CPE, or cost-per-engagement, is seen by many influencer marketing networks as a better pricing model than simply paying an influencer based on the number of followers they have on any particular social media channel. However, this pricing structure is not the norm across the board.
An article by DigiDay set out to explore the various pricing models in influencer marketing. They found that many influencers are paid either by impression or by flat fee based on their follower count, neither of which serves to accurately assess the value of an influencer marketing campaign.
There is a potential dark side to the CPE model, however. “On occasion, an influencer might also incentivize their audience to engage by using sweepstakes and giveaways,” says Holly Pavlika, SVP of Marketing and Content here at Collective Bias.
The CPE model means an influencer’s income cannot be estimated before the influencer marketing campaign is employed, and this uncertainty could lead to dishonest practices by the influencer to gain higher clicks and shares on their paid campaigns. To counter this, Pavlika suggests the influencer marketing companies assume the risk, working harder to match the best influencers to campaigns and encouraging them to create amazing share-worthy content.