How Are Marketers Paying Influencers?

April 7, 2023

Paying influencers is a significant challenge marketers have when working with influencers, according to research from Capterra. In surveying 300 marketing professionals that currently use influencers for marketing or advertising initiatives, Capterra found 4 in 10 saying that one of the biggest pain points they have when working with influencers is determining rates or making payments.

That puts it almost on par with the 41% who reported that determining success metrics or KPIs is one of their biggest challenges.

When it comes to paying influencers, the study indicates that performance-based payments are becoming popular, used by a majority (56%) of respondents. That’s second only to the 64% who pay influencers per campaign.

Other common ways that marketers are paying influencers include by retainer or on a continual basis (54%), at a fixed rate (53%), and on licensing deals (52%). Half use compensation methods including affiliate basis (50%), pay per post (50%) and hourly rate (50%).

Interestingly, 9 in 10 say it’s extremely common for influencers to help determine the payment method.

(See here for influencer cost-per-engagement benchmarks.)

Choosing Influencers

Marketers are engaging in a variety of partnerships with influencers, ranging from brand ambassadors to themed or hashtag campaigns, integrated campaigns, and product collaborations.

When considering hiring an influencer, 54% of marketers surveyed find it very important how many followers the influencer has. Equally important is the influencer fitting a certain aesthetic, also cited by 54% of respondents.

Engagement is also of course crucial, and to this end the survey suggests that more marketers are choosing to work with mid-tier influencers, who have more targeted and engaged audiences.

Meanwhile, competitive rates are very important to almost half (47%) of marketers when considering an influencer. In fact, about 4 in 10 (41%) feel that their company is overpaying influencers. Among this group, about half (49%) say that their biggest challenge is achieving a clear ROI or promised results.

While a large subset of marketers might perceive themselves as paying too much for influencers, respondents overall seem enthusiastic about their influencer budgets. Some 65% plan to increase their influencer marketing spend in the next 6 months, whereas fewer say the same about digital marketing spend (60%) and in particular, overall marketing spend (45%).

Maybe that’s because there’s broad consensus that these efforts are working. Fully 93% agree that influencer marketing is extremely valuable to their company, and virtually all (98%) are satisfied with their companies’ influencer marketing initiatives. Previous research has likewise found marketers saying that influencer collaborations work most or all of the time.

Other Survey Highlights:

  • More than 9 in 10 (93%) respondents note that their companies require reviews from legal professionals or teams when working with influencers.
  • Security issues and brand or reputation concerns are key for marketers when working with influencers.
  • About 8 in 10 (81%) report that their company typically discovers influencers by using influencer search tools or software.
  • Some 61% of marketers surveyed currently use an influencer agency or specialist to manage influencers, and almost all of these marketers are satisfied with their agency’s performance.
  • The biggest benefits of working with influencers are said to be building trust or credibility (65%), creating content (64%), increasing engagement (62%) and increasing brand or product awareness (61%). Research has found that influencers can become more valuable to brands by building more interest and purchase intent.

For more, check out the survey results here.


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