As long as we’ve had advertising and marketing, brands have capitalised on famous faces to sell their products. If we see those to whom we aspire using certain products and services, then we want to use them too – so we can feel a degree of identification with them.
With the advent of social media, we’ve seen the emergence of a new kind of celebrity: the influencer. Not celebrities in the usual sense, in that their fame is inextricably tied up with the media through which they broadcast, rather than any specific discipline (not even socialite).
Nonetheless, the content they post is aspirational. Like the celebrities of old, their fans want to be like them, using the same products as they do. Hence, the name ‘influencer’. Influencers offer some advantages over the celebrities of old. They are more accessible (and affordable). They often have close relationships with their fans. And they are often particularly influential in niches closely associated with specific product categories.
Influencer marketing has become a key marketing channel in the 21st century. For many brands, this has become a de rigueur element of the mix.
Read on to see our set of stats on how much influencer marketing costs on different social media platforms. We start with a section looking at how much budget marketers have put aside for this form of marketing, to give an impression of how much money is moving around here. We also look at which are the best influencer marketing channels, in their opinions.
Before we get stuck in, it seems to fair to point out that there is considerable variance in the costs reported. We have collated what’s out there, but the only thing that seems fixed is that a significant number of variables come into play.
Which audience marketers are trying to reach, the type/quantity of media, levels of engagement, and many more factors must be in consideration when establishing influencer marketing pricing. At the end of the day, it seems fair to say that price points can only be fairly established on a case-by-case basis. That said, we hope it will be useful to any marketers considering utilising this channel to see some benchmark figures…
Table of contents
Influencer marketing budgets/preferred influencer marketing channels
Influencer marketing is more than a trend; it is widely held to be one of the most effective marketing channels open to the contemporary marketer. A survey by Mediakix found that 48% of marketers found influencer marketing ROI better than other channels, with a further 41% saying it was comparable. 71% of respondents to same survey agreed that customer quality and traffic from influencer marketing is better than other sources.
Accordingly, they are willing to invest. The total global value of influencer marketing in 2019 is estimated at $6.5 billion by Influencer Marketing Hub, while Mediakix give us a range of $5-10 billon for 2020.
Investment is on the up. Instascreener reported a massive 83% year-on-year growth in influencer marketing investment in the US & Canada, midway through 2019, with $988 million spent in the trailing year. Mediakix found that 65% of marketers planned to increase their influencer marketing budget over 2019, with a further 33% keeping it steady.
For 42% of these companies, that meant an annual influencer marketing budget of $100,000 or more.
Influencer marketing budget: absolute
A study from Linqia found even higher investment in influencer marketing, with 17% of companies surveyed reporting that would spend over $1 million on influencer marketing in 2019 – compared with 13% the preceding year. Those in the $500,000-$750,000 and $750,000-$1 million bracket stayed relatively stable (7-8%), though we see a significant increase in those spending $250,000-$500,000.
54% of marketers in claimed they would spend over $250,000 in 2019, compared to 44% in 2018. Perhaps the most interesting shift is right at the bottom, where we see that the 10% who claimed they would be spending nothing on influencer marketing in 2018 has now declined to 0.
Influencer marketing budgets, 2018 vs 2019
Collectively seemingly take us even further up the food chain, with 5% of their 750 survey respondents reporting influencer marketing budgets of over $2 million in 2019, while 18% are over the $1 million mark.
50% of companies operating in the $251,000-$1 million+ bracket according to this analysis.
To give it a little bit of context in terms of company size, 54% are spending less than 10% of their annual marketing budget, suggesting these are businesses with a bit more commercial muscle, with a just under a third spending 10-25%.
Influencer marketing budget, total and percentage of total budget
77% of these businesses upped their spend compared to the previous year, with only 9% reporting a decrease in investment.
Mediakix also put their figures into context; 17% of companies reported they would be spending over 50% of their marketing budget on influencer marketing – with 6% spending pretty much the entirety.
For most respondents, however, influencer marketing still accounts for a relatively small proportion of their marketing budgets. This perhaps stands as a reflection of the relatively low cost of influencer marketing compared with some more well-established forms of marketing. It also reflects the relatively nascence of influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing budget: percentage of total marketing budget
The spread reported over these three analyses suggests that influencer marketing is utilised by a considerable variety of different organisations, in size terms if nothing else.
