Paying Influencers On A Budget: 5 Ways To Pay Your Ideal Influencer

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about influencer marketing as a business owner? Expensive!!! Right?

Well, many things are consistent within the influencer marketing space. However, paying influencers is not one of these. Probably, because a range of factors come into play when negotiating influencer rates.

So, does this mean influencer marketing is reserved for big brands and corporations with deep pockets to spare? Of course not. Every business can leverage influencer marketing to grow and explore new markets.

But while influencers do not and should not work for free, there are various cost-effective ways to pay an influencer in a way that accords value to their creative efforts. Here are a few and the expected value in exchange for each remuneration type.

Cost Per Engagement

Brands can measure engagement metrics and apply an attribute depending on the channels used by the influencers. So, Influencers could get paid per Likes or Comments.

However, considering that Likes and Comments are vanity metrics and do not exactly reflect Return on Investment (ROI), this method of payment has been on its way out for a while now. Dare I say, even non-existent in the Ghanaian business space.

Per Click

This mode of payment best suits YouTube content creators. They are compensated each time someone clicks to view their content. Let’s say your business is into T-shirt designs and you would like to build some brand awareness using influencer marketing.

It might be a great idea to engage a youtube content creator who could wear one of your designs in their videos and leave a link to your website on that content. You must have a website and use google analytics to track where your customers come from. This will come in handy when evaluating your campaign efforts. It also makes it easier to pay the influencers.


This is an affiliate marketing approach in which an influencer would get a certain percentage (previously agreed), each time a promo code is used to purchase whatever the brand is selling. Commission-based payments are predominantly common with brands within the beauty and fashion industry.

This form of payment is also largely accepted by upcoming influencers, particularly, Nano and some Micro-influencers who are trying to build their portfolios. There are some affordable third-party tools that your business and the influencers could use to track how many customers made purchases using the link, to establish a certain level of transparency and trust in your working relationship.


You may decide to give influencers free access to events that would normally be hard to get into. In return, influencers share snippets of the event via their social media channels. This is a great way for influencers to enjoy an event of interest while curating content that resonates with their audience.

This may work well for you if you are interested in promoting high-level ticketed industry events. For instance, an annual marketing conference with several speakers. The influencers you onboard for this campaign, need to be individuals who currently operate within the marketing space and have some foreknowledge about the event and its value, to appreciate this mode of payment.

Sample of Invitation

Gift cards/boxes

Nano and some micro-influencers may render services for a gift card or a free service/product. While this mode of remuneration was common in the early days of the industry’s development, we can see why it is slowly phasing. Thus, not a preference for most influencers. However, some well-established influencers may opt for this method if they are celebrating a key milestone, for instance, a birthday.

Using this method, you are very likely to get a post or two on IG (Instagram) stories and maybe (a very strong maybe), I must add, a feed post, depending on the value of the gift card and how much they love your product. It is very important to be upfront with your expectations, as with every other remuneration method.

Don’t just send your product or a gift card to an influencer on the premise of being generous, secretly hoping or assuming they would create content around it. Make your expectations clear from the onset and have an agreement to avoid any disappointments.

Sample of Gift Box

An Upfront Fee

As the name suggests, fees are paid upfront. This payment type is more popular and a preference for most influencers. There are no fixed rates, but you should take into consideration the number of followers, and engagement rates of the influencer and anticipate the long-term value they can bring to your brand or business, to come up with something negotiable.

To make the offer juicier for your prospective influencer, you may want to combine a number of these remuneration methods. For instance, an upfront fee with a rolling commission for some time or you may offer gift cards or a gift and a rolling commission. Ultimately, whatever you decide to pay an influencer would largely depend on the expected deliverables, which would differ from campaign to campaign.


In a nutshell, there is an ideal influencer for your brand, you just need to find them and if they love you enough, payment should be the least of your worries.

Source: Priscilla Aseye Febiri

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Sophia Celestina Apenkro

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