When it comes to Influencer Marketing, it seems like analytics are often a forgotten piece of the process. While much attention is given to identifying influencers, researching them and the paid conversion that happens in order to bring them on as an influencer, the analytics of the arrangement is often an afterthought.
Effort requirements are almost always part of the contract with an influencer. For instance, if Holiday Inn commissions an influencer to run an Instagram Loyalty Program campaign for them, that influencer might be asked to produce X number of Instagram photos per week on their personal account.
Those ‘effort’ metrics are all well and good and certainly help a program, but to truly measure the impact of an arrangement with an influencer, the brand must go deeper into the numbers to find the value. What is happening after posts are published?
How deeply a brand goes into that value calculation depends on a number of factors, including budget, available human resources and tool allocation, to name a few. There’s no absolute right way for measuring the success and effectiveness of an Influencer Marketing campaign (in fact, this often varies based on the campaign goals), but there are a few best practice recommendations we always give to our clients.
Three baseline metrics to pay attention to are Impressions, Reach and People Engaged. These are all KPIs supporting increased awareness and/or engagement for your brand, and they can all be directly tied to the work your influencers are doing on your behalf. Determine benchmark measurements for each of them, so that as your Influencer Marketing campaign increases, you can compare the data to your benchmarks. They should all show healthy growth. If you’re using a platform or tool to manage your Influencer Marketing campaigns, it should measure these for you. If you’re going the organic route, you can measure them manually, but it takes a good amount of time to do so.
After you’ve completed a few Influencer Marketing campaigns and have measured the progress you’ve seen from them, you have enough information so you can set goal KPIs for your influencers in the areas of Impressions, Reach and People Engaged.
Some brands may want to go deeper to measure the impact of their Influencer Marketing activities. For those, here are a few additional recommendations for metrics to measure:
Brand Sentiment – measure how online discussion of your brand is changing from negative to neutral to positive
Brand or Product Mentions – gauge how frequently your influencers are getting their followers to mention your brand or product
Clicks to Website or Online Purchases – if you’re trying to drive people to your site or to make a purchase, you can give each of your influencers trackable, tagged URLs to share with their followers. This allows you to measure the direct impact of each influencer’s activities.
Resource Allocation – because of successful influencer marketing campaigns, was your company able to allocate more budget or resources toward another goal, which boosted profits, awareness or engagement by X%? This is an advanced metric, but one that can help with showing real, business results and can even be used to obtain additional budget.
The exact metrics you use will vary by program, but the important thing is that you’re doing some kind of measurement to gauge the progress, success and effectiveness of your influencer marketing program. Since you’re paying these influencers, you want to see that they’re driving real results for you.