Influencer marketing is growing in its popularity and recognized as an effective marketing strategy to target a specific demographic and increase customer acquisition.
A survey conducted in November of 2017 by the Association of National Advertisers revealed 75% of agencies currently leverage influencers in their overall marketing strategy, and 43% of respondents indicate they would like to increase their influencer budget in 2018. The influencer marketing industry is expected to grow into a $10 billion market over the next couple of years.
Creating an influencer-driven campaign is more complex than selecting a social media personality and creating content, other aspects must be considered. There is no lack of brands competing for consumer attention, and no budget too large for marketing purposes. To achieve your goals and increase your ROI, it is essential to tie your influencer campaign to tangible performance metrics, to properly assess the impact of your investment.
Depending on the goal of the campaign, the metrics will vary. Keeping track of key measurements will help analyze current campaign, modify as needed to optimize future campaigns, and ultimately derive the most effective and cost-efficient results.
Many businesses turn to influencer marketing campaigns to increase brand awareness in an untapped market segment. There are a few key metrics you can use to assess its effectiveness.
Impressions refer to the number of times a social media post has been viewed, which also indicates the number of viewers reached through the campaign. If your goal is an increase in brand visibility, then choose an influencer with a large following. The number of views can be seen on platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, but for other platforms and more detailed analytics, the actual numbers can only be accessed through the Influencer’s personal account. Arrange to have regular analytics reports to assess campaign success more accurately.
However, measuring impressions is not without its flaws. A single post may be viewed multiple times by the same individual and therefore boosting artificially the impression count. Similarly, impressions do not reveal any information about how engaged viewers are in the actual content.
Brand mentions are more efficient to measure the effectiveness of the campaign and will give a better understanding of the success of your social media strategy. Those mentions can further be broken down into negative and positive mentions in order to gain a better understanding as to whether not your content resonated with your intended audience.
Engagement is the most important metric for any digital marketing strategy. Engagement measures the number of interactions your brand is receiving, this may be “likes”, “shares”, “comments” or “followers”. A high engagement number indicates your strategy is gaining loyal and motivated fans. Inevitably a portion of these fans will convert into customers and will keep your brand top of mind when making purchasing decisions.
Some of these customers may even become brand advocates, recommending your products and services to friends and family, and generating content on their social media platform, increasing your brand exposure. Engagement can be measured through a few simple metrics.
- An increase in “likes” across all branded posts.
- Positive comments.
- Some social media platforms will allow you to measure the number of clicks per post.
Also, with messages shared, tagged and reposted, campaigns have the potential to run endlessly.
Not every influencer marketing campaign aims to increase sales. In some cases, businesses may run campaigns to introduce their brand to a new audience or reintroduce to an existing one. There are a few ways to track conversions.
By imbedding tracking links into social media posts and monitoring resulting traffic using analytics tools, you can measure how the influencer marketing campaign is affecting your website traffic. Additional website metrics such as bounce rate, click-per-page, and online conversion rate will give you additional information on the type of traffic you are attracting from the influencer’s social media page.
New visitors to your website is a lead. You can also measure the leads generated through other channels including phone and in-store inquiries.
This is another way to measure how your influencer marketing campaign is affecting revenue. Calculate your average sales cycle for a couple of periods prior to the implementation of the influencer campaign. Recalculate these figures a few months after the commencement of your campaign to assess whether the lead-to-conversion timeframe has shortened.