How Much Money Do Instagram Influencers Make in 2021?
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How much money can you actually make from being an influencer?
Whenever you watch a youtube video and the creator says thanks to acme for sponsoring this video, or you're scrolling your instagram feed and you see that little tiny thing that says paid partnership with x brand those people are getting paid but you want to know how much right?
You're in luck because hype auditor recently did a super comprehensive survey of more than 1800 influencers and got a ton of interesting info. So let's dive in first let's talk about some highlights some key stats and some trends over 48% of influencers earn money from their accounts which is freaking awesome. It really shows that you have a high chance of seeing some kind of cash rolling in if you take content creation seriously and what's even better about this is that you don't need to be a huge influencer to see results. Influencers with even just 1 000 followers see as much as 1400 a month what's even better about that is that most influencers spend less than 30 hours a week putting in work on their accounts and averaging 31 dollars an hour, of course there's a threshold here for how many hours a week you need to put in to see that money but we'll get to that later.
Of course it's not all sunshine and rainbows another part of the study covers fraud 47% of influencers were impacted by fraud and unfortunately nearly 50% percent saw a rise in fraudulent activity not cool.
Influencer Size Tiers and How They Earn
So let's dig into influencers and money throughout the study instagram influencers are divided up by how many followers they have let's call these tears so the tiers are from one thousand to ten thousand ten thousand to fifty thousand fifty to five hundred thousand and five hundred thousand to a million and over one million. This is super important because even though there's an overall average of revenue earned for the entire group certain instagram influencers may earn significantly less or more than that average based on their number of followers you're probably thinking okay well well duh we know that already but a contraire you might be surprised to see how those numbers play out when it's all said and done as we mentioned in the highlights 48 of instagram influencers make money from their accounts but that's the average percentage of all the money makers and those numbers vary within each tier so for those in the smallest here 1 000 to 10 000 followers only 22 are bringing in dough but once you crack 10 000 followers and get into those higher tiers your chances of making money practically double what's most interesting is that when you look at the two highest tiers it's the 500 000 to a million range that boasts the highest percentage of earners at 68 over the 63 of earners who have over a million followers.
So a few things to take from this you don't need a massive following to start seeing money come in and once you pass that 10 000 threshold you'll start seeing a significant increase in your chances of making some cash and also more followers doesn't always mean more money. 500k to a million really is a sweet spot where most brands can afford your rates but beyond that there's a much smaller pool that are able to.
The Most Profitable Niches
So now that we have an idea of how followers can affect your cash flow we have to look at how content affects earnings but, which content do you think earns the highest on Instagram? Is it fitness lifestyle, maybe a little foodie content, animals animals and yes we're talking about actual animals with their own Instagram accounts like this one wow 10 million followers that's a lot of followers it's just like a few more than me yeah not that i'm mad about it or anything. What matters here is realizing that the big content verticals that you think are the most lucrative like food and travel actually earn the least. They still earn a solid amount at around two thousand dollars a month but they are still the bottom earners now as a side note, most travel influencers i know were absolutely crushed by the pandemic and their opportunities completely dried up so it's possible that's skewing the data here.
How Does Account Size Affect Earning Potential
So let's talk about how much Instagram influencers earn by account size, remember how it said you have your highest chances of making money in that 500k to a million tier but how much can you actually earn in each tier? Instagram influencers with more than 1 million followers earn nearly 3 times more than all other ranges, 15k a month. Why the huge jump? Well as one expert Gordon Glennister put it, these influencers are becoming brands in their own right and are attracting not just brand promotions but licensing deals joint ventures personal appearances. You might be asking yourself how many are actually making a full-time living as a creator and of the influencers surveyed only five percent said they currently live off their income with average monthly earnings of fifty nine hundred dollars.
So on creator wizard we have a heavy focus on brand deals and there's a reason for that for Instagram influencers 40% of their earnings come from brand promotions with another 21% coming from personal brand development. To put it simply more than half of an Instagram influencers earnings will be from some type of branding which is huge. Let's actually talk about brand deals when it comes to sponsorships and collaborations. There's three main things to consider the conditions of a brand deal, how many brands an influencer works with and how much they earn. So when it comes to the conditions 77% use some type of barter setup when working with brands, only 23% work on a pay for promo condition. For those 77% they either do a pure barter which is basically trading a promo for free products, and gifted services or a hybrid of trade. Pay as far as the number of brands Instagram influencers work with 68% work with between 1 and three brands at a time which seems about right right, it can be hard to juggle a lot of brands at once. So keeping it in that one to three sweet spot is probably best for your sanity.
How Much Can You Earn Per Post?
Okay let's get to the money right and how much influencers can earn per sponsored post, what this really says to me is that instagram influencers suck at pricing themselves. It's all over the place there's no standardization and consistency with their pricing strategy there is absolutely no reason that an influencer with over 1 million followers should be taking a brand deal for 500 to a thousand dollars. I don't care what content vertical you're in there's no reason at all.
Now let's talk about working hours we mentioned at the top that on average influencers spend less than 30 hours a week pumping out content and maintaining their accounts. But you might be wondering what about the time commitment between those that make money and those that don't make any money. Well it kind of makes sense all the influencers that earn money are investing more time 1k to 10k followers spend 9 more hours per week on average, but that gap narrows from 500k to a million. Those making money only spend three extra hours per week than those not making any money. Now it's possible those influencers may be earning money from other social platforms, and they don't need money off Instagram or maybe they haven't been watching creator wizard and they don't know how to properly monetize. Just saying another thing you'll notice is the trend of influencers with over a million followers having a significant bump in the time spent charts. It makes sense right they earn a considerable amount more and they also put in a lot more hours than everyone else well for both earning and non-earning influencers they spend a bulk of their time on posts creating stories and interacting with their followers. However a big difference is that money earners spend a massive amount of more time on marketing and partners, non-earners barely hit 50%.
Pandemic Impact on Earnings
Okay so now we need to talk about the elephant in the room what about the impact of coronavirus on influencers surprise surprise is actually not all doom and gloom as you might have been expecting believe it or not a whopping 47% of Instagram influencers reported earning more during the pandemic so much so that 63% of that group increased their marketing budgets in 2021. Well how about influencers who made less well that number turned out to be 23% mostly comprised of travel influencers like we talked about who of course couldn't create content due to travel restrictions.
Okay so no study about influencer marketing is complete unless we talk about influencers and fraud whether it's fraud with bots fake followers or inauthentic comments or engagement. 47% of Instagram influencers experienced it when the pandemic took hold. Fraud unfortunately increased by 49% industry expert Jason Falls states that this increase underlines the need for brands to continue to build better detection algorithms and continue to find ways to weed out those who cheat. After all if you're putting in the hard work to build a legitimate following it's a reasonable expectation to hopefully earn some money from it at some point it's frankly not fair for some fraudulent account to take those opportunities away from you falls also points out that the goal isn't necessarily to eradicate fraud let's face it there's always going to be some people who are trying to cheat but the goal should be to get to a place where fraud is not the dominant problem in the industry.
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