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Paying Influencers: How To Get It Right In 2023

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How much should we pay influencers? It’s a question that’s been hot on the lips of marketers in recent years. As influencer marketing continues to grow as an attractive marketing avenue for brands, more and more of us are asking when it’s right to pay influencers, how much to pay them, and how to get the most out of our influencer marketing budgets. 

And quite right too. Influencer marketing spend is predicted to reach $4.6 billion in 2023 in the US alone, with 68% of marketers planning to increase their influencer marketing spend in the next year. 

As one of the newer marketing strategies on the block, influencer pricing is far from set in stone. Prices vary considerably based on the type of influencer (nano, micro, macro, etc.), the social media channel, the influencer’s engagement rates, industry, content usage rights, and more – you can rarely expect to see consistent prices from one influencer to the next. 

However, there is research out there. With findings from our recently launched Creator Survey, as well as insights from our partners in the industry, we’re here to share everything you need to know about paying influencers. 

Why Compensating Influencers Is Important

Whether part-time or full-time, influencers spend a lot of time creating, engaging, and building relationships with their followers – relationships which your brand gains a lot of advantage from in terms of brand awareness and sales. 

When it comes to specific campaigns, they also spend hours crafting up creative ideas, shooting and editing content, and building a story around your brand that they know will resonate with their audience. Don’t be fooled by the effortless looking Instagram posts or luxury holiday videos. Curating this content takes time – time that influencers deserve to be compensated for. 

On the other hand, some situations allow opportunities for your brand to compensate influencers with non-monetary incentives. 

For example, smaller brands with smaller budgets may wish to start off working with nano influencers, where there is more scope to begin the relationship with free products and work up to long-term paid partnerships over time. Even with larger influencers, brands can often begin the conversation with non-monetary incentives, such as free gifts and experiences in order to test the waters of the brand-influencer relationship and gauge initial response from the influencer’s followers. 

But, we stress that this is a short term technique used by brands in the early stages of brand-influencer relationships. Avoiding influencer payment in the long-term is unethical and can tarnish your brand’s reputation – it’s not uncommon for brands to be publicly called out if they are not compensating influencers fairly.

Our recent Creator Survey found that while 36% of influencers view free products (product seeding) as a logical first step, 50% are more in favor of revenue-generating campaigns.

How To Pay Influencers 

So, we’ve covered non-monetary incentives and the situations where they can be valuable for both influencers and brands. But what’s the script when money starts to change hands?

Truth is, there are a number of different ways brands can approach influencer payment. It can be generally split into three main areas: 

  • One-off payments: As the name suggests, this method involves rewarding influencers for each individual piece of content they share – be it an Instagram feed post, Story, Reel, TikTok, or YouTube video. One-off payments are useful for budgeting but vary hugely depending on the influencer’s follower count, engagement rates, and the platform of choice. 
  • Performance-based pricing: This technique involves rewarding influencers based on their measurable contribution to a campaign's overall goals. By delving into post-campaign data, marketers can pull precise engagement and conversion figures to guide payment. This method gives brands less ability to predict precise budgets, but a lot more control around campaign performance and ROI. 
  • Affiliate marketing: Directly related to performance-based compensation is affiliate marketing. This involves influencers taking a percentage share of the profit of each sale that they generate. This is achieved via personalized links or discount codes, which allow brands to attribute sales to specific influencers. 

All methods come with their own advantages and disadvantages. While performance-based pricing and affiliate marketing are great techniques for measuring the success of lead generation activities, you’d be doing your influencers a disservice by using these methods when brand awareness is the main goal. 

In general, one-off payments are still the most popular type of influencer payment. That’s why, in this post, we’ll be running through average one-off costs per post across all major social media platforms.

Factors To Consider 

But first, an important note on contributing factors. As we mentioned, influencer payment varies considerably depending on the influencer’s reach, demand, engagement rate, industry and the social media platform of choice. Let’s cover these factors in a bit more detail. 


Influencer reach refers to an influencer’s follower count – just how many people are they able to influence with their social media account? 

An influencer’s follower count determines the category of influencer they fall into. While specific ranges can differ, influencers are generally divided into five main categories:

  • Nano influencers: less than 10,000 followers
  • Micro influencers: 10,000-60,000 followers
  • Mid-tier influencers: 60,000 - 200,000 followers
  • Macro influencers: 200,000+ followers


Closely linked to influencer reach is influencer engagement. This references how much an influencer’s followers are engaging with their posts, through likes, comments, shares and saves. This is a key metric for brands to consider. A more engaged audience is typically more invested in the influencer’s content, and much more receptive to their brand recommendations as a result. 

NB: A higher follower count is not always conducive to a higher engagement rate. In fact, it’s quite often the opposite. Our data shows that nano-influencers achieve the highest engagement rate at nearly 4% — nearly double the engagement rate of macro-influencers. 

Make sure not to get caught up in impressive follower numbers, and take note of the creators who can actually help you convert. 


