Here’s how much influencers make with sponsored posts

social influencer cost

You’ve been reading about influencer marketing, and wondering if this is something you want to explore with your strategy. Besides having the right targeting network, one of the biggest questions is “how much does it cost?”

Influencer marketing company, Whosay, analyzed data from more than 130 campaigns over the past 19 months in a Recode report. The results were simple. With more brands seeing huge upsides by partnering with some of the most popular social media influencers, these influencers are in return building multi-million dollar brands for themselves. While there are many ways to create engaging branded content with influencers, one of the oldest and most popular campaigns is product promotion.

In this article we’ll discuss 5 different categories of influencers, and how much each category gets paid per sponsored post on platforms like Instagram.


sponsored post hilary duff


Tier 1 – Icons

Average following: 7.4 million

These are the celebrities – the talent with a presence far beyond social media. They appear on the big screen, fill your spotify playlists, and score Super Bowl touchdowns on TV. Endorsers include the likes of celebs such as DJ Khaled, Olivia Munn, and Jada Pinkett Smith. Although boasting a strong global presence, this category of influencer isn’t always the best bargain. Posts shared by mega celebrities like these generated less organic engagement – likes, comments and shares – than influencers on lower tiers. For tier 1 creators, the average cost per post is $21,500. It is possible that celebrities of this degree generally don’t need the money, and therefore accept sponsorships on a more selective basis, according to Whosay. This means they are more happy, without monetary obligations, to share a brand that they actually like.


Tier 2 – Trailblazers

Average following: 2.8 million

While having close ties to the Icons, this group represents the blur between A-list and B-list hollywood celebs. Folks like Idris Elba and Mia Hamm fall into this category. According to Whosay, the Trailblazers offer the highest engagement rate for branded content. Roughly 28 percent of people who see branded content from a tier 2 influencer will like, share or comment on the post. Benchmarked against all other tiers, these influencers are the highest paid at $32,400 per post.


Tier 3 – The Influencers

Average following: 850,000

These are the natives of social media who have used the platforms to command their brand from inception. Although their following can rank in the area of tier 1 and 2, or more, their presence typically falls just shy of 1 million. References in the group entail the likes of Kristen Hancher, Brittany Furlan, and Roy Purdy. These influencers have the power to demand $25,700 per post. In terms of the best bargain for advertisers, tier 3 leads the way. Recode reports that the creators with the lowest average CPM — or the cost for marketers per 1,000 organic impressions are in tier 3. The CPM for tier 3 ‘Influencers’ is a mere $78, followed by tier 2 ($100), tier 1 ($165), tier 5 ($169), and tier 4 (a whopping $261).


influencer stats


Tier 4/5 – Micro-influencer

Average following: 220,000

These are individuals who specialize in a particular vertical and frequently share content about their interests – this could be cars, travel, artwork, fitness and etc. They have the ability to boast hyper-engaged audiences due to the very narrowed scope of the content they produce. If you’re looking for a highly targeted audience and have a much smaller budget (average cost per post is ~$8k), working with micro-influencers might be your best bet. In a recent study, Experticity learned micro-influencers have 22.2X more conversations than the typical Instagram user – mainly because they’re passionate and knowledgeable about their particular interest area.

Tier 5, super micro-influencers, are much like tier 4, but with an average of 50,000 followers and a lower engagement rate.


Thinking about engagement?

Markerly analyzed Instagram engagement and found a notable trend: As an influencer’s number of followers increases, their number of likes and comments from followers decreases. The reason for this could be the possibility that, while you might have a huge following, Instagram’s algorithm might only be feeding your material to what it deems as the bigger fans. If a user impulsively follows an account, but has never shown engagement, the platform can and will hide the account content from the user newsfeed.

In its analysis, Markerly determined the following:

  • Instagram users with fewer than 1,000 followers generated likes 8% of the time
  • Users with 1,000-10,000 followers earned likes at a 4% rate
  • Users with 10,000-100,000 followers achieved a 2.4% like rate
  • Users with 1-10 million followers earned likes only 1.7% of the time

Are you exploring influencers in your marketing strategy? Drop us a line, we’d love to help!

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