Digital Marketing

How Much Do Social Media Influencers Make?

Let’s make one thing very clear—the most successful social media influencers are doing very well indeed, thank you very much. From charging thousands of dollars per post through to freebie travel to locations with eye-watering price tags, for the uber-successful, this is a truly lucrative path to follow.

Social media influencing can still realistically be described as a fledgling industry. Only a few years ago it was possible for a business to take advantage of a person’s large online following by simply offering free products. Fast forward a few years to today, and it’s necessary for companies to put their money where their mouth is if they want to launch a successful campaign.

Of course, there’s a huge difference between the income of those at the top of their trade and those who’re just starting out. But when it comes to the choice of a business whether or not to utilize such a service, social media marketing in this manner is fast becoming a must-do. Influencer management platform, Traackr, states that over 72 percent of major brands dedicate a large proportion of their budget to this form of advertising.

However, in exactly the same way as the income of the influencer can vary drastically, so can the cost for a business. With no real regulations in place as of yet, such a digital marketing choice can seem a little daunting. So let’s start by demystifying some of the hyperbole that surrounds the subject, and start to put some clarity around influencer collaboration, how much money they really make, and the cost for a business in such an approach.

Influencer Marketing

Macro vs Micro Social Media Influencers

In simple terms, macro influencers have a higher number of followers than their micro cousins. In keeping with the vague guidelines that surround the industry, some refer to macro influencers as those who have more than 50,000 followers. Others say it’s necessary to hit more than 100,000 before you justify such a description. Either way, you need a lot of love to warrant this title.

Micro influencers are those who rock 10,000 plus. And now there’s a surge of those being termed as “nano influencers,” who might have as few as 1,000 followers on the most popular platforms such as Instagram or YouTube.

Another term that has also evolved over the years is a mega influencer and their following usually spans over 1 million. One of the best known mega influencers of all, Kylie Jenner, boasts over 21 million followers on Instagram. According to analytics firm, D’Marie Analytics, a sponsored post on Jenner’s feed is worth more than a million dollars in the ad equivalent value. And if you needed any more proof that this method of engaging with an audience works, then consider this; when Jenner posted last year that she’d stopped using Snapchat, CNN reported that the company’s stock price plummeted over a million dollars in a single day!

But while it’s true that macro influencers have an extensive reach, they don’t necessarily provide the best bang for your buck. Especially for companies that have a somewhat more niche audience.

For small and medium-sized businesses, a micro-social media influencer could be far more advantageous. Not only could it mean engagement with more people who are genuinely interested in your product, but the power of the micros is also being recognized by the very platforms they inhabit. For instance, Instagram now offers the valuable “swipe up” feature to those with as little as 10,000 followers. This allows users to easily link out to other Instagram stories, giving those with a smaller fan base the power that, until recently, was only available to the big guns.

And let’s not dismiss the power of the nano influencer. Described as those with 1,000 to 5,000 admirers, according to the New York Times, their popularity is rising amongst savvy companies keen to cash in on their high engagement level. With the high-flying macros charging more and more, plus a saturation of those who now fall into this category, such smaller influencers not only cost less (many will push a company’s product for free samples) but can truly target a specific audience.

So what kind of income do successful influencers earn?

Those at the top of their game with over a million followers could be drawing in $100,000 – $250,000 per post. Those with slightly fewer devotees might be getting $10,000 – $100,000 per post, depending on the engagement. Micros are looking at $1,000-$10,000 per post, and even some nanos are drawing in $75 – $500 per post. Such earning potential is definitely not small change, whatever angle you look at it.

Social Media Influencers

Businesses That Effectively Utilize Influencers

With social media marketing, and influencer marketing, in particular, expected to become an $8 billion dollar industry by 2020, it’s more a case of who doesn’t use this powerful channel to advertise their wares.

Some great examples of successful influencer campaigns include the recent collaboration between Los Angeles based, Fiji Water, with Danielle Bernstein (of @weworewhatfame). The campaign offered workout videos with Bernstein and personal trainer, Eric Johnson, to create Bodyworewhat, a campaign for that perfect summer body. And of course, hydration is an important part of getting fit and looking great, so a super-successful angle for them.

Naked Juice is taking advantage of influencer Kate La Vie’s charms, with strategically placed bottles of their wares in sponsored posts to reach out to her 250,000+ audience of all thing’s lifestyle and beauty. A great slant for the juice producer to instill their product into the everyday habits of her followers.

Millennial-focused beauty brand, Glossier, is a great example of a company that’s used smaller influencers to great effect. They target those with great engagement to promote their products. By offering a referral program of promotional codes and discounts against future purchases, they provide the opportunity for anyone at any level to become an influencer. And, of course, increase their brand loyalty and customer base along the way.

Is influencer Marketing Right For Your Business?

Influencer marketing can be a potent strategy for a company’s advertising campaigns. Done right it really shouldn’t cost a fortune and can provide an extremely worthwhile return on investment. However, the key phrase here is, “done right.” Great social media influencer marketing isn’t solely about the numbers. It’s about engagement and exposure to those who genuinely want to purchase the product or service.

As a digital marketing agency, Smashed Media offers a complete service on what this could mean for your business. From the key choice of collaborating with the influencer who best represents your brand, through to the creation and/or distribution of posts, as well as social media marketing and other digital marketing services, we provide businesses of all sizes with unparalleled service and results.


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