You’ve partnered with an influencer. The influencer posted an amazing piece of content for your brand. Now how do you measure your influencer marketing?
Measuring success for an influencer marketing campaign is essential to growing your influencer marketing effectively, and ultimately, growing your brand. The more your brand collaborates with influencers, the more insights you’ll be able to carry into your next influencer partnership.
KPIs are Key Performance Indicators that can help you answer “Was this influencer campaign successful?” In order to understand your KPIs, you’ll want to know your overall goals for influencer marketing. Whether you’re looking to increase brand awareness or site traffic, your influencer marketing should help you set the bar for success across all your marketing channels. Having a data-driven approach to determine the success or failure of the campaign will help you evaluate. Then, you can improve for the next campaign. It can also help you determine your budget for future campaigns.
Deep Patel takes KPIs a step further and recommends that you incorporate them into Smart Goals. That is to say, making them specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time based. That way, you can measure your success on an even more granular level.
Engagement is the best metric to look at the first time you work with an influencer. When the influencer posts, you’ll want to look at all the ways that their followers are interacting with it. These followers could be your future customers!
An influencer’s engagement is the primary measure of influencer marketing success. Engagement determines how many people are actually paying attention to your campaign. Impressions on a post could show you how many people saw it, but engagement indicates how any people are receptive to the message. These people are likely to convert if given the proper care and nurturing.
Questions are an especially valuable form of engagement. Are the influencer’s followers asking questions about your products? This can reveal sticking points about your product, or how you can better communicate about your brand in the future. You’ll also want to hop into the conversation from time to time to provide answers that the influencer may not be able to.
To find an influencer’s engagement rate for a single post, you’ll want to divide the total interactions on that post by their total followers. The result is the percentage of followers that engaged with the content. A higher engagement rate indicates that the influencer’s campaign was a success. That is to say, people were highly engaged with the content.
When tracking the success of your campaigns, you’ll want to compare the engagement rate as a percentage to your other campaigns to see if it falls above or below the average from previous campaigns. Were people more or less engaged? Can you see any obvious reasons for this result?
How to Track Engagement: Look at the original influencer post and track likes, comments, and interactions, as well as their total engagement rate for the post.
Site traffic can be a great goal if you’re building up your influencer marketing efforts, as it is easy to track and can eventually lead to conversions. Site traffic can help you gain leads for your store, if your site is setup to capture their information. Email signups, abandoned cart efforts, and other marketing efforts on your site can help these leads get further down the funnel.
Influencers can refer their followers to your site by mentioning your social handle on whatever platform they post to, or by directly listing your website. Tracked links and coupon codes can help you find out where the traffic originated from and credit that influencer with sending the person to your site.
Instead of relying on direct conversions from visitors who may not know your brand well enough, driving site traffic allows the influencer to feed the top of your conversion funnel so that you can continue to nurture each lead.
By the first or second campaign with an influencer, you should be able to see some site traffic from their efforts. Their followers should be curious to see what your website has to offer.
How to Track: Google Analytics or Shopify Analytics, to look for spikes in traffic. It is also easier to track if you have a tracked link or coupon code associated with that influencer.
This KPI should be used whenever you are having an influencer share a very specific message. If the influencer is sending people to like your profile, sign up for emails, or enter a giveaway on your site, then the success of the campaign relies lead generation. That is to say, how many leads the influencer refers to your site. If there’s a spike in social growth, then the influencer was successful in sending their audience to your page.
However, this KPI is just the jumping off point for your campaign. If your influencer is sending you these leads, then the next step is to remarket to these people. A successful influencer for this type of campaign is able to demonstrate the value of signing up with your brand, then your brand will be able to finish the conversion with an email, or social marketing, or following up at the end of the giveaway.
How to Track: Tallying the number of followers, email subscribers, or entries before and after the influencer content is posted. You can also used tracked links to better measure the success of certain aspects of the campaign.
