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Sixty-two percent of Americans watch videos on YouTube daily and 92% use the platform weekly. It’s not surprising to see more influencers set up channels. Some of the biggest YouTube influencers have earned massive followings. 

For instance, Ryan’s World, a YouTube channel that follows 10-year-old Ryan Kaji, has 30 million followers. His celebrity status on YouTube spawned a TV show on Nickelodeon and a line of Ryan’s World toys. 

Working with a YouTube influencer to promote your product could be a big win, but what’s the cost? To help understand the world of influencer compensation on YouTube, here’s some insight.    

Can you trade products for posts?

Most YouTube influencers won’t trade products for posts. Most influencers expect some sort of payment, in addition to receiving a free product, if the campaign calls for it. 

There may be a few outliers, like new-to-YouTube influencers who are willing to work for a free product, but it’s no longer the standard practice for social endorsements. 

Factors that influence compensation

Many factors weigh into how much a YouTube influencer charges. Here’s a closer look at the factors that tend to drive costs up: 

Audience size

As you might suspect, influencers with mega audiences often charge more. Ryan Kaji from Ryan’s World earned $29.5 million in 2019 as a YouTube influencer. There is a direct correlation between compensation and audience size.

Type of content

Different types of content require different time commitments. In general, the more work it takes to create the content, the higher the cost. 

Engagement rates

A seasoned influencer will provide engagement rates for everyday traffic and for sponsored posts. Influencers with great engagement can charge more. Engagement rates between 2-3% are average, 4-6% are excellent, and anything in the teens is considered viral.


If you find an influencer that really connects with your audience, you may want the influencer to work with your brand exclusively. If that’s the case, an influencer must sign a non-compete agreement and receive compensation that makes up for potentially lost income. 

How much does a YouTube influencer charge?

While influencer compensation varies widely, it’s important for both brands and influencers to have benchmarks. IZEA, an influencer marketplace, has studied influencer pay for years and can provide specifics. 

Average cost for a sponsored post on YouTube

YouTube is the most expensive social media platform on which to run an influencer marketing campaign. The chart below shows the average cost of paid posts per platform. The average cost of a sponsored YouTube post is $4,491.  

By comparison, TikTok influencers usually make $3,514 per post, Pinterest influencers average $2,114 per post, and Facebook influencers make $833 per post. Twitter influencers charge the least at just $284 per post.

Average cost of a YouTube post with a post on another platform

It’s common for brands to ask influencers to create content for multiple channels. Many brands pick two channels and collaborate with influencers to create complementary content for each platform. The most common platform to pair with YouTube is Instagram. 

The chart below examines “post combos” and compensation. As you can see, a YouTube video and an Instagram Story cost $13,025 together on average.

The cheapest combination is Facebook and Instagram, which costs $2,208. 

Average cost of a sponsored YouTube post by audience size  

Audience size plays a role in campaign costs. To access audience sizes, influencers are broken into groups. The tiers are as follows:

Nano-influencer: 1,000-9,999 followers

Micro-influencer: 10,000-49,999 followers

Mid-tier influencer: 50,000-199,999 followers

Macro-influencer: 200,000-499,999 followers

Mega-influencers: 500,000-999,999 followers (or more)

The State of the Influencer Earnings™ 2022 shows payments across all platforms based on an influencer’s audience tier. You’ll notice compensation increased from 2020 to 2021 for all tiers.

In 2021, a nano influencer charged right around $800. The next tier up, a micro-influencer, charged around $1,500, while mid-tier influencers charged about  $3,000. Macro-influencers charged about $5,000 and mega-influencers topped the chart at almost $7,000 per post. 

All of these rates represent record highs since IZEA started tracking payments in 2015. In IZEA’s creator marketplace, brands can find creators with rates starting at $50 for YouTube videos or mentions in YouTube videos. That’s because this platform allows creators to set their own prices.

If you’re interested in creating a YouTube campaign with an influencer, review the State of Influencer Earnings 2022 from IZEA before reaching out. The report offers more specific insight on the influencer marketing economy and how much you can expect to pay per campaign.


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