In the past, it was often difficult to accurately measure marketing methods to determine which were driving the highest levels of traffic. Today, along with an increasingly wide array of online marketing methods, we also have more and more ways in which to measure their specific impact.
Compared to traditional forms of marketing, social media offers the ability to create incredibly targeted marketing campaigns while also measuring an array of metrics to determine which methods drive the greatest return on investment (ROI). One of those methods is influencer marketing - a study conducted by SocialChorus found that an influencer marketer campaigns can drive up to 16 times the engagement of owned or paid media when utilized correctly. Along this line, here are five metrics you should be considering to measure the success of your influencer marketing campaigns.
1. Total Investment
First and foremost, you need to determine how much you're actually investing in influencer marketing before figuring out how much of a return you can expect to receive on that investment. The cost of your investment could include a variety of expenses, including researching influencers and even setting up an influencer campaign. Other expenses might include the cost of providing free product samples to your influencer and your audience. In the event that you need to set up demos or test areas, you will also need to include those costs for your company to determine the overall investment cost of the influencer campaign.
2. Reach and Ratio
This could actually be two different metrics and it's important to understand the difference between the two and their importance to the success of your campaign. One of the biggest challenges that many startups encounter when setting up an influencer campaign is trying to differentiate influencers. Not all influencers are the same. More often than not, startups make the mistake of focusing on the number of followers that an influencer has. While a high number of followers could be advantageous, it doesn't necessarily guarantee the results you want. For instance, suppose an influencer has a large following but that following is not engaged with the influencer. In this type of situation, the response your brand receives from your influencer campaign may not be as robust as you would like. By comparison, an influencer with a smaller, but much more involved and interactive following, could drive far better results. Due to these differences, it's important to make sure that you're focusing on the reactions that an influencer receives when sharing your marketing messages as the true gauge of the success of the campaign. If you need help in measuring this metric, a number of tools are available, including Traackr.
The main reason that an influencer campaign can be so successful is that it rests on the ability of the influencer to obtain buy-in from the audience. Consequently, it's vital that you measure the sentiment regarding your marketing message. Through evaluating the way in which your brand's perceived by your target audience, you'll be better positioned to identify areas that may not resonate as well with your target demographic, and adjust your marketing message accordingly. Along the same lines, you can also see which messages receive the most favorable reaction, giving you the opportunity to increase awareness around the message each influencer is delivering.
4. Brand Effect
Of course, ultimately, you need to determine what effect the message has had on your brand. As part of the process of measuring brand effect, you need to evaluate such metrics as the amount of traffic generated to your landing page or website, the number of times your product or brand was mentioned online, the number of new subscribers received, or the number of new followers or fans added on social networks.
5. New Sales
For most businesses, the ultimate goal of any influencer marketing campaign will be the number of new sales directly attributed to a marketing message or campaign. Keep in mind that this number may not be readily available immediately following the campaign. The purchasing cycle for your product or service could actually extend far beyond the duration of your marketing campaign, so remember to continue measuring even after the initial campaign has come to an end.