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Pricing guidelines - How to charge brands for influencer marketing?

Posted on February 5, 2016

Would you pay $42 for a packet of Pot Noodles? Or how about one million dollars for a fishinglure? No, me either. But according to one Cool Material list some people do. #siaoness

You see, placing a value on something can be really difficult. And if you’re a YouTube influencer, you may be struggling to put a price on yourself. So this week, we thought we’d share some tips on how you can charge brands for your videos.


Percentage mark-up

Provided you’ve got a calculator handy (or if you are just a maths whizz) percentages are a simple way to calculate the price you charge brands. For instance, you may decide to charge a percentage mark-up on the cost of production.

Besides simplicity, the other beautiful thing about a percentage is that being a fixed amount, brands know what they will be paying up-front, whereas pay-per-view and pay-per-action models are unpredictable.


Pay per view

Of course, whilst percentages connote a degree of predictability on price, they do not guarantee a return-on-investment.  With conversion being the goal, brands who consider views to be “leads” may prefer to pay for each view your video receives. Usually they will take the average views of your previous videos to gauge the price.

For the price per view, this will be for you and the brand to negotiate.  And, while you want to entice the brands to work with you, don’t sell yourself short; if your previous views are high and you think your subscriber base is highly targeted to the product, bring this information to the bargaining table. 


Pay per action

If you’re confident enough in your powers of persuasion, then perhaps you might like to up the ante by charging brands for a specific action that your video generates. Media Kix suggest various KPI measurements, including:

Registrations;Email sign-ups;Social sharing; orSite visits.

It is this very ability to track campaign results that makes this form of payment popular amongst brands.   Be sure to include a tracking link in your video which drives the action the brand are after.  Then sit back, and watch the payments come in with each action.


Multiple sponsors

If you are in the enviable position of attracting multiple sponsors to one video campaign, congratulations!  Of course with great YouTube power comes great responsibility; you need to be sure that you are splitting the costs equitably between all the brands.  

In determining the price for each, consider how much airtime each brand receives, and the placement of their product in the video.  In the (unlikely) event that a viewer fails to watch your video to the end, it’s only fair that the products reviewed first pay a premium. 

Social media bundle

The brands hiring you want two things; viewers and conversion.  It makes sense then that if you bundle your video in a package with an Instagram post, shares on Facebook or a link on your profile, that you may attract a higher fee for your work.

And as Social Media Examiner point out, sharing videos on Twitter allows you“to add engaging commentary.”

The fame game

Just as The Fame Monster herself commands more in performance fees than she did when she was Stefani Germanotta, your own price will largely depend on how famous you are.  

Whilst we consider everyone in our SushiVid shoal to be fresh, sashimi grade talent, we appreciate that some of you have more followers than others.  

For those of you who are well established, by all means you should be able to command a higher price.  However, if you are a raw talent, fresh on the influencer scene with a small subscriber base, charge those brands willing to give you a chance thoughtfully.

Test your audience

The above point leads perfectly into Evan Carmichael’s advice that you should test out a few different pricing models:

 “So you can start off low. You can start off maybe a little bit under what you think it should be at the end and start boosting yourself up as you get more interest. See if it works. It should.”

Other considerations

The length and type of your video may also influence the pricing decision. For instance, if you are simply doing a product placement, this may require less effort and engagement on your part, and therefore, generate a lower fee.  Conversely, a how to may be technical and tedious, generating a higher fee.

New Media Rockstars suggest that other pricing factors include whether you are asked to produce organic, inorganic or custom content.  With organic being your standard video style, you can expect to be paid less than if you produce custom or inorganic content.


From the horses mouth…

“At the end of the day, its about value.'  Recently I spoke to a YouTuber who charges US$15,000 for a video shoot + blog post and they broke it down to rental of gears (which to be honest, they already bought) and casts (whom they have already hired full time) and a bunch of other stuff + a percentage markup. While I get that production cost is high, the only thing I thought about is, how much would that cost me per view? If I take their average view to be 500, I am paying as a business US$30 per lead. Is that a reasonable price? How much more does it take for one lead convert? Is my margin for this product even US$30 worth?

Something YouTubers need to realise is that, to a brand, marketing budget is marketing budget. It doesn’t matter if it is spent on YouTube marketing, email marketing or print ads, it is money allocated to marketing. Your competition is not limited to just TV commercials or other YouTubers, but marketing as a whole. Are you providing value to the brand that outweighs the cost to them? 
Instead, what can really make a YouTuber more attractive is probably allocating budget to boost post. That is something that every YouTuber should practice. It shows that you thought about the brands bottom line and not just yours.” 


So how much should you charge?

The Blog Maven provides some sage advice on this point:

“If your first thought is ‘How much money can I make?’ your focus is in the wrong place for this line of work.  Focusing instead on  how much value you can deliver to the brands you work with will translate to a higher quality service, which – in the long run – will result in you being able to command higher fees.”

So once you’ve considered your value add, consider the most appropriate pricing vehicle which will work for both you and the client. And then get filming.

Just be sure to let us know how those Harrods Pot Noodles taste!


If you like what you read, check out our blog post on are you getting fewer offers?


Brought to you with love and hugs - www.sushivid.com

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