Measuring the success of your influencer relationships is both necessary and delicate work. Measuring return on investment was the main (and by far) challenge of influencer marketing in 2018, according to a study by Linqia:
So how do you measure the effectiveness and ROI of your campaigns in a concrete way?
1. Measure according to your campaign objectives
An influencer marketing campaign can be designed with many different goals in mind:
- Increase your notoriety;
- Promote a product / service;
- Improve your brand image;
- Position your brand on a new market;
- Develop and engage your communities;
- Generate leads or sales;
These objectives must be the basis of your campaign and accompany each step of its implementation, from the search for influencers to the measurement of performance.
2. Choose the performance indicators to follow
There are many performance indicators (or KPIs) for influencer marketing. It is important to focus on the 3 or 4 essential indicators for your goals.
Here is a list of the many possible KPIs, choose the most relevant for your campaign!
- Scope of influencer posts: Number of unique people who saw their posts;
- Impressions obtained: Number of views of publications (the same person can be exposed several times to the same publication).
- Posts created by influencers: How many posts were created during the campaign? How many of these publications are you allowed to reuse on your site or for your own campaigns?
- Posts created by users: As part of a content generation campaign around a hashtag for example.
- Number of Reactions: “Likes”, Fav, etc. ;
- Number of Comments;
- Number of Shares;
- Number of mentions of your brand account;
- Publication engagement rate: Total engagement number / Influencer number of subscribers.
Account growth indicators:
- Number of new subscribers won over the campaign period.
- Clicks generated by influencer publications;
- New users generated on your site;
- Seen pages ;
- Duration of session;
- Rebound rate.
Sales indicators / lead generation:
- Number of conversions;
- Return on investment generated.
- Share of your brand’s voice in front of your competitors;
- Penetration of the key message.
3. Measure the return on investment of influencer marketing
Measuring the concrete ROI of your campaigns will help you demonstrate internally the value of this relatively new communication channel. For this, three methods are possible:
1. Track generated sales
In a campaign aimed at generating sales, ROI is very simple to measure.
If you send your influencers links redirecting to your site to share, consider incorporating UTM trackers. Then you just need to track conversions generated from Google Analytics
Another method is to provide promotion codes to influencers. Their subscribers then give this code at the time of the purchase, and benefit from a reduction. On your side, you just have to follow the number of sales generated thanks to these codes.
Remember to give different links or promo codes to each influencer, so you can follow the individual performance of each influencer. This will also be essential if you have agreed on a commission for each sale generated with influencers.
If your campaign does not include a link or code, you can still track buying trends and identify if your campaign has resulted in peak sales.
But not all influencer marketing campaigns aim to generate direct sales. How to measure the ROI of these? Here are two other methods.
2. Measure the Earned Media Value
The advertising agency Ayzenberg created the Earned Media Value Index in 2016, which has since become the market standard for measuring the ROI of influencer marketing.
This index takes into account factors from online advertising such as Hit by Impression and Hit by Engagement from each network. It compares the costs of influencer publications (earned media) with those of an advertising campaign (paid media) with equivalent performance.
Ayzenberg analyzed thousands of campaigns to produce this index, which is regularly updated. We can for example see that 1000 views of an Instagram post are valued at $ 5.85 while 1000 of an Instagram Story is $ 2.95.
This is the methodology used by our influencer marketing platform when calculating the Estimated Value of your campaign (customizable with your own equivalences).
Compare to your own campaigns
If you prefer to rely on your own experiences, you can compare the performance of your influence campaign yourself to your social media advertising campaigns.
For example, by comparing the cost per engagement, per click or per lead of your paid campaigns to the performance and the cost of your influence campaigns, you can estimate the return on investment of these campaigns.
Take into account the other benefits of influencer marketing
Influence campaigns have other advantages that it is important to take into account when reviewing your campaigns.
