At the beginning of 2019, we shared our Seven Essential Social Media Trends. Our last trend focused on the evolution of Influencer Marketing. In less than a year, this has become the hottest topic for our social media marketing team. Influencers are utilizing Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, Twitch and blogs, but Instagram is the most successful platform. It has over 800 million active users, and since its entire premise is to attract users’ attention with eye-catching photos and videos, it’s arguably the most effective medium for inspiring users to take action. A recent study states that almost 75% of users’ purchasing decisions come from Instagram influencers, and influencer marketing generates up to 11 times more ROI than traditional advertising. The big question on everyone’s minds has therefore been: how do we measure ROI?
The answer is dependent on which key performance indicators (KPIs) you decide to monitor at the start of the campaign. Here are our top KPIs:
Conversions: Increasing sales is the ultimate goal for every business. One way to track a campaign’s effectiveness is by recording sales before and after a campaign. Non-sales conversions to consider include: newsletter sign ups, link clicks, promo code use, etc.
Referral Traffic: Identify where your website traffic is coming from. Take note of new visitors, referral sources, total page views and time spent on your site. While using a unique URL is one way to track how many people clicked on the campaign and ended up on your site, it doesn’t show how many of those clicks ended up leaving your site right away (for example, if someone with a food allergy found your restaurant through an influencer, then realized your menu couldn’t accommodate them.) For this reason, we recommend that you monitor your referral traffic with another KPI.
Social Growth: As influencers promote your brand, you become a topic of conversation. They show their loyalty to you, and in turn their audience will follow your content through likes and comments. Note that it is difficult to track how many of those followers become customers, unless your brand conducts surveys when guests visit/make a purchase to ask how they found out about your company/product, and then tracks those responses. This is another example where social growth should be accompanied with another KPI.
Engagement: This is the biggest measurement of your campaign’s overall performance – it tells how your brand is being received. You can track your brand’s overall engagement on your social media stats. You should be gaining followers, likes and comments, especially if you are interacting with your audience. However, you can also measure the engagement rate of your contracted influencer’s post/s. Engagement takes place on social media through Likes, Reactions, Shares, Comments, Clicks, Votes, Pins, Video Views, and Brand Mentions. You can oversee the conversations (via comments) taking place about your brand and jump in on the public comments to show you’re listening, and that you care.
Tracking ROI without KPIs
We don’t rely only on numbers to measure success in our influencer marketing programs. There are four indicators that we consider to be invaluable:
Referrals: Word of mouth is a main driver in how people make decisions. Look at Influencer partnerships as an endorsement of your brand. Their followers trust their opinions and trust that their endorsements are sincere. It’s a sophisticated and effective way to leverage your brand in the digital age.
Diversifying Your Audience: Through your branding, you have identified your target demographic, but that doesn’t mean those people are finding your brand. Diversifying your targets by working with Influencers in a variety of niches will help you maximize your exposure to those people, as well as to new targets.
User Generated Content: It can be expensive to hire a professional photographer for every promotion and campaign. Your engaged community will share authentic content through real experiences, while interacting with your brand. This builds credibility, AND gives you a genuine and valuable glimpse into what people love about your brand. Plus, you can reuse these photos with the permission of the influencer or loyal consumer.
The Value of the Partnership: Influencer marketing is not just about the money. It’s about the value you’re receiving from the cost for the influencer to create the post, the reach the influencer has to increase your brand awareness, and the impressions they capture. Collecting the influencers stats are very important when considering what your paid media value would be to have a similar ad placed on a billboard, in a magazine or boosted from your social media.
There are several ways to measure the return on investment through your key performance indicators and the overall partnership value. As influencer marketing evolves, our team is leading the way in the industry to work with the top nano-to-macro influencers. Are you ready to add Influencer Marketing to you brand? Let’s connect and chat about how we can prove ROI for your next social campaign.