Instagram Influencer Pricing: Your 2020 Go-To-Guide
**Originally published January 23rd, 2019. Updated January 6th, 2020**
Without a doubt, Instagram is one of the largest contributors to the surge in both influencer marketing as a whole, and the overall influencer marketing spend we see on social media. Brands are executing Instagram partnerships more than ever before. In 2017, it was declared that Instagram influencer marketing had already become a $1 billion industry. Sources predict that this number will likely double here in 2019. There is no further denying that social media marketing is a massive industry that is experiencing rapid growth. And it’s here to stay, particularly in the space of influencer marketing.
So with all this revenue being generated, the question on the minds of many marketers is, “Where should I spend on social, and how much should I be paying?” Influencer marketing is somewhat notorious for not having a standard rate card. Only through experience, execution of a volume of campaigns, and deep-seated, genuine relationships with influencers can you then start to accurately estimate the cost for an Instagram campaign. Experts would argue it’s both an art and a science.
With all these factors to consider in beginning the process of pricing an influencer, you may now be asking yourself, “So where do I start?” Fear not. Here’s your 2019 go-to-guide for pricing influencers on Instagram.
The archetypes of influencers: Micro, Power Middle, & Macro Influencers
When selecting what influencers you want to work with, you need to understand the different types of influencers, and what makes them different. Influencers are usually placed into three categories based on their audience size: micro, power middle, and macro.
These influencers have a smaller, but intensely dedicated follower count of 10,000 people or less. Micro-influencers offer the most authority in a specific and narrow audience niche. Micro-influencers are a prime commodity because they are both more affordable than larger-scale influencers, and also have higher levels of engagement.
These influencers typically have an audience size ranging from 10,000-250,000 people. Mid-tier influencers are a happy medium, where they have a substantial built-in audience and have likely already experienced working with a brand. But they also are more affordable than their ‘A-list’ counterparts.
Macro influencers are the big fish of the social media world. These are the large scale digital celebrities of Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc. Their follower and subscriber counts can number anywhere from 250,000 to millions of people.
Macro influencers carry both upside and downside. The upside? The potential reach of macro-influencers will typically dwarf that of micro and power middle influencers. The downside? Their wide reach achieved through casting a larger net typically comes with a lower engagement rate and higher costs to you as an agency.
General Instagram Pricing Estimates
According to a report by Later from February 2018, 66% of businesses at the time paid under $250 per influencer post, while 27% paid between $250 and $1,000 per post. The average rate for influencers with about 100,000 followers was $1,000. This is a ballpark figure that, although broad, can provide some insight into the general starting range of influencer pricing.
In many instances, an influencer’s level of experience can directly determine their Instagram influencer pricing. More specifically, their true tangible value as it pertains to dollars and cents. For example, one influencer told Refinery29 that she initially charged just $30 per post. But she soon realized she was undercharging for the time and effort she spent on these campaigns.
The wild west that was influencer marketing made the process of determining industry ‘going rates’ almost impossible to accurately determine. But with the substantial focus and improvement in social metrics that dictate the measurement of ROI, that process started to become more measurable.
Several factors go into pricing influencers for a campaign. And rates can vary by interest, demographic, and sometimes even representation. For example, influencers who work with or who are managed by agencies might charge rates set by those agencies. But some influencer marketing agencies, (like Viral Nation), don’t use their representation to inflate influencer pricing when brokering talent to brands. Rather, we leverage our many thousands of personal relationships with influencers to build both long term and lucrative partnerships with both influencers and brands alike.
There are many strategies to deploy in your overall ecosystem of social media marketing. But pricing influencers for your campaign can have a direct and lasting impact on your bottom line. In 2019, over 32.3 million brand-sponsored influencer posts are expected to be uploaded to Instagram, equaling a $2.38 billion market size—up from 21.7 million posts and a $1.6 billion market size in 2018.
Before beginning the first stages of pricing an influencer, start by knowing the goals of your campaign on a company-wide scale. This could be anything from brand awareness or website traffic or call-to-action results-based campaigns like increasing the number of on-site purchases. Once you’ve established your goals, you’ll then need to think about the content you’re able to create. This directly contributes to the selection of specific influencers for a campaign, both from a budgetary perspective and from a brand voice perspective.
