By next year, influencer marketing is forecasted to be a $10 billion industry, yet brands are still learning how to effectively navigate their influencer marketing strategies. From learning to select the most engaging influencers to creating the most impactful influencer-based content, brands are still only in the learning stages in this ever-evolving scope of marketing.
Recently, there’s been a larger focus on how brands measure the results of their influencer marketing campaigns. According to Influencer Intelligence’s 2020 report, 84% of marketers agree that being able to demonstrate the return on investment of influencer marketing will be critical to it's future. Many brands have now moved away from potentially misleading “vanity” metrics like followers and likes, which can easily be faked and inflated, to more in-depth and insightful metrics tied to engagement and sales.
As measuring campaign metrics becomes more valuable in determining the success of your influencer marketing campaigns, be sure to keep track of the following performance indicators:
Website traffic is easily the first metric that can help you determine the success of your efforts, especially if you’re targeting a specific product on your site. To measure the increase in traffic, you can use a tool like Google Analytics. You can set it up to measure metrics like visits from referrals, total page views, and new users. Be sure to tailor these more specific metrics to those associated with your campaign. For example, track a specific product page for page views, user time spent on the page, and total new users to visit your site. This will help you determine whether your influencer campaigns are encouraging new consumers to check out your website and learn more about your product.
The success of an influencer marketing campaign is often measured by engagement. In fact, 81% of respondents in a recent study believe that engagement is the ultimate marketing metric. Social media engagement measures the public shares, likes, and comments for an online business' social media efforts. Although it doesn’t necessarily correlate to sales, engagement can determine whether a social media campaign resonated with its audience.
To measure your campaign’s engagement rates, keep track of metrics such as likes, shares, reactions, comments, and brand mentions. In fact, if you have a business account with social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter, they will report on engagement rates for you.
The ultimate goal of any influencer campaign is to boost your total sales. However, it’s often more effective to assess your conversion rates. A conversion rate can refer to any desired action that you want the user to take. This can include anything from clicking on a button to making a purchase and becoming a customer. In the scope of influencer marketing, it can be helpful to measure conversion rate by the percent of customers who made a purchase as a result of a particular campaign.
To help measure the sales coming via your influencers you can use trackable links, unique codes, and UTM parameters. This way you know the exact sales impact each of your influencers is having on your business.
Return on Investment
Be sure to compare the success of your influencer marketing campaign to the total resources you invested to make it happen. This might include free product, compensation to the influencer, or even money spent to put on a branded event. It’s not enough to be working with influencers who help you build a huge follower base. While this might improve your brand exposure, it doesn’t necessarily equate to high sales. You need to understand and measure the cost you’re bearing for the sales your influencers ultimately generate.
Identifying the marketing channels and influencers that are generating the most leads for your business can be critical to maximizing return on investment. Be sure to adjust your campaign over time to produce more and better content on the channels that are proving more effective.
As brands continue to focus on more goal-oriented campaigns, it will become vital to decide and report on relevant metrics for all future marketing campaigns. Using relevant marketing metrics will not only be important for reporting in the here-and-now, but will become vital for comprising successful campaigns in the future.
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