For brands who understand that increasing their reach or penetration is essential to growth and sales, influencer marketing is a powerful way to augment your marketing goals. Influencers work diligently to attract followers that trust them for powerful recommendations of brands and services they like and use. Collaborating with a content creator who has their own niche-based following can help you quickly reach the right target audience and create an urgency for your products and services.
Influencers have highly curated audiences of consumers that trust them on where and how to spend their money. An influencer has the power to speed up the top and bottom phases of the sales funnel through powerful recommendations. They have built trust with subject matter expertise in a genre that can help you hyper target a niche audience of people who will take an action that benefit your goals.
The problem is knowing how to measure the effectiveness of working with influencers. If you have an overarching goal powering your reason to work with influencers, it’s easier to measure the impact of the promotion. How do you know your campaign is a success if you don’t know how to measure it?
This will give you a quick guide on how you can align influencer marketing metrics to core goals, as well as ideas on how to take action on them now.
Awareness / Impressions
If gaining exposure for your brand, products or services will help you drive against your marketing goal, the most important metric to measure is impressions. Impression metrics tell you the number of times the content has been viewed. This includes multiple views from the same user. Most marketers would calculate this as CPE, or cost per engagement.
The more impressions you make with a consumer, the better chance your brand will be top-of-mind when they need to make a decision where your brand can be the answer ... like where to get their next meal.
Would having your own audience of loyal fanatics help you with brand initiatives? Of course it would. Growing your own follower base on social media accounts enables you to have more access to people who have already interacted with your goods and services, which provides a faster path to adoption and purchase.
Growing followers is difficult, especially because it typically doesn’t happen until they've had an interaction with your brand. Working with an influencer can help drive awareness about your brand with a call-to-action to check out your social media profiles. If the call-to-action from the influencer is “follow this brand” you can track the success of the collaboration by noting the growth of your followers.
Getting the eyeballs of the right consumer to your brand website can be valuable for brand impressions, pixel targeting or conversion into online ordering, reservations, loyalty programs and more. If this is your goal, using Google Analytics you can track new users, growth in sessions as well as page views. One way to make sure it’s working is by viewing your sources and using UTM parameters that ensure you know the traffic source and campaign associated.
With social networks constantly changing and tightening their algorithms to restrict reach for brands to their followers, getting your content and promotions in front of your fans continues to present a challenge for marketers. Email on the other hand puts you right into the inbox of a consumer who has given you permission to market to them. That’s why it's such a powerful channel.
If growing your email database is a core mission, collaborate with influencers to drive for signups. Give them something to offer their followers that is on-brand and unique to the followers of the influencer your working with like free product, discounts or helpful content like a recipe or other how to’s in exchange for the consumer’s email address.
Does an interaction with the products or services core to your brand raise sentiment and adoption? Do new consumers fall in love at first site when they experience your brand? If so, then brand engagement can help you connect.
At the top of the funnel, you can measure metrics including likes, comments, shares and reposts, that show a touch point from brand to consumer through an influencer. The really powerful and charged brand will interact with comments and shares made through consumers with gratitude, humor or encouragement. This build both awareness and trust.
Creating great content that draws in consumers and brings them to engage is really challenging and time consuming. And, if you are an agency or a brand, creative is often comes attached with a large budget. Working with influencers, especially when outsourcing to an agency that can do it for you, is a cost-effective and fast way to not only create brand content but comes with the added bonus of earned audience.
Content creators take the heavy lifting of production of your plate but also share that to their followers which gives it the superpower of raising awareness and sentiment for your brand. Make sure your agreements with collaborators include the rights to use the content created to be shared in your own channels including social media, advertising and sales material.
Every marketer would like to be able to calculate the ROI of influencer marketing. A majority of the goals you can achieve through influencer collaborations are measured in awareness, growth and sentiment, which are good leading indicators for the top of the funnel growth.
One way to be effective at the bottom of the funnel is closing the sale through affiliate marketing. Influencers are given specific calls to action and unique links or codes that will allow the marketer to track sales and conversions from the collaboration. This is a lot harder to achieve so look for influencers who regularly work on affiliate marketing campaigns. Their followers will have a higher affinity to making purchase decisions.
Influencer marketing offers brand and agency marketers opportunity to grow awareness, increase sentiment and even sales when both sides are aligned on goals and actions. Knowing how to measure the effectiveness of the collaboration is the key to assessing the investment, and ultimately running a successful campaign. If you have a goal, you know now how to measure it with influencer marketing.
If you don’t know what to measure or how to measure it, you’ll never be successful. Use this to guide to ensure a successful campaign.
For a more in depth look on how to measure your influencer marketing campaign, check out Instagram Analytics: The Only Guide You Need.
Rev Ciancio is a Senior Marketing, Branding and Digital Strategist with 20 years of experience, specializing in hospitality marketing, content and local SEO. He has led many clients to new levels of local, national and international success in the hospitality, financial service and entertainment sectors.
He is also former agency owner as well as a former New York City bar owner. Rev is an “expert burger taster” and pens hospitality and marketing tips on his Instagram @revciancio as well as his LinkedIn Profile.