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One of the most common questions we get is “how much do we have to pay an influencer”? Or rather, “how much does influencer marketing cost?” Well, the short answer is that there is no stipulated amount. However, this does not mean that your influencer marketing cost can’t be determined. There are a few factors that would determine how much an influencer gets paid for a social media marketing campaign, affecting your total social media campaign budget.

Therefore this article will touch on 5 factors that interplay to affect influencer rates, which in turn affects your social media campaign budget.

Factors affecting influencer rates: #1. The influencer’s reach

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Firstly, we will touch on the most obvious point, the influencer’s reach. This is usually determined by the number of authentic followers the influencers have.

The focus is on authenticity. After all, with the number of external applications that allow social media users to buy followers, it is very easy to fabricate the number of followers one has. Therefore, do not be easily misled and simply pick the first influencer you see with the highest following. Instead, you should take steps to determine whether the followers are authentic.

You can always use external apps such as social blade to determine the authenticity of the influencer’s followers. Another way to do so would be to look through the influencers comments and followers. Comments that are out of context could be a sign that some of these comments are not authentic.

Factors affecting influencer rates: #2. Engagement rate

Secondly, you should look at the engagement rates of the influencer you intend to work with. The engagement rate refers to the proportion of interaction an influencer gets on his or her social media account.

Its calculation is determined by the number of likes, comments and shares an influencer receives for each photo, in relation to the influencer’s follower count. The engagement rate is an important measure of how well the influencer’s post has performed as it measures the level of interest among social media users.

That being said, it is very common for engagement rates to fluctuate. The general rule is that as long as the engagement rate is relatively consistent, slight fluctuations in engagement rate are likely to be authentic.

Some posts simply receive more likes and comments than others. Therefore, you should not be deterred if the influencer has slight fluctuations in his or her engagement rate.

In fact, you should take the chance to go through the posts that have managed to garner more attention amongst the influencers following. It is likely that such posting is relevant to the influencer’s followers. Be it a clear call to action or content that is noteworthy, content with a high engagement rate tend to possess similar qualities. Simply compare a giveaway held on the influencers account with a normal static post, it will be highly likely that the giveaway would have a higher engagement rate. This is because the giveaway post is what is relevant to social media followers.

Factors affecting influencer rates: #3. Level of trust followers have

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Thirdly, how credible and trustworthy the influencer is in the eyes of his or her followers can determine the influencer’s rate.

This factor is rather intuitive. After all, influencers that are deemed as more trustworthy will likely be more persuasive. How trustworthy an influencer is would depend on how well the followers know the influencers.

Take the example of micro-influencers. These influencers have a slightly smaller following. Therefore, these influencers would personally know a larger proportion of their followers.

Furthermore, micro-influencers are likely able to engage a larger proportion of their followers. Due to the smaller number, it is more manageable for micro-influencers to react to comments or postings by their followers. This builts a certain level of trust over time, which explains why micro-influencers tend to have higher engagement rates.

That being said, this does not mean that macro-influencers are not deemed as credible or trustworthy. In fact, influencers with a large following can be considered highly credible. This is especially so if they have spent time on social media building up their credibility.

For instance, if a beauty influencer has established a reputation for being knowledgeable about skincare, it is likely that you would trust the skincare recommendation that beauty influencer makes.

Factors affecting influencer rates: #4. Influencer relevancy in relation to your brand

Fourthly, your influencer marketing cost will also depend on how relevant the influencer is in relation to your brand. Although influencers are all capable of producing content on social media, an influencer that is relevant to your brand’s offerings would be one that you should strive to work with.

To determine the relevancy of the influencer in relation to your brand, you can ask yourself the following questions:
Does the influencer help to extend my brand?
Is the influencer’s image consistent with my brand’s image?
What message is my brand sending out by choosing to work with these influencers?

When determining which influencers to work with, do consider things like the category the influencer falls in, the public image or perception that the influencer has and the relevancy of the influencer’s posting to your brand’s offerings. If an influencer has an image that is closely related to what your branding, then paying this influencer a higher rate is justified. After all, collaborations with such influencers serve a greater purpose of branding.

Factors affecting influencer rates: #5. Influencer relevancy in relation to your audience

Lastly, how relevant the influencer is in relation to your target audience is a highly important factor.

After all, the receiving end of any marketing campaign is the audience. Therefore, it is important that you choose influencers that are capable of producing content relevant to your target audience.

To determine the relevancy of the influencers you have shortlisted, you can look at the demographic of their followers. For instance, there are many types of food influencers – some prefer posting their own food recipes while others centre their content around food reviews.

Assuming you are the owner of a restaurant, you will probably want to work with the influencer who specialises in food reviews, given that these influencers are likely to have a following that eats out.


While influencer rates can differ, this does not mean that influencer rates are determined arbitrarily. In actuality, there are many factors that work together to determine how much an influencer should be paid. Therefore, do consider these factors when determining your next social media campaign budget.