How to Measure Influencer Marketing Campaigns using 5 Analytical Approaches
- Establishing the Campaign Reach via Followers, Post Impressions, and Referral Traffic
Reach is an essential ROI element for any influencer marketing campaign. We certainly want to see how far our brand message has traveled. The more reach our influencer marketing campaign has, the more potential sales you can net.
Measuring an influencer’s reach will allow us to determine how many people potentially saw our brand’s message. To examine influencer reach, we can measure the following key performance indicators (KPIs):
- Followers: The number of fans or followers an influencer has
- Impressions: The number of times your brand message gets in front of your target audience
- Traffic data: The amount of traffic an influencer is driving to your site
We can get this data from the social media profiles, as well as any tools that read social metrics. inorder for us to see the info at a glance, we can create a dashboard or spreadsheet of our social media metrics.
A dashboard or spreadsheet can help you understand the reach achieved through an influencer campaign.
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- Measure the Campaign Engagement via Clicks, Likes, Reactions, and Shares
When your influencer campaign goal is engagement, you can measure not only the number of engagements but also the cost per engagement (CPE). Influencer engagement essentially indicates the future of your brand loyalty among consumers and is a powerful way your brand can track long-term ROI.
To measure the engagement an influencer brings to your brand, track these types of engagements:
- Reactions: Facebook recently modified its algorithm to give greater weight to reactions. Facebook perceives reactions as requiring more effort, therefore indicating sentiment better than a basic like.
- Shares: Shares indicate quality. If people recommend your content to their friends and family, they’ll recommend your products and services, too.
- Clicks: Clicks measure the interest level of your target audience, but you also want to have a good balance of clicks, likes, and shares.
- Likes: Likes will generate more buzz around your content and can boost your content’s ranking on Facebook, too.
When we run an influencer campaign to generate engagement, track engagements to measure our campaign’s ROI.
- Comments: A high number of comments on influencer posts indicates that our customers or potential customers like the post content.
- Brand mentions: Mentions are a great KPI because we know our content is being discussed and our brand amplified.
When we are tracking the engagements of our campaigns, we can then track CPE, which measures the money invested per click-through, like, comment, and so on. The CPE metric allows us to understand how consumers are reacting to our brand, and not solely to our products or services. Moreso, CPE isn’t simply about immediate sales, but also the customer relationship moving forward.
How do we calculate CPE?
Divide your total ad spend by the number of engagements. (Use the online calculator. )
Alternatively, using a marketing tool such as BuzzSumo can also give us an excellent overview of how well our influencer posts are doing. For example, with BuzzSumo, enter the URL for our site or a specific blog post to view its level of engagement. BuzzSumo shows us Facebook engagement and shares across different social media channels.
Tools like BuzzSumo are always being used to view engagement data for specific posts.
- Calculate Target Audience Growth via Google Analytics’ Audience Overview Demographics
When we choose an influencer in our niche and produce content relevant to our brand, our impressions will be targeted to that niche. To ensure that an influencer fits our target demographic, we can check out any potential influencers’ using Google Analytics.
Once we’ve partnered with relevant influencers who have a following that matches our target audience, don’t stop tracking our demographics. Use this target audience KPI to our advantage. Check the Google Analytics Demographics report to ensure that our brand message is reaching the right people making sure that the influencer’s following matches our target demographic.
Measuring our influencer’s grouping when it comes to our target audience allows us to make crucial changes to our strategy by maximizing our ROI. An influencer who understands our audience well will collaborate with us to create content that elicits engagement and makes a lasting impression.
- Quantify Social Leads via Google Analytics’ Acquisition Overview Report
Boosting visibility by having a more engaged target audience is fantastic; however, it’s important to keep our ROI in mind. We want our influencer marketing campaign to generate leads to turn potential customers into buyers.
How many of our engaged followers are ready to buy our product or service? To maximize our ROI, we need to identify the influencers and marketing channels that are generating the most leads.
