Influencer fees. What does an influencer get paid for?

In our work with brands, we find that influencer pricing is still a mystery to many who want to try it. The truth is that influencer rates depend not only on the number of their followers but also on specific indicators, their overall public profile, the complexity of the content they create, and even the topic they develop, which is why standardized rates are rare.

However, general principles apply in this area, especially if we know why and for what goal we are approaching an influencer. So, what should one know when putting together a campaign budget?

General influencer price ranges in the Baltics. What to expect?

Lithuania has the largest market for influencers compared to the other Baltic countries. This also reflects in the influencers’ prices. 

Influencer fees are usually calculated per unit of content created and published on the creator’s social media account. Influencer rates per piece of content range from EUR 50 to EUR 4 000 in Lithuania, from EUR 50 to EUR 1 000 in Latvia, and from EUR 50 to EUR 900 in Estonia.

At first glance, this is a huge difference. However, it is worth noting that in Lithuania, the most famous influencer has more than 400 000 followers, while in Latvia and Estonia, the most famous influencers have audiences of 120 000 and 180 000 followers. The potential audience reach of influencers in Latvia and Estonia is half that of Lithuania, which impacts influencers’ price ranges.

What will you pay an influencer for, or what makes up an influencer’s fee?

It is a mistake to think that an influencer’s fee depends only on the number of followers. The follower count is an important factor in the formula for assessing price, but far from the only one. Here is an overview of the key components that make up the influencer’s fee.

Number of followers. The size of the audience built is one of the indicators that can give at least a preliminary indication of how much the services of an influencer might cost. Influencers are divided into four categories based on the number of followers they have: mega (100 000 followers and more), macro (25-100 000 followers), micro (5-25 000 followers), and nano (1-5 000 followers). 

Based on these categories, the ranges and historical data can help determine how much of your budget you will need to allocate to an influencer in each category. Mega influencers are usually the most expensive—one unit of content can cost between €700 and €4,000. Macro influencer’s content can be purchased with an investment from €250 to €1,000, a micro influencer—€50 to €500, and a nano influencer—between a barter offer and €100.

Indicators. Indicators are more important than the size of the audience. An influencer who generates excellent performance indicators may ask for higher pay than a colleague with the same audience who will only reach 3% of the audience with their content. To ensure that the indicator argument is valid, always ask the influencer to share their social media stats before you start working with them: i.e., how many users their posts reach, how many followers view their Instagram stories, which countries their audiences are from, etc. 

We’ve talked more about the key performance indicators for influencers in this article. If you don’t have the time or the skills to do this yourself, you can outsource the task to an influencer marketing agency.

Public visibility. Today, people who are well-known in society—actors, singers, TV presenters, or sportspeople—are often called influencers as well. If you want to use a nationally renowned name that is not only known on social networks, it is worth bearing in mind that this will cost more. However, it is quite difficult to put a price on public visibility, as there is no formula for calculating positive image, reputation, availability, or relevance. Each influencer determines the price based on their own experience.

Partner services and complexity of the idea. Influencers often use outside help to create content, such as make-up artists, hair stylists, videographers, photographers, or editors, who are also paid. Renting a photography studio or other premises and the props needed to create the content can also be an additional cost. So, if you choose an influencer who creates their content with the help of other professionals, or if you ask them to implement a highly creative solution that may require the influencer to use the services of other professionals, this can increase the cost of the content.

Image use. Sometimes we still get the question: ‘If I buy an influencer’s Instagram post, why can’t I use it for the cover of my website?’ When clients buy an influencer’s post, they are generally buying a service to create and publicize content for a specific audience, but this does not include the transfer of the copyright to the client. Such terms can always be negotiated, but in many cases, the agreement will be accompanied by an additional fee depending on where you want to use the influencer’s image and for how long.

Content format. It is probably not surprising that certain content formats, depending on their specificity, longevity, and creative effort cost more. For some time now, Reels or TikTok videos have remained the most expensive unit of content on the market. Although these videos are usually quite short, they often take hours or even days to create so that the content creator can fit different locations, clothing combinations, and gasp-inducing transitions from frame to frame into 30 seconds. The cheapest but still effective content format remains Instagram stories an influencer can shoot from anywhere without much effort.

