Over the last decade, there has been a huge change in the way consumers perceive brands and their promotional messages. There was a time when big billboards of prominent placement on the front page of a newspaper could easily sell your products. But not anymore.
Flashy advertisements do little to boost a brand’s credibility in the eyes of consumers. The only real way to win their trust is to showcase social proof - proof that your products can do what you claim they can.
This shift in consumer perception paved the way for brands to leverage content such as customer testimonials and user reviews to woo their target audiences. And it also brought about the need for influencers to endorse businesses to help increase their visibility and sales.
Most brands that have leveraged influencer marketing have reaped incredible results. However, a major challenge that many marketers and brands still face is with influencer marketing measurement. And because many of them don’t exactly know how to measure the ROI of influencer marketing, they end up not knowing how effective their campaigns are.
This, of course, can lead to inefficient use of your budget and resources. So, in this post, we’ll take a look at what every brand needs to know about influencer marketing measurement. Let’s get started.
1. Goals are Essential for Influencer Marketing Measurement
The first lesson in influencer marketing measurement is to make sure that you define your goals properly. Goals are essential because they provide focus for your marketing campaign. Without them, you’ll end up shooting in the dark and wasting your resources and time.
Also, goals make it possible for you to track the progress and performance of your campaign. By comparing your results to your goals, you’ll get an idea of what’s working and what’s not. Accordingly, you can make changes as needed to optimize your campaign.
When you contemplate your campaign goal, you need to make sure of a few things. Attach a numerical value to it so that it’s not a vague goal. Also, assign a deadline for the goal for greater accountability.
For example, your primary objective from an influencer marketing campaign might be to increase traffic to your website. However, this is too vague. A goal such as “increase my website visitors by 30% in 4 months” is much better.
The Bottom Line: For effective influencer marketing measurement, define SMART goals at the very onset of your campaign. Also, stick to a single goal or a couple of related goals, (at most), to run effective campaigns.
2. Measure the Influence of Your Potential Influencers
Your choice of influencers can make or break your campaign. So, when you set out to find the right influencers for your campaign, you need to evaluate their influence really well.
There are way too many individuals out there who resort to unscrupulous means such as buying followers to inflate their follower counts. Most of these followers are actually fake accounts or bots and, therefore, can’t add any real value to your campaigns.
So, you need to choose your influencers carefully.
Effective influencer marketing measurement involves both qualitative and quantitative measurement.
Let’s take a look at some qualitative measures of influence:
Relevance - Check if your potential influencer’s niche aligns with your brand, products, or industry. This will ensure that their audience is relevant to you.
Authenticity - Go through some of your potential influencer’s posts. Do they reflect their expertise, knowledge, and passion? Also, take a look at any sponsored posts they might have shared. Make sure that these don’t look pushy, promotional, or spammy.
Aesthetics - While going through your potential influencer’s content, check if the posts are tasteful, artistic, and attractive.
Resonance - Finally, check if the influencer’s messaging and style align with your values. See if they're likely to resonate with the preferences and interests of your target audience.
Apart from the qualitative aspects, you should also evaluate these quantitative measures of influence:
Reach - Check how many followers the influencer has. Also, try to estimate how many people might see their posts as a result of sharing by their followers. This might be difficult to calculate manually and so, an influencer marketing platform might be more beneficial to measure the reach.
Engagement - Out of their total followers, how many people like, share, and comment on the influencer’s content? This will give you an idea of their engagement rate. You can either use an influencer marketing platform or an engagement calculator for this.
Consistency - You should also check how often your potential influencer posts new content. You don’t want to partner with someone who’s social activity is inconsistent.
Domain Authority - If you want to work with bloggers in your niche, you need to check the Domain Authority of their blog or website. The MozBar extension can help you do this easily.
Blog Traffic - You must also check the number of monthly visitors your potential influencer’s blog or website gets. For this, you should ask them to share their Google Analytics reports for the last three months.
The Bottom Line: The success of your influencer marketing campaign largely depends on the influencers you choose. So, make sure that you choose the right ones after a thorough qualitative and quantitative analysis of their influence.
3. Track and Measure the Progress of Your Campaign
The final lesson in effective influencer marketing measurement is about tracking your campaign progress and measuring your ROI. This is the part where you’ll need to refer to the goals you had defined at the beginning of your campaign.
Compare your progress against those goals. Here are the KPIs you can use to measure your ROI for the following goals:
Brand Awareness - If your goal was to increase brand awareness through your campaign, you’ll need to keep track of the additional reach, engagement, and impressions your influencer-generated content generated. You should also look at any mentions that your brand got as a result of such content.
Make sure to also check the nature of these mentions or comments. You should make sure that they were mostly positive. If not, you’ll need to figure out what went wrong and work towards rectifying it.
Sales or Conversions - There are a few different ways you can measure your conversions. You can track the number of website visitors that came to your website after clicking on influencer links. And out of them, the number of people who made a purchase.
You can also track the number of clicks on your influencers’ affiliate links and the revenue you got through them. If you’ve shared unique discount coupon codes with your influencers, you might need to check the revenue each of your influencers was able to generate.
Reach and Visibility - If your influencer marketing goal was to increase your reach and visibility on social media, you should track the number of new followers you gained through the campaign. You should also measure the referral traffic to your website generated as a result of your influencers’ efforts.
The measurement of ROI from influencer marketing can be a little difficult to accomplish manually. However, Grin’s influencer marketing platform can help you do this with ease. It coordinates your communications with influencers and attributes revenue across your entire campaign.
The Bottom Line: Make sure to measure your campaign progress and ROI. This will help you make any improvements and adjustments that might be needed in your current as well as future campaigns.
Influencer marketing measurement is not as difficult as it might sound, especially, if you have the right tools at your disposal to help you.
Remember to establish your goals thoughtfully at the onset of your campaign. Choose your influencers well and measure both progress and ROI from your campaigns. Follow the tips mentioned above to make your influencer campaigns even more successful.
Brian Mechem is COO and Co-Founder of Grin, a software solution for companies who run influencer marketing programs. Grin's software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process.