How do you measure ROI in an Influencer Marketing Campaign?
So you’ve got your strategy in place, your influencers lined up to create content and you’re ready to go. So how do we measure ROI in an influencer marketing campaign effectively? There’s various ways of doing this, whether it be manually, or by using an influencer marketing platform which automates the process. Either way, it’s really important that you establish your influencer marketing campaign measurements right at the beginning of planning your marketing strategy.
Have you defined your objective? Like any marketing campaign, we need an objective so we can refer back to in order to shape the measurements. Is it to grow sales by 70%? Is it drive people to a new product launch? Or to raise brand awareness/visibility? To produce mass content from influencers? To garner engagement in influencer content? Growing your followers? Whatever you’re looking to achieve in your marketing campaign, it helps for your objectives to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound). No different to any other marketing campaign right?
Let’s look at examples of various objectives and ways we can actually measure ROI in influencer campaigns.
Objective: Brand Visibility/Awareness
Whether you’re promoting a new brand or introducing a new product, sometimes your primary goal is brand visibility and awareness. For these growth-oriented campaigns, your return on investment is the number of new potential customers who become aware of your brand through the campaign. If you are using an influencer marketing platform, you should be able to garner the click through rates, reach, impressions etc automatically. However, if you’re manually compiling this, it’s very easy to do (albeit more time consuming). Requesting screenshots from the influencers directly, after certain time period of the campaign can provide you direct data in terms of the reach, impressions, shares, comments - the data garnered from here will show you the brand visibility to their audience. Here we can also look at the brand sentiment, so what are people saying about the content/brand in the comments? Does it resonate with them and does the brand align with the influencer’s content?
Now let’s talk about what people usually think of when they hear “ROI.” How do you know what your influencer marketing campaign has returned in terms of revenue to your bottom line? How can you measure your revenue earned versus dollars spent? This is actually easier to track than you might think.
Personalised promo codes allow you to track the impact of your influencer campaign beyond immediate sales. It’s important to note, not all consumers will make a purchase immediately upon seeing an influencer’s post, even if the content ultimately inspires their buying decision. Promo codes help you track “down the line” purchases spurred by influencer marketing. Most e-commerce sites like Shopify or WooCommerce will allow you to generate promo codes easily that you can provide to your influencers. It’s also worth bearing in mind the longevity varies on different platforms. With YouTube, whilst you’ll see an initial spike, sales will often come in a few weeks down the line, so consider measuring this on a monthly basis. With Instagram, due to the nature of it’s platform, promo code sales usually spike within 24 hours of content being posted. This is generally speaking and will vary from influencer to influencer.
Objective: Drive Traffic to Site
Google Analytics is another incredibly powerful tool for both sales and tracking traffic. By setting up UTM tracking links and asking your influencers to include in their YouTube description box, Instagram Story swipe up link, Instagram bio, Facebook caption etc., you can see which of your online customers visited your e-commerce site from an influencer’s channel, giving you a reliable assessment of ROI on e-commerce sales.
Using Conversion Pixels
You can position a conversion pixel on your website, which will allow you to pick up people who may visit your site due to what an influencer has shared with them, but who have not followed the influencer’s link. Some sites see up to 40 percent of their influencer traffic come this way, and this would otherwise be missed if you relied on trackable links alone.
Content is another benefit of influencer marketing that brands often overlook. Negotiating image rights to an influencer’s content is often far less than the expense of coordinating a photo shoot, and you have the added benefit of a third-party endorsement. This makes content a powerful return on investment, both in terms of savings on in-house content creation and the sales potential and reach generated by the influencer collaboration.
Create a Hashtag Campaign and Tie That to Revenue
You could tailor your social media campaign to use a specific hashtag and encourage influencers to use your hashtag with their followers. Of course, this needs a lot of creative thinking applied, what is the reason why the hashtag is there apart from be able to track it? Will audiences/followers start using the hashtag? Is it part of a wider competition?
Objective: Grow your followers
You would set a target of growing your followers by a certain number or percentage if you have set a goal of amplifying your reach. You could also choose this as your target if you are building up your followers for future online marketing campaigns. In this situation, you will be using the content shared by your influencers to drive people back to your own social media accounts, with these people in turn following you. A variation of this is where you set up some form of online fanbase - often in the form of a Facebook Group, or Whatsapp. The members of these groups may not directly pay for your services, but they add buzz and conversation to your group activity. In turns of calculating an ROI, you need to determine how much an additional follower is worth to you. You could base this on the saving in additional advertising it would otherwise have cost you to generate a follower, or if you have sufficient data, you may be able to determine what the lifetime value of a follower would be. Compare this with your investment in the influencer marketing campaign.
These are just some examples of ROI for influencer marketing campaigns - there’s a lot more variations out there, you might use one of these metrics, or a mixture of all of them. Either way the most important takeaway is that you always consider the ROI at the beginning of a campaign.