How to Calculate your Influencer Marketing Budget

When it comes to working with influencers, of any size, most of us have a hard time figuring out how influencer relationships actually work – especially when it comes to what our influencer marketing budget should be. Here’s a quick guide on gaging what your budget should be.

**This guide was written by Felicity Fromholz from Cratejoy and originally published on the Cratejoy Sellers blog.” 

We’ve all seen the videos from influencers like Michelle Phan or Huda Kattan – and we all know that being featured in one of their vlogs can be a HUGE catalyst for the growth of a business. But, when it comes to working with influencers, of any size, most of us have a hard time figuring out how influencer relationships actually work – especially when it comes to what our influencer marketing budget should be.

Well, thanks to Cheyenne, the Content Marketing Manager here at Cratejoy, we’ve got a handy little bit of math to help you decipher when working with an influencer is the right choice for your business.

First, a few tips for vetting influencers:

  • Engagement is important! Look at whether or not they’re engaging their followers. Are they commenting on posts? Are they asking questions? How is the feedback from their followers and what do those conversations look like?
  • Cohesion is key! Make sure there is some cohesion between the size of their following across the various platforms they use. If their Instagram following is HUGE but they only have a few YouTube followers, it could be that they acquired followers to their channel with bots or something of the sort and that’s not what you want.

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Step 1: Calculate Potential Conversions

For this example, we’re looking at working with an influencer who has 100,000 unique monthly views (UMV).

Make two estimates:

  1. The number of people who think might see a post from this influencer.
  2. The number of people you think will convert (purchase a product) from that same post.

As a conservative estimate, we’re going to assume 1% for each of these – it’s a safe bet to make until you’ve actually worked with a specific influencer a time or two and know more about how their followers will convert.

So, of the 100,000 UMV for this influencer, the assumption is 1%, or 1,000 of those visitors might see the post.

The math: 100K X 1% = 1,000 visitors might see the post

Of that 1,000 visitors who might see the post, the assumption is that 1%, or 10, will convert and purchase your subscription.

The math: 1,000 X 1% = 10 of those who saw the post might purchase a subscription


Step 2: Calculate LTV + CAC

A customer’s Lifetime Value (LTV) and the cost to acquire them (CAC) are extremely important metrics to track overall, and are necessary to know when calculating your influencer marketing budget. You can learn more about these metrics, and others, in our “Key Performance Indicators for Subscription Boxes” post on the Subscription School blog.

To make , we need to know two things:

  1. Subscriber Lifetime Value (LTV) = The total $ amount attributed to the average customer throughout the lifespan of their membership.
  2. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) = The $ amount you spend acquiring a new customer.

For this example, we’ll assume the following for calculating LTV:

  • Box Cost = $45
  • Profit Margin = 35%
  • Average Customer Lifetime = 4 months

The math: $45 X .35% = $15.75 X 4 months = LTV of $63

Now, we divide our LTV from above ($63) by 3. Why? Because the ideal CAC:LTV ratio is 1:3 – meaning, for every dollar you spend on acquiring a customer, you should be making 3X that in the LTV.

The math: $63/3 = CAC of $21

Step 3: Calculate Influencer Marketing Budget & Profit

Now, we’re ready to calculate the budget we have to work with this influencer. To do this, multiply CAC by the # of estimated conversions.

The math: $21 X 10 = $210 influencer marketing budget

…and what will your profit be should those 10 new subscribers actually convert? Subtract the CAC for those 10 potential conversions from the LTV for those same 10 potential customers.

The math: ($63 X 10) – ($21 X 10) = ($630 – $210) = $420 profit


What to learn more about influencer marketing?  Check out these great success stories from Cratejoy sellers:

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About Felicity Fromholz

Felicity Fromholz is a sociologist, educator, mom, and self-proclaimed beauty addict. A founding member of one of today’s most successful beauty subscription boxes and creator of another up-and-coming new luxury lifestyle box, Felicity is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs grow their subscription business and a STICKLER for fabulous customer service. Find her in the Subscription School FB group or follow along in the shenanigans on her Instagram at @subscriptionsiren or @subboxbabe on Twitter.

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