We live in the age of influencer marketing where big and small brands leverage influencers to achieve their growth goals. Despite its popularity, tracking influencer marketing remains a hard nut to crack.
Many brands and marketers rely on vanity metrics that do not mirror an influencer marketing campaign’s true impact on revenue. While tracking influencer marketing is not a seamless process, there are surefire tactics to establish the ROI from influencer marketing campaigns.
This post will highlight the importance of tracking influencer marketing and how to go about it.
- Influence marketing has risen from the obscure and foreign concept it was five years ago to a 13.8-billion-dollar industry in 2021. It spans across all industries, from FMCG brands to SaaS brands.
- A whopping 92% of consumers in the USA trust influencers more than traditional advertisements. Marketers also say that content generated by influencers for brands has more positive feedback than content curated by the brand itself.
- 75% of marketers allocated a dedicated budget to influencer marketing in 2021.
- While 80%-90% of brands that use influencer marketing attest to its effectiveness, most cannot measure its ROI.
- Only 67% of brands are concerned about influencer fraud.
All marketing efforts should be measured for accountability purposes. Tracking influencer marketing ROI will help you decide how much to budget for your next influencer marketing campaign. It will also help you establish whether influencer marketing works for your product and how to draw contracts with future influencers.
Below are the steps to getting started with influencer marketing campaigns and how to measure the effectiveness of the campaigns.
1 – Establish the Goals for Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
Like any other online marketing campaign, you need to have goals for an influencer marketing campaign. The goals will establish the KPIs and the metrics that will be used in tracking influencer marketing campaigns.
Trackable goals for online campaigns center on the purchase funnel. Some of the goals to be set as the basis for tracking influencer marketing include:
- Building brand awareness/visibility
- Growing engagement
- Lead generation
- Raise conversion rates
Note, however, that influencer marketing campaign goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART).
Take an example of an influencer marketing campaign with brand awareness as the primary goal. The influencer should learn from you how many new followers you expect on each platform at the end of the marketing campaign.
Establish your previous marketing performance as the baseline and set goals for the influencer based on that. Ensure the goals you set are centered around your brand’s vision and mission and reflect the current status of your business or brand.
2 – Set Metrics for Goal Tracking
Metrics are the key to tracking influencer marketing. The metrics you decide to track should align with your campaign goal and definitively show ROI.
Metrics vary according to influencer marketing campaign goals and the purchase life cycle for your product.
The most popular metrics for tracking influencer marketing campaign performance include;
- Engagement rate –DMs, Comments, Replies, Retweets, Reactions
- Impressions- Reach, mentions, shares, retweets, page likes
- Interest- subscriptions, contact information submission
3 – Select an Influencer
Most people believe that the larger an influencer’s following, the greater the ROI; however, that is not always the case. Rather than popular influencers with over 10 million followers, you can also team up with micro-influencers and mid-level influencers.
Micro-influencers and mid-level influencers have a following of between 10,000 and 1,000,000 followers on their social networks. Such influencers dominate a particular niche, e.g., organic food, pet care, yoga fitness, local food industry, among others.
The influencer should align with your brand goals and grant you access to market niches you are yet to reach.
You can use influencer marketing platforms to identify influencers that resonate with the market niche you intend to reach. A quick search using specific keywords, hashtags, or subject topics will generate you a list of the most relevant influencers on the same.
Influencer marketing platforms also allow you to compare and vet influencers before approaching them.
How to Track Influencer Marketing Campaign Performance and ROI
You can use analytics from your website, social media pages, or app to establish an influencer marketing campaign’s efficacy. Although you cannot gain access to influencer analytics, you can request that they send you the analytics on the posts they create on your brand.
You can also watch the trends on your social media pages. Keep track of new likes and reactions when the influencer posts about your brand throughout the campaign period.
Tracking analytics also allow you to make vital calculations like Cost per engagement (CPE) and Cost per impression (CPM). Such figures will allow you to establish ROI from influencer marketing campaigns.
