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Nowadays, it’s hard to find someone without at least one social media account. It’s a huge reason why influencer marketing has become a highly popular and effective form of marketing. In fact, traditional media methods of marketing and advertising haven’t been working as well as they used to, and the influencer marketing industry is set to grow to approximately $13.8B in 2021. With this in mind, it makes sense why there are so many digital creators out there making a living from partnering with huge brands on campaigns and consistently growing their social media presence. To really put it in perspective, we’ll break down everything you need to know about how influencers earn their money.
One of the most important factors in determining what influencers earn for participating in a campaign is how big their social media following is. This is where influencer tiers, or levels come into play. While some influencers make their own rates depending on their followings, the standard amount influencers earn is $10 per 1,000 followers. There are five commonly-used categories that marketers in the influencer marketing industry use to help make this distinction.
Nano influencers are those digital creators that have between 1K and 10K followers on their main social platform. These influencers earn anywhere from $100 to $500 or more per post depending on the platform and the campaign deliverables. It is estimated that nano influencers can make between $30K and $60K a year.
Micro influencers usually have anywhere from 10K to 50K followers on social media. This level of influencer is usually very valuable to brands, as they typically have very high engagement rates. So, while their following isn’t the biggest, they can still prove their impact goes far beyond their follower numbers. Today, these influencers can earn hundreds to a few thousand dollars per post. In a Vox article, influencer marketing expert Joe Gagliese states that micro influencers earn anywhere from $40K to $100K a year.
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Want to see a successful influencer in action? Check out our spotlight on micro influencer Kristin Padilla here.
As for mid-tier influencers, they typically have followings on social media between 50K to 500K. These influencers earn anywhere from $2K to $5K or more depending on the expectations of the campaign.
Macro influencers have followings ranging between 500K to 1M. These influencers with up to 1M followers can get up to $10K per post depending on the platform.
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Mega influencers tend to be considered more as semi-celebrities, as they have followings over 1M. Creators with more than 1M followers can make more than $100K, or even up to $250K, per sponsored post, according to Vox.
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How Influencers Earn Money on Different Platforms
No matter what platform you’re on, you can find a way to cash in on the content you film and share every day. Everyone, from bloggers to vloggers on YouTube, who has amassed an audience simply because of their social media content can earn money due to their reach and influence. However, depending on the platform, the way to make money or the ways to qualify to make money can differ.
Based on 2020 data, Instagram is the most popular social media platform for influencer marketing. Influencers on Instagram can mainly earn money through sponsored in-feed posts, Reels, and sponsored Instagram Story posts.
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Besides participating in campaigns, TikTok stars can also make money through the Creator Fund. However, this fund is only accessible to those that:
- Are based in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain, or Italy
- Are 18+ years old
- Have 10K+ followers
- Have 10K+ video views in the last month
- Have an account that adhered to the community guidelines and terms of service
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Before you start monetizing your videos on YouTube, it’s important to first ensure that your channel is following YouTube’s monetization policies. Once you’ve confirmed that their policies are being followed, you are welcome to apply to the YouTube Partner Program once you have 1K subscribers and 4K watch hours. This program is a giant creator fund that gives YouTubers the opportunity to share the money that YouTube has made on advertisements. This program was introduced in 2007 and has since paid creators more than $8.5B. Most YouTubers make money through AdSense, which allows Google to put ads in their videos.
Facebook has its own program called Facebook for Creators to allow influencers to get the most out of sharing and monetizing their content on Facebook. With the program, you can manage, earn money, and engage with your audience in a streamlined fashion.
Different Revenue Streams for Influencers
Think influencers earn money only from brand deals? Well, that’s a myth! Depending on their personal brand, their content, their social media presence, and their audience, influencers earn additional money in the following ways:
- Becoming a brand ambassador or affiliate
- Selling merchandise
- Starting a Patreon
- Selling exclusive items such as e-books
- Starting a podcast or another monetizable social media account
Read more about the pricing tiers for different influencers and campaigns here.
How to Earn More as an Influencer
If you’re currently earning money as an influencer and are looking for ways to grow, or you have a sizable following and are looking for ways to make money – check out these following tips!
- Produce High-Quality Content: Not only does high-quality content draw in more eyes from potential followers, but it helps you make a great impression on potential partners. When a brand is sponsoring or teaming up with an influencer for a campaign, they want to know that the influencer will produce stellar content. This way, you can build up your credibility as an influencer and earn more.
- Engage With Your Audience: Other than looking at how many followers an influencer has, brands often like to see an influencer’s engagement rate. To make a campaign successful, an audience should engage with the content through likes, comments, and shares – which is why brands take these engagement rates so seriously. If you’re looking to boost your engagement rate, put in an effort to communicate and build a relationship with your followers. To do so, answer their questions, ask them questions, like their comments, respond to their comments, host giveaways, be active on your Stories, re-post their content, and more.
- Join an Influencer Network: Influencer marketing agencies are known for having their own influencer network. This is extremely helpful, especially for smaller creators who haven’t yet received a lot of proposals for brand collaborations. By joining an influencer network, the influencer marketing agency will match you with the current campaigns they’re running and you would be a great fit for. Thus, you’ll be matched with more brands and will earn more for your content.