Social & Influencers

Influencers are charging more for their services across social media platforms

Increased pay transparency among creators, as well as more demand for influencer marketing, are likely culprits.
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Francis Scialabba

5 min read

“Know your worth, queen!” “This is your sign to charge more.” “Creators, your creativity and time are worth more.” These are just some of the statements influencers have been posting on TikTok lately, encouraging their peers to charge more for sponsored content. Why? Because, as L’Oréal once said, “You’re worth it.”

Many influencer marketers told Marketing Brew that they’ve seen this type of content on TikTok, too. They’ve also seen influencer rates go up significantly over the past year.

An influencer agency called The Motherhood saw influencer rates rise by 44% from 2020 to 2021 and 45% from 2021 to 2022 thus far, on average, according to an internal analysis. The agency also told us that this increase is happening across several platforms, like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Nine influencer marketers told us that since 2020, influencer rates have been on the rise. That’s not only due to increased pay transparency among influencers themselves, but also because of increased demand for influencer marketing. As a result, several said brands are trying to find ways to mitigate the impact.

Why it’s happening

Annelise Campbell, CEO and founder of influencer marketing agency Campbell Francis Group, told us she’s seen “influencer rates rising quite significantly,” especially between Q4 of 2021 and the start of this year. She attributes this increase, in part, to rate transparency.

There’s been “an explosion of transparency” and education for creators around what they should be charging for their services, which is driving up prices, according to James Nord, the founder of Fohr, an influencer marketing service. Nord told us that Fohr is an investor in FYPM, one of the companies pushing for rate transparency by allowing influencers to anonymously share deets about their brand deals on its platform.

But that transparency can be a double-edged sword, according to Campbell, who told us she’s seen some influencers go into brand deals without concrete reasons to explain how they’re setting their rates for their content.

“There’s a lot of conversation right now on TikTok on Instagram about ‘charge your worth.’ Nobody knows what that [phrase] means,” Campbell told us. “It’s quite obscure, and that can lead to just general price gouging.”

It’s not just influencer culture that’s causing these increases. Nord also told us there’s been an “enormous spike” in demand for influencers over the past few years, driven by everything from lockdowns and increased attention to social media to things like iOS changes that have made advertising on platforms like Facebook more difficult.

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“Increased education and focus for influencers on what fair market value is, coupled with that demand, has driven those prices up,” he explained.

What brands are doing now

Brands are figuring out which influencers seem to have the analytics to back up higher rates to try to make sure they’re spending their budgets on those most likely to drive the results they need.

Campbell said brands’ offering transparency in influencer-rate negotiations could help with that. “We are starting to see more brands be upfront about some of their goals and KPIs and why their budgets look the way that they do,” she said, explaining that telling an influencer’s agent what your brand’s KPIs and ideal CPM are could potentially save time and money in the long run.

For example, Campbell said she recently had a brand come to her for a campaign and outline the follower range, engagement rate, and price it was looking for. The brand specifically said, “Please do not recommend creators outside of this budget range.”

Campbell also told us that one brand she’s worked with opted to work with one really huge creator rather than five or six different creators as a result of price increases. “They’ll have a lot fewer touch points,” she said.

Blaine Doherty, an influencer marketing manager at Fiverr, told us that creating longer-term partnerships with influencers can help with cost-efficiency because you’re giving them more consistent work. Cooper Munroe, CEO of The Motherhood, also told us that securing a longer-term partnership now could help protect a brand against any future possible economic inflation.

It could help the influencers too, Munroe said, because over the course of a longer-term partnership, they get to know the brand better and therefore become more efficient at creating content the brand approves for posting. Additionally, it’s likely less stressful for influencers to know when their next paycheck is coming rather than go into new negotiations with different brands for each post.

Another option for marketers? Finding cheaper influencers. “Because there isn’t much standardization in setting rates right now in this industry, there’s always going to be someone somewhere who will say, ‘Oh, my god, yeah, I love this brand. I’ll do it for $100.’ And unfortunately, brands will take advantage of that,” Campbell told us.

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