At Go Fish Digital, we like to break our influencer campaigns down into four phases:
- Preparation (this includes the identification of influencers, competitor research, and setting a budget)
- Campaign Management (agreement forms, campaign briefs, approval processes, and monitoring content)
- Reporting (both as an on-going basis and as a wrap at the end of a campaign)
- Maintaining Relationships
Unfortunately, to my complete shock, I’ve seen too many marketers taking the easy way out and skipping phases three and four entirely.
How can you consider your work complete if you haven’t taken the time to analyze the results? And, if influencer collaborations are most successful when there is an authentic relationship between the brand and the content creator, shouldn’t you keep that door open?
Sometimes, the answer to these questions boils down to just plain laziness, but recent studies have shown that marketers are reporting that one of their biggest concerns with influencer collaborations is not knowing how to measure influencer marketing. So, perhaps it’s not always that your marketing team is dropping the ball. It could just be that they truly don’t know how to report on these campaigns.
I’m here to tell you that while it is difficult to monitor the success of influencer campaigns from end-to-end (as with any kind of marketing), there are many statistics and numbers that can be used in your reports to guide you in your future influencer endeavors.
The most important key performance indicators (KPIs) to include in your influencer marketing reports are:
- Engagement Rate
- Website Traffic
- Impressions or CPM
- Audience Growth
- Conversions, Sales, and Lead Generation
- Search Volume
Let’s dive further into these six essential KPIs for influencer marketing so that you aren’t making the fatal mistake of quitting after the aforementioned phase two.
One of the most important metrics in influencer marketing is the engagement rate. I’m sure that any brand would be disappointed to find that they’ve invested time and money into an influencer whose audience has tuned out. If your content has been successful, the influencer’s audience will engage with the sponsored content and be eager to learn more about the brand.
Measuring the engagement rate on social content is simple. Follow this formula:
Chances are that you’ve already set up a Google Analytics profile for your business and closely monitor the traffic to your site. The easiest way to ensure you’re able to attribute traffic from an influencer is to provide a trackable link such as a UTM or CID. In addition to looking at the total number of sessions from the campaign and each individual influencer, you should take into consideration other RankBrain signals such as:
- Pages / Session
- Average Session Duration
- Bounce Rate
- New Users
Impressions or CPM
In addition to the number of users actually engaging with the content, you should be measuring the number of people who have seen the sponsored content. These impressions directly correlate to brand awareness.
To take this metric a step further, you can also calculate the CPM or cost per thousand impressions. This will show you exactly how much your brand is spending to earn 1,000 impressions. The average CPM will vary by platform, but the formula is as follows:
When you’re targeting the correct audience, some of the influencer’s followers will likely become your followers as well. It’s relatively simple to track audience growth on various social platforms as the data is directly available in the platform when you have a business account. If you want to attribute audience growth to specific influencers, you must be acutely aware of day-to-day changes in followers and correlate those changes with dates of influencer content.
Conversions, Sales, and Lead Gen
Of course, everyone wants to know how a campaign is directly affecting their bottom line. While there are ways to find these numbers, it is important to note that buying decisions are made after multiple points of contact.
Additionally, buying habits change from person to person and while one user may immediately swipe-up from an Instagram Story and purchase an item, another may see an influencer’s suggestion and google the product a week later to purchase. For this reason, not all sales from an influencer collaboration can be directly sourced.
However, you can find transactions and conversions in Google Analytics as long as you’ve set your parameters correctly. One good way to increase sales numbers and the ability to track influencer sales is through unique promo codes or affiliate links.
As mentioned above, some of the traffic and sales your business may earn from influencer campaigns may not be immediately trackable through specialized links. An added bonus of influencer campaigns is that your organic searches may increase. Search volume is the total number of searches for a keyword in a set timeframe. To monitor search volume in correlation to influencer campaigns, you’d need to note any other marketing changes that are occurring at the same time as the influencer content and the dates of each influencer post. SEMRush is a good tool for tracking search volume.
Knowing how to measure influencer marketing efforts is the key to getting the most out of your influencer collaboration efforts. It may not be necessary to report on every one of these KPIs for each influencer campaign, but it is important to at least track the results of your collaboration in some way so you can know if you’re spending time and money as efficiently as you could be. The KPIs you use will depend on the goals you’ve set for your influencer campaigns during the preparation phase.
How do you measure the results of your influencer campaigns? Share with us in the comments below!