The Real Cost of Influencer Marketing

Aug 30, 2022


The Real Cost of Influencer Marketing

There is a common misconception that running influencer marketing ads has to burn a whole in your back pocket. Well, we’re here to reassure you that this is absolutely not true.

It is no surprise that social media influencers have become indispensable for brand campaigns, especially with influencer marketing ads popping up everywhere we look nowadays. However, with a wide variety of influencers out there, brands of all sizes will have guaranteed access to a suited influencer without breaking the bank. 

Let’s talk money

Though a subject often shied away from, exploring the real cost of running influencer marketing ads is imperative to avoiding scams and partnering with the right influencers. 

In the early days of influencer marketing, influencers would often take free products in exchange for promotion. Fast forward a decade or so and social media has become a main source of income for many people, meaning brands are often charged a fee in exchange for advertising with influencers. While some digital marketers tend to follow the “one cent per follower” rule as a starting point for their calculation, unfortunately, there is no “standard fee”; as proven here by


LaterBlog who asked Instagram influencers, talent managers and social agencies how much they would charge per influencer marketing ad:

As you can see, it’s a pretty mixed bag. So how exactly do we calculate how much money to offer an influencer in exchange for promotion? 

A good first step to figuring this out, is to first understand what varying factors could affect the amount of money an influencer may charge.

The type of influencer

By type, we mean the size of the influencer – ie, nano, micro, mega etc. As briefly touched upon, a common starting-out -point for most brands looking to utilise social media influencer advertising is to follow the one cent per follower rule due to the unpredictability of the influencer marketing landscape. 

Obviously, mega influencers can reach masses of people at once; charging a considerable fee that reflects this. However, micro influencers can produce equally as much, if not more, engagement despite their smaller followings and their lower average cost. In fact, it is reported that influencers with 50k-250k followers deliver a 30% better ROI per dollar spent than macro influencers, and 20% better than influencers with 1+ million followers. Head over to our website for more info on the benefits of micro influencer collaborations.

Engagement rate

When running influencer marketing ads, unfortunately, size does not always automatically equate to success. Above everything, your influencer’s engagement rate will determine this. 

An influencer’s rate will fluctuate depending on their engagement and they know exactly how to use this to their advantage. This is a full time job for a lot of creators and pricing their services based on this is a very common practice.

A typical influencer service list will look something like this:

Engagement-rateWhile these numbers may seem high, do consider the fact that the average 30-second national ad costs $342k and one-page magazine ads cost approximately $250k – and these may or may not even reach the brand’s target audience! However, a series of influencer marketing ads by a blogger with 500,000k followers can sell out an entire product line in less than 24 hours. It’s all about perspective.

The social media channel

The cost of influencer ads varies depending on the platform they are put on. A survey conducted in 2019 concluded that out of 653 respondents, 79% of them tap into Instagram for influencer marketing. This allows creators on the platform to increase their service rates as they know they will attract a larger audience here. 

Despite Instagram being most people’s go-to for influencer marketing, YouTube actually takes the top spot as the most expensive platform to run influencer marketing ads on. So, when it comes to running your campaign, think twice about where you want to invest your money. 

Content type

If the content you are asking your influencer to create for you requires a lot of their time, effort and resources, then expect the price to reflect this. Something else to consider is how many times over you are asking them to produce this content or if it’s a one-off. 

Top Tip: Consider providing them with the necessary resources to lower costs.


Influencers make their money by creating influencer marketing ads for multiple brands. It is possible that you may choose an influencer that your competitor wants to use too. In this instance you might ask the influencer to sign an exclusivity agreement alongside their contract which will prohibit them from promoting a competitor for a certain amount of time. If so, you better be prepared to pay for it, as you will be asking them to potentially give up their other sources of income.

Average earnings per influencer marketing ad (based on platform and influencer type)

As we have established, there are many varying factors that can affect the cost of running influencer marketing ads, but let’s take a closer look at what creators are earning. 


Micro influencers – $100 – $500 per post

Mega influencers – $10,000+ per post


Micro influencers – $200 – $1000 per post

Mega influencers – $20,000+ per post


Micro influencers – $25 – $125 per post

Mega influencers – $2,500 per post


Micro influencers – $20 – $100 per post

Mega influencers – $2000+ per post


Micro influencers – $250 – $1250 per post

Mega influencers – $25,000 per post

To conclude…

Social media platforms are host to a variety of influencers of all sizes and niche’s, meaning there is an influencer out there for everyone; no matter the budget. 

If you are lucky enough to find exactly who you are looking for, remember to respect what your influencer is charging and that the cost of influencer marketing ads vary depending on your industry, content needs, social media platform, reach and engagement; just to name a few factors.


How much do influencers make per advertisement?

Nano (1k-10k) – $10-$100 per post

Micro (10k-100k) – $100 – $500 per post

Mid (100k-500k) – $500 – $5k per post

Macro (500k-1 million) – $5k – $10k per post

Mega (1m+) – $10k+

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our Influencer Marketing & Social Media blog.

@ Socially Powerful



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James Hacking


Socially Powerful, founded in 2017, stood as pioneers of the influencer marketing industry. Today we are a global social marketing agency and technology company.

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