Influencer marketing has become one of the most powerful tools for marketers today. As media consumption habits shift from TV to digital, social media influencers are slowly but surely becoming the tastemakers for today’s consumers.
All you need to do is open up your Instagram or YouTube feed, and it won’t take much to find a social media influencer with an engaged and responsive audience. Since they’ve earned a reputation as an expert in their given field, their opinions and word-of-mouth recommendations are a lot more valuable for brands than overt advertising.
From Zoella’s sugar-coated hair and beauty tips, to the Chicken Connoisseur and his quest to find the “pengest munch”, thought leaders can be found for almost every given market or niche, no matter how specific your product or service may be.
We’ve put together 5 specific factors that marketers should be assessing to measure the ROI of their influencer campaigns. By putting them into practice, you’ll be able to make a genuine connection with your audience and drive results in the most efficient way possible.
1. Establish Campaign Reach
Reach is a key element that must be considered when measuring the ROI of your influencer marketing campaign. This means working out exactly how far your brand message has travelled. The aim, of course, is for your brand message to be seen by as much of your target audience as possible. The wider the reach of your influencer marketing campaign, the more potential sales you can net.
To determine the reach that each of your influencer’s social media posts is having, you need to examine the following KPI’s:
- Followers the number of followers or fans that an influencer has
- Impressions the number of times that your brand message gets in front of your target audience
- Traffic data the amount of traffic that an influencer is driving to your site
This data can usually be found on the influencers social media profiles, and there are also a number of tools that read social metrics. It’s a good idea to create a simple spreadsheet displaying your social media metrics. This way, the information can be accessible at just a glance, and you’ll be able to refer back to throughout the campaign.
2. Measure Campaign Engagement
The most successful social media influencer campaigns will usually beckon a high engagement rate. Tracking influencer engagement can shed some light on the future of your brand loyalty among consumers. You can measure the number of engagements for each post, as well as working out the cost per engagement (CPE) to determine how successful your strategy is. The following engagements can be tracked throughout your campaign:
- Clicks: measures the interest level of your target audience. You should aim for a combination of clicks, likes and shares
- Likes: likes will generate buzz around your content and boost its ranking on the Facebook newsfeed
- Reactions: Facebook’s new reactions feature indicates sentiment better than the basic like, so you can gage a more exact audience response
- Shares: If your content is being shared a lot then this is a good indication of its quality. Your potential customers will be more likely to recommend your products and services if they’re sharing your content with they’re friends
- Comments: a high number of comments also indicates that your potential customers like the content
- Brand: mentions your content is being discussed which means more attention for your brand
While tracking engagements, you can also track CPE, which measures the money invested per click-through, like, comment etc. Rather than just tracking immediate sales, the CPE metric will give you an idea of how consumers are responding to your brand and how your relationship to customers is moving forward.
To calculate the CPE for your campaign, just divide total ad spend by the number of engagements. Alternatively, there are a number of online marketing tools such as BuzzSumo, which can give you an overview of how well your posts are performing.
3. Use Google Analytics’ Audience Overview Demographics To Calculate Target Audience Growth
To ensure that a potential influencer fits your target audience demographic, you can look at their Google Analytics. This way, you can be sure that your campaign is going to target exactly the right group of people.
Once you’ve found and partnered with influencers whose following matches your target audience, you can continue using these demographics to measure the success of the campaign against your KPI’s. Check the Google Analytics Demographics report to ensure your brand message is reaching the right people.
Measuring your influencers grouping in this way means that you can make crucial changes to your strategy as your campaign goes on and boost your ROI. Choosing an influencer who really understands your target audience gives you a higher chance of generating engagement and making a lasting impression with your collaborative content.
4. Use Google Analytics’ Acquisition Overview Report to Quantify Social Leads
Boosting your brand visibility and sparking engagement with your target audience is great, but it’s also essential to keep your ROI in mind throughout the campaign. Remember that your aim is to generate leads and turn potential consumers into loyal buyers.
If you want engaged followers to buy your product or service, then you need to put your efforts into the platforms that are converting. If, for example, you’re getting more leads from Pinterest rather than Instagram, then you should re-channel more quality content to this area in order to maximise your ROI.
Google Analytics can be used to help you to channel your influencer ROI. If you head to Acquisition then Overview, you can see the results of your campaign. There’s an option to view and evaluate the social channels that are generating the most potential leads.
5. Analyse the Origin of Each Sale
The biggest marker of success and ROI indicator for your influencer marketing campaign is sales. To measure whether an influencer is generating a worthwhile number of sales, you can use:
- Affiliate Links: this could be a link to your product in an influencers Instagram bio or YouTube video description. The influencer will receive commission every time someone follows the link to your site. Using Affiliate links allows you to compare the number of sales, and the average value of each purchase.
- Promo Codes: This is a great way to measure your influencers impact on sales. When customers use a promo code that’s listed in your content, you’ll be able to track any future purchases that they make from you too.
- UTM Parameters: You can add UTM parameters to URLs to track your influencer campaign by using Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to receive data regarding the site where the ad appears, as well as the campaign name, the keywords used, and a lot more.
As you’ve seen, there are many methods that can be used to evaluate your influencer marketing campaign. So how do you determine which types of measurement are right for your campaign? It’s essential that you’re aware of what you want to achieve from each campaign. For example, is your focus on boosting brand awareness or direct sales? The factors that you track will depend on your individual business goals and how the campaign is ultimately going to be measured.