Influencer payment

Payments Vs Products: How To Compensate Influencers

Published On February 23, 2022

Brands have various factors to consider when it comes to influencer payments.  It is one of the necessary expenses to factor into your influencer marketing budget.  Marketers want to encourage influencers to do their best job by paying them fairly and ensuring a good return on investment.

Hence, the big question arises, “How to pay influencers?” 

Brands need to find a balance between not overpaying (thus, overshooting the budget) while still rewarding the influencer for being excited about your brand. Influencers can be paid with money or products if both parties get the best deal. 

Let us dive into both paid and product partnerships, each of their benefits, so you can conclude which one fits the bill in your particular case. 


Factors That Impact Influencer Rates

Influencers come in varieties, and so it’s near impossible to find one that will charge a flat rate. Influencer marketing is a business now, so influencers will charge based on the value they bring to the table and the brand’s payout range.  Here are some factors to consider that affect the bill that the influencer sends to your table: 

1. Social media platform

Influencer rates will likely vary from platform to platform. What works on Instagram may not work on YouTube. Each platform has a different audience and demand. Hence the work that goes into content creation will vary, may require different skill sets, and come with different rates. 

2. Reach

How many people are subscribing or following the influencers? Are they constantly adding to that number? A Nano influencer’s rates will be lesser than what a mega influencer will expect, perhaps even for the same type of work. A general rule of thumb to keep in mind is that the more followers, the higher the rates. 

3. Engagement

For a brand, it is always better to analyze their influencer’s engagement rate on organic vs sponsored content. A bigger following may not be as engaged with the influencer, thus dropping the conversions that you expect. The more engaged the audience, the more beneficial for the brand. 

4. Industry

Just because an influencer is famous doesn’t mean they are a good fit for your brand. They must share similar interests with your niche. Also, their content must reflect that they can organically blend your brand’s messaging in. If an influencer who showcases famous meat joints suddenly talks about animal rights, it will stick out like a sore thumb to their audience. Popular niches such as fashion and beauty have more competition and hence you may find more affordable rates. The narrower a niche, such as finance or tech, the higher the influencer payment. 

5. Content-type

A shoutout and a video are worlds apart in the kind of resources that go into making them. The type of content that you are looking for will also weigh in heavily on the final bill. Influencers include their time, energy, resources in their rates. Based on this, the content genre, and the frequency, expect the rates to fluctuate accordingly. 

6. Usage rights & Exclusivity

If you intend to repurpose an influencer’s work, make sure you talk to them about it ahead of time and spell out the conditions in the influencer contract. Some influencers will want a higher fee for content that will be reproduced.

Influencers often collaborate with multiple brands at the same time. You may pick an influencer that your competition would like to use as well. In this case, you may wish to request that the influencer sign a non-compete agreement or an exclusivity provision as part of their influencer contract, prohibiting them from supporting a competitor for a certain period.

Paid Partnerships

Influencer campaigns can be hugely beneficial for brands. The amount of money you spend is entirely dependent on the type of your campaign and your budget restrictions. Instagram influencers can earn anywhere from $10 to $10,000 for each post.  However, there are several other variables at play.

Types Of Paid Partnerships

1. Flat fee

Brands can use a variety of performance metrics to determine influencer payments. Consider the amount you can pay based on the metrics for CPV (cost-per-view) or CPE (cost-per-engagement). You might use this as a starting point for your offer. You can also check the influencer’s engagement rate and success of organic vs sponsored posts in the past. These data points help provide a complete picture of the value they can bring to your brand and how much money you should spend.

Note that all the details are ironed out in advance and the fee is independent of performance. 

2. Performance-based fee

Implementing a performance-based payment system, similar to affiliate marketing, is another option to compensate influencers. With performance-based payments, you can pay influencers based on the number of conversions or engagements they generate, which you can measure using a unique link or promo code for each influencer.

Influencers can be compensated in two ways depending on their performance. Some brands pay influencers a one-time fee for each lead or client they bring in, while others give recurring payments for each transaction the consumer makes. While the latter is more likely to eat into your revenues, it may encourage your influencers to keep promoting your products for the duration of their promotional discount.

3. Revenue sharing

The term “revenue-sharing” refers to brands paying influencers a percentage of the campaign’s total income. From the start, this strategy provides a significant incentive for influencers. Creators will earn more money than if they accepted a flat charge. 

It’s also beneficial for businesses since it reduces risk and increases ROI by compensating influencers based on the campaign’s performance. As part of an influencer affiliate program, brands can provide revenue-sharing. Influencers exchange affiliate links with their fans, allowing marketers to track sales and pay influencers appropriately.

