Influencer marketing has long been praised as the marketing channel with the highest ROI (11x higher than traditional marketing, to be exact). As the market continues to shift away from traditional retail and more towards direct-to-consumer and e-commerce models, ROI is about so much more than just sales.
Using today’s advanced consumer data tracking technology, brands and agencies are able to accurately and specifically measure important KPI’s that give a much more granular picture of campaign success.
One way to think of social campaign success is to remember that influencers affect the overall customer experience, and especially the consideration stage. Technology now allows us to look at the whole customer journey, not just traditional “last-click” metrics. We can now more fully understand the specific value an influencer is delivering, especially regarding where and how a business or brand is represented.
Here are the 5 most valuable KPI’s every online marketer should be looking at when running an influencer marketing campaign.
While influencer marketing provides brands with a wide range of benefits, as with all marketing, the main goal is to drive conversions and sales. One myth surrounding the influencer marketing industry is that conversions are harder to track, but that’s simply not the case. With affiliate links, landing pages, unique promo codes, UTM parameters, and influencer marketing platforms that can help you specifically analyze conversions, it’s easy to take the guesswork out of determining a campaign’s conversion rate.
It’s important to keep in mind that conversions go beyond sales. Any time a viewer of a campaign completes a desired action, that also counts as a conversion. That could mean subscribing to an email list, following an account, downloading an e-book, clicking a link, or any other pre-determined desired action. When planning your influencer marketing campaigns, it’s imperative to define ahead of time what a conversion will mean to you and your team.
Conversions don’t always show the whole picture of whether a campaign was successful. Even if a viewer doesn’t click through to the final stage, referral traffic shows that at some point along the journey they were interested in your offer. For this reason, tracking referral traffic is particularly valuable because it allows a brand to re-target ads to those viewers at a later date.
You can build a thoughtful and effective conversion site, but it won’t matter if a campaign isn’t effective at bringing visitors to your page. Referral traffic can be an excellent indicator of a particular influencer or campaign’s success. You can use a myriad of tools to monitor campaign-driven traffic and pay attention to key indicators like referral source, new visitors, time spent on site, and pages viewed.
AUDIENCE & LIST GROWTH
Research has proven that a consumer needs to be exposed to something an average of seven times before they consider investing in that product or service. That means that one of the most valuable outcomes you can possibly receive from an influencer marketing campaign is a way to reach and re-target viewers.
Audience growth can be new followers on social channels, but also new ways to reach people via their inbox. Influencer marketing that encourages people to follow a brand on social, or drives viewers towards registration- whether it’s for a newsletter, free e-book, discount code, or event- allows companies to measure audience and email list growth as a key KPI.
Having a goal of increasing your audience allows you to reap the benefits of a campaign long after the posting is over.
REACH & BRAND AWARENESS
Speaking of audiences, one of the main reasons influencer marketing is so valuable is because of the immediate access to their engaged viewers. The most effective campaigns are those where the brand being promoted perfectly aligns with an audience’s interest. Platforms like Tagger allow you to easily and quickly apply filters to find influencers with the perfect fit of a target audience that is already primed to respond to your product.
Increasing the visibility of your brand among a dialed-in audience is an invaluable tool in boosting awareness and building ongoing relationships. When a brand has the opportunity to expose their product to a highly-engaged pool of new viewers, increased impressions, reach, and brand awareness becomes a highly valuable KPI.
While engagement is no longer the most important KPI for brands and agencies to measure, it is still an important indicator of a campaign’s success. Previously, marketiers were trained to focus on the granular vanity metrics of likes, comments, shares, etc. But in today’s age where so many other valuable KPI’s are measurable, we should shift the way we think about engagement as it relates to campaign success.
Engagement should now be considered an overall indicator of how many people who were exposed to the ad felt compelled to take action. Engagement rates are incredibly easy to track and break down with influencer marketing platforms, giving brands a clear picture of how their content is being received by an audience. If users are liking, mentioning, commenting, voting, following, and generally taking action on posts, then that campaign could absolutely be considered successful.
But again, while engagement is a valuable KPI, it’s not the ONLY one that matters anymore. In fact, 2019 saw an overall decline in engagement rates due in large part to major platform changes like Instagram and Facebook hiding likes. That’s why it’s important to remember that yes, engagement rate is an extremely valuable metric to track, but it is only part of the overall picture of campaign success.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The #1 thing brands should do when tracking campaign success is clearly defining goals and KPI’s ahead of time. The more specific those goals, the better you’ll be able to communicate with an influencer who can then create content specifically designed to drive their audience towards the most valuable action for your brand.
Want to know more about the 4 Key principles of influencer marketing success? Download our free e-book here!