Influentials 101: Rewarding Your Creators

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Do I set up a barter or a financial reward to attract the correct niche of content creators? That is a question a lot of influencer marketers face when constructing a campaign. With the industry of influencer marketing finding itself in a mature stage, most companies have tried influencer marketing by now, or it’s even part of their short and long-term strategy. Research shows that the influencer marketing industry is setting in a mature stage that grew to $13.8 million in 2021. With budgets rising, content creators now often expect a financial reward more and more.

But at which point do you decide to offer the creator barter or financial reward? What makes a reasonable barter deal? And when should you add a fee? We know it can be a struggle; that’s why we hope to inspire and enlighten you in which cases you should add a financial reward or not.

Three factors play a substantial role in attracting content creators to start a collaboration trajectory with your brand: the creators’ reach, the type of the campaign, and the product/service value.

The reach and niches

Creators variating in levels of reach and who find themselves in specific niches expect different kinds of rewards. Don’t go overboard by offering a €1.000 reward to a creator who just hit 1.500 followers. A €50 reward, on the other hand, won’t score you a deal with a mega creator who has over 500.000 followers. But which offer is fair?

When in doubt, apply the following formula to calculate a reasonable fee per post or story:

Amount of followers x €0.01

Content creators with a reach below 10.000 will often accept a barter deal as their reward. If you want to work with content creators with a reach above 10.000, you may need to offer them an additional financial fee to actualise the collaboration.

Also, keep in mind that being a macro or mega creator is a full-time career in most cases. Receiving just the product or service as their reward won’t help them pay their bills. In comparison, nano and micro-influencers would be more open to collaborating with you when rewarded with just the product. Doing collaborations with brands helps them grow in awareness and following too, so they are more than happy to represent your brand with their audience.

As we already spoke about above, niches play another significant role. Creators who dedicate their whole social channel to a particular subject take a lot of time and dedication. Not only will it help you as a brand reach your target audience in this oversaturated market. These creators know exactly what works with their audience and, therefore, can be of great help to reach your goal as a brand. With this knowledge, they often ask for a price above average.

Still unsure which kind of creator you should work with? Where nano and micro creators score high on engagement, macro and mega creators have the option to use the swipe-up in their Instagram stories. Every type of influencer has its own set of pros and cons. The best way to figure out which route to take with which types of influencers based on their reach or the niche you want for your campaign is to establish a clear campaign goal beforehand and see what kind of influencers would be best to help you reach this goal. Then set up the suitable reward accordingly. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who’s your core customer? What does he or she like, lives, and who does she follow to get inspired?
  • What are your brand standards: What message do you want to spread? This will help you find creators who have the same values and ideals, thus would benefit from a long-term relationship.
  • Do you have a budget? Setting up a budget beforehand is so important! It helps you strategise with whom you can collaborate and clears up the collaboration duration.

Campaign type

The type of your campaign is the second factor that plays a vital role in determining which creators you can attract and what you have to offer them as a reward.

Are you thinking about a multi-channel campaign? With that type of campaign, it would be fair to add a financial fee to the reward, because the creator has to post on multiple platforms, targeting a variety of audiences. For example, Instagram and TikTok are two channels that may look alike, but the primary audience on these platforms target entirely different demographics. TikTok videos score higher on engagement in comparison to Instagram reels, but the audience is way younger, with users aged between 15 - 20 on average. If you want the creator to post on both channels, you need to consider the reach they have combined. The same goes for a combination of Instagram and an additional blog.

Perhaps you are setting up a campaign around video content? Then you may want to add an extra reward to this type of campaign. Compared to an Instagram photo or story, a video takes up more time for a creator to create. Whether it’s a TikTok, IGTV, or reels, take into consideration that creators put more time and creativity into making such video content.

However, a campaign based on story assignments can, in most cases, work on a barter basis. But this also depends on the reach of the creator, as discussed earlier in this article.

Product value

Finally, the value of the product or service you want to promote is also of interest when deciding between a financial or barter-based reward. Let’s say you’re promoting your newest soda flavour! Most cans of soda costs around €2,00. Taking this into account, it would be pretty unfair to offer a creator just the soda as a reward for an Instagram photo. As a rule of thumb, it is best practice to provide financial compensation when your product or service has a value below €25.

But when offering, for example, a year subscription to your service or a product that has a value of at least €50, then a barter deal campaign can work. However, this once again l depends on the type of influencers you want to work with and what you’re asking them to create. Another example is that offering a pair of shoes worth €75 for a photo and story on Instagram won’t attract you creators with a reach of 10.000, but will more likely be accepted by a creator with 4.000.

To conclude, balance is key. When setting up your campaign, make sure that the assignments, the reward, and the creator’s reach and niche are in harmony with one another. If you have any questions or doubts, feel free to contact your customer success manager at Influentials.

Danny Streur
Danny Streur
March 26, 2021