Influencers Brand Strategy Future of Media

Influencers earning more money from Instagram, but face an uphill battle to combat fraud


By Shawn Lim, Reporter, Asia Pacific

July 15, 2021 | 3 min read

Influencers around the world earn money primarily from their Instagram accounts, and most reported an increase in income after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Brand promotion accounted for the majority of influencer income

On average, influencers earn $2,970 per month from their Instagram account, with micro-influencers (1,000-10,000 followers) averaging $1,420 per month, and mega-influencers (over 1 million followers) averaging $15,536 per month, according to HypeAuditor’s ‘Influencer Income Survey’.

Only 4% of respondents live on income from an account, but 26% of respondents hope to in the future.

Brand promotion accounted for the majority of influencer income at 40%, with most working with brands for barter and money at 56%.

The results also showed that fraud continues to be prevalent, with almost half of influencers (47%) reporting being impacted by fraudulent activity and 50% experiencing an increase in fraudulent activity since the onset of the pandemic.

“We estimate that over 50 million people around the world consider themselves creators, despite the creator economy only being born a decade ago,” said Alex Frolov, chief executive officer of HypeAuditor.

“Our main goal with this survey is to provide a deeper understanding of the creator ecosystem as it is quickly becoming one the fastest-growing types of small business worldwide.”

What did the survey find?

  • Mega-influencers earn $187 per hour compared to the average influencer at $31 per hour. Beauty influencers’ earnings average $60 per hour.

  • Brand promotion accounts for most influencer income, as close to a quarter of influencers are building a personal brand and attracting customers to their businesses through Instagram, participating in affiliate programs and selling courses.

  • Subscription services were noted as an additional source of income by 8% of influencers.

  • On average, these influencers receive $5,912 from their account per month.

  • Most work with brands for barter and money, with 21% of influencers working with brands through barter and 23% for money. The majority disclose advertising arrangements (61%), but 12% of respondents admitted to not disclosing sponsorships.

  • Influencers spend approximately 24 hours a week on maintaining an account. Most of the time is devoted to posts, stories and communication with followers. The least amount of time is spent on team management, marketing strategy and communication with partners.

  • Influencers who earn money from their account spend 28.7 hours per week on average, while those who do not earn any money through their account spend 20.9 hours on average.

Influencers Brand Strategy Future of Media

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