Influencer payment

Benefits Of Paid Partnerships

1. More enthusiasm and excitement from the influencer

When influencers are compensated in exchange for their engagement, they feel valued and that their efforts are worthwhile. Influencers devote a significant amount of time and effort to working with your brand, mainly if you’ve hired them to develop unique content on your behalf. You’re demonstrating that you value the influencer and their contributions by rewarding them for their efforts.

2. Influencers are more involved in analytics and insights and share them with you

Paid collaborations can encourage influencers to provide direct access to information and engagement with the company. This feature allows marketers to collect data and analytics on how sponsored content campaigns are doing, making more informed decisions for future marketing efforts. These statistics can assist marketers in determining which influencers are most effective for their products/services and estimate the ROI to expect from specific influencers involved in the campaign strategy.

3. You can control the specifics of the content going out

It allows you to be more inventive in positioning your brand and product. You may be more creative and explore alternative ways of delivering your brand’s narrative to a highly engaged audience because you usually work in a closed group. Influencers can also assist you in expanding on your storyline by providing new talking points and perspectives you may not have thought of. 

UGC influencers

Product Based Partnerships 

Non-monetary compensation is another option for compensating influencers. For many brands, product seeding or delivering free products to influencers in exchange for content is an effective influencer payment strategy. It’s ideal for small businesses just getting started with influencer marketing. This technique enables them to get their products into the hands of influencers and begin forming profitable collaborations. 

Types Of Product-Based Partnerships

1. Free products

 If you don’t have the finances to pay your influencers in cash or if you’re launching a new product, sending them product samples may be the best approach to compensate them. Make sure you’ve done your homework and are offering their influencers relevant to their content. Better yet, let them pick whatever things they want to try out, review, and promote to their audience.

2. VIP benefits – brand ambassadorship

Brand ambassadors are the best fit for this form of compensation. They already adore your brand and naturally promote it to their social circles. You can offer them exclusive advantages such as free products, event passes, goodie bags, early access to sales, and so on. This will effectively motivate influencers who are already familiar with and enthusiastic about your products. VIP perks can be used to reward brand loyalty and encourage brand ambassadors to share user-generated content about your company on social media. 

3. Brand association

Brand association works best with well-established brands as being associated with you could benefit the influencer in many ways. Many influencers might find being linked with your brand an appealing reward if your company is well-known in your niche. You need to make an influencer feel important enough to represent your brand to make this work. When recruiting influencers to endorse your company without receiving a monetary reward, finding influencers who share your brand’s beliefs, hobbies, and possibly aesthetics can offer more significant results.  

Benefits Of Product Based Partnerships

1. Easier on the budget

Giving away free things to influencers as a sort of influencer gifting is a more cost-effective option than paying cash. We’re assuming you’re selling low- to mid-priced merchandise.

Let’s say an influencer’s worth is $150 per post. You could give them cash or give them $150 worth of your merchandise.

You’re only actually paying for the cost of the products if you pay influencers the retail equivalent worth of your stuff. So, in actuality, $150 in merchandise could only cost your company $80 – depending on your profit margins, of course. This indicates that simply by adopting this approach instead of paying cash, you’ve saved $70 in cash worth. 

2. Ability to work with several influencers

The budget-friendliness of this option means that you can onboard more than a few influencers to your campaign. You want to recruit high-quality influencers to promote your brand, so you should improve the quality of the perks you’re offering. This will result in more yeses from influencers who are interested in your brand. You also get multiple feedbacks from the influencers. Also, your audience will be reassured by the fact that many influencers are using your product, so they may be more willing to give it a try too. 

Magnetize them with free product offers to enhance your chances of attracting good influencers and discovering the appropriate influencer. 

3. Less commitment from both parties

What happens if they devote time and resources to a campaign but don’t get a single sale? The lack of sales may be due to circumstances beyond their control. Many influencers will consider whether a campaign is worth their time and effort in this regard.

And it all boils down to their level of trust in the campaign and the incentives on offer.

Commission-only compensation means the influencer bears 100 percent of the risk, which may not be desirable to everyone. A simple offer of a free product or service to your influencers, on the other hand, can be a game-changer.

Your seriousness and commitment to the campaign as a brand are crucial, especially if you want to attract serious and dedicated customers.


To Pay Or Not To Pay?

Whatever model you adopt, make sure influencers are fairly compensated. That way, you’ll be able to build mutually respectful partnerships and negotiate terms that benefit both parties.

Finding the ideal influencer for your brand requires a delicate balance between your budget and influencer prices. As a result, it’s critical to consider your budget before beginning your search for influencers. It’ll be far more difficult to figure out if the influencer you like can fit into your budget for as long as you need them if you don’t know how much you can spend.

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you had access to information such as influencer fees, niche areas, expertise, and experience all in one place? Atisfyreach is the answer! The platform is redefining the influencer marketing space by offering AI-driven solutions that automate the entire influencer marketing workflow. 

Bid adieu to spreadsheet confusions! Register on Atisfyreach. 

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