Sales shouldn’t be the first goal that you set with an influencer. Unfortunately, their audience isn’t familiar with your brand yet. It can take an average of 6-8 “touches” before a potential customer will convert. Sales should be the long-term goal of influencer marketing after you’ve worked with an influencer several times. That way, their audience has had a chance to familiarize themselves with your brand.
Immediate sales through an influencer campaign should weigh more heavily than other KPIs, since you’ve proved the financial viability of the influencer right away. However, don’t worry if the sales don’t appear right away. The influencer should be working to create positive brand awareness for their audience, which will lead to sales in a more organic way. In short, influencers should put your product in front of their audience so that it is at the front of their minds when they decide to make a purchase.
How to Track: Tracked links or coupon codes that are connected to sales data, or overall increase in sales from that particular marketing channel in your analytics reporting.
Was the influencer able to drive traffic and mentions to your social media? Trying to build your ability to remarket on social media? Have the influencer tell their audience to follow your social profile so that you can build up your social presence. Later on, you can share content that will help to nurture these leads.
An increase in chatter surrounding your brand can also help your brand grow and can increase brand awareness. If their audience is adopting your hashtag, tagging or mentioning your brand in their posts, or messaging you, then these should count toward the success of the overall campaign. Because there are so many ways to interact with your brand on social media, try focusing on a single metric (like hashtag use) to determine if the influencer made an impact. These hashtags and social handles should be communicated to the influencer before the campaign, as well as your expectations and goals for how they will be used and circulated within the influencer’s community
How to Track: Record before and after numbers for tags and mentions on social media to see if there is a lift.
If you’ve already figured out which KPI you’d like to track for your influencer campaign, then the next step is finding a reliable way to track the numbers. Here are a few ways to track success with real data and real results.
Tracked links work with your analytics to help you determine the number of visitors or customers that actually came from the influencer campaign. These links provide a very accurate depiction of the influencer’s referrals, but they aren’t the nicest links to look at.
A typical Google Analytics-tracked link looks like this:
If you plan to use a tracked link, see if you can provide a cleaner link for influencers to post. Link shorteners can help with this, but you can also clean up the link on your site too. If you copy a category or product, then you can change the URL to something specific to the influencer. When you go to track the success of the campaign, you’ll just look at the traffic that entered your site from that unique URL.
Coupon codes are the preferred method of tracking for influencers on Instagram, according to a recent informal survey by Carro. They are easy to add to Instagram stories and other types of content. Coupon codes also provide an added incentive for potential customers to convert because they’ll be saving a little money on their first purchase.
When looking through an influencer’s contacts, Instagram will provide the “mutual connections.” If an influencer’s audience is starting to follow your brand, they’ll show up here.
The influencer’s content should be stored where you can reference it frequently in the first few days of the campaign. Use Instagram’s save button or keep a spreadsheet of the URLs to each post. Monitor the engagement on the post to see if anyone is asking a question you can answer. You can also see if the influencer was able to create positive buzz about the product.
As you can see, there are a few ways to measure influencer marketing, depending on your business goals. Remember, results could take a little bit to show up depending on the type of campaign. An Instagram post could be circulated in feeds for up to a week (or even longer!). Meanwhile, a blog post could refer traffic for months.
Long-term success of a campaign should be measured according to the KPIs that you set at the beginning. Did the influencer outperform other similar campaigns? Did they drive the result that you were looking for?
For the first campaign, it is important to set realistic goals for the campaign. The influencer’s audience is unfamiliar with your brand, so brand awareness and engagement should be the primary goals for a new influencer.
Once you have established a few collaborations, then you can turn your attention to KPIs like sales.
It’s important to remember that each influencer is a different experience. They each have different content, different audiences, and a unique point of view. Finding out how each influencer can help your brand and testing options will find the best results for campaigns. Keeping KPIs in mind when orchestrating campaigns will help to ensure that each campaign drives success for your brand!
Have you tried Mentions with Carro? Carro tracks all the influencer mentions for your brand so that you never miss an influencer opportunity again! See what influencers are saying and posting about your brand when you try Carro today.