Web browser analytics also allows you to correlate a spike in activity on your website with your brand’s influencer activation activities. Web browser analytics also show the origin of traffic to your website. You can also use analytics to track influencer marketing full circle by monitoring the new leads generated by the influencer through conversion.
Insights on metrics from social media pages and web pages are essential in achieving ROI.
Influencer Marketing Platform Analytics
Apart from helping you identify potential influencers, influencer marketing platforms also offer insights into an influencer marketing campaign. They offer actionable performance tracking for various influencer activations and allow you to optimize the campaign to realize ROI.
The main advantage of influencer marketing platforms is that they consolidate all the analytical data you need for tracking influencer marketing and decision-making. You can view all the insights on your dashboard.
Traackr, Neoreach, Upfluence, TapInfluence, Keyhole, and GoAppPro by Shopify are some examples of influencer marketing platforms.
If you are using a cluster of influencers, such platforms also rate their performance against each other.
Use Trackable Links
You can use trackable links to track metrics like generated leads, subscriptions, and sales. You can generate trackable links using the following tools and platforms.
Urchin Tracking Modules (UTMs) are small fragments of text or code attached to a link. Google Analytics uses UTMs to track the origin of traffic to a website or webpage.
There are five types of UTM that indicate the source or website, the channel, the campaign, the content, and the keyword where the traffic originated, respectively.
You can attach multiple UTMs to a single link to track traffic from an influencer when tracking influencer marketing campaigns.
URL shorteners like Bitly can also be used for tracking influencer marketing campaigns. They allow you to generate trackable links and also show the analytics for pages when you type in a link.
Special Landing Pages
You can create a special landing page for your partner influencer on your website. The page can be curated to suit the influencer’s niche and audience. You then embed a tracking code to this landing page to monitor the influencer’s traffic.
Promotional codes, like those available in Shopify, are also essential in tracking influencer marketing. They are unique codes comprised of a series of letters and numbers given to consumers to earn them specified benefits like discounts.
When brands assign promotional codes to consumers, the consumers announce this code and the accruing benefits to their followers. The main advantage of promotional codes is that they can be shared across all channels.
Promotional codes are best for tracking the sales objective because they show conversion rates. Once you assign a promotional code to your influencer, you can track the conversions from that code as part of tracking influencer marketing performance.
Affiliate links are unique links generated from affiliate programs where link owners earn commission from every purchase generated by their link. Affiliate links are trackable and can even be synced with POS systems.
Affiliate links are also best for tracking conversions and can also be used to track traffic and the buyer life cycle.
Social Listening Tools
Social listening tools help you keep track of mentions of your brand. They tell you what is being said about you, where it is being said, and by who. You can use social listening tools to monitor the engagement rate of your influencer partner.
You can also intercept the conversation and take over questions where the influencer is unable to answer.
Use CRM Tools
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are used in monitoring customer purchase lifecycle. They analyze the traffic on your website and generate groups of leads with similar behavior known as cohorts.
CRM tools monitor each cohort and even suggest compatible retargeting efforts to encourage as many leads as possible to make conversions.
Although many brands engage influencers for engagement and brand awareness goals, the ultimate marketing goal is always increasing revenue.
CRM tools show you the quality of leads an influencer brings. You can cut links with influencers with low-value leads and bolster the budget for those that generate high-quality leads.
Note, however, that the purchase lifecycle varies for different products. For instance, with FMCG products, results are almost immediate because their prices often allow for impulse buying.
With Saas products and B2B products and services, the purchase lifecycle is pegged on a lot of external factors and takes considerably longer.
Take note of that as you set your ROI.
Influencer marketing is now an integral piece in the marketing mix; 80% of brands that employ it attest that it works. However, understanding how an influencer impacts your marketing campaign is vital. Every business that employs influencer marketing needs a measurement strategy for tracking influencer marketing campaign performance and ROI.
Tracking influencer marketing also goes a long way in establishing trust between a business and its influencers. If you intend to onboard influencers as part of your marketing strategy, ensure the influencer marketing campaign is done right.