How To Measure The ROI Of Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

Shane Barker
Nov 23, 2017 · 6 min read

In recent years, influencer marketing has become extremely popular among marketers. And this trend continues to grow every day. In a survey conducted by Influencer Marketing Hub, respondents reported it to be the fastest method of acquiring customers.

The reason for the success of influencer marketing is mainly due to the trust instilled by influencers in the minds of their followers. Naturally, when such influencers recommend a product or a brand, their followers are extremely likely to purchase them. A study by Twitter shows that 49% of people follow product recommendations from influencers for their purchases.

Given that it is such a popular marketing strategy, a question that arises is how do you measure the ROI from an influencer marketing campaign? Essentially, there need to be certain metrics or KPIs (key performance indicators) that help marketers determine whether their budget was well spent.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at 4 of the important metrics, and how to use them effectively to measure the ROI of your influencer marketing campaigns.

#1. Reach

Simply put, “reach” is used to denote the number of people to whom your content has been made visible. In influencer marketing, it represents the number of people reached by your campaign.

Some marketers use audience reach to measure the returns of their influencer marketing campaigns. In such cases, their objective is to have as many people as possible to see and engage with their content.

If you are looking to run an influencer marketing campaign that maximizes your reach, you must work with influencers who have a large follower base. However, the pitfalls of such followers are that not everyone might be genuinely interested or engaged. Quite often, followers are bought, And in such cases, it is extremely likely that they won’t be genuinely influenced.

However, reach can be an effective metric if you are running a campaign in a targeted industry. For example, if an influencer in the beauty industry shares content on a beauty-focused YouTube channel with high views.

Image via YouTube

In such cases, a rough way of measuring reach is to calculate the number of followers who share the content vis-a-vis the campaign spend. However, there is no way to calculate the actual number of people who see your content.

#2. Engagement

Likes, comments, and shares are what we refer to as “engagement” on a post on social media. Traditionally, likes were considered to be an important metric. However, likes alone have started losing their importance of late. This is because a lot of people may like a post randomly without bothering to read it.

Hence, likes alone cannot be a true measure of engagement. Comments are also quite important. However, something as vague as, “great post,” or “nice read” obviously aren’t very meaningful.

Shares are, therefore, the most important metric, followed by comments and likes. When someone shares content, it is validation of the fact that they have found it useful.

High impressions might be easily accomplished by an influencer if they have a large number of followers. However, simply making a post visible to someone does not make you influential. Influence is determined by the fact that your audience is taking some sort of action on your post.

Hence total engagement is a very important metric that is used to measure your influencer marketing ROI.

Gloria Ferrer ran an influencer marketing campaign using stories of using wine to entertain guests. The campaign was able to generate 44 million social impressions, and over 2300 clicks to the photo contest.

Image via Instagram

I have been using influencer marketing software Grin to measure my ROI in real-time. With Grin, you can check which of your influencers are most effective, as well as how much engagement your campaign has generated. Grin reports on IMV, or Influencer Media Value, it’s a metric with it’s roots in PR that assigns monetary value to things like views & impressions. They also enable you to easily add tracking links to measure direct revenue conversions.

Image via Grin

#3. Impressions

Impressions are defined as the number of times people actually see your content. This is definitely a better metric than audience reach. This is because it is not merely an indication of how many people might see your content. Instead, it is the actual number of people who do see your content.

Impressions from an influencer marketing campaign essentially mean the number of times people have seen your influencer’s content. So how you actually use this metric to calculate the ROI of your influencer marketing campaign?

One of the ways in which you can calculate ROI is to compare the impressions on posts from various influencers. This will help you get an idea of the influence level of an influencer. You can also compare the impressions received on an influencer’s post with impressions received on content posted by you.

I’ve been using BuzzSumo to check our influencer’s post impressions on various channels. Using these insights, you can determine your influencer marketing strategy. For example, you can decide whether you should be spending your money on influencers who have high Twitter impressions.

Image via BuzzSumo

#4. Conversions

Perhaps the most important and direct metric for calculating ROI from your campaign is the conversions. Simply put, conversions are the number of calls-to-action that your audience has responded to. The particular call-to-action is something that you have decided at the onset of your campaign.

Conversions are commonly thought of as being equivalent to the actual sales generated. However, marketers can define various different types of conversions based on their needs. Of course, sales are likely one objective of your marketing campaign.

Another common objective that many brands have is to increase brand awareness. Through influencer marketing, you can increase your brand mentions on social media. Your ROI will then be calculated by the number of times it is mentioned.

Another objective could be to increase your followers. Your ROI can then be calculated by the number of followers gained through influencer marketing compared to others.

You can even define your conversions to be the number of traffic you direct to a specific page. In some cases, the conversions can mean the number of people who subscribe to your newsletter.

RESCUE, wanted to create brand awareness using influencer marketing. So they created a coupon, and had influencers share it with their followers using the hashtag #StressLess2BMyBest.

The campaign encouraged audiences to share their stories of using RESCUE’s products with this hashtag. The results included 133 million impressions, more than 6000 clicks to the coupon page, and a 258% increase in followers on Instagram.

Image via Real Clever

Conclusion

It is clear that your ROI will largely depend on the goals you have set up. Hence it is important to define the goals of your influencer marketing campaign first. Once you have a clear idea about what you’re after, it will become easier to track your results.

Also, you must bear in mind that, as with all forms of marketing, results do take some time. You need to be consistent in your messaging. However, always be prepared to experiment and be ready for changes. If a channel or influencer is not proving effective, you must have another plan ready to be implemented.

What are some of the ways in which you’ve measured the ROI from your influencer marketing campaigns? Do you have any questions or tips to add? Let us know in the comments below.

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Shane Barker

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Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. #InfluencerMarketing Writer for INC.