While content is considered "the king" when it comes to engagement and brand awareness, influencer marketing is quickly becoming "the queen".
The more diverse your campaigns are, the better your results will be. And influencer marketing has already proven itself an effective way to achieve your goals as a marketer.
This article is not about the process of finding the right influencers or how to contact them in order to actively engage them in your campaign. This topic is already addressed elsewhere.
In this article, I am going to talk about the final process of this strategy: measurement of your performance. But first, let’s take a look at some of the latest influencer marketing stats and see why this strategy is important in 2018.
The road to success
According to St. Joseph Communications, 67% of marketers already believe in influencer marketing as one of the best ways to reach a targeted audience. According to the same study, an influencer campaign may get you 11 times higher ROI than a traditional marketing campaign. Since our main goal is better return on investment, there’s no wonder why influencer marketing has become increasingly popular during the past few years.
Most brands, companies and independent marketers are already using at least one social media profile in order to engage with their customers and fans by sharing news and content. You can find the right influencers on these channels and engage with them directly whether you are campaigning on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or similar communities.
However, at the end of each influencer campaign, you need to measure your metrics and evaluate your performance. You need reliable data in order to know what you did well and where you need to adjust your perspective or find new voices to spread your message.
In one of my previous articles, I talked about the 5 most important metrics that allow you to measure the success of your blog. Now, I will move further and analyze the 5 most important metrics that you can use in order to measure your influencer marketing campaign. I am going to start by describing in just a few words, two of the most important types of influencer campaigns:
The “employee advocacy” campaign
There are two major types of influencer marketing campaigns. You can either work with popular influencers from your industry and online celebrities or, you can try to engage with micro-influencers and spread your word on smaller but more focused channels and communities. Moreover, according to Adweek, micro-influencer marketing can prove to be, at least on social media, more effective than the celebrity kind.
A great way to start a micro-influencer campaign is to establish an employee advocacy program. Basically, you are actively engaging your co-workers and team members to share content and news from the brand you are marketing. Thus, instead of using a big popular influential channel, you get to use tens or hundreds of smaller channels with the same or even a better impact.
According to Pew Research, the average individual has more than 300 friends on Facebook. Imagine how this number multiplies if you work with a company that has 100 employees. The reach is sometimes even better than if you use commercial ads. Employee advocacy, unlike advertising, is also less costly. In fact, it’s absolutely free.
How do you measure your results?
Well, the first thing you need to do is sign up for an employee advocacy program. There are several apps and services that will help you in this matter. I would recommend Smarp as one of the best options in this scenario. Basically, the app gives you access to a company hub, where all engaged employees have access to the latest news and pieces of content they can share with their followers immediately.
The app gives you extended insights into your ongoing campaigns and valuable metrics which you can use in order to evaluate your efforts.
Major influencers campaigning for you
All this being said, you shouldn’t focus solely on micro-influencer programs if you have the means to engage celebrities and expert from your industry. Sometimes, it may be hard to find the right people who can advocate your brand or business but once you find them, there’s no reason not to contact them and ask for their help.
There are several tools you can use for influencer research. For maximum efficiency and great insights on social engagement, I would recommend Buzzsumo.
You can use Buzzsumo to find the right influencers for your ongoing campaigns but you can also use it to measure their impact on your posts. The app will evaluate your reach and give thorough insights on the number of shares, the competition and popular topics in your industry.
Key metrics to measure
Now that we’ve learned together some of the best strategies you can use in your influencer marketing campaigns, it’s time to talk about our main topic: the metrics you need to measure when evaluating your efficiency.
Here are five of the most important things you need to consider, based on your goals and strategies:
When you try to introduce a new product or a new brand to the public, one of your main goals should be to grow awareness of the product or brand marketed. Regardless of the type of influencer campaign you choose here, it’s important to know what should be measured here and how can you do it better.