Unconventional product or service. In our practice, we’ve had to create advertising solutions for almost everything—from highly Instagrammable products like clothing, cosmetics, or beauty services to less popular items on influencer profiles like water filters, dehumidifiers, sex products, intimate hygiene products, or supplements to support sexual activity. And while these products don’t raise an eyebrow in everyday life, finding an influencer who would be willing to promote a lubricant is a challenge. When promoting ‘un-Instagrammable’ or ‘taboo’ products, it is worth bearing in mind that, although many people choose them, not everyone is willing to be vocal about their choices. Some people don’t know how to aesthetically present a dehumidifier on their profile, and some people are afraid of what their audience will think when they see a condom pack in an Instagram post, so the expectation of a higher pay can sometimes be an incentive to accept an advertising offer.

Non-competition. If you have an expectation that an influencer you have worked with once for one Instagram post will not work with competitors for at least six months afterward, set some extra budget. When working with influencers on a contract basis, agreeing on a 30-day non-compete period after the last post is common. However, exceptions can vary—in highly competitive markets such as cosmetics or fashion, the non-compete period can be shorter or non-existent, and in long-term partnerships that last for six months or a year, the non-compete clause can last for 3 to 6 months after the end of the contract. Influencers charge non-compete fees for a very simple reason—they lose revenue by no longer working with you and not being able to accept other advertising offers.

High demand. This will often be the most popular answer to your question about why the price of an influencer’s services seems too high. Although the perception is that influencers promote everything, the reality is that they receive so many offers that there are not enough days in the year to fulfill them all. This is why influencers raise their prices when they see customers’ interest, in an attempt to select future partners or even to regulate their availability. High demand can lead to a sharp increase in the prices of the most popular influencers. Then, neither the number of followers nor the performance indicators are the starting point for setting or negotiating the price.

It is possible to get a better price

Although we have listed many elements that make up the price of an influencer’s services, even the biggest influencers in the market tend to make exceptions. Here are some tips to consider when negotiating a better price with an influencer:

Long-term partnerships. Long-term collaborations are a mutually beneficial form of influencer marketing. In this type of collaboration, the influencer knows that they will be working with a particular brand for several months or even years, with stable financial benefits, and that the brand will become familiar to the audience as an organic part of the influencer-generated content. So, when negotiating a long-term collaboration, it is natural to agree on a lower-than-normal collaboration price per piece of content.

A product close to the influencer’s values. Many brands probably have a story and could easily describe how this narrative translates into their products or services. But some brands have not only a strong story but also a strong backbone of values: they help to preserve the environment, give part of their revenue to charity, mobilize communities, or otherwise contribute to society. If the brand and the products it produces are in line with the influencer’s values, the influencer will likely agree to advertise the product at a lower-than-normal price.

Partial payment in products or services. It is common to gift the influencer the advertised product, usually as a tool to create content. However, if the product or service promoted is of particularly high value, it is customary to discuss a reduction in the advertisement price with the influencer. Such barter exchanges are usually possible for electronics, home appliances, clothing, high-value beauty services, etc.

Active collaborative negotiations. Negotiation is a normal part of the collaborative process in influencer marketing. However, as in any partnership, negotiations with an influencer should be guided by clear arguments and a mutual understanding that quality and thoughtful content must be compensated fairly. On the other hand, the content creator should also consider its actual performance and the value it creates for the brand, the long-term relationship, the current market situation, and other factors influencing the price. 

Overall, attention should also be paid to how we communicate with influencers. Respectful and kind communication seems to be a no-brainer for any partnership, but this aspect is often forgotten when it comes to influencer marketing. A collaborative approach, respect for the content creator, and the ability to both give and receive feedback are crucial elements in the relationship with influencers. A smooth and professional collaboration can lead to a more flexible approach to pricing in the long term, to the influencer adding additional pieces of content, or to working at a fixed price for a longer period, even as the number of followers grows.

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