One area that campaign managers struggle with is measuring the success rates of Influencer Marketing in precise and concrete numbers. As per Nielsen’s Consumer Trust Index, about 92 percent of modern-day consumers trust Influencer Marketing over traditional marketing. Influencer Marketing is a process that you need to integrate into your brand’s overall social marketing strategy.
Let’s face it, Influencer Marketing is the “new normal” when it comes to spreading a brand’s message and creating awareness. However, Influencer Marketing can be a tad more complicated. This complexity often manifests in measuring the success rates of Influencer Marketing campaigns.
The Success Rates of Influencer Marketing Campaign Success
Have you ever been tempted to jump ahead and brainstorm Influencer Marketing campaign activation ideas before tackling the upfront planning steps? If you have, who could blame you? Talking tactics is a much sexier albeit distracting first step than getting on the same page about goals, budget, and metrics. Am I right?
But, what sets apart one agency or brand (or team member, if you’re managing Influencer Marketing in-house), from the next is its (or your) ability to develop quality content (e.g., blog, video, or social media posts) and events that drive measurable results. So, focusing first on critical components like metrics is the key to developing results-oriented campaigns.
Success Rates Assessment
Numbers can be deceiving to untrained eyes. As a brand rep, you should know what figures matter and the respective values that they represent. Before diving into statistics and reporting benefits, take a minute to assess your current metrics practices by asking yourself:
- How successful was my last Influencer Marketing campaign? Did it achieve and/or exceed the primary objectives?
- Did I set metrics goals at the outset?
- What quantitative and qualitative results did the campaign generate?
- How do I know the campaign got results?
- Did I follow a tracking process?
- What tracking tools or stats programs did I use or subscribe to?
- Did I share data throughout the campaign as well as in a wrap-up report at its conclusion?
- Was the format I used for reporting professional and easily accessible?
- Did I prepare and present a comprehensive summary report, including pictures, screenshots, and the data reflecting the campaign’s results?
The answers to these questions help you determine whether or not you are making metrics a priority in your campaign planning process. If you answered “Yes” to the majority of the questions, then you are in good shape. Yes answers mean you include metrics in up front campaign discussions. “No” answers reflect areas for improvement.
Key Success Rates to Track
While proving ROI is the easiest way to justify a campaign’s spend, that’s not the only value add of statistics and tracking. Check out key points when trying to track a campaign’s success rates.
Before getting into the technical nitty-gritty of Influencer Marketing, you should set goals for every campaign. Defining your best-case scenario will influence how aggressive the campaign should be. Always remember to be realistic. Even if you partner with the most loved influencers, Influencer Marketing campaigns can only do so much. At the end of the day, achieving your goals will boost your success rate and set the tone for future success. Achieving (and hopefully exceeding) the goals can also build your confidence in making smarter decisions.
The audience reach refers to the statistics of people that viewed your partner influencers’ advertisement content. The audience reach is a relevant indicator because it quantifies the potential coverage of the campaign. Influencer Marketing campaigns are typically measured on social media platforms. Popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have features that approximate the number of impressions or views per post. There are even marketing tools that specifically indicate market demographics.
However, one must remember that the audience reach is not 100% accurate. It cannot be said that one impression equates to one person. It is important to note that there are fan accounts, duplicate accounts, and fake accounts. Counting these accounts into the statistics will only make the estimation more inaccurate. At best, brands should leave a leeway in anticipation of statistical inconsistencies.
Engagement reflects the number of shares, likes, and comments of digital content. Compared to the audience reach, engagement can indicate the number of people receptive to a post. While it is a standard metric for measuring social media marketing efforts, it does not necessarily approximate sales. Nonetheless, a high engagement rate can equate to a higher level of investment. If consumers like or comment more on a campaign post, there is a good chance that the consumers are interested in seeing more content. Better yet, they might be influenced to buy the featured products or services. Notably, some social media platforms push products and services to the explore page if their engagement rates are high.
Coordinate closely with your influencer partners and decide when is the best time to post. Make sure to study beforehand what time of the day your target market is most active on social media. Once you figure out a schedule that works best for your brand, be consistent with posting to take advantage of the algorithm.
The rise of the reach and engagement rates can help increase the number of followers of a brand’s digital platforms, too. Consequently, this increase may also lead to a rise in the number of brand followers. Brand following is an essential indicator of Influencer Marketing because it represents the number of people directly interested in interacting with the brand as a unique and separate entity. Studying the growth of brand followers is crucial as it can predict how the brand may fare in the near future.
To attract more followers, use appropriate hashtags. Also, try to produce exciting content that is still coherent to the brand’s overall image and appeal.
Referral traffic indicates which influencer content is driving traffic to the brand’s website and/or landing page. In campaigns, referral traffic reflects actionable insights derived from audiences across social media platforms. One of the most popular tools for this matter is Google Analytics. This application conveniently measures and traces a brand’s income flow based on its reach and engagements.
There are several ways to track referral traffic. One of the most common ways is to use trackable links. This way, brands can monitor the number of clicks an influencer has contributed to a brand campaign. Another way is through promotion codes or discount codes. The use of tracking codes is a more engaging way to trace referral traffic because it gives consumers the motivation to spend money on the brand’s products and/or services.
Paid Media Amplification
Paid media amplification is excellent for approximating Influencer Marketing success and promoting a brand. This strategy is done by paying advertisers who specialize in programmatic media and advertising. Paid media amplification is very customizable. Brands choose when, where, and how frequently the intended audiences could potentially see their content. However, due to its customization options, its prices can be a bit more expensive. Putting the price aside, this strategy is easier to control. Most importantly, it can show more immediate results.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to track success rates is by carefully tracking email subscriptions, product sales, and free trial sign-ups (to name a few). How can these be tracked?
- Create a specific landing page
- Add UTM tags to links influencers are promoting
- Have the influencers promote discount codes
NOTE: Be sure to create influencer-specific UTM tags and discount codes. By doing so, you will be able to easily identify the influencer and specific campaign for every UTM tag and discount code you provide.
Wrap It All Up
How do you determine whether or not a campaign was successful? Are you part of the “good vibes” club? If so, it’s time to take a good hard look at, you guessed it, marketing metrics. Yes, times they are a-changin’ thanks to APIs, metrics tracking platforms, and engagement (to name a few). But, now it is more important than ever to get your stats in order to set campaign goals and prove ROI.
In summary, metrics prove a campaign’s success and determine the campaign’s success rates. Without planning and tracking up front and accurately reporting throughout and at a campaign’s conclusion, knowing what is working, what isn’t working, what needs to be modified, and what could be improved is difficult.
To succeed in Influencer Marketing campaigns, brands should not only focus on data and estimates. More than reach and engagement, brands must assure their consumers that they offer quality products and services. Regardless of marketing efforts, consumers will always fall in love with brands that justify their money’s worth. In addition, brands should maintain clear communications with their market. By having responsive customer service, brands create an impression that they are attentive to their consumers’ concerns and that they are willing to provide solutions.
When social media marketing metrics are integrated into the business and into campaigns, you will know which strategy gives the lowest value, what type of campaign creates the biggest bang for your buck, which platform best suits your audience, and what technique improves your ROI.
How do you measure the success rates of your Influencer Marketing campaigns?