This is the real cost of influencer marketing (with examples and rates)
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This is the real cost of influencer marketing (with examples and rates)

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Influencer marketing is having a moment—it’s emerged as a key strategy for businesses looking to expand their reach and connect with audiences in meaningful ways.

But for businesses worldwide, understanding the costs and benefits of this expertise remains, in many ways, a mystery. With varying prices and extensive services offered, making an informed decision can be overwhelming.

With the advent of a cookieless world, it becomes increasingly difficult to track users, making it hard to know their real interests. And so it’s imperative to make sure every euro you spend on your ads is well spent so that they reach exactly the right audience.

That’s the appeal of influencer marketing—niche audiences have become incredibly valuable for marketers looking to showcase their brand and acquire new customers.

And it would be wise to invest in it—the top 13% of brands doing influencer marketing have been shown to earn $20 for every $1 spent, proving its great return on investment (ROI).

This guide aims to demystify the costs associated with influencer marketing and illustrate the value it adds, ensuring you make the best investment for your brand’s growth and visibility.

Key takeaways

  • The cost of a sponsored influencer post can be calculated depending on the objective of your campaign: awareness or conversions.
  • The most popular payment method for influencers is per post.
  • Alternative payment methods include gifting, store credits, content licensing, and performance-based fees.
  • The average price of an influencer marketing agency ranges from $10,742–$32,227.
  • A mid-tier Instagram influencer will charge $10 per 1,000 followers, so a single post can cost you anywhere between $500–$5,000. 
  • The travel and business industries are the most expensive sectors for hiring influencers, while the gaming industry is the most inexpensive one.
  • Outsourcing influencer marketing to a specialized agency could be your best strategy for optimizing spend and accessing expert guidance and a broader network.

This is how you can calculate how much an influencer charges

Below, we’ve tried to benchmark real influencer prices, but it should be noted that this is just a rule of thumb that can serve you as reference—it is by no means an exact calculation. Many influencers have their own rates that can vary greatly depending on numerous factors, which we’ll delve deeper into later.

Benchmarking influencer prices

The cost of a sponsored influencer post can be calculated depending on the objective of your campaign: awareness or conversions.

These formulas should be used only as a reference point and not as exact calculations of real influencer rates.

  • Flat fee: $100 for every 10,000 followers per post. This is better for awareness.
  • Engagement-based fee: Number of engagements by cost-per-engagement. Better for generating conversions, since this type of cost is performance-based. Hence, this fee can be calculated post-campaign.

Let’s look at an example for an influencer with 15,750 followers.

Calculating costs with a flat fee

We can establish the following relationship to calculate how much a flat fee for this influencer would be:

Using simple arithmetic, we can find X; raising awareness with this influencer would cost you $157.5 per post.

Calculating costs through conversions

Generating conversions would depend, of course, on the type of conversion you’re aiming at. Are they website clicks? Purchases? Newsletter subscriptions? You can benchmark this by looking at your customer’s lifetime value (LTV), which we talk about in the next section.

Additionally, this calculation will hinge on the engagement rate that the sponsored post has generated.

You can use the following costs per engagement to calculate on an engagement basis:

Type of influencer/PlatformInstagramTikTokYoutube
Micro influencers (10k-50k followers)$0.59$0.06$0.25
Mid-tier influencers (50k-500k followers)$1.43$2.00$0.15
Macro influencers (500k-1M followers)$1.37$1.25$0.11
Mega influencers (>1M followers)$0.95$0.48$0.11

So, if you wish to work with a Youtube influencer with 19,200 followers, you could go about multiplying the corresponding rate by the total number of engagements of the sponsored post.

If the post acquired 3,600 engagements (combination of likes, comments, plays, etc.), then:

3,600 engagements x $0.25 = $900

Building out an influencer marketing budget

When deciding to invest in influencer marketing, it’s easy to lose your way. How do you know what’s a good price? And how do you choose the ideal influencer to work with?

Normally, an agency can lift those weights off your shoulders, but for now, let’s have a step-by-step look at how you can calculate your own influencer marketing budget:

Step 1

The first thing to do is to have an estimate of two things:

  • The number of followers that you think might see the influencer’s post.
  • The number of followers that you think will convert from that same post.

Assume 1% for each of these—it’s a safe bet to make until you’ve actually worked with a specific influencer several times and know more about how many of their followers will convert.

We’ll use that final number in step 3.

Step 2

Calculate your customer’s lifetime value (LTV) and acquisition cost (CAC).