Instagram is very much the queen of influencer marketing platforms, with 89% of marketers stating that they believed it was an effective platform for influencer marketing. This is followed by YouTube, at 70%. These two are streets ahead when it comes to influencer marketing.
No other influencer marketing platform enjoys the same sort of major consensus as these two colossi of the art. Facebook is not too far behind on 45%.
Most-effective channels for influencer marketing
So, we’ve got an idea of how highly-rated influencer marketing is by marketers, an indication of the resources they are going to dedicate to it, and a ranking of the platforms they believe are the most effective.
Below, we look at some of the most popular influencer marketing platforms and the costs associated with leveraging each one.
Instagram influencer marketing pricing
Say influencer, and most people will think of Instagram. And where there’s influencers, there’s marketing. Instagram influencer marketing has become a key part of many brands’ efforts – particularly if they’re trying to target certain demographics. Indeed, the platform seems tailormade for brands wishing to interact with prospective customers, with 80% of its 1 billion users following a brand. The total value of Instagram influencer marketing was pegged at $1.7 billion by Mediakix (March 2019)
Naturally, we have seen prices rise in proportion as the platform has become ever more indispensable. And influencers have become more confident of their power to shift products for brands, as this form of marketing moves from informal arrangements to a central pillar of long-term strategy.
How much does Instagram influencer marketing cost? 2019 saw a real reconfiguration of the price point at which a brand would have to invest in influencer marketing, according to stats from Izea. The average cost of a sponsored Instagram post rose a whopping 44% over 2018 levels, from $1,143.61 to $1,642.77 to be precise. All that said, prices in 2018 were a bit lower than 2017 – for which there could be a number of potential drivers. More brands working with lower-cost influencers might well be one.
Back in 2014, by the way, the average sponsored Instagram post would have cost you $134.04. (the format of posts in not made explicit here).
Average cost of Instagram post, 2014 – 2019
Of course, this mean average doesn’t tell the whole story. It goes without saying that there are significant differences in the scale of Instagram influencer marketing – which is of course part of its appeal to brands. Accordingly, we see a great deal of variance in the cost of influencer marketing.
WebFX estimate, perhaps a little unscientifically, the formula for ascertaining influencer marketing cost is roughly to chop two zeros off the number of followers. For instance an Instagram post from an influencer with 100,000 followers would be $1,000, while one with 10,000 followers might charge $100.
The WebFX influencer marketing stats quoted here and throughout this piece seem to be in line with Digiday’s State of Influencer Marketing report, published in 2017 (paywall). Digiday have not produced (at the time of writing) a more recent version of this report.
Another source, representing influencer marketing agency HYPR, says that marketers can expect to pay $250 for influencers with fewer than 50,000 followers, then add $1,000 for every additional 100,000 followers per post.
Influencer Matt Crump (a little over 250,000 followers) shared his rough guide for pricing according to number of followers with Later. It is pitched a little higher than the aforementioned – though comes with the qualification that factors such as creative mandates, production costs, and timelines, etc. will play a part in determining the actual final cost.
Instagram influencer marketing cost by number of followers
Another unnamed influencer (100,000-250,000 followers, 2.5% engagement) shared a pricing model for different packages she offered. This also includes pricing for giveaways and takeovers, as well as photos and story mentions.
Her pricing model seems set a little below others we have seen, with economies of scale applying for more involved campaigns.
Instagram packages cost
Another influencer with slightly fewer followers (though in the same range) told Later that they would charge $1,000 per Instagram post, $200 per Story, and $2,000-$5,000 for a 60-second video.
Two travel bloggers with follower count in the 50,000-100,000 bracket (micro-influencers) charged $500 per post. These smaller bloggers often see post higher engagement, so can offer better influencer marketing ROI, posits Lately, citing Neoreach data which suggests 30% better ROI from micro-influencers, versus macro. Measuring ROI is frequently cited as the biggest challenge for marketers using influencer marketing.
Using a different influencer-marketing pricing model, a little more focused on results, brands might expect to pay somewhere in the $250 to $750 for 1,000 engagements (Digiday/WebFX).
We get a more precise measure by virtue of a 2019 survey of 2,500 influencers conducted by Klear and published in eMarketer.
On Instagram, influencer pricing adheres to the fairly simple formula of: more followers = higher cost. Prices rise fairly proportionally, until we reach the point of celebrity influencers (with over 500k followers). At this point, we see close to a fourfold leap up from power-influencers (with 30-500k).
