of posts you expect from the influencer will also affect the price of the collaboration. Agreeing multiple posts at the start will reduce the overall cost per post. That said, if you have a particularly awesome product/service/location, that the influencer has a genuine like / passion for, it's not uncommon from influencers to create multiple posts even when they have been commissioned for just the one.
Exclusivity clauses are becoming increasingly common, however it’s important to consider whether or not you should require one carefully. An exclusivity clause will prevent the influencer from collaborating with one of your competitors within a certain time frame, which has potential to affect the influencers future earnings, which means they will charge you more from your collaboration.
An influencer who posts for Pepsi as the most refreshing beverage on a Tuesday and Coca Cola on a Wednesday as the worlds best coke risks damaging their own reputation and being labelled as a sell-out. An exclusivity clause can protect your investment in this instance, however in part it should be the responsibility of the influencer to choose collaborations carefully.
For some brands/product however – exclusivity and influencers working with competitors is far less of an issue, as Lauren Spearman from benefit cosmetics explains:
“In the beauty industry there is no brand loyalty at all. I work for benefit but I’m not wearing all benefit. It just doesn’t work like that and we'd be missing a trick if we looked at someone and said 'ooh you work for competitor'. For us it’s even more of a reason to work with them.”
In some instances, your brand is so cool or relevant (to your influencers of choice) that you may not even have to pay influencers - think a gifting campaign for the latest CÉLINE handbag, or a 5* all inclucive trip to the Maldives for two, or even a charitable cause. In these instances, even if payment is required, you can pitch the influencer at a lower CPM as you have something, they are excited about.
Other Factors That May Affect Influencer Pricing
- Content ownership – do you intend to use the content yourself (website, social channels, print), and if so, who actually owns the content?
- Content Lifetime – does the influencer intend to remove the content – if so after how long is it acceptable for them to do so
- Agency fees – are you liaising with the influencer directly or going via an agency. As agencies take a cut of the influencer fees, rates will be higher.
ZINE influencer profiles incorporate what they charge, giving you a rough indication of whether you can afford to include them in your campaign. Once you start negotiating and agreeing to work with specific influencers, your spend is automatically updated, and shown next to your budget.
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I'm Marketing Director at ZINE where I am helping peers and customers who want to revolutionise their influencer marketing strategy. I love food, fitness and Min Pins.