Instagram Influencer Costs: The 6 Key Pricing Factors & How You Can Avoid Getting Ripped Off


Cristiano Ronaldo is known for his million dollar twinkle toes, but in 2016 alone he generated $500 million in value for Nike.

His fancy feet dragged the mega-sports brand back from a brutal year of sales and took it to new heights, but he’s not the first influencer of this kind to save a brand’s ass from going bust.

Here he is kissing a shoe.

What more could consumers want?

Well, aside from the death and destruction of all polished ads and a surge in more authentic advertising, not much, actually.

Influencer marketing of this kind—where a brand reaches potential buyers through the starry heights of someone’s incredibly targeted or fruitful following—isn’t a new thing, but it’s quickly taking over from traditional digital ads.

Not surprising, really, when you consider that 26% of desktop users implement ad blockers. So, with over a quarter of consumers suddenly becoming untouchable, brands are having to get creative with how they get their products out there.

Cue Instagram influencers.

Cue brands paying hundreds, thousands, and even millions of dollars to reach targeted, well-engaged audiences on one of the web’s most popular platforms.

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Want to get on this super-shiny bandwagon? Wondering how much Instagram influencers cost in 2018?

Instagram influencer pricing is often pretty opaque, but don’t worry.

We’ve got your back.

The world of Instagram influencers isn’t limited to million dollar stars like Ronaldo. In fact, there are so many other factors that go into choosing someone to promote your brand, all of which affect the price you will pay.

Let’s dig in.

 

Have You Got a Vision?

Vision is everything when it comes to choosing the right influencer to promote your products (a throwback to that awkward time Scott Disick half-assed the one job he had).

This means having an end goal in mind, whether it’s building your brand, getting more eyes on the prize (a.k.a. your new release), or winning an award in your industry that your competitors keep beating you to the finish line for.

For most businesses, there are two major goals they have in mind when they tap into Instagram influencers:

  1. Engagement (according to research, 79% of businesses rank engagement as the most important factor)
  2. Content creation (producing consistent, engaging content is one of the top struggles marketers face in 2018)

So what’s your Big Exciting Vision for your Instagram Influencer Campaign?

Once you’ve got that down, you can start weeding out the influencers that’ll be a huge hit with your brand and the ones that will… well, need we mention the Scott Disick incident again?!

For example, if your Big Exciting Vision is to generate serious brand awareness, you’ll want to dig into the reach and impressions an influencer can give you. But, more than that, you’ll want to find someone whose aesthetic matches your brand – and again, this can affect cost.

Often, you’ll find that influencers who have a unique, stand-out aesthetic or are very, very talented at photography, videography, or design demand well above what you’d expect based on their followers or engagement levels.

Alternatively, you might set your Big Exciting Vision for more sales, please! In which case, you can try a referral program where influencers earn a commission on sales.

Basically, your vision drives the kind of influencer you need, and the talents and statistics of that particular influencer drive pricing.

Let’s break down these six factors a bit. 


 

The Six Factors that Determine How Much an Instagram Influencer Costs

Instagram is such a versatile platform, which brings with it a whole host of different factors that play into how much an influencer costs.

Aside from what you want to achieve with your influencer campaigns (which we’ll touch more on in a mo), the pricing is often dependent on some common factors:

[Pricing Factor 1] Number of Followers

It’s a no-brainer: The more followers an Instagram user has, the more reach they have.

Makes sense, right?

As a result, you’d be willing to pay more to get your product on the feed of a user with 10,000 followers than one with 100.

But here’s the catch:

The new Instagram algorithm has made it more and more difficult for accounts of all sizes to get the views they once did, but it seems to be more prominent for bigger accounts.

Because of this, a post from a micro-influencer (or someone with between 1,000-10,000 followers) is more likely to be seen by a larger percentage of their following.

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If you’re any good at maths (props if you are), you’ll know that this means you can potentially reach more people through 20 posts with smaller influencers than by investing in one mega post with a large influencer.

 

[Pricing Factor 2] Average Engagement Rate

Businesses crave engagement.

It’s human nature to want people to be talking about us and, with the slew of brands across social trying everything they can to get a response out of their people, it’s easy to see that everyone wants to be the center of attention.

But how does that translate to Instagram influencers?

Well, for starters, Instagram is the best channel for social action with an average 3.21% engagement rate compared to 1.5% across other networks.

And once you get down to the finer details (a.k.a. the engagement rate you want to see from an influencer), you should be looking for a solid 2-3%. If you can find someone with a 4-6% engagement rate, sign them up right away.

