Agencies reveal how much it costs to run an influencer marketing campaign today
On average, how much does influencer marketing cost? And what’s the minimum your brand will have to spend to see results? Five full-service influencer agencies share their prices.
Influencer marketing agencies discuss their pricing structures
Influencer marketing has become a key part of the marketer’s toolkit, used to integrate wider above-the-lines organically into the social sphere, or to target specific cohorts with an authentic voice. But, despite improvements in the way the impact of influencer campaigns is measured, the sector is often thought of as a black box by the rest of the marketing industry. Costs, in particular, are a dark area.
So, to find out what influencer campaigns might actually cost a marketer in pounds, pennies and dollars, we asked a bunch of influencer marketing agencies to tell us about the prices. While plenty declined to discuss numbers on the record, five agencies – The Goat Agency, Digital Voices, Komodo, Disrupt and Tailify – were willing to share.
So, how much does influencer marketing cost?
Several global influencer marketing agencies shared their minimum campaign spend requirements with us – that is, the least amount you’d need to lay down to access their services.
At The Goat Agency, co-founder Harry Hugo tells The Drum that figure is £40,000 a month. Komodo, an agency with offices in the UK, US and Australia, usually sets its minimum spend at £30,000, though lower prices are available to clients who keep the agency on a retainer.
For agency Digital Voices, the figure is £30,000. Chief executive and founder Jenny Quigley-Jones says spending in the sector has ”grown rapidly” in the last two years. ”Spending on influencer marketing has rapidly grown over the past two years. The industry is growing at a CAGR of 43.2%. Influencers have become an established media channel to drive campaign ROI,” she notes.
”The other thing that has changed is the variety of creators, as millions of creators started their careers under global lockdowns. This means that brands are making their investments go further by partnering with a wide variety of rising star micro-creators to drive long-term results, rather than partnering with a couple of big names. This diversified spend is empowering and supporting the creator economy.”
She asserts that every pound spent on influencer marketing goes further than one spent on TV. ”Creator content tends to outperform brand-produced advertising and is often cheaper – on average brands see a 50% reduction in costs when working with creators over a video production studio. Instead of commissioning video content, smart brands are paying creators for usage rights and running those as paid ads.”
According to Stevie Johnson, managing director at Disrupt, minimum spend sits between £15,000 and £20,000. He says: ”Anything less than that, it’s quite hard to move the needle for an influencer campaign and see real results.”
But, he notes, that level of spend will only typically sustain a campaign for eight weeks or so. ”The more you spread it out, the less momentum a campaign can really build up,” he explains. Consequently, most of its clients run campaigns that involve spend around the £40,000 to £60,000 mark.
Meanwhile, Tailify keeps its minimum spent at £50,000 a month. ”Every solution is bespoke,” says Esme Rice, the company’s marketing director. ”Some clients want a week-long thing, some people want longer. It fits to what each brand needs.”
Goat, Digital Voices, Komodo, Disrupt and Tailify are all full-service agencies, meaning they help clients plan and discover the right partners, execute content and manage relationships.
There are many specialist players within the influencer marketing umbrella, though, including Koalifyed, a SaaS provider that services the creator space. According to Tina Scala, senior vice-president of sales and marketing, the company doesn’t have a minimum spend, but does advise clients to use the platform only if they are frequent activators.
”There is no minimum spend, however there is a place where it makes sense to create efficiency. For example, a single campaign every few months doesn’t justify the use of a platform, but 100 influencers doing multiple campaigns would,” she says. The company’s platform is used by both brands and agencies, though advisory work typically comes from its Stagwell Group sister agencies.
And not every business enforces a minimum spend. Maira Genovese, founder and president of MG Empower, tells The Drum: ”We don’t feel that enforcing a minimum spend is relevant in our world today. We operate in a changing and evolving space at such a pace that demands a flexible approach, so we move with the times.”
The upper limit of campaign spend, our sources tell us, is far more variable. Komodo’s co-founder Freddie Strange says the agency works with brands whose spend reaches into the millions; the agency typically works with clients in the travel and fashion sectors.
It’s a similar story at Goat. ”We have a wide range,” Hugo tells The Drum. ”Some of our brands spend in excess of $10-15m a year.” The agency typically works with 10-100 influencers on a given campaign, with the average work topping out at 50.
How does influencer activity factor into bigger campaigns?
While some brand marketers may choose to reach audiences solely through influencer activity, it’s an atypical choice. In 2021, most clients use influencer marketing as part of a mix, alongside other activations above or below the line.
For example, Hugo tells The Drum that Goat typically advises its clients put aside anywhere between 20% and 70% of their media budget for influencer marketing, depending on their objectives and the campaign itself.
”We’ve been in business for six and a half years and have gone from the biggest budget being £5k a month to millions. That’s not just our business growing, it’s because the market has grown that fast. Investing in this channel is now a prerequisite for the launch of a new product. For our tier one brands ... this needs to be 20%. That’s what we believe it should be as a minimum.”
Disrupt’s Johnson says its clients typically use up around 25% of their budget on influencer activity, while at Digital Voices, Quigley-Jones says that figure ”varies by campaign,” but that ”an average media plan could see brands spend 25-40% of the campaign spend on organic content, 15% on usage rights and then the remaining 45-60% on paid spend.”
Rice says that Tailify usually advises clients put 50% of their media budget aside for influencer work, but stresses the variation among clients. ”We don’t go in and ask for a specific amount of their media budget ... we talk about what results they want to see as a business ... and then what influencer marketing can deliver for that.”
And for Komodo, whose fashion clients are particularly reliant on the channel, Strange says it’s ”impossible” to name an average proportion of spend. ”There’s a huge proportion [of spend] on influencers because that’s the cheapest way of advertising and getting to a mass market for e-commerce brands.”