“How much should I pay an influencer?” Can’t tell you how often we hear this question… and that’s ok! The reason we hear it, as often as we do, is because there isn’t a simple answer or equation to determine the answer. It’s not unlike buying a car. You’ll have to ask yourself a series of questions in order to come up with the answer. What kind of car are we talking about? A sports car? An SUV? What’s your budget? What do the cars that meet those requirements typically cost? Does one out of the lot have a benefit the others don’t?
Anyway. You get the point. Back to influencers and what to pay them. We realize it might alarm you to know how much the Kardashians make per post—and worse, it might deter you from exploring what is actually a terrific marketing strategy. Influencer marketing exists (and persists) because of its staggering ROI.
So, now, where do we go from here? Before you get to paying an influencer, or even negotiating with one, you must start with finding the right influencer and asking yourself the questions we alluded to above.
The Right Influencer
What we mean by this is, find the person (or persons) who you’d like to replicate your message. There’s a checklist for this, don’t worry:
- Category – Do they occupy the right space? Here’s the simplest example. You have a swimwear line; does the influencer you’re looking at look like a potential customer? Would you believe and trust their recommendation? Are they someone you’d like to represent your brand?
- Audience Interest – Continuing the example above, if said influencer walks the walk and talks the talk, you’ll want to make sure they’re doing so to a not only captive audience, but one who shares common interests. At REP, we actually analyze the following’s interests and break it down in categories on their profile. All you need to do is make sure it’s aligned. So, in the case of the swimwear company, if the influencer’s audience’s interests appear to be mostly Sports and Motorcycles, you know to move on to the next.
- Quality – Take a brief but careful look at their posts. Are any pixelated? Are they interesting to look at? Well-composed? Well-colored? You don’t want someone to haphazardly snap a pic and post it, thereby “honoring” their commitment to you. You want to find someone who takes pride in the process and yields good quality content.
- Quantity – You might have guessed this to be the next one: How many sponsored posts are they doing? Use your best judgement when answering this question. Ultimately, you don’t want to hire someone who’s entire profile is #sponsored post after #sponsored post. You want yours to shine, and how could it swimming in a sea of sponsored posts?
- Engagement Rate – First, here’s the formula: The sum of your Likes + Comments ÷ Your Followers X 100 …but don’t worry. You won’t have to do math with REP. Click on Analytics in each profile and you’ll see their engagement rate.
NOTE: You’ll also want to take a look at the comments and some of the accounts that are liking each post, to make sure they’re not bought/spam. Suspicious accounts typically have lopsided follower:following ratio, no avatar pics, few posts (of poor quality), etc. …And “fake” comments usually contain one word answers (“Beautiful!”) or simple emojis (like a single heart).
Now, it should go without saying that good engagement rates depend on the size of the person’s following.
Typically, the larger their following, the smaller the engagement rate—which is why nano and micro influencers result in so much success. Anything above the below averages is, obviously, great. If you’re going to work with someone whose engagement rate is below the averages, we trust it’ll be for a song (meaning not that much $$$)—but it’s probably best to stick the the averages and above, assuming the influencer ticks all the boxes stipulated above.
Average Engagement Rates based on size of following:
Having gone through all of that, we can finally talk numbers!
On REP, we encourage open communication and have built tools to help facilitate that. The Offers tool is a great one to help execute these strategies; it’s essentially a wanted ad. You’ll post about your brand or product and influencers will apply. You’ll then use the above breakdown to help navigate the negotiation.
So, assuming you’ve analyzed all 5 points—and you’re happy with the results. A common starting point for the negotiating is $2 per 1k Followers. Meaning: if someone has 150k followers, you’ll offer them $300 per post.
Attention any influencers reading this: If this seems low, we didn’t make it up. It’s the average. If you think you deserve more—make a case for it! Are your post exceptional? Is your audience highly interactive? Is your engagement rate above average? If so—ask for more! If not—you’ve got some work to do!