Instagram influencers continue to be a hot topic in social media, and by the looks of it, you can expect to keep seeing more of these social stars flooding your feeds.
These collaborations and sponsorships have nearly replaced traditional ads and are a huge part of a social media strategies today.
So how much do Instagram influencers cost?
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. There’s a variety of factors involved that go well beyond an Instagram influencer’s number of followers.
While there isn’t a well-developed formula to calculate how much you should be paying, we’ve rounded up and few statistics and asked some industry experts how much Instagram influencers really cost:
Let’s Talk Money: Calculating the Cost of Instagram Influencers
In the earliest days of influencer marketing, rising social stars would take on brand partnerships in exchange for free product.
Those days are long gone — while there are many micro-influencers still willing to exchange free product for promotion, today’s biggest Instagram influencers are charging major bucks to create posts for brands as their accounts have become their main source of income.
There’s no questions social media influencers have become indispensable for brand campaigns, especially on Instagram.
So how do you come up with a fair price when there’s so many factors to consider?
Getting Down to the Numbers
It’s time for the specifics. On average, when asked how much businesses pay for sponsored Instagram posts:
- 66% report that they pay under $250 per post,
- while 27% pay between $250 and $1000.
We compared this data with what influencers themselves report charging for sponsored Instagram posts and found a strong correlation between the two.
Our latest influencer marketing report states that rates still vary widely among Instagram influencers, calling it “the wild west.”
We have realized that “the guiding principle for influencer-brand collaborations is simple: influencers and brands are in a position to mutually benefit each other. There’s more than one way brands can provide value, but cash is king.”
Many digital marketers adhere to the one cent per follower (or $100 per 10K followers) rule, but only as a starting point for their calculation.
From there, you can adjust and take other factors into consideration, such as engagement rate, client budget, campaign length, and other partnership specifics.
Partnering with Big Instagram Influencers (100K+ Followers)
According to our report, The State of Instagram Marketing in 2018, only 22% of businesses currently partner with Instagram influencers, but it could grow to over 40% in 2018.
Consider advertisers that spend upwards of $5 million (excluding production costs) for a 30-second Super Bowl commercial to reach more than 100 million viewers — who may or may not be the brand’s target audience.
A series of Instagram posts by a fashion blogger with 500,000 followers and a cult-following could sell out an entire product line within 24 hours.
One lifestyle blogger, with 118K followers and a 2.5% engagement rate, sent me her rates including different package options:
Another lifestyle blogger with 170K followers and a 4.5% engagement ratesent over similar rates listed as:
- $1000 per Instagram Post
- $500 per Sponsored Giveaway
She notes, “This rate includes endorsement of service/product on Facebook, Instagram (along with a story mention), Twitter, or Pinterest.“
One travel blogger and photographer with 108K followers and a 9.2% engagement rate listed their content creation at a similar rate, priced at:
- $1000 per Instagram Post
- $1200 per Instagram Post + Blog Post
- $200 per Instagram Story
- $2000-$5000 for a 60-Second Product Video
A rate of $1000 seemed to be the average price per single Instagram postamong larger influencers with ~100k followers, offering varying rates for additional services depending on the business’s needs.
Partnering With Micro-Influencers (10K – 100K Followers)
Influencer marketing is poised to become a key strategy for promoting your business and products on Instagram. In particular, we expect to see major growth in 2018 with micro-influencer marketing, which has shown to yield great results for businesses.
After reaching out to one fashion-blogger in Los Angeles with 80K followers and a 7.1% engagement rate, I received her media kit listing her pricing as:
- Single Instagram Post: 1 for $300, or 2 for $500
- Post across all platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Blog): $400
- Per look, or two looks for $600
She also notes, “Rates vary based on services. Services offered include modeling, blogging, LOOKBOOK art direction and social media consultation.”
I also received rates from a health and nutrition blogger, with 30K followers and a 7.3% engagement rate. She had similar pricing, but included a wide variety of options in her media kit:
- Dedicated Instagram Post: $325
- IG Giveaway: $350
- Brand IG Takeover (min 2 photos + Stories): $250 per day
- IG Caption Mention (No visible product): $75
- Series of 5 IG Stories: $85
- Series of 3 Dedicated Posts: $825
- Series of 5 Dedicated Posts: $1400
If you’re a small business, working with micro-influencers could be an effective and affordable way to grow your business in 2018. You can learn more about if micro-influencer marketing is right for you here!
In-Kind Influencer Partnerships
While cash is the most desired form of payment, in-kind campaigns can still be a meaningful exchange. Our analytics show that “54% of influencers say they would be more likely to post in-kind, or in exchange for free product, if they’re a true fan of the product or brand.”
