Influencer Marketing For Dummies Cheat Sheet

By Kristy Sammis, Cat Lincoln, Stefania Pomponi, Jenny Ng, Edita Gassmann Rodriguez, Judy Zhou

Influencer marketing is all about working with social media influencers to help your business grow. If you’re thinking about using influencer marketing, you need to know how much to pay influencers — the price varies based on platform and the size of the influencer’s audience. When you’re diving into influencer marketing, it helps to know what it cant do, so that you don’t have unrealistic expectations. Finally, you want to make sure to avoid common influencer marketing pitfalls and steer clear of legal trouble with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

How Much Money Do Bloggers and Social Media Influencers Make?

Blogging and publishing content across social channels can be a hobby for some, and a full-time career for others. Most bloggers and influencers have discovered that there are various ways to monetize their passion and turn it into a profession.

The amount bloggers and influencers get paid for influencer marketing in particular depends on several factors, including but not limited to the influencer’s “going rate,” the ask in terms of scope of work, the platform on which the influencer is publishing, the influencer’s vertical (category or niche), and the influencer’s reach (how many people follow or visit the influencer’s site or platform).

Here are some average estimate earnings for bloggers, Instagram influencers, and video bloggers (vloggers) broken down by their potential reach:

  • Bloggers: $175 to $5,000+ per post with amplification on social channels (re-posting the content across other social platforms). Here are the going rates based on the blogger’s number of monthly impressions:

    • 10,000 to 50,000 monthly blog impressions: $175 to $250 per post

    • 50,000 to 100,000 monthly blog impressions: $250 to $500 per post

    • 100,000 to 500,000 monthly blog impressions: $500 to $1,000 per post

    • 500,000+ monthly blog impressions: $1,000 to $5,000+ per post

  • Instagram influencers: $75 to $3,000+ per image. Here are the going rates based on the influencer’s number of followers:

    • 2,000 to 10,000 Instagram followers: $75 to $250 per image

    • 10,000 to 50,000 Instagram followers: $250 to $500 per image

    • 50,000 to 100,000 Instagram followers: $500 to $1,000 per image

    • 100,000 to 500,000 Instagram followers: $1,000 to $3,000 per image

    • 500,000+ Instagram followers: $3,000+ per image

  • Video influencers: $500 to $5,000+ per video. Here are the going rates based on the influencer’s number of followers on YouTube:

    • 50,000 to 100,000 channel subscribers: $500 to $1,000 per video

    • 100,000 to 500,000 channel subscribers $1,000 to $3,000 per video

    • 500,000+ channel subscribers: $3,000 to 5,000+ per video

What Influencer Marketing Can’t Do

An influencer marketing program can be a fantastic addition to a multipronged marketing strategy when it comes to elevating your brand or product, but it can’t stand alone. Nor can you expect it to miraculously deliver outrageous results overnight. Influencer marketing amplifies traditional marketing efforts, but it can’t replace them entirely, so plan accordingly and keep your expectations in check.

Here are five things that Influencer Marketing realistically cannot do:

  • Make your content go viral. Creating awesome content that people want to engage with is a great and admirable goal, but “going viral” is not a viable success metric for your influencer marketing campaign. Virality itself is unpredictable. It can be a happily surprising outcome when the right story and audience elements are in play, but “going viral” is not a concrete, measurable business goal like engagement or sales.

  • Drive direct purchase. Whether your product is a service, an app, or an off-the-shelf product, don’t expect influencer marketing to convert the majority of clicks-throughs to direct purchase. Online audiences are looking for inspiration and product recommendations, but reading a blog post isn’t necessarily going to inspire a direct purchase right this minute. If your goal is to drive millions of downloads for your hot new app, influencer marketing is not for you.

  • Drive event attendance. If your goal is to fill an event with warm bodies, look elsewhere, because influencer marketing cannot make a certain number of people go to a specific time and place unless you’re giving away a high-value item.

