Are Social Media Influencers Worth the Money?
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
Recently Hopper HQ released an article where they had investigated how much Instagram Influencers are paid per post.
A lot of the people who responded to this were shocked at the amount of money they were making for just one Instagram post and a big chunk of them thought it was way too much.
I want to dissect this and try to answer the question, is the money actually worth it?
Let's Compare it to the Super Bowl Ads
Why the Super Bowl Ads? They are pretty renowned for being some of the most expensive ads and a lot of people are excited to see them each year. If we try to break down the reach that the social media posts get compared to the Super Bowl Ad, it's a good indicator to see the worth.
So how much is a Super Bowl Ad worth?
According to Vox, a 30 second Super Bowl Ad costs $5,000,000 and according to CNBC there were 98.2 million viewers of the Super Bowl. If we assume every one of the those viewers saw the ad we can divide their money spent by the amount of viewers to find out how much they paid per viewer.
This makes $0.05 per viewer. So we can say that each viewer they got cost them $0.05.
Then how much is an Instagram Post worth?
We will use the highest paid Instagram Influencer from the Hopper HQ research to do the same.
Kylie Jenner has 139,226,677 followers and an Instagram post from her costs £1,266,000.
Using these numbers to find out how much it costs for each follower to see the post, it costs $0.01 rounded up, per follower.
There are some points to consider here while comparing the two which I will run through below.
Firstly, the $5,000,000 paid for the Super Bowl Ad is just for the spot, it doesn't include the production costs. So the amount the company pays is even more than that.
The amount you pay for a Super Bowl Ad gets you a spot for a 30-second video ad whereas the amount you are paying the influencer only gets you one static image.
Super Bowl Ads may continue to perform on YouTube and social media.
People trust what influencers have to say and don't like being sold to in adverts.
It's unlikely that every viewer of the Super Bowl watched or paid attention to the ads. This is quite often a time for people to go and sort out drinks and food, start scrolling through social media to see what people are saying about the event and have a bathroom break. On the same vein, every followers of the influencer may not see the post. The use of hashtags does also mean that non-followers will see the post however.
So What Does it Mean?
Although it seems cheaper to pay the influencer $0.01 per viewer than $0.05 for the Super Bowl you need to analyse what this means and exactly what you are paying for.
Although we used the top influencer on Instagram as an example, this price per viewer translates down to Instagram accounts with less followers. Some of the micro or macro influencers have good trust with their followers so if they say something is good, their followers are more likely to buy it. Because of this, it's worth thinking about splitting the budget across smaller accounts than paying a lot for a celebrity influencer.
More and more larger company are putting their budget towards influencer marketing so there must be something working there compared to traditional advertising.
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