In terms of formats, you’ll pay a premium price for a video – somewhere around 50% more than you would for a post. Stories are the cheapest, presumably due to their ephemeral nature.
Instagram influencer rates by number of followers/post type, US$
Data source: eMarketer
Of course, follower count is not the only variable which might affect the cost of Instagram influencer marketing pricing. Geography also plays a part. A 2017 survey from eMarketer found that UK marketers were willing to pay £1,203 ($1,581) for a micro-influencer (under 10,000) post on Instagram, and £60,476 ($79,528) for a celeb influencer (1 million followers up). Influencer marketing in the UK seems to be pitched at a fairly robust price point, albeit one that it seems these marketers have been willing to pay.
InfluencerDB suggests an influencer marketing pricing formula that takes into account five indicators:
|Media Value, $||Based on Instagram CPM of ~$5|
|Audience Quality, %||How active and engaged followers are|
|Target Group Accuracy, %||How relevant audience is (geography, gender, etc)|
|Brand Fit, 0.5-1.5||Brand environment/positioning of influencer, wider network|
|Content Value, $50-$1,000||Soft factor, evaluated case-by-case|
The formula based on this runs [Media Value x Audience Quality x Target Group Accuracy x Brand Fit + Content Value]. This formula is tailored to Instagram influencer marketing, though no doubt it would equally well be brought to bear on other influencer marketing platforms, with some adjustments.
Influencer Marketing Hub offers a calculator for influencers to work out what they should be charging, based on follower count and engagement. Of course, it could as well be used by markers looking to determine influencer marketing pricing.
We ran some random British celebrities through it in early December 2019 – it looks back over the last 12 posts, so results may differ at different points – to see what it said.
Tottenham and England footballer Harry Kane was first. With 9 million followers, 3 million likes, and 11,829 comments, giving him an engagement rate of 3.06%, his estimated earnings per post are set at $18,203-$30,338.
Music is another popular influencer genre, so we put award-winning musician Dua Lipa through. With her 37 million followers, 16 million likes, 61,021 likes and engagement rate of 3.59%, she could be raking in $72,885 -$121,475 per post.
Comedian and actor Lolly Adefope commands a higher engagement rate than either of our two previous examples at 5.23% – with 286 comments and 17,656 likes generated from a smaller follower base of 28,579. That would earn her $149.25-$248.75 per post.
But what if you want to go REALLY big? At the very top of the Instagram influencer food chain we find the megastars who dominated the marketing/advertising landscape before all these influencers came along.
Well…mostly. If you’re looking for the world’s most expensive influencer, you need look no further than one Kylie Jenner, who is, more or less, famous for being an influencer (albeit she made her name on television). For the honour of her having her endorse your brand you’d have to part company with $1.26 million – which a little bit lower than the WebFX formula above would deliver, though perhaps it is only reasonable that there is a cap on the price of a post at some point. This is consistent through the list.
Jenner’s sister Kim Kardashian West is also up in the top-10 most expensive Instagram influencers, though you can secure her services for a relatively bargain basement $0.91 million.
The rest of the list of premium-level influencers is comprised of musicians (led by Ariane Grande, whose endorsement you can acquire for just under a million dollars), footballers (led by Cristiano Ronaldo, also just under a million dollars; with Messi in 12th, Ronaldo can at least claim to be the GOAT when it comes to commercial ventures), and one actor/wrestler (Dwayne Johnson, fka the Rock, at $0.88 million per post).
Just over half of the top-10 earners are women, reflective of the Instagram influencer market (read more about Instagram influencer marketing in our Instagram revenue and usage statistics). The two footballers (Portuguese Ronaldo and Brazilian Neymar Jr) and Canadian Justin Bieber are the sole non-US representatives. That taken into account, there is fair amount of diversity in the list.
Top-earning Instagram influencers, US$
Data source: Influencer Marketing Hub
YouTube influencer marketing pricing
Recent years have seen the emergence of the YouTube influencer – some of whom have become some of the world’s biggest celebs in their own right. So, how much does YouTube influencer marketing cost?
You’ll have to shell out big money for influencer marketing using YouTube videos – though 2019’s $6,700 is not the high point. In 2017 you’d have to spend close to $8,000 for the pleasure. Prices dipped in 2018 to $4,085. This perhaps can be taken as a reflection of the newness of the format, in which a price point has not yet become fixed. Various factors could well play into this: influencers become better known, smaller influencers are brought into the marketing mix (much better for some brands, we might note), bigger or smaller brands invest, etc.