To calculate your customer’s lifetime value, use the following formula:

In which “C. Lifetime” represents the average time that the user remains your customer.

*In months or years, as per your billing cycle.

To calculate the CAC, use the following assumption: for every dollar spent on acquiring a customer, you should be making 3x that in the LTV. It’s what investors and boards of directors tend to use as a benchmark of a company successfully investing its marketing budget.


Step 3

Multiply the CAC by the number of estimated conversions from step 1. This will be your budget for influencer marketing!

Step 4

If you want to calculate the profit for those users that convert, just subtract your estimated budget from the LTV for that same number of potential customers.

Let’s look at an example, step by step.

Imagine you are the marketing manager at a restaurant, and want to work with an influencer that has 275,000 followers.

The people who will potentially see the post are:

Out of those, the people estimated to convert are:

That’s approximately 28 users that will potentially convert from the influencer’s post.

Now it’s time to calculate the LTV and CAC of your customer. For the sake of this example, let’s assume the following three things about your restaurant:

  • The average cost of a meal at your restaurant is $30;
  • You have a profit margin of 35%;
  • The average lifetime of your customer is 4 months.

Now you’re ready to calculate your influencer marketing budget:

And the profit for that investment will be:

In conclusion, working with an influencer that has around 275,000 followers will cost you approximately $392, and will yield an estimated amount of $784 in profit!

Is it just pay and go?

Not all influencers charge money – many times it goes beyond that.

There are many other things to take into account when budgeting influencer or influencer agency costs, such as what platform you’re looking to run the campaign on and what will constitute success for you.

Let’s take a deeper look at the different payment methods that impact how you will work with influencers.

Factors affecting influencer prices

Costs vary greatly per platform

You’ve got the gist of influencer rates by now… but if only it were that easy.

If you’re looking to work with influencers for your TikTok account, the amount you will pay may be substantially different from, say, using them for your Facebook account. That’s because influencer rates also vary depending on the platform that is being targeted.

In short, here are the most popular social networks, ordered from cheapest to most expensive:

  1. X
  2. TikTok
  3. Facebook
  4. Instagram
  5. Youtube

Perhaps the most surprising observation is that, for all its surge in popularity in the last few years, TikTok is still quite cheap, accessible to brands looking to boost their brand or sales with influencers.

Let’s have a deeper look:

1. X

X doesn’t claim the same amount of excitement when it comes to marketing with influencers, and that remains the same in 2023 after its rebranding. However, it is still an option for the right brand working with the right influencer.

According to WebFX data, brands typically pay $2 per tweet from an influencer with 1,000 followers or as much as $2,000 per tweet from influencers with a million followers.

2. TikTok

Surveys of TikTok influencers suggests the average price for a sponsored TikTok video is $2,700, while influencer rates by reach are estimated as follows:

  • Micro influencers (10k-50k): $25–$125 per post
  • Mid-tier influencers (50k-500k): $125–$1,200 per post
  • Macro influencers (500k-1M): $1,200–$2,500 per post
  • Mega influencers (>1M): $2,500+ per post

TikTok is home to many macro- and mega-influencers who aren’t necessarily celebrities, but nevertheless have millions of followers who watch their videos every day. These influencers are known to earn upward of $10,000 per post.

3. Facebook

Category also affects the cost of influencer marketing on Facebook. Lifestyle and food posts tend to be the most expensive.

  • The average cost of a Facebook post from a micro influencer: $25-$250
  • The average cost of a Facebook post from a mid-tier influencer: $250-$1,250
  • The average cost of a Facebook post from a mega influencer: $25,000

To learn more about how influencers charge for their work with brands, we spoke to Celia Sánchez, marketing manager at 360 marketing agency Alcalink and an influencer herself with over 120,000 followers.

Celia handles all influencer collaborations that happen at Alcalink, and as a content creator whose videos have garnered over 4 million likes on TikTok, she’s more than capable to talk us through the nitty-gritty of influencer marketing prices and processes.

“If we talk about pricing, a campaign of an average influencer that moves around 50,000 to 200,000 people, the fee for that collaboration could be between $161 and $1,074. Of course, we are talking about the most basic situation, the most common, without considering all the possible variations that may exist.”

Celia Sánchez, influencer and marketing manager at Alcalink

4. Instagram

Based on surveys of Instagram influencers, the average sponsored Instagram post costs around $1,300. Estimated rates break down as follows:

  • Micro-influencers (10k-50k): $100–$500 per post
  • Mid-tier influencers (50k-500k): $500–$5,000 per post
  • Macro-influencers (500k-1M): $5,000–$10,000 per post
  • Mega-influencers (>1M): $10,000+ per post

For Instagram Reels, estimates suggest similar pricing from $100 to more than $7,000 depending on account reach.

