Looking to tap into influencer marketing? Be ready to justify your influencer budget at a moment's notice by knowing how to measure the success of your campaigns. Don’t make the common mistake of leaping before you look!
It’s easy to get overexcited when a hot digital trend emerges – and influencer marketing is no exception. Since last year we’ve seen a huge boom in conversations around influencers, and the buzz continues to grow. Though brands now have a wide selection of different influencers from micro to macro they are still struggling with proving ROI. Read on to find out how you can measure the success of your influencer campaign!
Before you partner up with an influencer, be sure to take a step back and really think about the end goal. It’s not enough to be on-trend with influencer marketing, you need to develop a data-driven approach which will help you define success.
Set clear goals for yourself on what you want to accomplish. Make sure that your goals are measurable and specific. Luckily, with access to a wide variety of social media metrics, you can easily keep track and report on your goals.
Influencers can be used at every stage of the buyer’s journey. As a result, the goals you set up will be different depending on which stage of the funnel you want to nurture. For example, let’s say you want to collaborate with an influencer to increase brand awareness. In this case, analyzing the reach and engagement of your campaigns would be the most effective. If you’re looking to target a ready-to-buy audience then driving sales is likely to be your goal. The best way to keep tabs on your influencer sales would be to monitor your UTM conversions.
Here are some examples of goals you can set with influencer marketing:
There is no shortage of different goals you can set for yourself. These are just a few examples out of many to help point you in the right direction. Now let’s get more specific and dive into different ways you can measure the success of your influencer partnership based on your goals.
Engagement rate is most likely going to be one of your go-to goals when it comes to influencer marketing. Keeping tabs on engagement is made easy with social media marketing tools. Get granular and track every single influencer post that is related to your brand. If the tool you use has labels, be sure to tag all of the influencer posts so you can compare them side by side. If you aren’t using a social media marketing tool or yours doesn’t have labeling capabilities you can give ours a try here for free.
Of course, the engagement metrics you measure will differ according to the platforms you are evaluating. Be sure to measure engagement post by post so you can keep a close eye on what’s working. To put the effectiveness of your influencer posts in-context you can also analyze their non sponsored content along with sponsored posts from previous partnerships to benchmark your performance. Since there is no magic number for what a “good engagement” rate should look like, you can use this analysis as a way to put your engagement rate into context.
To get to the nitty gritty you can measure CPE or Cost per Engagement of your influencer marketing. Similar to Cost per Action CPE breaks down how much you are paying for engagement: likes, comments, clicks etc. To get to this number simply divide your total influencer budget by the number of engagements.
If you’re looking to see if your influencer marketing campaigns are sparking conversations you can easily find out with any social media listening tool. Dive into the conversations taking place across social media and find out if your brand is appearing more frequently. To take your analysis even further you can segment these mentions based on sentiment. After all, you’ll need to make sure that your collaboration is having a positive impact on your brand – not a negative one.
Aside from brand mentions, setting up a unique hashtag is also a great way to measure success. If you are creating a campaign with an influencer you can assign a specific hashtag to that campaign and monitor if it’s gaining any traction.
Anastasia Beverly Hills is an Influencer marketing pro. To strengthen their brow game they have created the hashtag #anastasiabrows, using it throughout their posts in addition to posting it on their bio. The brand cleverly cooperates with influencers using their talent to help spread the word. Both Anastasia Beverly Hills and their influencers post content around the topic incorporating the hashtag. By integrating the power of influencers in their strategy Anastasia Beverly Hills is able to reach new audiences that have an interest in cosmetics. To measure the success of this particular campaign they could easily track if there is an increase in #anastasiabrows outside of their influencer program. If so, they’ve just hit the user-generated content jackpot!
UTM Parameters are tags that exist within a URL. The data that is collected when one of these links is clicked can be seen in your Google Analytics account. When it comes to influencer marketing there are several different ways you can set up UTM parameters to track success.
Let’s say you are collaborating with more than one influencer and would like to know which one is raking in the most website conversions. In this case, you would prescribe a different link with a tailored tag to each of your influencers.
To take your measurement a step further set up goals in Google Analytics. This will enable you directly measure which links are contributing to your specific conversions.
Creating specific promo codes for your influencers works like a charm. These personalized codes allow you to pinpoint exactly where your sales are coming in from taking you straight to the bottom of the funnel. As a result, you can calculate ROI with ease – seeing exactly how many sales your influencer brought in.
Bonus: Compare the number of your influencer’s promo code sales versus your own, who is in the lead? Always track your influencer campaigns alongside your other marketing initiatives so you can benchmark success. Influencer campaigns can be costly and time intensive which means you need to identify if they’re not working early on. This way, you can readjust your strategy or experiment with a different influencer to relay your message.
In this post, we can see a fashion brand sporting this promo code strategy with an influencer on Instagram. The brand took a unique approach by actually personalizing the promo code. Rather than creating something generic like SPRING15 they used the influencers first name Hannah15. This approach makes the promo code look more authentic and far less salesy. Plus using the influencer’s first name over something more cryptic will make the analysis that much smoother.
Partnering with the right influencer can help amplify your reach – earning you authentic visibility with new audiences. But before you dive head-first into influencer marketing you need to do some prep work. Do some digging and analyze your current audience to make sure you’re going after the right influencer. There should be huge similarities between the audience you have and the one you want to target. Once you’ve found the perfect match you can start exploring the marketing goals you want your influencer to help set in motion.
Keep in mind there is a multitude of different ways you can measure ROI when it comes to influencer marketing. If you have well-defined and measurable goals already in place coming up with numbers to defend your influencer campaign will be a sinch.
If you’re still wondering if influencer marketing is the right move for your brand you may want to check out our piece 9 Reasons Why You Need to Embrace Influencer Marketing.
Understand your audience, create more effective content to engage and grow your customer base, and measure social media’s impact on your business goals.