How much to pay Instagram Influencers

October 7, 2018

Wondering how much to pay an Instagram influencer? We’ve put together five steps to assess what they are really worth to your business and what impacts how much you will pay.

Ahhhhhh Instagram Influencers – those beautiful, smart and most importantly influential people on Instagram we all seem to want to be like but somehow never will be! For small business owners Instagram influencers have been a game-changer. For a fee (or sometimes free product or in some cases both fee and product) we can now get these influential good-sorts to wear, use and promote our products and services and the pay off can be great, phenomenal even…. except when it isn’t.

Instagram Influencers come in all shapes and following sizes and some have very professional ways of conducting business, while others can leave you burnt and disgruntled. Its important to protect yourself and your investment and treat Instagram Influencers as you would any adverting channel. This means weighing up the investment versus the return for your business and most importantly protecting yourself when it comes to how much you pay them. Below we’ll discuss how to determine how much to pay an Instagram Influencer so you get the best return on your advertising spend.

Many influencers will have their own rate and this will help you determine whether or not you can or are willing to use them. However if they leave it up to you to set the fee or negotiate or you want to determine whether their fee is worth what they are offering there are some basic metrics you will need to know.

1. Engagement Rate
Having a huge number of followers doesn’t mean an influencer’s audience are necessarily engaged with the content an influencer is posting. Instead you need to find out what their engagement rate is. A good, free calculator is a great place to start; otherwise you can calculate their engagement rate yourself using the below formula:

  1. Look at all of the influencers posts for the last 30 days and add up the total number of likes and comments on each post
  2. Divide that number by the number of posts there have been in the last 30 days
  3. Now that you have the average engagements per post, divide that by the number of followers the influencer has.
  4. Then times that number by 100, to turn the number into a percentageRESULT! This is the engagement rate of the influencer on Instagram.

Once you have the engagement rate you can start to understand whether the influencer is offering your business exposure to a highly engaged audience or not. A good engagement rate will usually be above 3.5%. However you can usually expect an Influencer to have an engagement rate of between 1-3%.

  • Less than 1% = low engagement rate
  • Between 1% and 3.5% = average/good engagement rate
  • Between 3.5% and 6% = high engagement rate
  • Above 6% = very high engagement rate

You can also use this handy calculator to estimate what they may have be paid in the past to promote another business.

2. The content that will be created

The type of content you want your Instagram influencer to create (and how many posts you want created) will also impact the fee. Stories, IGTV and video content will usually be more expensive as will slideshows with multiple images. Its important you examine an influencers Instagram channel early to assess the quality of content they produce and make sure it aligns with your brand and production values.

3. The exclusivity of the content

The usage rights of the content will also impact the price. If you are able to reuse and repurpose the content, amplify it on your own channels and even use the content for advertising purposes this will impact the cost as well.

4. Turnaround time 

If you require the content within a tight timeframe and haven’t given much notice then you may also pay more depending on the influencers availability.

5. The fit

Finally if the influencer doesn’t feel that your brand is the right fit for their audience, but you are especially keen on working together they may charge you more as well.

Never pay a fee you don’t feel comfortable paying and make sure you have a good contract in place to protect yourself. Finally start small and don’t overdo it, micro-influencers can be more powerful then those with huge followings (but check the engagement rate first). Make sure you compare the cost with what you would achieve using other advertising channels such as Facebook and Instagram advertising, display advertising or even search advertising – these channels can often be more cost effective and give you more control!

Have you tried influencer marketing? Did you have a good experience? Share your questions and tips below!