Influencer Marketing Done Right: Budgeting and Paying Influencers

In this series, David Wing asks influencer marketing experts for their insights on how influencer marketing should be done.

For many of us, influencer marketing has become something of a love affair. Fair enough, it’s been knocking around for some time now but the rise of influencers has brought the industry to the general populous and even invaded the c-suite.

The community that has arisen off the back of it only serves to expand the remit and open new opportunities and career change for those in marketing looking to do something more exciting than the traditional efforts.

In this series, I ask various influencer marketing industry leaders for their insights on how influencer marketing should be done. They try their best to answer many of the burning questions that have been asked and answer them from a practical standpoint.

Although more and more companies are realising the importance of influencer marketing, not everyone has the budget to pay for influencers. So, I wanted to find out what the experts offer an influencer if they don’t have the budget to pay influencers.

What do you offer an influencer if you don’t have the budget to pay?

“We have a mass product seeding product for brands. When an influencer receives a free product, they are not required to post on social media. We see about a 10% to 30% posting rate depending on the brand, products, and influencer category,” commented Elijah Whaley, China influencer marketing and CMO at PARKLU.

“I recommend having at least a $450 budget to hire an influencer as they deserve payment for their hard content creation and content distribution work. If you want an influencer to take you seriously, take them seriously,” said NG aka DearMishuDad, influencer marketing blogger, speaker, and teacher.

“I believe content should always be paid or rewarded. We don’t do gifting or PR campaigns on a general basis but I believe these can be done when there’s a previous relationship with the talent and they know we count on them for paid campaigns too,” explained Natalia Cortázar, influencer marketing manager at Procure Worldwide.

“If I don’t have the budget to pay influencers, cool experiences and the opportunity to be part of something bigger is the way to go. Most brands assume that all influencers will want to work with them but to be honest they are being approached by hundreds of brands wanting them as well. You’re selling to the influencer as much as they’re selling to you. You need to offer them something different, and so we look to offer them as many cool opportunities as we can. Trips, nights out, exclusive product launches etc. Something to excite them,” said Mark Dandy, B2C marketing specialist and co-founder at Bee Influence.

“This depends on the brand and influencer in question. It can include free products, event tickets, exclusive access to products or services, opportunities to boost their exposure etc,” commented Owain Williams, founder of Make it Mana.  

“You can pay influencers with access, exposure and the opportunity to do more together in the future. The real currency, you see, is in relationships, not monetary transactions. I’m working with influencers for a corporate client right now and not paying them a dime. These influencers are smart enough to understand that by working with a big brand, they get increased credibility and therefore other opportunities to work with other brands,” said Tom Augenthaler, influencer marketing expert and consultant.

Keep your eyes peeled for Part Four of this series to be published next week. In the meantime, delve into Part One and Part Two.


  1. Love this series and doesn’t hurt that I’m a part of it. 😉 But something that needs to be made clear is the difference between B2C and B2B practices. What passes for influencer marketing in the B2C world is often nothing more than media buys. This doesn’t happen in the B2B realm and if it does, I’m not seeing it.

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