For instance, if we’re getting more leads from Pinterest and fewer on Twitter, have our influencers to produce more quality content for Pinterest. This will allow us to maximize our influencer marketing efforts by rechanneling our content to the platforms that work best.
How do we measure this influencer marketing ROI? Google Analytics is a fantastic place to begin. Go to Acquisition and then Overview to see your traffic channels. Next, in the list of traffic channels (Social, Organic Search, etc.), click Social.
In Google Analytics, go to Acquisition > Overview > Social.
We then see a list of your leading social media channels. From there, we can evaluate the social channels that are generating the most potential leads from our influencer marketing campaign.
In our Google Analytics, see which social channels are generating the most leads from your influencer marketing campaign.
- Analyze the Origin of Sales via UTM Parameters
Powerful influencer marketing campaigns generate sales, which is the biggest ROI brands expect to see from their influencers. By using affiliate links, promo codes, and UTM parameters to help measure whether an influencer is generating a worthwhile number of sales.
Generating affiliate links for our influencers is the simplest way to examine our ROI in terms of sales. Influencers will receive a commission for driving customers to our site via these links. Also, affiliate links showcase click-through rate (CTR) to your site, the number of sales, and the average value of each purchase.
For instance, Instagram influencer Renee Hahnel shares a Drink Evolve discount promo link in her bio.
Promo codes are another great way to measure an influencer’s impact on sales. When we designate promo codes for an influencer, our KPIs can go beyond sales. When customers use the promo code listed in the content, we can also track their future purchases, too.
Using Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder, you can add UTM parameters to URLs to track our influencer campaign in Google Analytics. We then receive data about the site where the ad appears, the campaign name, keywords used, and more.
Add UTM parameters to URLs so we can track our influencer campaigns in Google Analytics.
We can evaluate our influencer marketing campaign’s impact in many ways. To choose which measurement is right for our influencer campaign, know our objectives for each campaign. Branding KPIs might interest large companies like Disney, whereas a small business might focus on generating direct sales. What you track depends on your goals and how the campaign is measured.
Measuring of our own ROI on influencer marketing
How you measure your own ROI on influencer marketing depends largely on our objective.
Although many marketers look first at sales, there are many other benefits to influencer collaborations that can ultimately drive sales. For a brand looking to enter a new market, for example, visibility can become more important than sales tied specifically to that campaign. Likewise, a brand looking to reshape its image can measure success in terms of positive engagement. Other brands are simply looking for content to feed their social campaigns, EDMs, blogs, and style pages.
These brands will all approach their ROI differently. There are four ways to measure ROI based on different objectives.
Whether we’re promoting a new brand or introducing a new product, sometimes our primary goal is visibility. For these growth-oriented campaigns, our return on investment is the number of new potential customers who become aware of our brand through the campaign.
For our true ROI, it’s important to ensure our impressions are targeted. Influencer marketing allows us to reach the consumers most likely to shop our product by selecting bloggers who closely align with our target audience. We allow brands to see Google Analytics data from many of our bloggers, which gives them a clearer picture of their demographics and suitability.
The cost-per-engagement (CPE), measured in terms of dollars spent per “like,” comment, or interaction such as a video view or click-through, is a valuable metric that brands can use to measure long-term return on investment, since engagement is a good indicator of how consumers feel about the brand, not just the product. In many ways, the engagement metric goes beyond traditional measurements of ROI, which track immediate sales earned from a single campaign, to measure the likelihood that viewers will become brand loyalists. We have seen the CPE for collaborations reach as low as $0.01 (one cent), demonstrating how cost-effective strategic influencer marketing can be.
CPE has become a key measure of success for influencer collaborations, as it takes into consideration the value of a consumer’s long-term interest in the brand, not just their interest in an immediate sale. Engagement can include clicks to the website, likes, comments, video views, the number of sales repins on Pinterest, retweets on Twitter, and shares on Facebook, among other social interactions.