Rates for time-limited Stories, on the other hand, are lower. They range from $50 to more than $1,250.

5. Youtube

YouTube videos retain a viewer’s attention for an extended period, offering multiple opportunities for brand promotion. Thanks to this (and the platform’s wide audience), YouTube influencers charge higher rates than those on Instagram and TikTok.

Youtube influencer rates:

  • Micro influencers (10k-50k): $200–$5,000
  • Mid-tier influencers (50k-500k): $5,000–$10,000
  • Macro influencers (500k-1M): $10,000–$20,000
  • Mega influencers (>1M): $20,000+

Working with an influencer agency

In a marketing world that will soon live without cookies, people are looking to make the most out of working with agencies.

And it is not a thing to be ignored: many of your competitors are more likely than not working with one.

It’s not surprising to see companies looking for these specialized agencies, seeing as they can help you optimize your spend on influencer marketing, making use of their vast network and ensuring you’re working with the right ones for your niche.

Section 5 below deals specifically with influencer agencies, but for now, have a quick look at the three main ways you can pay an agency that handles your influencer marketing:

1. Flat fee model

Used in: Companies seeking full-service support, including influencer coordination, content guidelines, and performance tracking.

“Financial remuneration is the most common of influencer marketing plans, a fee that corresponds to the influencer’s profile.”

Celia Sánchez, Alcalink

2. Percentage of spend model

Used in: Larger campaigns where the budget is significant, and the agency’s involvement is extensive.

3. Retainer model

Used in: Long-term relationships where the agency continuously manages multiple campaigns or influencer partnerships.

Alternative payments: Gifts and credits work if you have a large network

If you have a large network of contacts, or if you already have experience working with influencers in your industry, then you know that the best approach to creating an effective influencer program is to take the time to analyze your partnership and choose the optimal structure for both parties.

1. Gifting

Gifting allows influencers to try out new products and review them, sometimes before their competitors, which draws audiences that want to see someone they trust try a product before they buy it. Influencers also recognize the power of gift rewards as a gateway to future work with brands.

Best for: Small to mid-level businesses in almost any sphere with lower budgets. These programs are best suited to nano- or micro-influencers.

2. Trip attendance for influencer content

Brands can offer free trips in exchange for coverage of an event in which the brand will be present. Influencers can make a brand more marketable with content.

For influencers, this has the added benefit of widening networking or access to other opportunities and partnerships. For this reason, many influencers don’t expect additional cash payments on top of comped travel or an event opportunity they’ve already been afforded.

Best for: Larger companies and organizations that have a high-value product to offer.

3. Store credits

Store credits and rebates work similarly to gifting and tend to target the same types of influencers. However, unlike gifting, where influencers must announce the ad, rebates and store credit requires no such disclosure. It’s a workaround for regulations.

And while many well-paid influencers will likely disregard the offer for store credit, some might still accept it if the product offered is of high value or addresses a personal need.

Best for: small to mid-level businesses that want to reach hyper-targeted audiences and engage customers through influencers.

“An option that is often compatible with financial remuneration are discount or affiliate codes. This seeks and generates a long-term collaboration that is maintained through commissions.

In order to avoid an isolated impact from the content produced, you give influencers the freedom to repost, share, or tell about their experience with a discount code that generates benefits directly for them.”

Celia Sánchez, Alcalink

4. Content licensing

Consumers are consuming content faster than ever. When you consider how fast content expires across platforms, it’s no wonder marketers are under pressure to constantly generate new content. When you want to build up content for your website or social channels, paying influencers a content licensing fee could be an easy win for you.

When you agree to a license fee, you will also reach an agreement about where the licensed content can be used: across your website and social media channels or in marketing literature, and how long you are able to use it—whether for a set period or in perpetuity.

Best for: Brands that know their products need to be authentically seen, worn, or used to drive engagement.

5. Performance-based payment

Under this payment model, influencer partners either post on their feed or Instagram stories as they usually would to recommend a product, and brands only pay them when a user converts or triggers a “success event.” Other events that can be tracked: purchase, subscription, booking, inquiry, download, etc.

Best for: Companies that need to secure campaign objectives.

These alternative payment models serve those businesses best that have a large network or bandwidth to find the right influencer to take on these partnerships. If that’s not your case, you’re still on the right track, as an expert agency can still guide you and help you save money on your campaign.

