Influencer Payments: How to Pay Influencers in 2023

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By Muhammad Hussain

Collaborating with influencers has become the most successful marketing strategy to promote your just-launched product. So, businesses should figure out a foolproof method for influencer payments to ensure mutual benefits and cultivate long-term relationships.

Given the decline in the effectiveness of traditional advertising, people now turn to social media for purchasing decisions, where influencers play a pivotal role in cultivating audience trust. The growing trust in influencers is evident, with Gen Zers and millennials expressing an increase from 51% in 2019 to 61% in 2023.

This in-depth guide will make influencer payments easy by showing you different influencer payment methods according to influencer type and outlining strategies for finalizing fair pricing.

Defining Influencer Payments 

Influencer payments refer to compensations provided to individuals, often with a significant social media following, for creating and promoting content. Various forms of compensation are possible, including payments made directly or by free products or commission-based earnings. 

Moreover, the amount of payment depends on factors like the influencer’s audience size, the social media platform, and the nature of the marketing campaign.

Presently, marketers are cautious about following influencer marketing trends, yet there remains widespread confusion about how to pay influencers their compensation the right way. Here are some ways to consider influencer payments:

1. Product Exchange (Free Products)

  • This compensation method involves no cash transactions, with creators receiving free products or samples in exchange for promoting your brand.
  • Cost-effective, as expenses are limited to the cost of goods sold.
  • Ideal for customer advocates, brand ambassadors, nano influencers, and micro-influencers.

2. Pay-Per-Post (Flat Fee)

  • Requires a flat fee payment for each creator post, ranging from less than $10 to thousands of dollars.
  • Suitable for scenarios where a strong brand-creator relationship exists or when targeting influencers with massive, engaged audiences.
  • It often occurs with creators having 10,000 or more followers.

3. Commission-Based Payments

  • Focused on revenue as the primary ROI measure, utilizing affiliate links or discount codes to track sales.
  • Effective for encouraging content creators to produce conversion-worthy content.
  • It is often used with affiliates, brand ambassadors, nano influencers, and micro-influencers.

4. Combining Payment Methods

  • As your creator management program expands, a combination of payment types may be necessary.
  • Experience with various compensation packages enhances successful negotiations.
  • Building strong relationships with content creators is crucial for authenticity and potential cost savings.

Factors Affecting the Final Pricing Rates of Influencers

Creators are there to create content and promote your business. It’s your job to differentiate and judge the influencers on factors that evaluate their worth. Here, we have mentioned crucial elements to consider before hiring and quoting their price. 

  • Engagement Metric: The primary metric that enhances influencer value is engagement, surpassing the significance of follower count. Micro-influencers, typically with 1,000 to 5,000 Instagram followers, frequently exhibit the highest engagement rates, averaging 4.84%
  • Followers Count: While not the sole metric, follower count remains crucial in determining fees, reflecting an influencer’s platform understanding and audience growth ability.
  • Audience Reach: Generally, reach aligns with follower count, but certain factors like content synergy with ads or platform trends can enhance a smaller influencer’s effectiveness.
  • Exclusivity: Exclusive partnerships, limiting influencers from promoting competitors, significantly increase costs due to negotiated non-compete or exclusivity clauses.
  • Content-Type: Content type shapes pricing, considering production time, brand requirements, creative freedom, project timeframe, and hidden costs.
  • Niche: Influencer fees vary by industry, with research indicating higher media values for tech influencers on platforms like YouTube, influencing overall market prices.
  • Influencer Popularity: Fees are influenced by demand; niches with fewer creators experience higher fees due to limited options, evident in seasonal campaigns with rapid demand spikes.

Influencer Payments Based on Social Media Platform Presence

Before calculating influencer payments, it’s good to know about different categories of influencers

Influencer Types

  • Nano-influencers typically have follower counts ranging from 1000 to 10,000
  • The micro-influencers fall within the 10,000 to 50,000 range. 
  • Mid-tier influencers generally boast 50,000 to 500,000 followers.
  • Macro influencers command audiences of 500,000 to 1,000,000
  • Mega influencers, with 1,000,000 or more followers, represent the upper echelon of social media influence.

Now, let’s explore the diverse influencer payment platforms, where payments fluctuate in accordance with the preferences of varying audiences. Influencers are commonly most active on these favored social media platforms.


Taking into account those additional factors, let’s explore the typical prices associated with each influencer category on the two most popular social platforms, ie. Instagram and Tiktok.

Instagram Influencer Payments

Based on data from InfluencerMarketingHub, Instagram influencer rates vary with follower count:

Influencer TierCost Range per Post
Nano influencers$10 – $100/ post
Micro-influencers$100 – $500/ post
Mid-tier influencers$500 – $5,000/ post
Macro influencers$5,000 – $10,000/ post
Mega influencers$10,000+ per post

The standard is $100 per 10,000 followers, with additional factors like shoot expenses contributing to the total rate.

Tiktok Influencer Payments

Given TikTok’s newer status compared to Instagram, influencer rates on the platform vary widely. Considering the 2022 survey, the following are the price ranges;

Influencer TierCost Range per Post
Nano influencers$4 – $25
Micro-influencers$15 – $110
Mid-tier influencers$35 – $350‍
Macro influencers$185 – $2,500‍
Mega influencersaverage low cost $1,200

Final Call To You

In successful business, influencers and marketers form a symbiotic partnership. Influencer payments lack fixed price ranges, but the factors mentioned above, aligned with the social media platforms engaging your audience, serve as references to calculate influencer payments. This strategic approach contributes to the flourishment of your business among the intended audience.

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What methods for influencer payments exist?

Influencer payment methods include product exchange or free products, flat fees per post, and commission-based payments tied to revenue, providing flexible compensation options for content creators.

Should payment to influencers occur before or after their post?

Always establish a written agreement before commencing collaboration. Influencers may request upfront payment and withhold content creation until a signed contract is in place.

What follower count is required to qualify as a paid influencer?

The threshold for becoming a paid influencer varies, but typically, brands consider collaborations with influencers having a minimum of 1,000 to 10,000 followers.