By: Abby Wolff
There is a large debate around the effectiveness of influencer marketing and brand partnerships. As a consumer, I measure the success of influencer marketing based on whether or not I associate a brand or product with a certain celebrity, or whether the partnership makes me want to purchase the product their promoting. As a public relations professional, social media specialist, or anyone in charge of building an influencer program, an important aspect of influencer marketing that you need to assess in order to be successful is how to track the success or your influencer marketing program or campaign.
Influencer marketing has a number of goals, including increasing your reach, growing your audience, driving engagement, and increasing traffic to your site. KPIs come is handy in terms of tracking the success of influencer and brand partnerships. Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, are measures and ratios that track the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of an organization’s operations over time. They emerge from the collective efforts of managers who are setting goals to measure success. So what is important to measure in terms of determining success?
Engagement KPIs include tracking clicks, likes, shares, reactions, comments, and brand mentions that show you how much engagement specific influencer posts received. For example, you can track how many likes an influencer’s post got or how many comments it received, as well as the number of shares a single post received.
KPIs worth paying attention to when it comes to website traffic include new website users, total website session, and total page views. Google Analytics is a great tool that can help measure these KPIs and determine how much website traffic resulted from your influencer partnership. Guest lecturer Michelle Locke (@michellelocke_) told our class to focus on the ‘Acquisition’ and ‘Social Media’ tabs for Google Analytics, and that the interpretation of the data you find depends on the client their goals.
As part of their influencer partnerships brands can include affiliate links, promo codes and link tracking as part of the agreement, which makes it possible for the brand to track the traffic sources of customers who converted during the campaign. Conversions don’t always have to do with sales that brands are able to monitor. When the target audience completes a desired action, that counts as a conversion, such as clicking on a link or signing up to receive emails.
Audience growth KPIs are important because they give the organization a broader picture of the success of your campaign. KPIs that help you determine if your influencer campaign is driving people towards your social media pages include using social media analytics to track the number of new followers and the number of views and likes your social pages receive over a specific period. For Facebook, focusing on page likes, post reach, engagement and impressions are going to be the most useful KPIs. For Twitter, the most useful KPIs will come from tweet impressions, profile visits, mentions, and followers.
When you pay attention to KPIs, you know when it’s time to adjust course or try something different. They also let you see what’s working and what your brand should continue to do. Steve Mulder and Mark Furest from “Current: News For People In Public Media” suggest using KPIs as a starting point and then making them your own. Gathering key leaders in your organization, talking about which KPIs are most relevant, and adding new ones where your high-level goals are different will create a short master list of topline audience goals and KPIs that every person in your organization recognizes and understands.
Twitter – @abbywolff7
LinkedIn – Abigail Wolff