Influencer marketing has boomed in recent years, and that growth shows no sign of slowing down, with 65 percent of influencer marketing budgets set to increase in 2020. These budget hikes reflect not only an increased investment in this potentially lucrative form of advertising, but also increases in influencer fees as demand rises. But not all content is created equal, and while pricing has increased across the board, actual costs depend on content type and platform.

In November 2019, IZEA compiled influencer pricing data for different types of content. If you’re thinking of reaching out to influencers to develop a new marketing strategy, then it pays to consider such data carefully.

YouTube Video Costs

Influencers work on all platforms and in all forms of media. Whatever kind of content you want to create, there’s a creator ready and waiting to work with you. However, the influencers demanding the most money are those operating primarily on YouTube. In 2019, the average cost for a video on the platform was $6,700, well up on the average cost in 2018 of $4,085.

Why Are Costs High?

The average cost for a YouTube video is higher than content for other social media platforms, coming in over $5,000 more expensive than an Instagram photograph. One of the most obvious reasons is simply the popularity of YouTube. It’s second only to Facebook, boasting over 2 billion active users, according to Statista. That huge audience helps to explain why 70 percent of businesses rate the platform as an important influencer marketing channel, according to Mediakix.

Demand for video content is high, which puts influencers in a position to ask for more money for their services. Prices are further inflated as fierce competition for visibility in a crowded market means businesses are prepared to pay more to work with the best. Of course, creating videos also requires a considerable investment in time and equipment, so influencers require adequate compensation for that.

What Does This Mean?

The demand for video isn’t likely to subside any time soon, so there’s a good chance prices will continue to rise. However, while costs have jumped by almost $2,500 since 2018, it’s important to note that they are only slightly higher than they were in 2016. They’re actually less than they were in 2017, when they topped out at an average of $7,954.

A dramatic fall in 2018 could be indicative of a shift towards working with micro-influencers on small campaigns. More marketers have taken to working with micro-influencers as they’re cost-effective, perceived as more genuine, and speak to niche audiences. The drop may also have been related to trouble YouTube experienced with top creators that year. Some marketers withdrew their advertising as they didn’t want brands associated with the behavior of bad players.

YouTube has worked hard to resolve issues with advertisers, which may explain the renewed investment in the platform and higher prices. However, the latter part of 2019 brought more problems when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) raised concerns relating to the storage of children’s personal data. It’s uncertain how this will affect the platform, but with channels facing demonetization, and some advertisers backing off, influencers may change how they operate.

Instagram Photo Costs

After YouTube, it’s the influencers on Instagram who bring in the best money. The average cost for an Instagram photograph in 2019 was $1,643. This is a significant jump from the 2018 cost of $1,144.

Why Are Costs High?

The cost for an post on Instagram reflects how important the platform has become to influencer marketing. In fact, 89 percent of businesses rate it as a vital channel for influencer marketing, according to Mediakix. Instagram is also a very accessible platform, as a photo doesn’t always take as much time as creating quality video. That makes it a breeding ground for micro-influencers, providing businesses with more opportunities to connect with the fantastic talent they need. Micro-influencers are more in vogue as marketers shift their interest from reach to engagement, and as concerns regarding bots and fake influencers increase.

What Does This Mean?

Rising costs are indicative of the rising interest in the platform itself. The number of monthly active users on Instagram increased from 800 million in September 2017 to 1 billion in June 2018, according to Statista. As the user base grows, it becomes even more appealing to marketers, who must fight harder (and pay more) to stand out. Additionally, the introduction of new functionality over time, such as influencer analytics, Instagram Stories and IGTV provides a playground of possibilities for marketing. That means the upward trend in pricing will likely continue.

Blog Post Costs

Although there’s certainly high demand for visual media, such as photographs and video, don’t discount the power of the written word just yet. Many companies still consider blogs to be essential, and in 2019 the cost of a post on an influencer’s blog averaged $1,442. This is almost on par with 2018’s price of $1,403.

Why Are Costs High?

Blog post costs are holding steady, but they’re still considerably higher than the average cost of a Twitter status ($422) or Facebook status ($395). This may be related to the time and effort involved in crafting a blog story, especially if it includes extensive research and original photographs. Furthermore, blogs are most important in the realm of business-to-business (B2B) marketing, where professionalism and perfection count.

What Does This Mean?

Blog costs may be quite high, but they have seen just a 2 percent growth from 2018 to 2019. This is much lower than the rising costs on other platforms, which range from 35 percent (Twitter) to 64 percent (YouTube). This may reflect a gradual migration to video for subjects that were once predominantly presented in blogs, such as reviews and instructional content.

The biggest concern for blogs is that they’re less accessible in a fast-paced world. They’re not as easy to enjoy on mobile devices, and 43 percent of people admit to skimming blogs, according to Impact.

Don’t write off blogs, though. Articles and whitepapers are still the ideal delivery method for thought leadership and for improving a site’s position in search engine results. There are also still plenty of people reading blogs; they’re just less likely to read full articles. Ultimately, 53 percent of marketers list blogging as their top content marketing priority, and new blogs launch online every day.

Blog costs may be stagnating due to diminishing returns. If that’s the case, it may be related to marketers failing to adapt their blogging strategies rather than a failure of blogs themselves.

In Conclusion

For influencer marketing, the future looks bright. Most businesses are considering an increase in investment, prices are rising and talented content creators are carving out their niches every day. The race is on to work with the best in the business, and now more than ever it’s important to understand what costs may be involved to help you control your marketing budget.

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