Leak Reveals Which Brands Pay Influencers Most To Drive Instagram Sales

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In June, Instagram rolled out a new shopping feature allowing users to make purchases directly in the app. This opened doors for influencers — social media celebrities with tens of thousands and even millions of followers — to earn affiliate marketing commissions for products they promote on the platform.

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As brands focused on niching down and targeting smaller, highly relevant markets, it led to a rise in “micro” or “nano” influencers on Instagram. With a following of merely 100,000 or less, you can become an influencer and start bringing in cash from your favorite brands.

How much do Instagram creators typically earn? A leaked report to Business Insider revealed some surprising figures. Influencers involved in Instagram’s new affiliate marketing program — which includes about 100 creators and 30 brands — earn commission rates between 8% and 20%. Elaluz and Kopari Beauty offer the highest commission of 20%, while fashion brand Zara offers just 8%.

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The majority of the brands on the list pay out 15% commission rates, although the average is 16%. The Yes pays 17% and Pat McGrath pays 16%. Massimo Dutti pays 13%, Athleta and Dream Girls Hair pay 12%. A handful of brands, including Old Navy, pay 10%, according to the report.

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It is up to brands to set their own rates, and most of the brands on the leaked list declined to comment. However, the arrangement seems to benefit both brands and influencers. One influencer reported earning an average of $5,000 per month in 2020 through affiliate links, Insider said.

Affiliate marketing, however, is just one way that influencers earn money on Instagram. Sponsored content is typically the largest revenue driver for creators, according to another Business Insider report. Typically, sponsored content earns $100 for every 10,000 followers a creator has, although this rate varies. Unlike affiliate marketing, creators set their rates for sponsored content.

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While it’s not impossible, becoming a top influencer requires more than just a large and loyal following. You’ll need to market yourselves to brands in a polished and professional way and, of course, create compelling content. Mostly, brands want to see that your posts can deliver results in the form of purchases. And for that, they are willing to pay.

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Last updated: October 7, 2021