Instagram's It-Girls Get Paid HOW MUCH For Sponsored Posts?
The Debrief: Paid for posts might actually be cheapening style bloggers' appeal
We all know that big name bloggers can rake it in, but it's not just appearances and endorsements that help them make big money, Instagram is their latest (and speediest) source of cash. You've probably noticed sponsored posts on your feed - not because they're always labelled as such, but because they're clearly plugging a product. However, until recently we haven't known just how much these ads are worth and how it all works behind the scenes. US blogger Danielle Bronstein broke it down and now we can’t look at our feeds the same.
Danielle who runs style blog We Wore What opened up about just how much she makes from being at the top of the style blogging game on Instagram, and more interestingly: just how she makes it. She told Harper’s Bazaar that her salary (from her blog, personal appearances and Insta endorsements) is 'in the mid-six figures', she says. 'I hate talking about money, but let's just say it's more than I could have ever imagined as a 22-year-old.'
Impressive, but not a total shock, given recent figures released by WWD on high-profile bloggers like Bryan Boy, who it says can earn seven figure salaries. But here comes the jaw-dropping bit: from just a single endorsed Instagram post from brands she said she can earn between $5 and $15,000. Fast cash or what?
This was before she hit the 1 million followers mark a few days later, which she said meant she'd be able to 'charge a good amount more.' And of course, she’s not alone, the article also reveals that 'industry estimates say brands spend more than a $1 billion per year on sponsored Instagram posts.' And it's a growing business here too. A London-based social media consultant tells me Brit bloggers she knows 'can command anything from £200 to £5000 per Instagram post, depending on their following and influence.'
Though it doesn't seem like the #Instafamous set always follow the rules when it comes to posting these endorsements. There are regulations outlining how to approach them with appropriate hashtags, especially in the US. But you don't always see tags like #spon or #ad on posts that are obviously endorsements.
So what does this mean for us as users? Sure, Instagram puts life through a prettier lens, but it’s always been exciting for its authenticity. We love it for the voyeurism, as each post is a window it into their lives. And part of the appeal with young fashion bloggers is that they're a lot like us, albeit a lot more glossy and with better put-together outfits. You start following them because you like their style and then get hooked into their world. So when a big name Instagrammer sneaks in an endorsed posts it feels a lot like they’re cheating a captive audience.
Making them look natural is obviously key - numerous bloggers raking it in from doing it, or gaining followers if they weren’t, right? 'It's super important who I associate myself with in this industry,' says Danielle who has a manager who checks her posts don’t look too posed. But when the pay cheques are so large, wouldn't it be a little easier to LOVE something that might of not usually be quite your bag? Suddenly there's a fine line between being a taste-maker and a clothes horse. And there's just something a little creepy about that, seeing as they're integrating these promos into their daily routine.
It seems like shopping via Instagram is where things are going next. Several US accounts like Like To Know are already making this possible, and it's only a matter of time before UK ones follow. Instagram itself recently announced plans for links on their paid for ads, so this could be extended to all users in the not too distant future. Yep, Insta-shopping sounds great, but it leaves yet more opportunities for blogger posts to become endorsements with irritating pop-ups attached.
It’s up to the bloggers to decide what looks authentic and what doesn't when posting ads in to keep enticing brands to buy their way into their feeds. But knowing how much product placements are worth, it's hard not too look at any tagged products from style bloggers suspiciously and to have a less rose-tinted view of all their posts. I've started unfollowing, and I'm sure I'm not alone...
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