Influencer Marketing Cost-per-Engagement Benchmarks

March 7, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

Cross-Media & Traditional | Digital | Social Media | Sponsorships

US marketers are expected to spend close to $5 billion on influencer marketing this year, and generally, they’ve been happy with the returns. But how much to pay an influencer for a campaign? In a recent report [download page], Aspire reveals costs-per-engagement across channels and by creator size, based on an analysis of thousands of paid partnerships on its platform in 2022.

The report finds that among brands surveyed, Micro influencers (10-60,000 followers) are the most likely partner, followed by Nano influencers (less than 10,000 followers). This has traditionally been the case as smaller influencers tend to have more highly engaged audiences. Indeed, the Aspire report indicates that Nano influencers have the highest engagement rates across Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube, followed in each case by Micro influencers.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the smallest influencers by follower size provide the best cost per engagement (CPE). In examining average CPEs across the 3 most popular channels for influencer marketing, Aspire found that there isn’t a linear correlation between follower count and CPE.

On Instagram, average CPE is lowest for Nano influencers ($0.59), but is the next-lowest for Macro (more than 200,000 followers) influencers ($0.95). The highest average CPE on Instagram was recorded for Micro influencers, at $1.43.

The same pattern was apparent on TikTok, where Nano influencers had an average CPE of just $0.06. The next-lowest was for Macro influencers ($0.48) while the highest was for Micro influencers ($2.00).

It’s a different story altogether on YouTube, where Nano influencers have the highest average CPE ($0.25), followed by Micro influencers ($0.15). Mid-tier (60-200,000 followers) and Macro influencers had the joint-lowest average CPE, of $0.11. It’s important to note, however, that Aspire includes views in YouTube’s cost-per-engagement metric, along with likes, comments and shares, as it deems viewing a YouTube video to be an explicit action taken by users.

It’s perhaps for this reason that overall CPEs were lowest on YouTube ($0.04) for the paid partnerships that took place on Aspire last year. Among the other platforms, TikTok was the lowest ($0.21), followed by Instagram ($0.56), with Facebook ($2.63) and Pinterest ($5.51) more expensive. Easily the highest average CPE was for Twitter, though, at a relatively astounding mark of $37.82.

For more, download the study here.


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