Like any marketing activity it’s important to measure your influencer marketing campaigns to make sure you’re achieving the results that led you to influencer marketing in the first place.
But how do you practically do that when you’re working with hundreds of influencers? How can you be sure you’re measuring the correct statistics or that influencers are reporting their metrics accurately? We all know the importance of looking at figures like reach and reputation, but what are the specific things you need to measure when you’re running an influencer marketing campaign?
We know that more and more brands and agencies are moving towards influencer marketing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are in this scenario then you may also be facing the challenge of having to adapt to reporting and measuring your influencer marketing ‘on the fly’, as you bring influencers into your marketing mix as a new channel.
Here are some ideas and tips we’ve picked up working with major brands over the years on influencer campaigns, so you can tell what’s working and what needs to be improved.
In general, before you begin: SMART is helpful
If you’ve not come across SMART before then it’s a very useful model for setting goals for any type of marketing. SMART goals are…
Specific - They’re well defined and it will be clear if you’ve hit the goal or not.
Measurable - You can quantify your success or failure.
Achievable - You’re going to be able to do things to make sure you hit your goal.
Realistic - There’s a good chance of success.
Timely - You know the period you’ll measure and when you want to achieve your goal.
Example: We want to carry out an influencer marketing campaign that engages our target audience. We’ll measure that by looking at engagement with the influencer’s posts across the calendar month of June. Success will be measured by looking at the engagement rate. The goal is to achieve a 5%+ engagement rate.
You will need individualised and campaign-level metrics
Now that you’ve got a SMART goal you might think you’re ready to go with a solid measurement. Here’s the problem though: the above example is all set to measure engagement across the campaign, but you’ll also need to dig into specific influencer’s metrics to make a judgement on whether they were the right influencer for your campaign and if you want to work with them again.
You need to measure campaign-wide to make sure that your campaign is working and you need to look at specific influencer metrics to make sure you’re working with the right influencers.
In the above example we’ve set a 5% engagement rate as our target. It’s very likely that some of our influencers will outperform that target (we’ve had influencers achieve 20%+ engagement rates, for example), whilst some may prove to be a poor fit and bring the average down. In the future we’ll want to put more budget for similar campaigns towards the influencers who exceed the target engagement rate and move influencers with a low engagement rate onto alternative campaigns.
Looking at the overall picture gives you a view on how successful your campaign was, whilst looking individually allows you to get better in the future.
Make sure you ask your influencers for non-public metrics
Depending on the influencer’s social media of choice it’s likely that you’ll be able to assess performance through some publicly available metrics like views and likes. It’s also likely that your influencers will have access to some non-public metrics that will enable you to better assess how things worked out for you.
The only way to access these non-public metrics is through your influencers, so make sure that you have something in your agreement with the influencers you use that they will provide these metrics within reasonable timescales.
Our influencers upload their metrics to the Influence Network platform, so that our brands can see them alongside the real-time public metrics we collect. As standard, influencers do this 48 hours after a post goes live and then again 2 weeks later, so that we can see how engagement changes over time. Both submissions are supported by screenshots.
There’s no one measurement tool to carry out a full assessment: you will need to use a variety
As mentioned above, we display all of the data we collect on our influencers in one single portal, but we use a variety of tools to collect that data. Whether you’re carrying out your campaign internally or working with someone you will also need to use a variety of assessment tools depending on what your campaign KPIs are.
Unique URLs - giving these to your influencers allows you to easily track which influencers are sending traffic to your website or landing pages and which posts had the greatest impact.
Tracking pixels - once the traffic has arrived, a tracking pixel can help you to figure out exactly what your visitors are doing.
Voucher codes - an alternative way of tracking the impact your influencers have, all the way through to purchase.
Brand sentiment - how has your campaign impacted brand sentiment throughout the campaign and which posts have contributed the most to this.
Our platform gets your influencer’s data and the the full campaign data into one practical place.
If the end goal is sales then look at both online purchases and intent to buy
Using the above methods will enable you to track any uptick in purchases that resulted from an influencer campaign. As the end goal with most marketing is ultimately to generate increased revenue then this is likely to be a metric you will want to pay close attention to.
However, as we all know, online purchasing habits vary greatly and there is not always a short, nor linear journey from seeing an influencer’s post and pressing ‘checkout’. The very nature of ‘influencers’ also dictates this: they may well influence people towards a decision, but might not represent the final push to make the purchase.
Tracking pixels, which can assign purchases to an influencer even if the purchase is made some time later, will help with this, but so will looking at purchase intent.
Purchase intent is the concept of looking at the reactions an influencer gets to their post to spot individual reactions which indicate the influencer’s follower is considering a purchase. Questions such as ‘where can I get this?’ are an indication of purchase intention as are more obvious comments such as ‘I’ll get some when I next go food shopping’ or ‘I’ll look out for these’.
Our AI specifically looks out for phrases which indicate purchasing intent, but you can also do this manually and report on the percentage of engagements which appeared to have a positive intent to purchase.
To sum up: measuring influencer marketing is about more than knowing how to read a metric
It’s not difficult to find a complete guide to measuring reach, to pick just one metric. But measuring your influencer marketing is about more than looking at a figure and hoping that it goes in a positive direction.
You’ll need to look across the whole cross-section of your influencer marketing efforts and be prepared to dig into the individual figures as well as the top-level metrics. You’ll need to use different sources of data and different ways of assessing success.
We think this wide-ranging approach is the absolute key to measuring your influencer marketing campaigns, making judgements on how to modify them and proving ROI to the wider business.
Which is why we spent so much time building in exactly that sort of measurement to our platform.
Written by Harriot Rockey
COO, Influence Network
The above tips will help you to measure your influencer marketing, but wouldn’t it be easier to have everything compiled for you and visible in once place?
Influence Network is an influencer platform which identifies the most aligned micro-influencers from the entire social web, then rapidly deploys and manages campaigns at an unprecedented scale, before reporting on trackable engagement and ROI. We’re the Double-Click of influencer marketing and we’re here to solve your influencer problems. Sound interesting? Get in touch on INFO@INFLUENCE.NETWORK or 0203 918 8582