This type of campaign allows you to gain new content, that created by influencers. You can reuse their publications on your site, your social media campaigns, your emails, etc. (provided you have agreed with influencers beforehand). It’s usually quality, authentic content that features people who are familiar to your audience.
Also, unlike social media campaigns, content creation is outsourced, usually handled by the influencers themselves, which saves you time and costs on your side.
4. Equip yourself with the tools necessary to measure your campaigns
To gather this data, you will therefore need to equip yourself with the appropriate tools.
Here are the tools needed to measure the indicators listed above:
Ideal (and free!) To follow all the KPIs linked to your site such as the traffic obtained and the conversions generated.
A spreadsheet (and a lot of patience)
If you want to manually track the performance of your influencers’ social media posts, you can create a spreadsheet and record the number of entries, comments and mentions received.
The impressions will not be visible publicly, so you will need to ask influencers to communicate them to you directly.
But some indicators are very difficult and time-consuming to measure manually, especially when working with more than 10 influencers at the same time. It will therefore be preferable to turn to an influencer marketing platform.
An influencing marketing platform
An influence platform like that of Meltwater will do all the work of collecting and measuring your different KPIs (Reach, Impressions, Engagement, Mentions, Estimated Value …). You will only have to analyze the results!
These platforms generally allow you to retrieve all the content generated by influencers (even ephemeral ones like Instagram Stories) and to further analyze the results.
5. Create your campaign report
Creating a report is the best way to analyze your campaigns and be able to make better decisions for your strategy. It is also important to internally present your efforts and what your work brings to your business.
To assess your influencer marketing work, two types of reports are possible:
On a specific campaign
This type of report allows you to take stock of a campaign one-shot, such as product launch, brand event, special promotion, etc.
We focus here on the objectives of the campaign (sales, awareness, engagement), which we can possibly compare with other campaigns with the same objectives achieved via different levers (social networks, emailing, display).
Over a period (month, quarter, semester, etc.)
This type of report is interesting if you work with influencers for the long term. For example, if you work regularly with many influencers on product promotion.
It will therefore be built around the objectives of this long-term campaign and will highlight the evolution over time of these different KPIs (month after month, quarter after quarter, etc.).
You can also integrate a social media benchmark to compare your influence strategy with other players in your market.
Build your report
A meaningful report must demonstrate the use of each euro spent and the return on investment of its expenditure vis-à-vis your business objectives. If you present this report internally, focus on the 3 or 4 most important KPIs
To go further, here are some examples of analyzes to include in your campaign report:
- Detailed analysis of each influencer: published content, commitments obtained, reach, etc .;
- Analysis of the 5 or 10 generated contents which met the most success in terms of engagement or clicks;
- Analysis of the audience reached: age, location, gender, center of interest and relevance to your brand;
- Analysis of the generated mentions: key trends, feeling of the messages, influence of the affected profiles;
- Comparison: to a past period, to a competitor, to a similar campaign;
- Recommendations for your future campaigns.
6. Learn from it for your next campaigns
The analysis of your influence campaigns should make it possible to deduce an action plan to optimize your communication strategy. Here are some examples of lessons to be learned:
Effective content for your audience
Influencers in your industry know the type of content that will resonate with your audience. Pay special attention to the content they offer you as part of your campaign.
After the campaign is over, identify the posts that received the most response, and use them for your own content strategy.
The most engaging influencers
By analyzing the impact of each influencer during your campaign, you will be able to determine which ones have been most effective.
You can then favor these influencers and build long-term relationships with them.
Discovery of new ambassadors
If your campaign is effective, it will generate mentions and comments. Scan the profiles of the people who mentioned you, you may find your next ambassadors there!
Contrary to what one might think, it is quite possible (and simple) to estimate the impact and return on investment of influencer marketing. The main thing is to focus on the indicators that are important for your business, and to use this measure as a springboard for your next campaigns!
To go further, find our guide on performance measurement, to estimate and present the return on investment of your PR, social media and marketing actions!
Article written in collaboration with Meltwater.