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To calculate engagement rate, simply add together the likes and comments on the influencer’s Instagram posts, divide it by the number of followers, and divide that by the number of posts. This’ll give you a per post average engagement percentage.

 

[Pricing Factor 3] Type of Posts

Instagram is no longer the “pretty picture platform”.

These days, you can share life stories, videos, and other forms of creative content too, some of which will cost more than others to create.

The kind of content you want your Insta-influencer to put out there will depend on your Big Exciting Vision, as well as the overall aim of the campaign.

When you bear in mind that photos on Instagram generate 36% more likes than videos, it’s worth thinking about what you want to present to followers (and how you’re going to present it).

 

[Pricing Factor 4] Quantity of Posts

70% of Instagram posts don’t get seen.

We’ll let that sink in for a moment…

Back? Good.

This means that, instead of pushing out one epic post, sitting back, and hoping for the best, you might want to consider an ongoing relationship with an influencer who will regularly populate their feed with your product.

The more posts you’re asking for, the more likely it is that you’ll get a discount for bulk-buying from influencers.

 

[Pricing Factor 5] Industry and Niche

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Some industries were made for Instagram (we’re looking at you, fashion and beauty world). This means there will be a whole load more influencers circulating in that niche, so it might make it easier to cut a deal.

On the flipside, in industries with only a few big players on Instagram, you might find you have to pay out more to access their more exclusive audiences.

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Here’s a sneak peek at the average rate for a sponsored Instagram post in each of these industries.

 

[Pricing Factor 6] Quality of Photos

At its core, Instagram is a photo-sharing social network.

Visuals are everything here, and the better a user’s feed looks, the more engagement they’re likely to get. So, be sure to check out the kind of stuff influencers in your niche are putting out – crappy, blurred images might not make the cut, whereas well-polished, eye-catching images will demand a higher pay packet.

 

When it comes to Instagram Influencer Prices, there’s always room for bargaining…

With so many different ingredients that go into the perfect influencer recipe, there’s plenty of room to bargain.

Found an influencer that has great engagement but fewer followers than you’d like?

What about someone who has amazing images but little engagement?

Bargain, bargain, bargain.

Or do as some brands do and simply offer your product for free in exchange for a post (obviously if you’re targeting mega-influencers with huge followings, you’re going to need a high-value product).

This is actually a pretty common way to pay for influencer attention, especially if you want to spread your campaign out across several smaller influencers.

 

How Much Should You Pay per Influencer?

Scared about getting ripped off by veteran influencers?

No fear. The online world has made it trickier than ever to work out what a good deal looks like.

In a 2018 State of Instagram Marketing report, the cost of getting an influencer on board fell between $250 and $10,000.

That’s a huge amount of difference. For the most part, brands were forking out between $250 and $1,000 (unless, of course, you want to hire the power of twinkle toes Ronaldo, in which case you better have a few million dollars tucked away somewhere).

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Look Out For Averages

Safety in numbers, right?

While prices vary wildly from industry to industry, you can betcha bottom dollar there are average price guides out there. Most of these focus on the number of followers an influencer has, so you might need to tweak them depending on what your Big Exciting Vision is.

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As you can see, there is a direct correlation between price and follower number.

There are also plenty of online calculators out there that, for the most part, don’t predict exactly what influencer charges, but can give you an idea of a ballpark figure.

This is the Instagram Influencer Earnings Calculator in action.

But really it comes down to each individual Instagram influencer and how well you think they’ll slot into your campaign.

It’s well worth asking around and getting quotes from 10 different influencers before deciding who is going to give you the best bang for your buck. You can then start to get an idea about what kind of price range you’re looking at.

For example, this photographer has a following of 44,000 and charges $250 per Instagram post.

Then there are influencers like 31-year-old Elma Beganovich, who went from charging £75 per post to over £15,000 for access to her 735,000 Instagram followers.

Here’s an example of one of her branded posts:

 

Instagram Influencers Aren’t Going Anywhere

67% of brands are set to increase their budget for Instagram influencer marketing over the next year, so it’s safe to say this trend will be sticking around for a while.

If you haven’t already saddled up and jumped on the bandwagon, now’s the time to giddyup – the authentic key players in your industry and their loyal followings might just be the fire your brand needs.

And now you’re in the know about the cost of said influencers, the world (of Instagram) is your oyster.

 

Have you ever ran an Instagram influencer campaign?

How much did it cost you?