Platforms, agencies, influencer fees and more: what does influencer marketing actually cost?
There’s no question that influencer marketing is popular. Relatively new among digital marketing techniques, it is now a part of many marketers’ repertoires. For those who are new to influencer marketing, a major concern can be cost. The overall cost of running an influencer campaign can seem murky – how much do you pay influencers? What about if you go through an agency? Or get a monthly subscription to a platform?
First, let’s debunk a common misconception. Many articles analyzing the cost of influencer marketing only focus on one aspect, influencer fees. While direct influencer fees are a common cost, they aren’t the only one. If you plan to use influencer marketing tools, say, a search tool like Klear you will pay for the tool’s cost as well as an influencer’s fee. If you hire an influencer marketing agency, the cost includes payment to the influencer, but also commission for the agency.
When it comes to influencer marketing, there are so many options out there to choose from and each option comes with a different price tag. Your primary choice will be between an influencer marketing platform, a full service agency, or direct hiring of the influencer.
In the simplest of terms, influencer marketing platforms are low cost tools that make brands’ lives easier. There are three main types of platforms when it comes to influencer marketing: platforms that help you find influencers, platforms that help you manage campaigns, and platforms that do both. While a small portion of platforms allow you to use their services for free, most will charge a subscription fee.
Influencer search tools
These are the tools you use to identify influencers. Discovery tools are either opt-in, meaning influencers choose to be a part of their database, or use a web crawling algorithm, meaning they explore the internet at wide to find influencers for you. From here, it is usually the brand’s responsibility to conduct outreach.
The majority of influencer search tools charge a monthly subscription fee to use. Basic options such as Heepsy will start at $29/month, while a more advanced tool like Keyhole begins at $179/month, and the cutting edge Analytica starts at $500/month.
- Heepsy (starts at $29/mo) – An affordable Instagram search tool with a focus on international influencers
- BuzzSumo (starts at $70/mo) – Search over 1 million pieces of content to find relevant influencers, and find Twitter influencers by niche
- Ninja Outreach (starts at $75/mo) – 8 million searchable social profiles and bloggers, quick & easy outreach features
- Keyhole (starts at $179/mo) – Discover influencers based on hashtags and keywords, has strong all around analytics
- Klear (starts at $250/mo) – 500 million searchable social profiles, starting at $250/mo
- HYPR (starts at ~$500/mo) – 10 million searchable social profiles, targeting small to medium businesses
- Onalytica (starts at $550/mo) – 150,000 influencers to pick from, rich influencer analytics and ability to track relationships and conversations
- NeoReach (starts at ~$4,166/mo) – 3 million searchable social profiles, much deeper data analytics, targeting large enterprise customers
Campaign management tools
These tools simplify the process of running and managing an influencer marketing campaign, and handle aspects such as outreach, communication, fee negotiation, and analytics. They can be used in tandem with influencer search tools.
Costs run the gamut from $12.75/month for Zoomph, to $8000/month for GroupHigh. While it’s tempting to simply select the cheapest option, it’s important to keep in mind that more premium options often provide much richer features. Often the starting price of a tool lacks the range of capabilities that upgraded ones have, for example discovery tool Klear’s lowest plan for $250/month only includes 50 searches.
- Zoomph (starts at $12.75/mo) – For those already running campaigns, this full service platform will identify influencers in your audience
- BuzzStream (starts at $24/mo) – Search influencer profiles by keyword & get stats on each profile, good for any size business as a discovery tool
- PitchBox (customizable subscription plans) – Automates outreach and CRM with bloggers pulled from the web, well-rounded app that excels at email management
- Upfluence (starts at ~$950/mo) – Search engine with access to over 1 million international influencers, great for list building
- Traackr (starts at ~$4,166/mo) – Huge searchable database of social profiles with deep data analytics, plus rich CRM features. Targets larger enterprise customers.
- GroupHigh (starts at ~$8,000/mo) – Data-centric platform with over 16 million influencers and bloggers, targets companies with large budgets
The last category of platforms are marketplaces, which allow brands to find and contact influencers on their own, as well as run monitored campaigns with them. Marketplaces have relationships with the influencers they feature, whereas search tools may not. Think of them as a one-stop tool, you can pick influencers for your campaign, specify guidelines, easily communicate, and watch the results unfold.
Quantifying the exact cost of marketplaces can occasionally be difficult given the varying payment methods. Some charge a monthly subscription fee while others charge a commission on top of influencers’ fees. For example, Famebit will charge a 10% fee to brands in addition to what you pay the influencer. Therefore, the amount you pay can be highly dependent on the number of campaigns and type of influencer you wish to use.
- Famebit (10% commission on top of influencer fee) – Leading YouTube marketplace (now owned by Google!)
- Dealspotr (10% commission built into influencer fee) – 2,500 opt-in creators. Lower-cost platform that focuses on conversion tracking and ROI.
- Social Bond (starts at $9.99/mo) – Marketplace with strong influencer filters and advanced audience analysis capabilities
- me (starts at $69/mo) – 16,000 content creators featured, includes features like campaign templates
- Scrunch (starts at $99/mo) – Has one of the largest influencer databases, with more than 20 million active profiles of all sizes in almost 25 topic areas
- Hivency (starts at €249/mo) – 50,000 influencers listed in wide range of niches, focuses on product reviews
If you choose to work with an influencer marketing agency, this means you can sit back. Agencies will handle your campaign from end to end, usually offering the services of a dedicated account manager to assist you. While influencer marketing tools are DIY, and agencies are hands free. Agencies often have access to influencers that platforms do not, especially popular macro-influencers.
