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. A viral video and ROI? What’s not to love?
Metrics Process Assessment
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.
The Number 1 Reason Metrics Must Be at the Top of Your Campaign Planning Meeting Agenda
The number 1 reason to put metrics right at the top of your campaign planning meeting agenda is because they prove ROI.
In a nutshell, to get budget for Influencer Marketing campaigns, agencies and brands need to prove that activations lead to sales. But, proving sales is difficult. Therefore, secondary ROI is great to track and report on: impressions, reach, engagement, website traffic, open and click-through rates, subscriptions, sign ups, testimonials, referrals, user-generated content, video views, and more. Metrics reports are the place to highlight that ROI.
So, how to ensure you track against the right data? At a minimum, identifying the following at a campaign’s outset is key:
- The campaign’s primary objectives
- Types of metrics to track that reports out on those objectives
- Statistics tools to use and processes to follow to best capture the ROI
- Campaign activations to include to drive those metrics
- Progress report format (spreadsheets are a great tool) to report out on real-time status updates
- A metrics report format (slides are great for this) that best showcases a campaign’s success
If you do not develop your campaign to hit results, you may end up spending a ton of time and money without reaching any objectives. The result? Decreased or no ROI, unhappy clients, and less future Influencer Marketing budget.
5 Additional Benefits of Metrics Planning and Reporting
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 these five additional benefits of comprehensive metrics reporting and why metrics needs to be at the top of your campaign planning meeting agenda:
1. Metrics discussions and follow up can help set expectations.
Clearly outlining key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics up front helps both agency/brand and client (or even you and your boss if you’re managing metrics in-house) to get on the same page. Furthermore, it makes decision-making and knowing which actions to take easier, especially when issues arise mid-campaign.
2. Educating clients on tracking and reporting processes helps them feel involved.
Educating clients makes them feel included. Additionally, transparency yields trust. You could consider sharing how you are tracking against your objectives; which tools you’re using; algorithms, equations, or methodologies (if not proprietary); or other process-related details. Sharing and being open to questions will keep the lines of communication open, allowing you to best understand your client’s needs, as well as keep expectations in check.
3. Data strengthens client relationships.
With campaign goals and objectives agreed upon and a tracking system in place at a campaign’s beginning, reporting is a simple next step. Organizing the data in easily accessible spots (e.g., spreadsheet, slides, etc.) and making it available both real-time as well as in a summary format at the campaign’s conclusion is helpful. In this way, clients never have to worry about whether a campaign is on target to meet objectives. Furthermore, they won’t be scrambling to pull numbers from not having information at their fingertips when asked about the campaign’s progress during a meeting. The icing on the cake? Presenting polished comprehensive reports, because it proves ROI not to mention adding a professional touch, is likely to open doors, leading to new business.
4. Metrics helps with problem solving.
But, reports are’t just a campaign’s status update or summary report. They can raise red flags on critical issues mid campaign, allowing your team to get ahead of situations by brainstorming possible solutions. The more thorough and accurate a campaign’s report, the better they can help you avoid potential pitfalls.
5. Assist in Market Research
Agencies and brands who thrive are those who keep their finger on the pulse of Influencer Marketing industry and consumer trends and react real-time. Capturing solid campaign metrics offers a data-backed way to keep on top of hot topics and trouble spots and be agile. In short, you can add fuel to your campaign’s fire if the data shows you should invest more. Or, you can stop the fuel line, start a new fire, or otherwise find ways to improve if the data says to shift. Regardless, metrics takes away the guesswork.
In summary, metrics prove a campaign’s success. 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.
Check out these posts to take additional steps to ensuring your campaigns generate ROI:
What are your metrics tracking and reporting best practices?
- Client Reporting – The Most Important Activity A Digital Marketing Agency Should Perform
- How To Use Market Research To Help Drive Your Company’s Success
- Importance of Market Research in a Business Plan
- Tips for measuring marketing impact to prove ROI
- Digital Marketing Resolutions: Measuring and Proving ROI in 2018