How Do Brands Pay Influencers? A Comprehensive Overview


How brands pay influencers

How do brands pay influencers?

  • How do brands pay influencers?

  • According to a Mediakix study, there are an estimated 3.2 million to 37.8 million social media influencers in the world. This range represents millions of unique individuals who need more than a one-size-fits-all payout structure to compensate for their work. While influencer payments often come in the form of gifting or paying per post, there are other ways brands can pay their influencer partners to create strong, sustainable partnerships.


    How do brands pay influencers?Free guide: Seven ways to pay influencers today and tomorrow

    Interested in how influencers are paid? For a deeper understanding, take a look at Seven ways to pay influencers today and tomorrow

    Learn all about influencer payment, ROI, and the cost of influencer marketing. blogbysammy

    Get my free guide

    How do brands pay influencers?

    As the adage goes, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” If you’ve been using the same approach to influencer marketing for all influencers, then it may be time to diversify your strategy. Blogbysammy

    What works for one influencer may not work for others. To remain flexible and successful, it’s time to rethink your payment methods.  Read more

    Assess your social media influencer business goals

    Before implementing anything new to your influencer marketing program, take stock of your goals, and desired outcomes. This will enable you to achieve:

    • Greater impact and audience engagement 
    • Trust and authenticity from influencer insights
    • Metrics that help you understand your partnerships and create payment structures from those goals and metrics
    • Long-term relationships with partners who perform well
    • blog by Sammy

    Five examples of payment structures for influencer marketing campaigns

    After reflecting on your goals, consider these five influencer payout formats and see which one aligns the best with your objectives.

    1. Gifting. Incentivizing quality content creation to drive traffic and engagement with gifts 
    2. Performance-based results. Creating a scalable model with revenue-based rewards
    3. Affiliate network. Driving traffic through customized links
    4. Fixed rate with performance bonus. A hybrid fixed rate + percent-of-sale approach 
    5. Content licensing. Paying influencers to create content for the brand’s use 

    Example 1: Brand awareness through gifting 

    When brands pay via gifting, they expect influencers to create quality content that drives traffic and engagement. Through gifting, brands can measure:

    • Reach
    • Views
    • Comments
    • Likes 
    • Shares

    Gifting works best with micro- and nano-influencers as they don’t command as much of a premium for their content. When working with macro-influencers or with celebrities, gifting may still be part of the equation, but it may be combined with other partnership and payment agreements. 

    Example 2: Performance based influencer payment

    For brands focused on driving engagement on their social media accounts, gifting might not be the way to incentivize engagement goals. 

    When brands tie payment to performance, they can compensate influencers based on the number of clicks, conversions, and revenue driven to their site. This payout structure is the most cost-effective because it enables brands to reward their partners promptly and fairly, connecting payouts to revenue goals.  blog

    When brands pay based on performance, they can structure their influencer payments around:

    • Clicks
    • Revenue
    • Conversions 
    • Likes 
    • Shares

    Tracking all these metrics fairly and transparently is crucial to creating solid partnerships. Brands need a platform that tracks this programmatically, such as’s partnership management platform.

  • How do brands pay influencers?

    Example 3: Affiliate network influencer campaigns

    For brands who wants to drive traffic to their site with customized tracking links, an affiliate network is the ideal approach. blog

    The metrics that affiliate networks track are:

    • Conversions
    • Revenue
    • Average order value

    When brands process payments based on performance from custom links, they can smoothly and efficiently pay influencers and maximize the ROI of their spend. 

    Example 4: Fixed-rate with performance bonus

    A fixed-rate model is a hybrid model that enables brands to pay influencers a fixed rate plus a percentage of sale. The combination payment structure creates a higher ROI for both the influencer and the brand. The influencer has incentives paid for every sale or action taken by their followers through the bonuses, but they also have the fixed rate to demonstrate the brand’s commitment. 

    Brands can construct a bonus system in several ways, for example:

    • Clicks
    • Conversions
    • Order value
    • Specific product sales

    If you’re looking to drive sales and engagement at scale with a payment system that rewards only genuine, quality results, then this might be the best route for you.

    Example 5: Content licensing

    When brands need content for their different social and web channels, having social media influencers create content with an agreed-upon content licensing fee is a good way to go. 

    Under this type of agreement, brands leverage great content while the influencer generates some income. Licensing fee agreements cover what the influencer will create, where the brand can use it, and for how long. These agreements can be tracked by integrating content licensing as a payment model into a partnership management platform such as’s partnership management platform. 

    Types of posts, influencers, and goals will impact your influencer marketing strategy

    Ultimately, when it comes to paying influencers, brands have a variety of options. They can choose payment structures that align their influencer marketing goals with company goals and reward the outcomes they need. When brands understand the outcomes they want to achieve, they can partner with influencers who will meet the metrics to help get them there. 

    blog by SammyFree guide: Seven ways to pay influencers today and tomorrow

    Interested in how influencers are paid? For a deeper understanding, take a look at Seven ways to pay influencers today and tomorrow

    Learn all about influencer payment, ROI, and the cost of influencer marketing.

    Get my free guide

    Now that you’ve mastered the fundamentals of influencer paymentschedule a demo to learn how’s partnership management platform can help your brand strategically manage influencer campaigns and how it connects influencers and creators with the world’s leading brands.

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