Whether you’re interested in building your brand, generating website traffic, making sales, or just about any other specific objective, influencer marketing will likely be the road that leads to the most impressive results.
It’s Complicated, Though
There is a virtually endless array of sub-flavors of influencer marketing. They range from celebrity endorsements to niche industry thought leaders to employee advocacy.
According to a 2016 study by Linqia, 86% of marketers surveyed said they used influencer marketing in 2016. Of those, 89% had the objective of creating authentic brand content. An overlapping 77% set out to use influencer marketing to drive engagement around their product or brand. And 56% used it to drive traffic to their website or landing page.
How Will I Know If My Campaign Is Working?
Whatever your objective, you’re going to want a way to measure your results. And that’s where metrics come in.
There are hundreds of different metrics. Some will be appropriate for evaluating your specific circumstances and objectives, while others will be completely irrelevant to your purposes.
For example, say you hire an Instagram influencer with the objective of engagement. That is, you want the influencer to activate their audience. You then want those people to click your tag in the influencer’s post. From there, you want them to follow your account and engage with your content. (Meaning they will like, comment, or tag their friends.)
Track the Right Metrics
Would you measure the traffic to your website from your Instagram profile to measure the success of that campaign? Nope, you would stick to the network you’re trying to drive engagement on. That is, you would simply examine the Instagram analytics, comparing them against a benchmark you set when you began your campaign.
There are so many different metrics to choose from and so many different networks to launch campaigns on. Therefore, it can be a challenge to be 100% sure you’re tracking all the right metrics.
Nonetheless, here are five metrics you should be tracking during an influencer marketing campaign.
Engagement is a metric that will help you understand how well your influencer marketing campaign is generating interest around your brand or product.
If you’re using one platform for most of your influencer marketing efforts, then you’re likely to already have the ability to drill down. That is, you can look at engagement per promoted content item, engagement per time period or engagement per influencer.
Smarp, for example, which is commonly used as a solution for employee advocacy, features some in-depth reporting capabilities with engagement metrics. Smarp’s analytics backend also provides insights into what they call the “earned media value” (EMV) of the engagement you drive with your army of in-house influencers:
EMV of your Employee Advocacy program = (Number of employees participating) x (number of shares per employee) x (number of clicks generated per employee share) x (cost per click)
For More Insights Establish a Uniform Reporting System
To assess the return on your investment (ROI) on all of your influencer marketing efforts across platforms, though, you’ll need to establish a uniform reporting system. In other words, you’ll need a system that can use data from many sources and display it as an “apples to apples” comparison. You can use a dashboard tool like Klipfolio for this.
Or you can build your own manually maintained spreadsheet, with the following process. First, set your benchmark by adding the number of people who liked, commented, shared and clicked on your post. Then divide that by the reach of that post. (Reach is the number of people who saw your post).
Do this with non-influencer content to establish a benchmark, and again with the influencer content to determine the impact of the influencer campaign. It’s important to measure engagement over time, so if you see less than impressive results from a single post, don’t worry. Instead, measure the rate over time to determine the meaningful difference.
RELATED ARTICLE: HOW TO USE INFLUENCER MARKETING TO BOOST YOUR BRAND
2. Follower Growth
Your objective might be to raise brand awareness and promote your social account to gain attention. In that case, the growth of your followers will be an easy way to determine how well your campaign is doing. You can even use an organic growth service – just make sure you do some research before diving into these services. For example, Income Artist recently reviewed Social Envy.
Take a measure of the rate of follower growth over a period that equals the length of time you expect to run your influencer marketing campaign. To do this, divide the number of followers gained within that time period by the number of days, weeks, or months that you expect to run your campaign.
Instagram is a great platform for driving brand awareness through influencer marketing campaigns. To get an even clearer picture of engagement and follower growth, check out the on-site Instagram analytics. Alternatively, look into a third-party service to dive even deeper into the results.
3. Website Traffic
If your influencer marketing campaign objective is to drive traffic to your website, then you should be using a tool like Google Analytics to determine how much of that traffic is because of your campaign.
Inside the GA acquisition tab you’ll find three primary source categories for traffic to your site. This breaks down your site visitors into 3 categories. Those who type in your URL and go directly to your site are called “direct.” People who got there via search engine are termed “search.” And those who were sent there through a referral from another site are called “referral.”
There are a number of ways to track it, but essentially, you need to dig into the referral category to determine how effective your influencer is at sending people to your website. Campaign tagging will be your most insightful option if you are working with multiple platforms from the same influencer.
4. Trackable Links
Trackable links work well for tracking and monitoring the specific results per campaign. And custom link shorteners give you the ability to run and monitor multiple basic influencer marketing campaigns simultaneously.
Specifically for Instagram, a shortener like Bitly will allow you to view the amount of traffic coming from your profile. However, you will need in-depth Instagram analytics platforms to generate more useful reports.
5. Brand Mentions
You could measure brand mentions on multiple sites and try to come up with a definitive answer. Or you could use a tool like Sentione to track mentions of your brand across the web. They’ll even give you a breakdown of positive or negative sentiment.
Sentione also has a social CRM named SalesLift that can boost your customer relationship. They have embedded analytics, too, that will basically transform data to a more “digestible” breakdown. That is, they will track social interactions, competitors, your brand monitoring and more.