Is your Influencer Marketing giving you positive ROI? Here’s how to find out.
Written by: Jason Jantz
Influencer marketing has become one of the fastest growing advertising channels. It’s not a new phenomenon. In fact, it’s been around for thousands of years. But in the last decade, social media has re-written the influencer playbook. Social media has allowed homogeneous groups to gather around a person that represents their interests, whether it be a sport, fashion or even knitting. The huge opportunity here is that social media allows your company to target a group independent of geography; a feat that would have made this kind of targeted exposure impossible just 10 years ago. Celebrities, athletes, and pretty much anyone that creates a personal brand online can post your product or service with their endorsement and overnight your relatively obscure company can be thrust into the spotlight. An Instagram post from a Kardashian may cost you a cool $250,000 or more while a smaller influencer who has an authentic presence and niche following may only cost you some free product. So how do you know if you are building your brand or setting your company’s marketing budget on fire? Here’s how.
First, you will have to define your goals for the campaign. Are you trying to build Brand Awareness or are you trying to get a Direct Response? Your strategies and key performance indicators will be different for each.
Brand Awareness reflects how recognizable your brand is to customers. It can be more difficult to measure than Direct Response campaigns because brand sentiment and brand lift are difficult to quantify. That being said, there are quite a few tools out there to let you know if you are on the right track. When tracking the success of a Brand Awareness campaign look at ‘Social Reach’ which includes followers, subscribers and impressions as well as ‘Engagement’ which can include likes, comments, sentiment, shares, mentions and website traffic.
Direct response is an attributable, specific action that a user takes in response to a campaign. If the goal is direct response, KPIs might include sales, downloads, or signups, depending on your product or service.
So how do you manage all that data? It turns out, there are some helpful solutions. Brands can manage their campaigns through specialized influencer marketing software. Mavrck and NeoReach are two popular sites that allow companies to search for influencers across various social media platforms. They can target gender, audience demographics and engagement rate. Influencer fees are based on factors like their popularity, engagement, niche skills and past performance.
Once an influencer posts your company’s social content, your brand can opt to boost a post using paid advertising to acquire even more impressions. Once your campaign is finished, add up all the costs associated with the campaign and compare that to your benchmarks. In the case of Brand Awareness, you’ll need to establish the value of a social impressions. For example, a social impression may be worth $0.10 and a website visit may be worth $1.25.
Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your campaign. Focus on a single call-to-action and keep the message simple. Do your research on vetting influencers. Make sure they are legitimate (i.e. real followers) and that they are a perfect match for your brand. Let the influencer put their creative touch on the content. They will tailor the look and feel of the content to match their style. Make the campaign interactive allowing people to connect with the brand in some way. This can be through an event, a promotion, or a giveaway. And finally, iterate. More than anything, this can be a process that continues to evolve as you determine the best influencers, messaging and audience for your brand. Happy hunting!