In comparison, shelling out on a tweet ($422) or a Facebook post ($395) is very much a discount option.
Average cost of paid post per platform, 2014- 2019
WebFX pin the approximate price of a YouTube influencer at $20 per 1,000 followers, a scale continued up to $20,000 for an influencer with 1 million. These stats are in accordance with Izea’s in so far as they identify YouTube as the most expensive influencer marketing channel – perhaps to be expected given the heightened effort of creating a video as opposed to posting a picture and some words. We might also note that a video gives us much more room to extol the virtues of a given product.
Or to take a more end product-focused view, marketers utilising YouTube influencer marketing might expect to pay $50-$100 for every 1,000 views.
A representative of influencer marketing platform HYPR quoted in the 2017 Digiday report added a little bit of complexity to the pricing model quoted above. Beyond 50,000 subscribers, we might add $2,000 per 100,000 followers (50,000 followers would be equal to $1,000 using the above scale). When we reach 1 million it’s a bit more complicated, given the level of celebrity. At this stage we might expect to see a spend of $25,000-$50,000 per influencer marketing video.
Referring back to the more precise eMarketer/Klear stats, we again see that celebrity influencer marketing commands a considerable pricing premium over mere mortal influencers. Indeed, you would have to pay nearly five times more for an influencer with over 500,000 followers as compared with one with 30,000-500,000 followers.
It does not quite follow, however, that more followers = higher marketing expense. For whatever reason, according to these YouTube influencer marketing pricing stats, it seems you will pay more for a micro-influencer than for a power-influencer. Perhaps a reasonable assumption might be that these influencers exert a higher level of influence over their fanbases. Potentially they are operating in specific niches in which they claim a level of expertise. There’s no hard evidence for it here, but potentially power-influencers might be able to drum up regular business, which means they can afford to charge less per post. The other less edifying possibility may simply be that the sample is smaller in this bracket.
At all levels, YouTube is the most expensive influencer marketing channel. Perhaps we might assume a certain expectation that YouTube videos would have slightly higher production values than the more personal/intimate format of an Instagram video. That said, pricing is relatively similar between the two video platforms at the power influencer and celebrity level. Lower down the follower count hierarchy, the YouTube influencer marketing premium is considerably more pronounced.
YouTube influencer rates by number of followers, US$
Data source: eMarketer
The 2017 UK eMarketer survey is one exception to YouTube’s position at the top of the influencer marketing pricing pyramid – though, as we mentioned above, these UK marketers seem (or at least seemed) to be willing to invest quite large sums into influencer marketing. Celeb influencer videos, at £67,242 ($88,569), are marginally cheaper than celeb influencer posts on Facebook, by this measure. On the other hand, micro-influencer posts at £1,595 ($2,100) return YouTube to its traditional position at the pinnacle of the influencer marketing pyramid.
Facebook influencer marketing pricing
As we mention above, in most cases, Facebook influencer marketing is relatively cheap compared to other platforms. This is according to Izea, who pin the price of an influencer Facebook influencer post at a relatively bargainous $395. While the cost of a Facebook influencer post costs more in 2019 than it has in previous years, the cost has not followed a steady upward curve. Indeed, like Instagram and YouTube (according to Izea’s data at least) 2018 saw a decline in the cost of influencer marketing on Facebook – again, we are free to speculate as to why.
WebFX, on the other hand, set Facebook influencer marketing rates a little higher than Izea (remember, Izea’s averages make a like-for-like comparison imprecise at best). According to this source, you might pay $25 for the services of an influencer with 1,000 followers, $250 for one with 10,000, and so on (up to $25,000 for an influencer with 1 million followers).
The Klear influencer marketing stats published on eMarketer show an interesting dynamic in terms of Facebook influencer marketing pricing (this only considers posts, not breaking down media types). At the lowest nano level, it is the cheapest; climb up to micro-influencers and it is in the mid-point – more expensive than Instagram but cheaper than YouTube (though recall at the micro-influencer level there is a considerable premium on YouTube).
It again becomes the discount option at the power level, barring Instagram Stories. Like YouTube, for some reason, influencer marketing is cheaper at the power than the micro level. Again we might speculate that it has something to do with engagement or sample size.
