How much do Instagram influencers really make?

The average influencer makes US$31 per hour, but a beauty specialist will earn double that, with US$60 per hour, according to HypeAuditor's study. — AFP pic
The average influencer makes US$31 per hour, but a beauty specialist will earn double that, with US$60 per hour, according to HypeAuditor's study. — AFP pic

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SAN FRANCISCO, July 22 ― The battle for likes is still raging on Instagram. And with a growing number of influencers out there, the market is more competitive than ever. But how much money can an influencer really make? A survey from HypeAuditor reveals some surprising figures.

With perfect posts, magnificent wardrobes and gifts galore... on Instagram, the daily lives of influencers are filled with the stuff of dreams. Yet, behind this outward success, how much money are they really making? HypeAuditor conducted a survey of 1,865 Instagram influencers, asking them about their income, their workload and time invested, as well as their main sources of income. Of them, 45.74 per cent were women and 28 per cent were age 25-34.

Average monthly income nears US$3,000

The first key takeaway from HypeAuditor's report is that half of the influencers surveyed (48.5 per cent) say they make money from their Instagram account. On average, an influencer earns US$2,970 (RM12,560) per month. However, there are significant differences in income among accounts, notably depending on the number of followers. Micro-influencers (between 1,000 and 10,000 followers) make an average US$1,420 per month. Mega-influencers (more than one million followers) make US$15,356 per month.

Still, among holders of accounts with between 1K and 10K followers, only 22.99 per cent report making money, compared to 68.75 per cent of accounts with 500K to one million followers.

Differences were also seen in relation to the influencers' fields of expertise. The average influencer makes US$31 per hour, but a beauty specialist will earn double that, with US$60 per hour, a record across categories (in relation to the time spent on maintaining the account). Some superstars can reap as much as US$187 per hour. Overall, the categories making influencers the most money are animals, business and marketing, and fitness and sport.

Less than 5pc live on their Instagram income

Nevertheless, only 4.27 per cent of respondents say they live solely on their Instagram income. On average, these influencers earn US$5,912.8 per month from their account.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, 47 per cent of influencers surveyed say they earned more money. However, the pandemic has also had downsides, with 49.68 per cent of influencers surveyed reporting seeing more fraudulent activity.

In order to grow income via Instagram, the study showed that brand promotion remains the most important source of revenue among influencers, at 40.15 per cent. Meanwhile, 14.92 per cent of influencers promote affiliate programs using their accounts. Over on TikTok, influencers will soon be able to make money by creating custom content like shoutouts.

Finally, influencers spend an average 24 hours per week managing their accounts (posts, creating Stories, chatting with followers, etc.) This average rises to 28.7 hours per week for Instagrammers who make money from their accounts and drops to 20.9 hours for those who do not. ― ETX Studio

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