Another key factor that affects influencer pricing is industry. It’s likely that industries where influencer marketing is very popular (health and beauty, fitness, and travel) will charge less than more niche industries, where there are less creators for brands to choose from. More popular industries also give brands much more scope to hone in on very specific target audiences. 

Type of content

Type of content can also affect specific prices. Is your influencer producing a static image or video content? How much extra editing will be involved? Will they need to shoot at a location? The nature of the content, as well as any extra production costs will need to be factored into overall payment. 

Usage rights

How do you plan to use the influencer’s content once it is created? Will it be part of an isolated Instagram campaign, or repurposed across Facebook and TikTok? Perhaps you will use it on your own branded social media channels as an ongoing paid campaign. Think about how much you plan to get from the content, and ensure your influencer is compensated accordingly. 


Another factor to consider is exclusivity. In high demand industries such as fashion and fitness, it’s likely that your target influencers will have lots of interest from similar brands, including your competitors. It’s not uncommon for brands to pay extra to build in non-compete agreements into their influencer contracts, preventing influencers from partnering with direct competitors for a certain amount of time. 

Influencer demand

While influencers tend to charge a flat rate for posts, plus any additional add-ons, costs are likely to rise around peak times such as holidays and festive periods. This helps to manage greater demand from brands and often very last-minute requests. Read our advice on planning early for the holidays here. 

How Much To Pay Influencers

With those extra factors addressed, let’s dive into average prices for each type of influencer across five of the world’s biggest social media platforms: Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Meta (prev Facebook) and Pinterest.  


As the number one platform for influencer marketing, Instagram has become almost synonymous with influencer culture and brand partnerships. It’s also the largest revenue driver for influencers – 43% earn more revenue here than any other platform. 

Let’s take a look at how much brands can expect to pay Instagram influencers per post.

How much are Instagram influencers paid per post? 

According to data from Influencer Marketing Hub:


As the second largest revenue-earning channel for influencers, TikTok is growing fast as a profitable platform for both creators and brands alike. 

As a newer social media platform, specific rates are even harder to pin down, but here are the industry’s best guesses: 

How much are TikTok influencers paid per video? 

According to data from Influencer Marketing Hub:

For more information on the specific factors that affect influencer marketing payment on TikTok, explore the second chapter of our Ultimate Guide to TikTok Influencer Marketing


Next up, we have YouTube. A huge avenue for brands in the beauty, tech and lifestyle space, YouTube is a growing hub of influencer content. Here’s what influencers can expect to earn per video on the platform:

How much are YouTube influencers paid per video? 

According to data from Influencer Marketing Hub:


A platform still staking its claim in the influencer world is Meta (previously Facebook). Already a very successful platform for branded ads and content, the app’s developers are drawing on algorithms similar to that of Instagram, to introduce more recommended content to user’s feeds (including much more influencer posts). 

How much are Facebook influencers paid per post?

According to data from Influencer Marketing Hub

Making The Most Out Of Your Influencer Marketing Budget

While these ballpark figures offer a guide on how much to pay influencers, brand-influencer relationships are not all about the money. Here are some tips on how to maximize your marketing spend by giving influencer’s even more incentive to partner with your brand. 

Lead With Your Mission

Influencers prioritize partnerships with brands that align with their personal values and have a positive presence on social media. In fact, our 2023 influencer marketing report found that:

  • 74% of creators say that alignment with their personal brands is the most crucial factor when deciding to collaborate with a company, while only 4% say monetary compensation is the most important. 
  • 52% of creators want to work with brands that show up for the social issues and causes they care about. 

Approach your partnerships by leading with your brand’s mission and values in order to get them excited about why you do what you do, not just what you sell.

Commit To Sustainability 

No longer a buzzword for up-and-coming brands, sustainability has become a huge factor for influencers as they consider and approach brand partnerships. 

In our recent Creator Survey, 75% of influencers agreed they are very likely to take on projects from a brand that is committed to sustainability. 

But, this isn’t a pledge that can be taken lightly. With more and more companies being called out for greenwashing (claiming to be more sustainable than they actually are), it’s important to only voice your commitment to sustainability if you’re actually seeing it through. 

Think Long Term

The most successful influencer marketing campaigns come down to great influencer-brand relationships. Influencers should be considered extensions of your brand — true partners. 

If you’ve found an influencer who is a great fit and has expressed interest in working with you, create an attractive offer for them. This could include:

  • Contracting them for a long-term partnership of multiple posts at a discounted rate
  • Turning them into brand ambassadors and giving them incentives such as a monthly shipment of free products, first access to new launches, promo codes, affiliate links, and more
  • Offering them a high-value product along with an engagement boosting opportunity (i.e. $1K worth of product + giveaway opportunity + paid amplification/boosting of their post) 

Ultimately, while monetary compensation is very important, there are other factors that come into play. Explore all of these tips and more in our guide to making a big impact with a small budget. Or, you can check out how this small skincare brand stretched its budget through influencer product seeding. And when you're ready to get started, use Aspire’s budget calculator to figure out how much you can afford to pay influencers with your marketing budget. 

Gain access to the latest influencer pricing data and insights in our new report, How Much to Pay Influencers.

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