The crazy amount some top-tier influencers earn has been splashed in the headlines, yet, brands, content creators and agencies are still in the dark when it comes to working out how much to charge and pay for a campaign. Influencer rates are hard to navigate, especially as each influencer and campaign is so different.
According to the latest piece of research by Klear, which surveyed more than 2,500 international influencers, influencers can earn on average between $41 to $3,138 for sponsored Instagram posts, $31 to $2,400 for sponsored Facebook posts, and $315 to $3,857 for sponsored YouTube videos. The lower end of the spectrum represents the nano influencers, which according to Klear have between 500 and 5,000 followers. Meanwhile, the higher figures represent the averages for celebrities with more than 500k followers.
Women make up the influencer community
The report found that the influencer community is dominated by women, who make up 77% of the total number of influencers across all industries. Across all social channels, women charge an average of $351 while men charge $459. However, when it comes to specific platforms, YouTube has the highest pay gap between male and female influencers (6% greater than Instagram). YouTube is also the most expensive platform for influencer marketing.
It is important to consider the amount of time and effort that goes into creating content, which can vary from platform to platform. For example, a YouTube video could take more time to create than perhaps a couple of Instagram posts do.
“What we are seeing here is not an isolated issue relating to influencer marketing. Gender pay gaps exist across almost every industry. In the US, women earn 77 cents to every dollar a man earns. However, pricing in the influencer world is highly dependent on negotiations, and many studies have indicated that as a practice, negotiation favors men, which could be one reason for the pay gap,” said Guy Avigdor, COO and co-founder of Klear.
When it comes to the gender pay gap by industry, the only category where women influencers earn more than men is in travel, which has the highest male representation but women earn $615 per post on average compared to the $570 per post earned by male travel influencers. However, female influencers make up for 88% of the lifestyle industry yet men earn on average, $200 more per post.
Closing the gender pay gap
Just like any industry, closing the gender pay gap could be a challenge but can we improve it? “Clear pricing standards is a great way to close the pricing gap. Now when brands and influencers go into the negotiation process they have a benchmark to start with. But, it’s also important that brands maintain consistency with pricing.”
Brands are increasingly looking to micro-influencers for their campaigns as they begin to see the value in their niche audiences who are more engaged than those top tier influencers.
“In a recent study we’ve observed a growing demand for micro-influencers, they made up 84% of sponsored ads on instagram in 2018. Though they are still relatively affordable influencers to partner with, it’s safe to assume their rates will go up over time.”
Whilst some influencers may find measuring their worth difficult due to lack of data and understanding, a key metric that was used to determine their value used to be follower count but that is changing. There are a whole host of factors that influence a content creator’s value to a brand. However, the difficulty lies in the fact that an influencer can vary in value from brand to brand.
“Traditionally an influencer’s worth would be determined by the follower-count. In a recent study we identified that there is really no correlation between follower count and post views. Essentially, it doesn’t matter if an influencer has 10K followers if none of which are engaging with their content, due to the issue of fake followers or automated bots. For this reason, brands should work with an influencer software in order to vet influencers who are leading conversation in a specific topic, and to analyse their audience demographics and predict engagement capabilities.”
As more brands look for long-term influencer relationships as opposed to one-off sponsored posts, the pricing becomes harder to navigate as commitments are different.
As with any new industry that grows at such pace, the space will become more standardised as it starts to mature and everyone shares their knowledge and experiences to better understand the industry.