Content is another benefit of influencer marketing that brands often overlook. Negotiating image rights to an influencer’s content are often far less than the expense of coordinating a photoshoot, and we have the added benefit of a third-party endorsement. This makes content a powerful return on investment, both in terms of savings on the in-house content creation and the sales potential and reach generated by the influencer collaboration.
Another very valuable use of the content is for email campaigns (EDMs). Our clients report seeing a much higher level of engagement, click-through-to-purchase rate, and average order value on EDMs when they include lifestyle content and imagery from bloggers than from EDMs with brand content alone.
Now let’s talk about what people usually think of when they hear “ROI.” How do you know what your influencer marketing campaign has returned in terms of revenue to your bottom line? How can you measure your revenue earned versus dollars spent? This is actually easier to track. Here are four ways to measure your return on monetary investment.
- Affiliate Links
Combining our influencer marketing campaign with affiliate marketing is one of the simplest ways to track our ROI in terms of dollars earned directly through influencers. Generating a unique affiliate link for an influencer allows us to track online sales made through their social channels and blog posts. Influencers typically receive a commission from these sales. These links will also provide data around the number of clicks to the brand’s website, the number of sales, and the average order value for those sales.
It’s important to remember that affiliate links do have some tracking limitations. Sometimes a purchase can occur as many as 90 days after a shopper sees a product on an influencer’s site. Since the cookie duration for affiliate links is normally just 15–30 days, if that shopper buys the product online or in-store, you won’t be able to trace the purchase to influencer content, even if that was what drove the sale.
- Promo Codes
Custom promo codes allow us to track the impact of our influencer campaign beyond immediate sales. As mentioned above, not all consumers will make a purchase immediately upon seeing an influencer’s post, even if the content ultimately inspires their buying decision. In this sense, affiliate links only reveal part of our ROI. Promo codes help us track “down the line” purchases spurred by influencer marketing. Most e-commerce sites like Shopify or WooCommerce will allow us to generate promo codes easily that we can provide to our influencers.
- Google Analytics
Google Analytics is another incredibly powerful tool for tracking online sales. By setting up an “Event” goal, we can see which of our online customers visited our e-commerce site from an influencer’s blog or social channel, giving us a reliable assessment of ROI on e-commerce sales. Working with an Influencer Marketing platform like Shopping Links, you can also see this important metric in the overall results. Our results page also shows us how many people visited a blogger’s website while they were promoting your brand.
- Isolated Marketing
Isolated marketing is a way to measure an influencer’s impact on sales no matter when or where the purchase takes place. With this method, we select a special “test” product that, for a period of time, we promote only through influencer marketing. Isolating our marketing efforts allows us to track sales throughout the entire funnel, including in-store purchases. Our test will also give us a complete picture of our consumers’ buying behavior, from which we can better gauge the total sales were likely to generate from influencer marketing in future campaigns.
The above examples of ROI demonstrate some of the ways to measure influencer marketing’s impact, but they are by no means complete! Influencer marketing also provides the intangible benefits of a third-party endorsement and an SEO boost from the number of organic conversations (and links to your website) taking place around our brand. Although there are many ways to measure the success of influencer marketing, any individual measurement of ROI is only a piece of the overall value.
We should encourage brands to spend some time identifying what is most important to their sales and marketing function, and from there, determine the platforms and tools that will help them to clearly articulate and measure the return they are getting from their spend and effort.
6 key performances indicators to Track Influencer Marketing ROI
- Did we improve our Visibility?
Whether branding is our primary or secondary goal, it is still extremely important. It is of particular importance when promoting a new product or brand. To measure this metric, we need to consider two things:
- The number of people (new) who became aware of our brand as a result of this activity
- The number of people who are already aware of your brand but this campaign has reinforced value
How to Track:
Firstly, make sure we are choosing the right influencer for our campaign.
We are going to measure impressions, so it is important that they are targeted. We need to track and monitor impression data on each post, on each channel consistently. If our influencer has a blog post or other channels, take the visitors to this into consideration as well.