Then we have the celebrity level: here Facebook once again commands a premium over stablemate Instagram, though is considerably cheaper than YouTube. We might assume this is a consequence of wider reach relative to the former, but lower required investment to produce content than the latter.
Facebook influencer rates by number of followers
Data source: eMarketer
As we mentioned above, UK marketers responding to a 2017 eMarketer survey reported that highest spend they were willing to commit on influencer marketing was on Facebook celebrities, who set them back £75,174 ($99,000) a post. Clearly, they were willing to bet the house on the reach of these posts.
Micro-influencers, on the other hand, could earn £1,538 ($2,025), a price point higher than any other platform except YouTube.
Snapchat influencer marketing pricing
WebFX reckon you might pay $10 for every 1,000 views for Snapchat influencer marketing, up to $10,000 for a Snapchat influencer delivering 1 million views. Follower count isn’t public on Snapchat, so this measure is the only really way to accurately gauge the reach (or influence) of a Snapchat influencer.
Influencer Cyrene Quiamco gave Digiday a slighter higher scale in 2017.
If we consider views to be analogous with followers, then this would put Snapchat influencer marketing at a similar price point to Instagram influencer marketing. In reality follower count will be higher, thus making Snapchat the cheaper option.
Looking all the way back to 2016 – since when Snapchat has endured several peaks and troughs (though 2016 and 2019 were both good years so hopefully there’s some commonality) – Captiv8 estimated a snap from an influencer with 3-7 million followers would cost around $75,000. A snap from an influencer with 50,000-500,000 followers would be more like $1,000.
On this scale you might expect to pay $11-25 per 1,000 followers for a big Snapchat influencer, and $2-20 for a micro-influencer.
Snapchat influencer marketing, cost per follower range
In the UK in 2017, a Snapchat micro-influencer represented the form of influencer marketing on which marketers were willing to spend the least, according to eMarketer influencer marketing stats, with £1,052 ($1,386) the stated cap. A celeb snap would cost £52,702 ($69,414) – not cheap, but also the lowest cost celebrity influencer marketing rate available in this market.
Twitter influencer marketing pricing
Twitter perhaps doesn’t get the same sort of coverage as some of the other influencer platforms, but it remains one of the world’s most notable social media platforms – and where there’s social, there’s influencers.
According to the Izea stats above, the average cost of an influencer tweet is $422 (2019). Interestingly, while all other platforms saw a decline in terms of the cost of influencer marketing in 2018, the average price of an influencer tweet shot up, 6.5-fold, from $48.
Here the WebFX influencer marketing stats are in sync with those of Izea, with Twitter offering the lowest cost influencer marketing option, at $2 a tweet for a Twitter influencer with 1,000 followers up to $2,000 for a Twitter influencer with 1 million.
In the 2017 UK eMarketer survey, marketers said they would pay £1,351 ($1,779) for a micro-influencer tweet, and as much as £64,798 ($85,339) for one from a celebrity.
Before social media really became a big thing, we still had a form of influencer marketing: blogs. Back in the Dark Ages (2006), before anyone had even come up with the concept of an influencer, you could get a influencer blog post for a paltry $7.39. Like all good things this, of course, edged its way upwards.
2014 was a key year. With social media marketing now entrenched the average cost of an influencer marketing blog post jumped up more than 10-fold, from $35.72 to $407.46. Growth after this point was rapid, with prices breaking the four-figure mark in 2017, and climbing as high as $1,403 in 2018. 2019’s figure of $1,442 represents something of a levelling out – for now, at least, this is how much marketers are willing to invest in this form of influencer marketing.
We might note that, of the formats analysed by Izea, blog posts are the second-most expensive on average. The specificity, persuasive potential, and search engine friendliness of blog posts are obviously of high value when trying to influence potential buyers.
Average cost of paid blog post, 2006 – 2019
WebFX also place influencer blogging among the highest-priced forms of influencer marketing. In this estimation, you might expect to pay $60 per 1,000 unique views. As with all of these rather imprecise measures from WebFX, we might expect a good deal of variation – if the blog draws on technical expertise, for example, naturally the price point will creep upwards.
Pinterest is another popular channel for influencer marketing, though we could not find any indication of how much you might pay for Pinfluencer marketing. An API introduced in 2018 was designed to help marketers measure the impact of Pinterest influencer marketing.