  • Change negative opinions of your brand. If your product is broken in any way, or your company is going through a PR firestorm, do not engage with social influencers. Influencer marketing is terrific for amplifying the social conversation, but if the current buzz is overwhelmingly negative, it won’t change overnight no matter how many influencers you hire.

  • Be done cheaply, easily, and quickly. Influencer marketing can be done with a reasonable budget, but it would be wrong to assume that it’s always an inexpensive and quick alternative to other marketing tactics (PR, traditional/digital advertising, and so on). Social media platforms may be free to use, but influencers generally don’t work for free. You could go cheap and easy (buyer beware — you’ll get what you pay for) or easy and fast (though it’ll cost you!), but the combination of all three is not realistically possible.

5 Influencer Marketing Tactics That Will Get You in Trouble

Influencers by their nature are a pretty savvy bunch, but that doesn’t mean all marketers are — especially those new to influencer marketing. Every year there are a few influencer marketing programs gone wrong, where a brand tried to get away with something it shouldn’t have.

The bottom line is: Dont be shady! At best, bad behavior will cause your program to fail, and influencers (or their readers) will expose your brand for being dishonest. At worst, you’ll find yourself under fire from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

When you’re pursuing influencer marketing, avoid the following five tactics at all costs:

  • Encouraging influencers to pretend that they don’t have a relationship with you: There’s a difference between organic earned media (in which publicity is gained through unpaid editorial influence or grassroots interest)and influencer marketing. If you’re employing influencer marketing, make sure your influencers say so. It’s not just required by law, but readers erupt over undisclosed sponsor-influencer relationships.

  • Making your influencers try to pass off your content as theirs: Readers hate being lied to. Forcing your influencers to pretend your words or images are theirs is a form of trickery. Readers will sniff it out and ignore it at best, and get really angry about it at worst.

  • Hosting click-baiting contests: Pitting influencers against each other in contests that require their readers to vote for them (over other participants) is click-bait, pure and simple. It’s practically begging the influencers to engage in guerilla promotional tactics — tactics that damage the influencers’ reputations and spam their audiences. Most experienced influencers won’t participate in these types of programs. Ultimately, no one wins.

  • Using influencers for “spin”: If your product or service is getting negative media attention, stay away from influencer marketing! Even if you arm your influencers with great information, you’re still putting them on the front lines — and potentially setting them up to defend your brand against haters and trolls. This can get ugly fast.

  • Writing anything you don’t want broadcast on the Internet: Treat influencers and potential influencers the way you would a colleague. If you’re rude, dismissive, or otherwise unkind to influencers, you run the risk of having any or all of your communications published online for all the world to see. Influencers have influence, and they have every right to let their audiences know when they’ve been treated poorly.

Influencer Marketing and FTC Regulations: What You Need to Know

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regularly updates its guidelines for endorsements. Every time it does, waves of panic spread across social media, as everyone scrambles to make sure they’re following the new rules.

Of course, everyone wants to play fair — because skirting or just plain ignoring FTC guidelines can get your brand in trouble (hefty fines and Internet backlash can cost people’s jobs and brands’ reputations). But playing it safe can go too far, too. How can you tell if you’re doing it right?

Don’t lose sight of the big picture: The FTC’s purpose is to protect consumers from being deceived. So, bottom line: Don’t be deceptive! Use disclosures any time you or your influencers are encouraging people to read sponsored content that they otherwise wouldn’t know was sponsored.

That said, you don’t have to go overboard. If your influencer is tweeting “Join me and [Brand Name] for a Twitter chat today using hashtag #BrandHashtag” you don’t need to add #ad to the Tweet. The brand sponsorship is clearly indicated.

A sponsored Instagram caption that reads, “Trying these new leggings today that [Brand Name] sent me. What do you think? #ootd” does not also need #ad. The relationship between the brand and the influencer is spelled out.