Influencer Marketing for Beginners: How to Identify and Measure Your ROIs

               

As much as influencer marketing is being heralded as one of the most worthwhile endeavours a brand can engage in, it undeniably has one disadvantage over other, more traditional marketing efforts – the difficulty of measuring its success. As a process so reliant on generating ‘relationships’, ‘positive feelings’ and ‘customer affinity’, you would be forgiven for being at somewhat of a loss when it comes to recording the effect of these on revenue.

However complex though, this measuring process should not dissuade you from being a part of the unstoppable upswing in influencer marketing, and seeing the power of its reach. To give you a little nudge in the right direction, we’ve put together a guide to both setting out and measuring the ROIs (return on investment) of influencer marketing, and to discovering exactly what it can do for you!

Identifying Your Outcomes

Before you do anything else, in order to be able to measure any ROI, you must identify the actual investment you are making (total cost). This should include every stage of the process, from identifying influencers, devising a strategy and building a rapport with your influencer(s), as well as payment of them (plus any extra incentives you may have offered, e.g. free products). Once you have this figure, you will be in a much better position to assess the success of any influencer marketing effort.

Now the outcomes. The most important thing to remember when it comes to identifying the desired results of a campaign, is that for influencer marketing to work, you need to think both short and long-term. Working with an influencer successfully should be seen as a relationship, not simply a one-off collaboration that ends as soon as the campaign does. For this reason, it helps to identify both campaign driven outcomes, and relationship driven outcomes that occur more slowly, over a longer time period. These can be split roughly into three categories:

1. Influencer Outputs

  • Campaign-Level, e.g.
    • Influencer public mentions of the brand campaign.
    • Influencer shares of the brand campaign.
    • Influencer links to the brand campaign.
  • Relationship-Level, e.g.
    • Overall influencer engagement with the brand.
    • Overall influencer brand mentions.
    • Overall influencer share of brand objectives and tone.
    • Overall relationship building of brand and influencer(s).

2. Target Audience Impact

  • Campaign-Level, e.g.
    • Campaign mentions and reach.
    • Campaign engagement, including shares, comments, likes, reposts etc.
    • Re-use and shares of campaign content.
    • Links back to brand ‘s website.
    • An increase in ‘referral’ traffic.
  • Relationship-Level, e.g.
    • Overall mentions of brand.
    • Overall share of brand values and tone.
    • Overall increase in referral traffic.
    • Increase in social followings of your own accounts.

3. Impact on Your Brand

  • Campaign-Level, e.g.
    • Business leads generated from influencer campaign.
    • Business opportunities generated from influencer campaign.
    • Revenue generated from influencer campaign.
  • Relationship-Level, e.g.
    • Overall influencer generated leads.
    • Overall influencer generated opportunities.
    • Overall influencer generated revenue.

Measuring Your Outcomes

So what do these outcomes look like, in terms of trackable data? And how does one go about tracking them?

1. Influencer Outputs

These will usually take the form of demonstrable actions from the influencer(s), both related to a specific campaign and overall, across a longer time period, including:

  • Mentions of brand.
  • Shares (both social and otherwise) of brand content.
  • Links to brand.
  • Strengthening of the relationship between influencer(s) and brand.

Tools to measure them include:

  • Traackr – this platform allows you to track and measure your ROIs in terms of relationship and keyword based stats. The ‘brand mentions’ and ‘shares’ reports are particularly useful.
  • Prezly – this influencer marketing tool allows you to asses the reach of your impact, and advises on how to increase it.

2. Target Audience Impact

These will largely consist of impressions, engagements and traffic to your site. Depending on the reach and audience of your chosen influencer(s), your campaign and brand overall will have a certain number of OTS (opportunities to see). Having a rough idea of this in advance of measuring the following will make it easier for you to assess the level of impact.

  • Impressions on social shares of brand content.
  • Engagements with brand content.
  • Referral traffic to your or your client’s site.
  • Your own social media followings, retweet, shares and account followings.
  • Brand sentiment (the perception of your brand). This can be assessed roughly from the tone and content of brand mentions.

Tools to measure them include:

  • BuzzSumo – this will allow you to track mentions and keywords related to your brand among your target audience.
  • Mention – this focuses on flagging up any time your brand is referred to across a number of channels, allowing you to better asses the sentiment.

3. Impact on Your Brand

This is the result that most companies are eager to see – the old-fashioned, cold, hard cash. The impact on brand is the final step in the influencer marketing chain, and involves assessing to what extent influencer marketing has lead to an increase in business. Outcomes will manifest in the following ways:

  • Website UU numbers.
  • Mentions of product/services.
  • New business opportunities.
  • New sales.
  • Appearances in other media – e.g. trade press talking about your campaign.
  • Links to your site.
  • Visibility or Rankings of your key terms.

Tools to measure them include:

  • NeoReach – this system allows brands track exactly how many online sales have been made through a specific influencers’ efforts. It is a tool to manage/automate the process.
  • Google Analytics – this beloved tool can help you keep tabs on where your website traffic is coming from. Don’t forget the increase in Referral Traffic (social defaults to be in here) and increase in Direct for Brand and Organic (SEO).

Final thought

Although it seems like a lot of effort, laying the foundations of these tracking processes is an essential investment in any successful influencer marketing endeavour, and once complete, will require much less work overall than more traditional marketing methods.

As with any exercise designed to increase the impact and success of a business, outcomes need to be tracked so that the process can be constantly improved – if you can’t measure it, how can you make it work even better?

So, if you haven’t do so already, create an account and post your first campaign live.