Well, in order to grow awareness, you need exposure. You need visibility. You need to drive traffic to your website or your social media accounts. Influencer marketing will help you reach out to the targeted audience, people that are more likely to buy your products or services. Thus, you need to measure some specific analytics data such as the number of visits, the demographic categories, and the average time spent on-site by your visitors.
There are many types of engagement a marketer can look for. For instance, you might need to expand your pool of fans and get more likes or more followers on a social media account. Or, you might need your customers to participate in a contest, share a piece of news or ask about a specific product.
Regardless of the type of engagement you seek, the metrics you should measure in this case are exactly the number/percentage of people who act according to your predictions. There should be a specific CPE you should measure, the so-called “cost per engagement” and I recommend creating an excel file to gather these types of information based on the engagement delivered by each influencer you have been working with so far.
For this purpose, you can get back to the Buzzsumo app and check how your individual posts are doing on social media. All you have to do is enter the URL for your site or a specific blog post you need to analyze and see its level of engagement.
If your main goal is to increase your sales and consequently your revenue, metrics are easier to measure. However, if you want relevant and accurate numbers, it is advisable to generate affiliate links. Each of your influencers should have their own affiliate link to the page you are trying to advertise.
Affiliate links are easy to track and so are the sales generated by it. Thus, at the end of the campaign, you can calculate exactly how each of the influencers contributed to your revenue growth and calculate the return on investment.
TIP: Use Google’s Analytics Campaign Builder and create unique links with UTM parameters. UTM links allow you to differentiate traffic from different sources and set up specific identifiers and parameters for your URLs in order to better track your referrals. In order to do so, you need to create your links with Google URL Builder.
4. Quantify social leads
It’s great if you want to boost your visibility and generate more leads to your pages, whether they are product pages or blog posts. You can use influencer marketing to generate more leads; at the same time, you should always pay close attention to your ROI. Not all investments are worthwhile and not all influencers targeted will be able to deliver the results you want to see.
If you want to be more thorough, the first metric you should measure in this case is the number of leads generated by each social media channel individually. You should do this analysis before actually engaging with real influencers and do it again at the end of the campaign. Why?
A. Before contacting the influencers
Based on your industry and your targeted audience, you should be aware of the fact that not all social media channels will be able to deliver the same results. For instance, you may focus on an Instagram campaign only to discover that most of your leads come from Facebook.
Therefore, before searching for suitable influencers, you should first analyze the social media channels that generate the best amount of leads.
B. At the end of the campaign
Analyze the leads generated by a chosen social media channel once more, and calculate your ROI.
How to do this analysis?
If you are using Google Analytics (and I suggest you do), go to your account, click on Acquisitions and then on Overview. On the list of traffic channels, click on Social and review the metrics.
5. Increase your reach based on hashtags
Apart from the real influencers, you can also use the influence of popular hashtags in order to generate more awareness and attract more fans to your social media accounts. Hashtags are popular now on all social media channels. However, I recommend starting using them on Instagram before anything else and see how your campaign evolves.
There are several tools that can help you find relevant tags and transform them into likes and follows and there a good guides, like this one.
Based on such a marketing strategy, how do you measure your metrics on Instagram for example?
You should analyze the generated likes, comments, impressions, your reach, the engagement rate and changes in your number of followers. For an even better impact, you should consider creating professional, stylish looking posts and Stories. If you want to save time without compromising on quality, you can use professional banner design tools such as Bannersnack. This tool is web-based, accessible and packed with great features and templates that will make the design process seem effortless.
Influencer marketing is a proven and effective way to drive more traffic to your website, increasing sales and awareness, or expanding your pool of fans. Influencers do have the power to "influence" the decisions made by a specific audience, thus helping you to improve your overall stats and expand your business.
At the end of each influencer campaign, it’s important to correctly measure your stats, metrics and ROI. These numbers are essential in evaluating your choices and improve your future campaigns based on actual data. As a marketer in the modern world, one thing is imperative: continue learning and expanding your knowledge while adapting to the technological and behavioral changes of the market.
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