Examples of actual influencers and their prices

Micro influencers (10k-50k)

Gergana Pavlova — 11.8k followers

Gergana is an entrepreneur and marketing expert that specializes in creating content for various brands in the fashion, beauty, travel, and lifestyle industries.

Gergana’s influencer rates are:

  • $110 for a single IG post
  • $50 for an IG story
  • $150 for an IG post + story
  • $150 for a single reel

Reme Rubiales — 17.6k followers

Reme is a digital creator specialized in the cosmetics and fitness sectors. She is also a Hawkers ambassador.

Reme’s content creation rates:

  • $150 per post or reel + 1 story
  • $215 per post or reel + 3 stories

Mid-tier influencers (50k-500k)

Clara Ruiz — 171k followers

Clara is a digital creator sharing her dance journey with the world throughout her social accounts.

Her rates are:

  • $150 for 1 video / 3 stories
  • $300 for 2 videos, 1 static post, and 5 stories
  • $450 for 3 videos, 2 static posts, and 8 stories

Nadine Newton — 302.6k followers

Nadine is an equestrian influencer—she shares her love for horses, training them and rescuing abandoned ones.

Nadine’s rates are:

  • $1,500 per reel on Instagram (includes links)
  • $900 per reel on TikTok

Macro influencers (500k-1M)

Stephanie Anneliese Rose — 713k followers

Stephanie dedicates her Instagram profile to educate her followers on everything fitness-related, encouraging fans to release their potential through strength and mobility programs.

Her rates are:

  • $3,600 per story on Instagram

QTCinderella — 563.9k followers

QTCinderella is the creative name of Blaire, a Twitch streamer known for hosting Twitch events featuring various streamers, including the annual Streamer Awards.

Blaire’s content creation rates are:

  • $100 per post on X

Mega influencers (>1M)

Magno Scavo — 11.1 million followers

Magno is a content creator specialized in wardrobe and fashion for men. He has even launched his own clothing brand.

His rates for content creation are:

  • $7,000 per reel on TikTok

Lydia Elise Millen — 1.4 million subscribers

Lydia has been on Youtube since 2011, sharing lifestyle tips to her viewers from her idyllic English countryside home.

Lydia’s Youtube rates are:

  • $10,000 per video

How much does an influencer marketing agency cost?

Determining the right budget for influencer marketing is often one of the first hurdles for small businesses.

Data from Sortlist shows us that influencer marketing services typically cost anywhere between $10,742 and $32,227, depending on various factors including the scope of the campaign and the renown of the influencers.

influencer marketing price range

“The ROI for us as an agency could be measured in two factors. One would undoubtedly be knowledge, experience, and security. And another fundamental one is the time savings, and with it, the cost savings.

Influencer marketing is an expensive strategy to do it in any way and not make sure that the content accomplishes its goal, that it is reviewed by professionals, or that it will not harm the brand.”

Celia Sánchez, Alcalink

This investment covers the agency’s effort in strategizing, executing, and managing campaigns that are tailor-made for companies’ specific needs.

Agencies bring a wealth of experience, ensuring that you’re not only matched with the right type of influencer but also paying a fair price for the engagement. This can be particularly valuable for those who are new to the influencer space and might not yet have the know-how to negotiate contracts or identify influencer potential on their own.

What’s included when you hire an influencer marketing agency

Key takeaways

  • Hiring an influencer marketing agency is an investment in a partnership that extends your brand’s reach.
  • An experienced agency secures a positive ROI by enhancing campaign success more than in-house efforts.
  • Agencies offer knowledge and a vast network to identify the right influencers for your brand.
  • Agencies manage campaign details, including contract negotiations and content alignment.
  • They track performance and provide analytics to measure the ROI of campaigns.
  • Agencies also ensure legal compliance, protecting your brand’s reputation.

Hiring an influencer marketing agency is more about investing in a partnership than “buying” a service; it extends your brand’s reach in several ways.

Above all, it secures a positive ROI for your business; the long-term benefits of using an experienced agency can lead to greater campaign success and a more substantial ROI than attempting to run influencer campaigns in-house, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of the influencer marketing world.

Also, agencies bring a wealth of knowledge and a large network to your doorstep. One of the key challenges for any brand is identifying the right influencers, and that’s where influencer marketing agencies come in.

They have extensive databases and relationships with influencers across various sectors, so whether your brand needs a micro-influencer in a niche market or a celebrity influencer to reach a massive audience, agencies can navigate this landscape efficiently.