When asked how she calculates her influencer marketing costs, blogger and micro-influencer Nicole Sadozai (@thecultofshe) answered, “The best advice I received was at the Create & Cultivate event in Atlanta in 2016. My mentor for the day blogger @nany spoke about how important it is to know your worth and how valuable your time is. Regardless of how large or small your following is if a brand is asking you to create content for them you really need to consider if this is something you are willing to do for free.”
Marketers have become familiar with paying teams of photographers, creative directors, and producers to build out their digital campaigns in the past, and should look at influencer marketing in the same light.
It’s important to remember you’re not only paying Instagram influencers for their following or engagement rate but often times for their ideas and content creation. Today’s influencers have become pros at concepting, shooting, and executing mini-campaigns for brands and should be compensated accordingly.
Nailing Down the Details
When discussing costs and campaign specifics, Nicole advises Instagram influencers, “Get your media kit ready and start planning for the long term instead of right now. I started my blog by viewing it as a business from the beginning and it paid off in a big way. Hobbies are fun but a business will pay the bills!”
Nicole comments, “I almost always present my rates to potential partners via my media kit. It’s always the most straightforward approach when it comes to brand partnerships. This way, we both know what we are getting as well the services I offer and the type of content I like to create.”
Media kits and contracts are an important part of scoping out your campaign expectations and requirements and should be included in all influencer marketing agreements, like any other business partnership.
Again, there is no “one size fits all” rate when it comes to influencer marketing costs, however, setting clear guidelines and objectives from the get-go can help you better prioritize your budget.
Setting Clear Goals For Your Partnership with Instagram Influencers
With so many varying rates, content offerings and different types of Instagram influencers, how do you know which type of partnership is right for you?
Melani Rose, influencer marketing specialist and agency liaison at Socialista Management says, “Businesses looking to get into the influencer space should make sure to do their research and choose influencers who align well with their brand. Although the ROI in influencer marketing isn’t instant, having familiar faces back your product or brand helps establish trust among potential customers, which is invaluable in the long run.”
According to our report, 79% of businesses rank engagement as the most important factor when evaluating who is an ideal influencer, followed by quality of followers (70%) and industry or niche (67%).
It’s important to spend more time thinking about your strategy and campaign goals than the dollar amount associated with your campaign.
Setting up crystal clear Instagram marketing goals will drive initial planning decisions on whether to execute campaigns based on short-term partnerships (for example, three Instagram posts about a new product release) or longer-term contracts that specify ongoing deliverables over an extended period of time.
Without first determining exactly what you will gain from your Instagram influencer partnership, you can’t appropriately value the influencer’s effort or set your budget. Once your company has a clear set of objectives in mind, it will become much easier to determine whether an Instagram influencer’s fees are aligned with the value they offer and the outcome you’re looking for.
Melani Rose also notes, “Using influencers to generate brand awareness can be beneficial for almost any business, as long as the goals of the partnership are established early on. What are you trying to achieve when collaborating with an influencer? Are you looking to build brand awareness, gain social followers, or are you looking for direct sales?”
Think about what you’re looking for in the Instagram influencer’s audience to do as a result of your partnership. Are you looking to gain followers? To increase sales? Build brand awareness?
These are all great things to consider when determining the value of a potential Instagram influencer marketing partnership.
Calculating the ROI of Instagram Influencers
Influencer marketing gives brands a unique opportunity to reach a niche and engaged audience.
Although it may initially seem like a risk to invest large amounts of money into influencer marketing, it’s important to consider exactly what you are paying for and, most importantly, measure the results.
Brian Douglas, head of business development at Socialista Management says, “The marketing leaders we work with are under immense pressure to prove to their executive teams not only the typical engagement metrics you’d expect in any campaign (impressions, engagements, etc.) but business metrics (sales lifts, purchases, etc.).”
Some of the most common performance metrics you can use for measuring the impact of your influencer marketing are:
- Engagement rate: likes, comments, shares
- Brand sentiment: how people are talking about your brand
- Traffic: customers visiting your website
- Sales: conversions and revenues generated
Brian also notes, “We urge the brand leaders we partner with to put conversion tracking systems in place to attribute all the deeper, meaningful metrics we can show (beyond eyeballs and engagement) while looking at campaigns holistically — after all, for an audience to take action, you need an audience! As with everything, use campaign performance data to see which influencers drove the best results (and why), and use this data to inform how you construct future campaigns.”
There’s no doubt Instagram influencers will continue to dominate in 2018! Have any other tips or tricks for calculating your influencer marketing costs? Let us know in the comments!