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Does Influencer Marketing Pay Off?

Does Influencer Marketing Pay Off?

In recent years the amount that brands will spend paying social media “influencers” to market for them on their respective social platforms, has skyrocketed. But are brands spending their money in the wrong places?

The surge in marketing activity with influencers is hardly surprising. Over the past decade, we have seen social media and its influencers come into their own as a way to both bring people together and/or galvanize them to political action. For brands like Nike and Apple, using these same tools and spending money to advertise their brand is nothing new. But how much are they spending? And are they getting their money’s worth?

A recent study from influencer marketing software vendor, Klear shows that an influencer with 30,000 to 500,000 followers can charge up to $782 per sponsored video on YouTube. It’s difficult to gauge how “influential” an influencer can be, and this can present brands with something of a gamble when deciding which influencer to go with. It also presents a different challenge when deciding what the best content to adopt with your influencer is. We combined Klear’s data with our own research to see what the average cost per like or comment would be for Instagram and YouTube.

Instagram

Influencer Type Cost per PostLikes/1000 FollowersComments/1000 FollowersAvg. Cost per LikeAvg. Cost per Comment
Nano
(500-5K followers)
$100502$50.40$20.00
Micro
(5-30k followers)
$172601.5$0.14$5.73
Power
(30-500k followers)
$5071001$0.02$2.03
Celebrity
(500k+ followers)
$2,0851500.5$0.03$8.34

On Instagram, it costs a brand nearly twice as much to gain comment engagement from a celebrity influencer compared to a micro influencer, and more than 3 times as much as a power influencer. Although the price per post for a Nano influencer is lower, in the long run a brand would need to spend significantly more to gain a good amount of engagement on their content.

Instagram power influencers are likely to deliver brands the best ROI, as they are more likely to receive similar engagement for a much lower overall cost. Unfortunately, it’s the case than many brands still labour under the delusion that the higher an influencer’s following the more influence they have. This has also been corroborated in our own Influencer Benchmark Report.

YouTube

Influencer TypeCost Per VideoLikes/ 1000 FollowersComments/ 1000 FollowersAvg. Cost per LikeAvg. Cost per Comment
Nano
(500-5K followers)
$3152.58$50.40$0.02
Micro
(5-30k followers)
$31557.8$9.08$0.01
Power
(30-500k followers)
$782157.6$0.21<$0.01
Celebrity
(500k+ followers)
$3,857217.4$0.37<$0.01

YouTube is slightly different. YouTubers with large subscriber counts get disproportionately more like engagement but lower levels of comment engagement. Ironically, Klear’s data finds that micro-influencers charge more per sponsored video compared to Power influencers, even though they receive less like engagement and only a minute increase in the number of comments received.

Overall, power influencers are still the most effective group to tap into for brands focused on engagement with their content. If a brand’s objective is simply to reach the masses, then a celebrity influencer would be the best option on YouTube.

What type of influencer would you invest your money in? Share your thoughts with us via your preferred social network.