Pricing for agencies is typically per campaign you wish to run, and requires a minimum budget. However, a few allow for pay per performance campaigns or monthly subscriptions. In general, given their highly customized services, agency costs are greater than platform costs.
- Buzzoole (minimum €500/campaign) – 265,238 influencers from 176 countries, focused on content
- Hypetap (minimum $1,000 AUD/campaign) – 1,240 invite only, heavily curated influencers, full service platform
- TapInfluence (starts at $1,999/mo) – 50,000 opt-in creators, one of the most established and full-featured influencer marketing platforms
- The Cirqle (minimum $10,000/campaign) – 10,000 opt in lifestyle influencers, full service with strong Saas platform
Agency costs are often difficult to determine because pricing information is unavailable to the casual browser. For example, TopRank, AmericanNoize, Carusele, HelloSociety, Hyper House, Ignite Agency, INF Influencer Agency, and Pulse Creative do not publicly list their rates.
If you choose to reach out to influencers directly, you will find that their rates fluctuate according to the platform and type of post you wish for them to make. Keep in mind that if you choose to use influencer identification or outreach software, you will have to pay the influencer fee as well.
Here are the rates you can generally expect to see, courtesy of Dummies.com:
- 10,000 to 50,000 monthly blog impressions: $175 to $250 per post
- 50,000 to 100,000 monthly blog impressions: $250 to $500 per post
- 100,000 to 500,000 monthly blog impressions: $500 to $1,000 per post
- 500,000+ monthly blog impressions: $1,000 to $5,000+ per post
According to Dummies.com, the following rates are what you can expect to pay, and Digiday estimates that YouTubers earn about $2,000 per additional 100,000 followers.
- 1,000 – 5,000 subscribers: $100 – $500
- 5,000 – 10,000 subscribers: $500 – $800
- 10,000 – 50,000 subscribers: $800 – $1,200
- 50,000 – 100,000 subscribers: $1,200 – $2,000
- 100,000+ subscribers: $2,000 +
It’s important to remember that the change in Facebook’s method of displaying sponsored content means that you will have to pay the influencer upfront and then also pay Facebook to “boost” your post. Bloglovin’ did a survey on a range of influencers, and here’s how much they charge per Facebook post:
- 1,000 – 5,000 page likes: $5 – $50
- 5,000 – 10,000 page likes: $50 – $80
- 10,000 – 50,000 page likes: $80 – $150
- 50,000 – 100,000 page likes: $150 – $300
- 100,000+ page likes: $300+
According to Influencer.co’s analysis of 2,885 profiles, here’s what you can expect to pay Instagram influencers per post:
- 1,000 – 10,000 followers: $90 – $140
- 10,000 – 50,000 followers: $130 – $200
- 50,000 – 100,000 followers: $200 – $400
- 100,000+ followers: $400+
Using a Webfluential tool, brands can calculate a rough estimate of what a Twitter user could possibly earn per tweet. Some of the following rate ranges could be:
- 1,000 – 5,000 followers: $5 – $30
- 5,000 – 10,000 followers: $30 – $50
- 10,000 – 50,000 followers: $50-$200
- 50,000 – 100,000 followers: $100 – $330
When it comes to Snapchat, rates are typically based on the number of views stories receive during the 24 hour time period before they disappear.According to a small sample of 35 Snapchat influencers, here’s are rough estimates of a 24-hour Snapchat campaign:
- 1,000 to 5,000 views: $500 per campaign
- 5,000 to 10,000 views: $1,000 to $3,000 per campaign
- 10,000 to 20,000 views: $3,000 to $5,000 per campaign
- 30,000 to 50,000 views: $5,000 to $10,000 per campaign
- 50,000 to 100,000 views: $10,000 to $30,000+ per campaign
So far we’ve looked at influencer fees, platform fees, and agency fees. While these costs make up the bulk of what brands pay to participate in influencer marketing, there are a few other additional costs that might not immediately spring to mind.
- Cost of free product: Instead of paying an influencer fee, brands sometimes offer free products. Free products are not always the least expensive option. For example, if your brand sells mattresses or luxury jewelry, a free product sample may well dwarf an influencer or subscription fee. If you choose this option, you will foot the cost of the goods as well as any packaging or shipping fees.
- Travel costs: You may also have to cover travel expenses for influencers. For example, brands hiring influencers to promote a new hotel will pay for travel/accommodation expenses on top of or in lieu of influencer fees.
- Event costs: Brands often attend influencer events and conferences for networking purposes, which can rack up a hefty sum. Tickets to the Influencer Marketing Show and Influencer Marketing Days cost $386 and $1,147, respectively.
This post is the fifth in a series of blogs that explore influencer marketing in great detail and from the perspective of a number of authors and influencers. As a complement to the piece, learn more about how micro-influencers can benefit your campaigns, read up on the top 5 ways to get traffic with Instagram influencers, next we reveal how you can use hidden triggers to improve your chances of working with influencers and finally explore how to bring authenticity to your influencer drives by following out-of-the-box strategies.