Almost 80% of brands say they dedicated budget this year to influencer marketing, according to Relatable’s 2019 State of Influencer Marketing Report. By 2020, an estimated $8 billion is expected to be spent on Instagram influencer marketing alone.
While these statistics clearly show the growth in influencer marketing, they do not tell us whether it’s being done well. To determine the success of your influencer program, you need to track campaign performance and make sure the return is adequate for the investment.
This step-by-step plan enables you to track your influencer campaign ROI. Read on and get ready to launch your next influencer program.
Step 1: Set campaign goals for accurate ROI tracking
The first and most important step in any influencer marketing program is to set clear goals and objectives. Determining your goals lets you determine what kind of influencers to work with, types of content, distribution platforms, etc.
Some common influencer marketing goals for marketers include:
- Increase brand awareness
- Reach new/target audiences
- Improve brand advocacy
- Increase sales
- Manage brand reputation
However, these are broad goals. To run a successful influencer program, dive deeper and set goals at a more granular level. This will make it easier to track your campaign ROI.
Step 2: Define metrics to measure campaign performance
With the campaign goals set, you need to identify the metrics to measure them.
Well-defined and clear goals should:
- Be specific. For example, if your goal is to increase revenue, define by how much in dollars or percent growth.
- Set a timeline. For instance, you could track the increase in traffic within two weeks of launch.
- Be achievable. Your influencer program is bound to fail if your criterion for determining its success is unrealistic.
You don’t need to pick a single metric to understand whether you’ve achieved the goal. For instance, let’s say your campaign goal is to raise brand awareness. Your performance metrics could include number of impressions, clicks, brand mentions, follower growth, increase in brand engagement, etc.
If you’re unsure of which metrics to choose, look at the common performance metrics used by other marketers. According to a Linqia study, engagement is the most-used metric in influencer marketing programs (cited by 90%). The majority of marketers also use clicks (59%), impressions (55%), and conversions (54%). Other metrics such as reach and product sales are also popular.
Step 3: Develop goals and performance metrics for individual influencers
It’s important to understand which influencers are contributing and which are lagging behind your expectations so you can focus on what works and cut resources spent on underperformers.
Individual influencer goals must align with your campaign goals. For instance, let’s say your main campaign goal is to generate a certain revenue within a certain time frame. An individual influencer goal would detail the minimum amount the person would generate within that time frame.
Individual influencer metrics include:
- Total impressions
- Number of clicks to landing page/website
- Average engagement rate
- Conversions to customers
- Amount of user-generated content created
With this data, you can assess the performance or impact of each influencer and make informed decisions on how to use them (or not) going forward.
Step 4: Choose the influencer tracking platform
Rather than manually tracking your campaign ROI, look for influencer marketing platforms to help. These will make it easier for you to accurately track your campaign performance and the performance of your influencers. Plus, you will free up time for other tasks that need manual involvement.
Some influencer marketing platforms that can measure your campaign ROI include:
- NeoReach has a tracking-and-reporting feature that lets you monitor performance in real time. You can track engagements, impressions, and ROI, as well as cost per impression and cost per engagement. Plus, you can monitor the performance of your overall campaign, a post, or an influencer.
- TapInfluence lets you analyze your ROI in real time. You can also track the performance of each influencer based on metrics like reach, ROI, engagement, and total media value. It also gives you access to industry benchmarks.
- Grin has the most comprehensive list of KPIs to measure your campaign performance. It lets you keep track of your campaign based on metrics like conversions, content pieces, revenue generated, revenue ROI, media value, engagements, cost per click, and impressions. It also breaks down the performance of each influencer and content piece based on the same KPIs.
Step 5: Measure the influencers
While most brands measure the performance of the overall campaign, that usually is not enough. Pick an initial group of influencers to begin the campaign. Track each influencer’s performance at the start. Document the engagement rates for each influencer’s post and compare them to the collective group of influencers.
Here’s how you can do that:
- Unique URLs: Create a custom URL for each influencer to track the direct traffic coming from that influencer’s blog or social media posts.
You can create a unique URL using a redirect through a service such as bit.ly. Or you can append the URL with the information that you want to track.
- Unique discount codes: Provide a custom discount code for each influencer to share. This metric is helpful for attributing sales brought in by each influencer.
Assess the results
With the information about the performance of each influencer, you can filter out the poorly performing relationships and retain only the top-performing influencers.
Add a few new influencers from your initial list and run the next short-duration influencer program using this new mix of influencers. Through this process, you can improve the effectiveness of your next campaign and run a successful influencer program for your brand.
It’s safer to run multiple short-duration campaigns and keep filtering out low-performing influencers. If you commit to a long-term campaign with a fixed set of influencers, you could be setting yourself up for failure.
Go forth and measure
Running a successful influencer program requires proper planning and execution. It also requires a detailed measurement strategy. Using this step-by-step guide, you can assess your influencer program with ease and improve the ROI from your influencer collaborations.
What are you waiting for?
Know of any other useful tips and tricks to run a successful influencer program? Let me know in the comments.