How Much Should You Pay Social Media Influencers?

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social media influencers

Using social media influencers is the best way to market to your target audience these days. Social influencer marketing has become popular in a short number of years. There are already different cost, age and demographic groups to choose from. The difficult part for businesses is gauging the costs of engaging social media influencers because the strategy hasn’t been around for very long and hasn’t quite settled into a pricing balance yet.

At the very least, before contacting social media influencers with a product or service promotion pitch, a business should know the three basic factors involved:  posting channels, posting frequency, and payment details. The new strategy can be challenging for traditional marketers, so it’s best to understand first how social media influencers work and how this can work for the business.

Using social media influencers is the best way to market to your target audience these days. Social influencer marketing has become popular in a short number of years. There are already different cost, age and demographic groups to choose from. The difficult part for businesses is gauging the costs of engaging social media influencers because the strategy hasn’t been around for very long and hasn’t quite settled into a pricing balance yet.

At the very least, before contacting social media influencers with a product or service promotion pitch, a business should know the three basic factors involved:  posting channels, posting frequency, and payment details. The new strategy can be challenging for traditional marketers, so it’s best to understand first how social media influencers work and how this can work for the business.

What Are Social Media Influencers?

The practice of marketing through social media influencers is fairly new, but the concept actually goes way back. Famous figures have been hired by businesses for hundreds of years to become the faces of what they sell. Josiah Wedgwood secured royal endorsements for his pottery line in the 1760s. Murad Cigarettes had silent film actor, comedian, director and screenwriter Fatty Arbuckle promote their smokes. Today, Selena Gomez endorses Coach products.

Celebrities are basically brand messengers, however, as opposed to social media influencers, who co-create content and interact with their followers. Think Michelle Phan for Lancôme and Lilly Signh for Coca-Cola. Because of how the internet has opened up opportunities for anyone to create large followings, the web has its own collection of famous faces, and unlike TV and movie starts, fans can more easily interact with them. This makes them more attractive, and allows for stronger rapport. Social media influencers are also more relatable than their celebrity counterparts, and therefore have greater ability to make a bigger impact on consumer buying decisions.

Where do you find them?

Almost any social media channel will have a bunch of social media influencers on it. Just open your app and start scrolling. At some point – sooner rather than later on the bigger channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – you will see someone you follow promoting something or other. They may be an actual celebrity, a famous blogger, or someone you went to school with who became a YouTube star.

How Much Do They Charge?

Social media influencers don’t follow set rates for posting promotional content. Although we can consider a post – whether text-based, an image, or video content – to be an ad placement, there isn’t any fixed price for taking that spot.

More or less, based on reported costs, you can expect to pay around $1,000 per 100,000 followers on Instagram, $500 per 24-hour campaign on Snapchat, and $2,000 per 100,000 followers on YouTube. This doesn’t tell you how many mentions you get on a video or how long the influencer will talk about your brand or product, or how many times they will post content in a day, week, etc. That just isn’t how social media influencers roll.

Aside from the size of their following, when quoting, social media influencers usually take into account the engagement they are able to generate per post, what kind of content you want (text versus image versus video) and how much effort will go into it, how good a fit the relationship is considering their niche audience, and whether you will cross-promote or otherwise support their efforts.

If you’re looking for an estimate before making first contact, you can use Micro-influencers vs Celebrities, an Instagram influencer marketing tool by Influencer Marketing Hub. It will give you an estimate of what you might pay for an Instagram post and what that post’s average engagement rate and estimated media value is.

Is it Worth it?

weigh worth it

It’s best to take a quote then consider it against what you estimate your reach will be with them, the value of that audience, and your projected ROI. Make sure you ask for metrics so you have good data to work with – just be polite when you do. You can also ask them for examples of what have they done for other brands and products. Then take your results and evaluate them against your current or recent marketing efforts as well as other options.

Of course, based on the factors above, not all social media influencers can deliver the same results. Some are bigger than others, and some (although smaller) will have a more suitable audience and therefore be more effective than others.

Here are the three basic types of social media influencers and how they compare to each other:

Micro influencers

Micro influencers operate within smaller, more focused niches. They therefore have great authority within their specific niches. They have smaller audiences, but more dedicated followings (under 10,000). These social media influencers tend to charge less because their reach is limited, but they boast higher levels of engagement, which makes them a popular choice.

Power middle influencers

Power middle influencers command an audience of around 10,000-250,000. They will usually have a few brand or product campaigns under their belts, and experience always counts for something.

Macro influencers

Macro influencers are digital celebrities, some with followers and subscribers numbering in the millions. Their reach is unmatched, but their audience is broader-scope and they cannot maintain as high a level of engagement as micro or power middle influencers. They also charge much higher rates, but their experience can boost the success of their campaigns.

3 levels

Free Influencer Marketing

Let’s not forget that amid all these professional social media influencers are some who will agree to do promotions at no cost to you. And we’re not just talking about organic endorsements, although that’s a good way to start looking for free opportunities.

If a certain influencer is a fan of your brand, you can usually establish a relationship more easily, getting them to regularly feature your products. Usually, this means access to their audience in exchange for a free product. Sometimes, they will call it a review, or maybe they will want to do a funny video using your product in unusual ways that don’t harm your image but that generate more interest – a win-win solution for their engagement and your reach.

When you do come across organic endorsements, you can milk them for free by sharing or reposting that content on the same and other channels.

Final Thoughts

As with everything, it’s important to remember that old adage, you get what you pay for. Don’t expect to get the same value out of a free opportunity as you would a paid one. Along the same vein, you may get better results with a macro influencer than a micro influencer. This is not always the case, but be prepared to manage your expectations. People will always do better when they have proper incentive.

And of course, you must do your research before making a deal so that you know that are getting the best value. You don’t need a huge budget to pull off a successful influencer campaign. It will actually most likely be cheaper that comparable options with better results. It basically hinges on how the above factors match up, including the influencer’s style, what channels they command, and how well that ties in with your business image.

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Julia Valdez

Julia Valdez

Julia is a professional teacher and long-time lover of the art of words on paper and the stage. She has an entrepreneurial heart and spends most of her time doing marketing and management, freelance content writing, volunteer work, and sharing lots of laughs over little crazy things.

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