In short, they are the guides that lead your business from doubt to success.

Here are other ways an agency can help you efficiently plan your influencer marketing campaigns:

  • Strategic planning: agencies start with a deep dive into your brand’s goals, target audience, and market position. This ensures that the influencer collaborations are not just popular, but effective and aligned with your marketing objectives.
  • Campaign management: from negotiating contracts to ensuring content is on-brand and impactful, agencies handle the details. This includes timelines, content approvals, and adjustments.
  • Performance tracking and analytics: this is all about understanding the ROI of your influencer campaign. Agencies provide detailed reports on engagement rates, audience growth, and how effectively the campaign drove specific business outcomes, like increases in website traffic or sales.
  • Legal and compliance: agencies ensure that all collaborations comply with advertising standards and regulations, providing peace of mind and safeguarding your brand’s reputation.

“Imagine having to talk to 50 or 60 influencers at a time. You’re better off speaking to me or someone from my team; we’re going to present you the profiles. And if everything goes smoothly afterwards, we won’t even have to call you.

We’ll give you the content plans, the calendars, and we’re going to connect with your social media staff so that they can, effectively, give the correct outreach to the content that’s made.”

Celia Sánchez, Alcalink

Should you in-house or outsource your influencer marketing search?

Key takeaways

  • Outsource your influencer marketing to agencies to avoid overpaying and to ensure you’re on the right track.
  • They understand industry nuances and connect you with influencers who resonate with your audience.
  • They are experts in negotiating and tailoring campaigns for measurable results.
  • Outsourcing helps businesses without a partnerships team focus on core functions.
  • Manage influencer marketing in-house if you have a strong marketing background and influencer network.
  • In-house management allows you to use existing relationships and maintain your brand’s unique voice.
  • It can be more cost-effective for companies with limited budgets, especially startups.

When should you outsource your influencer marketing?

There are several reasons, and benefits, why your influencer marketing would be better off in the hands of an experienced agency.

Perhaps atop that list is the fact that agencies make sure you’re not overpaying for a service that is far too high from the rates we’ve shown here; remember we’ve just given benchmarks, but you’ve seen the reality is much more complicated than that. Agencies can recognize a bad offer when they see one, and steer you onto the right track.

When you’re looking to make an impact with influencer marketing, having access to the right network is crucial. An experienced agency provides you with that extensive network and invaluable advice on targeting the best influencers for your brand.

They understand the nuances of different industries and can connect you with influencers who resonate most with your target audience, making every campaign more effective.

In the same vein, investing in influencer marketing can be a significant commitment. If you’re unsure how to allocate your budget effectively, an influencer marketing agency can be a game changer.

They specialize in maximizing ROI, ensuring that every dollar you spend contributes to your overarching marketing goals.

Agencies bring expertise in negotiating contracts and tailoring campaigns that deliver measurable results, so your budget is always used optimally.

And that’s especially true for businesses without a dedicated partnerships team, for which managing influencer relationships can be overwhelming and detract from core business functions.

Outsourcing this task to an agency allows you to maintain focus on what you do best, whether that’s running your business or making sure all gears in your department are working properly.

Agencies handle the intricacies of campaign management, from coordination to compliance, freeing you up to focus on growth and operations.

When should you manage your influencer marketing in-house?

On the other hand, if your team already possesses a strong background in marketing and has built a robust network of influencer contacts, managing campaigns in-house could be advantageous.

This approach allows you to leverage your existing relationships and industry knowledge, ensuring that your brand’s unique voice is consistently communicated through every influencer partnership.

Similarly, for companies with limited budgets, in-house management of influencer campaigns can sometimes be more cost-effective, allowing you to direct more funds towards direct campaign expenses.

This can be particularly crucial for startups and smaller businesses where budget constraints demand highly efficient spending.

However, that comes with its own risks: unless you’re experienced in the industry or have a large network, you’re mostly left on your own to make sure you deliver on the investment.


Influencer marketing is in every business’ eye, and while its management can seem complex, it becomes a strategic asset that can significantly boost your brand’s profile, especially with the right business partner.

Understanding the costs involved and the services provided by influencer marketing agencies helps in making informed decisions that align with your business goals.

By weighing all the considerations laid out in this guide, you can make an informed decision about whether to outsource influencer marketing or manage it in-house.

However, if you’re leaning towards optimizing spend and accessing expert guidance and a broader network, partnering with a specialized agency might just be your best strategy.


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