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As the burgeoning influencer marketing ecosystem in India moves away from compensating influencers solely on a cost-per-view (CPV) basis, it explores newer payment models like Cost per Engagement (CPE) and the comparatively nascent Cost per Sale (CPS).

While we highlighted how this is happening in an earlier article on, in this story we delve deeper into the CPE payment model to find out how marketers can lower the same given its dynamics and varying trends across various social media platforms.

Yulia Aslamova

In her interaction with, Yulia Aslamova, Head of Asia, DRIM Global, highlighted that gaining as much as possible from the Cost of each Engagement (CPE) model depends on making sure that the conversion rate of each creative publishing is higher.

“The key to the CPE model's success is its capacity to benefit both parties; even though the CPE appears low, influencers should still make more money than they would on the cost-per-view model. The quantity of outcomes produced for each publication—rather than merely the monetary value—is the real indicator of success,” she said.

Examining it from a different angle, she also highlighted that the CPE is heavily influenced by how specific the brand's audience is which is why brands that target particular markets, like luxury goods or products for a particular group of people, typically have greater CPE. Conversely, brands that are more popular, such as aggregators or marketplaces, could have lower CPE.

“The secret is to match the CPE to the goals and target market of the company to make sure that the model is not only economical but also customised to produce the best outcomes for influencers and brands,” she opined.

Aslamova also pointed out that the Cost Per Engagement (CPE) model is generating a lot of interest as operations expand into the Asian market, with growth rates at least 5-7 times higher than in 2021.

Vaibhav Gupta

Vaibhav Gupta, Co-Founder and CPO, KlugKlug, also shared the viewpoint that while the overall trend is towards exploring CPE models, the specific approach may differ on platforms based on audience demographics, engagement patterns, and content types.

“Because CPE dynamics can vary across social media platforms in India, marketers must adapt their strategies accordingly,” he said.

He also highlighted that in order to lower the CPEs, marketers need to continuously monitor and optimise their campaigns to do so in addition to refining their targeting parameters, creating engaging content and collaborating with influencers who have a higher organic engagement rate.

Sameer Kabeer, VP- Digital Strategy and Growth, Langoor, also mentioned that given the fact that the costs and effectiveness of influencer marketing vary across different platforms, in India, platforms like Instagram and YouTube are particularly influential, with diverse content formats leading to different engagement dynamics. For instance, YouTube, known for longer format content, can lead to deeper audience engagement compared to other platforms.

But that being said, brands in India, in his views, should focus on building long-term relationships with influencers whose audiences align closely with their target market, engaging content that resonates with the audience, leveraging video content (especially on platforms like Instagram and YouTube), and tapping into micro and nano-influencers can lead to more cost-effective engagement and reduced CPE.

Praanesh Bhuvaneswar

Similarly, Praanesh Bhuvaneswar, Co-Founder and CEO, Qoruz, emphasised that marketers can optimise their CPE by focusing on content relevance, targeting the right audience, and collaborating with influencers whose followers align with the brand’s target demographic.

“Even though CPE can vary across social media platforms based on user behaviour and engagement patterns, the trend in India suggests that certain platforms may yield higher engagement rates and thereby influence CPE metrics,” he pointed out.

Bhawna Sethi

As per Bhawna Sethi, Founder, Let's Influence, as well, CPE, primarily influenced by user behavior and engagement characteristics, can differ across platforms in India.

“Noteworthy trends include higher CPE on interactive platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, where engagement metrics like comments, shares, and replies play a crucial role. On the flip side, platforms like Facebook and TikTok tend to exhibit lower CPE, often characterised by more passive viewing,” she said.

Moreover, for optimal results, she suggested that brands should consider platforms that boast robust interaction features. Furthermore, it's imperative to delve into local platform usage patterns, gaining insights into the preferences and behaviours of the target audience. This strategic approach will undoubtedly enhance your overall digital presence and effectiveness.

“But to lower their CPEs, marketers must consider leveraging micro and nano-influencers for authentic connections, run targeted campaigns to reach their ideal audience and enhance engagement whilst minimising wasted impressions,” Sethi said.

Apart from this, she also mentioned that incentivising deep engagement by encouraging comments, shares, and clicks through interactive content and clear CTAs; staying proactive in tracking performance and consistently optimising strategies can also aid marketers in achieving the best CPE results.