This is How Much Instagram Influencers Really Cost

 In Later

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In the world of social media and branded partnerships, how much does influencer marketing cost?

For businesses looking to grow on social media, particularly Instagram, knowing how much budget to allocate to influencer partnerships can be difficult.

With so many varying factors to take into account– like an influencer’s follower count, engagement rate, project scope, and production costs — it’s no wonder it can be challenging to put together a fair price for a branded partnership.

To help demystify the topic, we spoke to Instagram influencers, talent managers and social agencies to find out the real influencer marketing costs and going rates for branded partnerships in 2019.

Why Brands Are Investing in Influencer Marketing Costs and Projects

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  social media strategies today.

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, it has grown from a $1.7 billion industry in 2016, and is expected to continue its upward movement this year to potentially become a $5.6 billion industry.

In fact, influencer marketing is on pace to become an $8 billion dollar industry by 2020! So if you haven’t started collaborating with influencers to market your business on Instagram, now is the time.

Plus, Instagram influencer partnerships are by far the best performing platform for brands to reach new audiences quickly, with an average 3.21% engagement rate compared to 1.5% across all social networks.

More than ever before, we’re seeing brands and businesses investing a high portion of their budgets to influencer marketing — simply because, when done right, it works!

According to influencer marketing company Linqia reports in 2019:

  • 39% of marketers surveyed with a digital marketing budget above $500,000 plan to increase their influencer marketing budget
  • 54% are planning to spend more than $250,000 annually on influencer marketing
  • And 17% are going to spend more than $1 million

So what exactly is a fair asking rate? How do you present your value to potential partners? What are important things to consider when agreeing on a collaboration?

In this post, we’ll be covering exactly how much influencers are charging and exactly what they’re charging for.

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 question that social media influencers have become indispensable for brand campaigns, especially on Instagram.

But if you were to ask an influencer how much money they charge, you may be surprised to see the scope of answers across the board:

So how do you come up with a fair price when there’s so many factors to consider?

The Current Market Challenge: Setting Fair Influencer Marketing Costs

While there is no one-size-fits all pricing, 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.

However, influencer rates can still vary quite a bit. Collectively’s latest influencer marketing report states: “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.”

Instagram influencer, Matt Crump (@mattcrump) shared his fee guide with Later, including the his rates per post:

He added, “Creative mandates, timeline, production costs and rights affect the fee. Instagram Stories are usually part of a package deal, or included to sweeten the deal for the brand.”

For Shane McCloskey, Director of Sales at influencer platform, Influence.Co, how much influencer marketing costs is a question he regularly gets asked:

Is this a fair rate?, How much should we be paying a particular influencer for their posts, Stories, YouTube videos, etc.? –the answer is fairly simple and always the same: it depends.” shared Shane.

He also adds, “In my experience of chatting with agency and brand partners, there is absolutely no standardization in how influencers charge for partnership collaborations.”

So with no fence lines in place, influencer marketing is still the wild west for many businesses and influencers alike. Some may be underpaid for influencer services, while others will have over charged for their services compared to others in their field.  

“An influencer with a million followers on Instagram may charge $100 for a post, while an influencer with ten thousand followers on Instagram also charges $100 for the exact same post on their feed,”Shane noted.

The current challenge for both influencers and brands is to be both fair and competitive in the market.

Misty Gant, Senior Vice President of IMA Agency shares “We calculate this [rates] based on the reach, impressions, engagement and industry of the influencer. This allows us to be competitive and ensure we are getting the most value for clients.”

As Misty points out, an Influencer follower count isn’t the only thing to determine cost, or a suitable partnership. But to help break down the budget, we’re taking a closer look at how macro- and micro-influencers determine their rates.

Want to learn more about how your business can benefit from Instagram influencers? Download our free Instagram Influencer Marketing Guide here:


Partnering with Big Instagram Influencers (100K+ Followers)

A partnership with a big influencer often comes with a big price tag, but the investment can really pay off!

Considering advertisers  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 influencer partnership with a niche audience doesn’t seem like a bad business idea.

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. 

Travel and lifestyle blogger, Christina Galbato (@christinagalbato) (223k followers) shared with Later that she charges a rate of $2.2K per post and $700 per story.

She also adheres to the rule of $100 per 10,000 followers to calculate her rate.

One lifestyle blogger, with 118K followers and a 2.5% engagement rate, shared her rates with Later including different package options:


Another lifestyle blogger with 170K followers and a 4.5% engagement rate disclosed similar rates listed as:

  • $1000 per Instagram Post
  • $500 per Sponsored Giveaway

Wishing to remain anonymous, the lifestyle blogger noted that: “This rate includes endorsement of service/product on Facebook, Instagram (along with a story mention), Twitter, or Pinterest.“

Similarly, a popular travel blogger and photographer with 100K 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 post among 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, with micro-influencers (those with less than 100k followers) yielding great results for businesses in 2018.

In fact, last year micro-influencers posted 84% of sponsored posts worldwide!

As engagement rates on Instagram continue to decline, more and more businesses are seeing the value in partnering with Instagram influencers who have a small (or “micro”) but highly-engaged following.

One of the biggest benefits of working with micro-influencers is that they tend to retain higher levels of engagement than top-tier influencers.

Micro-influencers also have the added benefit of reaching a smaller, targeted niche. For example, travel bloggers Taylor Loren (aka “Taylor from Later”) and Elaine Rystead of Local Wanderer (64.8k followers) have a loyal following of people who love to travel and stay cool places. That’s why it’s no surprise their picture-perfect post led to 4 bookings in only 20 minutes: 

Since the traveling duo typically charges around $500 per post, the hotel was able to make back their investment in minutes.

In a recent influencer marketing study, Neoreach concludes “the larger the influencer, the lower the ROI”.

Yep, you read that right!

It’s reported that influencers with 50K to 250K followers deliver a 30% better ROI per dollar spent than macro-influencers, and 20% better than influencers with 1+ million followers.

They also tend to come with a smaller price tag than larger influencers. After reaching out to a fashion blogger in Los Angeles with 80K followers and a 7.1% engagement rate, Later 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.”

Later also received rates from a health and nutrition blogger, with 30K followers and a 7.3% engagement rate. While she  had similar pricing, it included a wider variety of pricing 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. Collectively  reported “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.”

Many influencer with a smaller following are happy to do in-kind partnerships, especially when they are already a brand advocate.

If you’re a larger brand reaching out to a follower looking to grow, the chance to repost an influencer’s photo to your larger audience may even be an added incentive!

When asked how she calculates her influencer marketing costs, blogger and micro-influencer Nicole Sadozai (@nicolesadozai) 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.

Influencer Travel Partnerships

Much like press tours, brands are putting together Instagram influencer

This post was originally published on Later

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