We can track this by analysing website visitors while our campaign is running (with Google Analytics). New visitors to the site and return visitors is a good place to start.
Then look at sales data, are these sales from our campaign new or repeat business? Over time we will build a lot of data and an accurate picture of the ROI and value our campaigns deliver.
Most social media channels will give us the number of impressions or reach of our campaign, for a really cool tool to measure Instagram impressions, check out Simply Measured.
This chart from the Simply Measured Instagram Hashtag Report identifies one brand’s top month for impressions over a given time period.
- Did our Posts Drive Engagement?
This has become a key metric for influencer marketing. We are not focusing on likes or comments, rather the whole spectrum of engagement: Shares, comments, likes and clicks. This gives a great overall view of the impact your campaign has.
How to Track:
The best way to track and measure is the cost per engagement (CPE) model. This will give us an idea of the cost of each engagement and help to determine ROI and justify future campaigns.
The formula to calculate the CPE is really simple, check out this CPE Calculator from The Online Advertising Guide
There are two methods to calculate the engagement rate of an influencer marketing post:
Engagements / The number of impressions (reach) = Engagement Rate
Engagements / Total Followers = Engagement Rate
Source: Simply Measured
- Was it Quality Content?
The content and quality of content is deliverable often overlooked in influencer marketing campaigns. The goal of all influencer campaigns is top-class content that will deliver results.
This content can be reused on our website, remarketing and email campaigns. It also benefits to re-use the endorsement and referrals garnered.
How to Track:
Firstly, we need to ensure ours negotiate image rights to an influencer’s content for your campaign. This can work out more cost-effective than graphic design, photographers, creative agencies and in-house resources.
Ensure we keep a record of all content derived from influencers and use it in marketing campaigns going forward, our analytics will tell us what is most effective and the long-term benefits.
- Did We Increase your Referrals Traffic?
Visitors to our website can be classed as direct, organic or referrals. The important one here is referrals, using Google Analytics we can determine how many visitors we got, who they are and what link they clicked on. This will give an indication of the success of the influencer campaign, both short and long-term.
How to Track:
Custom build reports in Google Analytics to track and monitor visitors from influencer campaigns.
This can give us valuable data on customer behaviour and track as far as conversions and re-visits. This is a good KPI to measure loyalty won through influencer campaigns, for example, if someone visits our website after clicking a link on Facebook, they don’t buy anything but visit 10 more times before making a purchase. We can track this and credit the acquisition to our campaign.
- Did we get New Followers?
Possibly the simplest KPI to track and measure, this gives an indication of the success and impact of an influencer campaign. How many new followers you have as a result of the campaign.
How to Track:
Take an accurate count of followers and likes on your social media pages the morning of and in the days following our influencer campaigns.
Calculate the number of new followers for example in week 1 when we didn’t have an influencer campaign running versus week 2 when we did.
Don’t worry, all of the Social Media provide Analytics that will give our daily follower growth. Take for example the Facebook Insights Tool:
- What was our Conversion Rate?
Business owners and leaders generally think of revenue and conversions when discussing KPIs and ROI. The big question, how will this impact the bottom line?
According to McKinsey, consumer to consumer, expert to consumer and celebrity to consumer generate more than double the amount of sales when compared to other forms of paid marketing.
Influencer marketing campaigns can and will be judged on the revenue they generate for the company.
How to Track:
This is a quick and easy way to get an overview of the campaign success. Assuming we are tracking past sales, compare this to sales during and after influencer marketing campaigns. If it has been successful, the results will speak for themselves.
We need to set up influencer campaign-specific goal tracking and conversions through Google Analytics. The types of triggers to track include campaign activity, landing page visits, and link tracking. With this, we can track the buyer journey, potential drop-offs and get actionable information for the next campaign.
Using customized, shortened links makes it easy to connect with Google Analytics and track visitors and ultimately sales. Use a platform like Bitly to implement this. Segment influencer content, channels and posts to create detailed, accurate reporting.