Five Creative Ways to Pay Influencers & Build a Healthy Long-Term Relationship

Grace Donelson

26 Aug 2021 · 3 min read


Finding the right influencers to promote your brand is an excellent marketing strategy, but keeping them coming back to collaborate on more campaigns is even better! While you might have your influencer search down to a science, many brands don’t have a strategy for nurturing influencer relationships in the long-term.

One of the quickest ways to alienate influencers is through lack of payment plan or strategy. Luckily, your brand doesn’t need a six-figure influencer budget to cultivate strong or long-lasting relationships- these are developed over time and with clear and timely communication. That’s why it’s worth knowing all the different creative options you have when compensating influencers. This ensures you’re choosing the right level of payment for each unique creator and relationship.

An influencer’s audience is entirely unique to them, so the first step to success is to stop treating your influencer marketing strategy as a one-size fits-all. To help you make the best decision for your brand, we’ve broken down five unique and creative ways to pay influencers in order to build a healthy, ongoing relationship.

  1. Gifted Products - Who doesn’t love a ‘free’ gift? When starting an influencer marketing campaign, the most common first choice of compensation is gifted products. Jewelry, a test run of a subscription, or even a free visit to a restaurant are enough compensation for many micro and macro-influencers, requiring a post on social media for brand promotion. If an influencer’s post performs well, it might be worth working with them on other promotions.
  2. Affiliate Programs - Following gifted products, many brands up the ante with affiliate programs. By allowing influencers to receive commissions from links on their promotions, an incentive to get audiences excited about a brand might be higher than previously. Brands of all sizes have successful and high-paying affiliate programs, simply because they are a great return on your ROI.
  3. Discount Codes - If you’re ready to advance beyond affiliate programs, try discount codes. Commonly you might find an affiliate program and discount codes working in tandem, but there is one defining difference- actual discounts for influencers’ followers. Discount codes allow influencers to earn commissions while affiliate programs offer no discount- if your brand has the budget to offer discount codes, this is a great way to get more sales!
  4. Pay Per Post - The most lucrative and desirable payment option for influencers is payment per post. Payments per post can be based on a whole combination of factors from follower count to experience level. Not sure how much to pay a creator for a particular campaign? Check out this blog article + video where we break down how much you should be paying influencers in 2021!
  5. Long-term Partnerships or Contracts - If you want a commitment over a longer period of time from an influencer you have been working with, it might be time to introduce a long-term partnership or contract in your negotiations. Contracts allow your brand to purchase more content from influencers who are delivering value to your brand again and again with their promotions. If you find success working with one influencer, it may be more worthwhile to invest in a partnership over a longer period of time - 6 months, for example - so you are getting the best bang for your buck.

Helpful Tools that can organize, track, and execute influencer payments

Pay via Platform - Whether paying an influencer per post or for a long term partnership, it is essential to your brand and your future influencer relationships to have a streamlined payment method. Some influencer marketing platforms have an integration allowing brands to pay influencers upfront. These third-party options can be great for platform payment or even if your brand is not using a platform.

Unfortunately, third party platforms still pose issues for timely compensation. In response to the issues we’ve seen with other payment options, Tagger not only has an integration with PayPal that allows brands to pay influencers around the globe in a multitude of currencies, but we’re very excited to announce a new payment feature called Tagger Pay launching market wide very soon. This in-platform payment tool will allow brands and agencies to reimburse creators immediately via a secure digital wallet, all handled by Tagger.

If you want to see how Tagger incorporates influencer search, analysis, outreach, and payment into one all-inclusive platform, request a demo.

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