Additional pricing factors
The following estimates are based on the additional cost of a single Instagram (static) post. For example, if an Instagram (static) post costs $2,000 — the estimates would incur the predicted percentages in addition to the initial $2,000 agreement.
|Video Post||Post Slideshow||Instagram Story||Story with Swipe Up|
|Increased prices for video are no surprise. Production time and costs can ultimately cost you an additional 40–50%, if not more depending on the scope and production value of the content.||Although it’s just one post, you’re now tasking the influencer with producing multiple images. Although bundling takes effect here, expect to pay an additional 30–40% for this feature.||Given the low-cost and time it takes to create a Story, this is a much more cost-effective way to bundle a campaign. Anticipate paying an additional 10–15%.||An influencer’s charge for this actionable feature will fluctuate depending on how they convert to sales. Prices may vary from 10–20%.|
|Story with Poll||Story Highlight||Link-in-Bio Post|
|Polls are one of the most underutilized features within branded campaigns. Influencers love this feature as it further drives engagement with their audience. There seems to be no additional cost other than the cost of a Story (see above). Add this feature to your next campaign for immediate feedback and results.||Although not often included in a campaign, the prime real estate of a highlight can often be a selling point for a brand. Expect to pay around an additional 15–25%.||In the race to drive traffic and conversion, Instagram Story with Swipe-up seems to be gaining more traction whereas Link-In-Bio is falling behind. Also, the cost of a Link-in-Bio is one of the hardest to predict. Prices can vary from 5–40% but keep in mind, this is typically only offered for 24 hours.|
Other Factors That Can Impact Cost
Post type is not the only factor that determines the cost of an influencer’s services. Keep the following elements in mind as well when determining both your marketing budget and the value of an influencer’s services.
|Usage Rights||Exclusivity||Timing||Brand Affinity|
Is the brand looking to repurpose the influencer’s content?
Standard usage rights refer to reposting and repurposing content for social media only.
Any request to further amplify, distribute, or repurpose content may incur fees that can easily be 2–4x times the influencer’s post rate.
Does the nature of your agreement allow the influencer to work with competitive brands?
If not, for what period of time? Category exclusivity beyond 1–2 weeks will hike up prices.
How much time are you allowing the influencer to complete the scope of work?
Tight deadlines may cause fees to go up.
Is the brand closely aligned with the influencer’s content? Have they partnered together in the past? Can the brand further elevate the influencer?
If the content or brand itself is lacking in authentic fit and/or connection, influencers may potentially charge more.
Celebrity Instagram Influencer Pricing
Aside from having millions of people checking out their photos and videos on Instagram every day, celebrity influencers typically have some other career endeavor that helped them achieve fame. This includes pop stars, professional athletes, actors, and reality TV stars.
Celebrities seemingly exist on a different planet than the rest of us. And, this holds true in the world of Instagram influencer rates as well. Industry-standard influencer pricing might run a few hundred or thousand dollars for a post. However, the rates for Instagram influencers who are also mainstream celebrities tend to start in the six figures, and often can rise even higher.
Celebrities who command high Instagram influencer rates include superstars like Kylie Jenner. She has 125 million followers and receives upwards of $1 million per sponsored post. Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 152 million followers, gets around $750,000 for sponsored posts. Sure, not every celebrity is bringing in six figures per Instagram post. Scott Disick, for example, has more than 21 million followers but typically earns less than $20,000 per post. At the end of the day, pricing celebrities is a much more complex process than a traditional ‘influencer only’ personality. This is partly due to the residual influencing factors that can occur in addition to their social media presence, their talent representation, and a plethora of other variables that may accompany their celebrity status.
It’s always important to remember that no two influencers are created equal. Their pay rates will vary, as well as their following, their social savvy, and the power they hold for your brand. You must evaluate each potential opportunity on its own, just as you would with traditional ad placements. Use data to drive your decisions. Also, setting clear guidelines and objectives from the get-go can help you better prioritize your budget. Influencer marketing is a hot market right now, and a bandwagon that many brands want to jump on. So if you are looking to dip your toes into these waters, make sure you use this guide as a life preserver of sorts. With it, you are ready to embark on your digital marketing excursions.
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