How to Negotiate Social Media Influencer Brand Deals WITHOUT Getting Duped
MagicLinks has casted influencers for hundreds of sponsored campaigns with brands like lululemon, Sephora, Nordstrom, Fendi, and e.l.f. Cosmetics. So, we know a thing or two about the ins and outs of brand sponsorships.
If we had a dollar for every time we’re asked things like, “How do I get sponsored on YouTube?” or, “How do you get sponsored on Instagram?”, we’d be RICH. Like, money shower rich.
How Much Should Influencers Charge for Sponsored Videos?
We all know mega beauty YouTuber NikkieTutorials, who was paid a flat $50,000 fee for her very first collab palette. That palette raked in over $10,000,000 in sales. Translation? Nikkie received just 0.005% of the palette’s profits.
It was early in her career, and she admits, she didn’t read the fine print. Let this be your lesson!
Ask 50 influencers what they charge for , however, and you’ll get 50 different answers. Whatever your subscriber count is, make sure you’ve calculated your minimum fees for these types of content:
- Dedicated YouTube/IGTV video: A video about ONE product or brand
- Integrated YouTube/IGTV video: A video that mentions multiple brands
- In-feed Instagram post
- Instagram Reel (60 seconds)
- Instagram Story
- TikTok video (60 seconds)
- Blog post (per 250 words)
On average, micro influencers (10,000-50,000 followers) receive $300-$1,000 for a sponsored YouTube video, and around $500 for an Instagram post. Comparatively, a macro influencer with 150,000 subscribers could ask upwards of $1,500-$2,500 for a YouTube video.
MagicLinks influencer Andrea Renee (also featured in cover image) has been re-cast for Sephora campaigns several times, because her videos always deliver on key metrics like views, CTR, ER, and ROI – but never compromises on the kind of content she KNOWS her fans love.
In reality, though, campaign fees vary a TON, based on what a brand wants – and how good a creator is at negotiating.
What’s Included In An Influencer’s Sponsored Campaign Fee?
Producing content gets EXPENSIVE – even basic YouTube filming equipment setups run $500+. Any brand campaign fee must take your expenses into account, so make sure
- How long the content takes to film + edit
- The length of the content: For example, a 60 second TikTok vs a 15-minute YouTube video
- What the deadline is for the content: If it’s a last-minute sponsorship, you may be entitled to additional money
- Your production costs (stylists, video editors, etc)
- Whether the brand has use rights for your content
Can Influencers Charge Brand Sponsors For Use Rights?
What are influencer usage rights? Usage rights allow a brand to repost your content to their own social media, or to use it in advertising.
A sponsored campaign agreement should include specific use rights:
- How long the brand is allowed to repost/reuse your content on their channels.
- What channels or mediums the brand can post your content to: Social networks, print, billboards, in-store signage, etc.
- Organic vs Paid: If the brand is merely reposting your videos to their channels, it’s organic content. If your content is being used in the brand’s paid social media ads, it’s paid content.
It follows that the more use rights a brand wants, the more the influencer should be paid. When brands want to extend or expand use rights, they must negotiate with the influencer & draw up new fee agreements.
All campaigns should also include, free of charge to you, the product(s) you are being paid to create content for. This can include a gift card to purchase products with, products sent directly to you, free travel, etc. YouTubers should not buy brand video products with their own money.
Brand Contracts: Get Everything In Writing
You don’t need a law degree to know that verbal contracts don’t often hold up in court. All campaign specifics must be listed in the contract, before you sign.
Often, brands will try to get an influencer to provide more content, use rights, or publicity than what’s in the contract… Without actually paying for the additional content. This is what’s known as scope creep. Biiiiig no-no.
Influencers, however, do frequently “sweeten the deal” on sponsored campaigns by posting Instagram Stories, tweets, etc, at no additional charge. Never, however, feel obligated to do so if it’s not in the contract.
BTW: NEVER sign any contract without reading it. Ever.
Sponsored Content Disclosure Requirements
In the early days of social media, influencers rarely disclosed sponsored content. The FTC cracked down HARD, and now has dedicated influencer FTC disclosure rules. Sadly, however, hidden #sponcon still exists.
MagicLinks Creator Marie Jay’s sponsored MagicLinks x Elemis video meets all FTC disclosure requirements, without sacrificing her unique voice as a creator. A++!
MagicLinks recommends disclosing paid-for content both verbally (orally) and in writing. Adding #sponsored technically suffices, but in reality, it’s not enough.
Sponsored campaigns should ALWAYS be disclosed, therefore, in all of the following ways:
- Begin a video by verbally stating (out loud) which brand is sponsoring you.
- Add #ad or #sponsored to the title of the video.
- Include a written disclosure in the description box of the video, or caption of the post.
In Conclusion: Brand Deals Get… Complicated
For the most part, influencer marketing is a much more regulated space than it was even three years ago. Brands know content creators have far greater influence than traditional advertising: Influencers have wide reach and trust, at a comparatively low cost to TV commercials, print ads, etc.
Many brands want long-term relationships with Instagrammers, YouTubers, and TikTokkers – and vice versa! Therefore, if your goal is to turn your channels from a side hustle to a career, learn the ins and outs of brand campaigns now. It’s a skill that will serve you – and your channels! – for years to come.