How do you prove the value of Influencer Marketing?

Topics: Marketing, Influencer Marketing

Businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, according to a poll of marketing professionals conducted by Tomoson. It’s a staggering statistic that has grabbed the attention of millions of brands and encouraged them to jump on the influencer marketing train. 

Any contemporary marketing approach requires modern metrics and reporting. In 2019, GroupHigh ran a survey which stated that 46% of companies using influencer marketing found proving the value was their biggest challenge. In the same survey, 44% of respondents said they weren’t sure how their company calculated ROI for their influencer marketing strategy, and 70% felt that their methods for reporting were not accurate or reliable. 

With increasing numbers of companies investing considerable sums of money into this channel of exposure, it seems more imperative than ever to be able to confidently measure and report on the outcomes of influencer marketing campaigns. And with any good marketing activity, successful campaign preparation is the key to big rewards.

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How to run an influencer marketing campaign

Firstly, it’s important to define your campaign objective:

1. Improve brand awareness

Especially important for start-ups and businesses looking to rebrand, if brand awareness is the key objective within an influencer campaign then there are certain KPIs to keep an eagle eye on.

Instagram profile views

A fairly new metric to Instagram, the profile view count at the top of a business profile gives a weekly total of how many individual accounts took a look at your company page overview. This is a great metric to determine whether those who came across your posts were engaged enough to click around to find out more about the brand and even better, to seek out contact details.

Social following

A golden oldie, despite social channels changing things up and making it difficult for followers to see organic postings (we’re looking at you Facebook), social follower numbers remain a useful metric for tracking increasing brand awareness.

Direct traffic to your website 

When brand awareness spreads, marketers will often see the direct traffic numbers increase to the company website. Using Google Analytics and Google Search Console will allow your team to gain insight into the volume of direct traffic and brand search queries people are typing in to reach your website. 

2. Create an uplift in sales

A more end of the funnel objective for an influencer campaign may be to increase product or service sales. In this case, there would be different metrics to prove the value of an influencer campaign.

Cost per conversion

If it is possible to put an approximate cost against certain metrics, e.g. enquiries, product purchases you will be able to set up ‘goals’ in Google Analytics to track conversions in a monetary capacity. If the influencer campaign is run on Instagram, you may well then see an increase in traffic from this channel to the website, enabling your team to compare the cost per conversion against the total campaign cost.

Using dedicated influencer links or codes 

By providing influencers with dedicated codes that their followers can input at checkout (often for a discount) or a tracked link, it is possible to directly track the ROI on each individual. This is a popular way to prove the value of influencer marketing as it is extremely black and white, however, there will be the added bonus of brand awareness being generated also which could result in sales later down the line.

It’s worth considering that not all influencer marketing campaigns will provide instant results. The genre of product or service you offer is crucial to whether your goals are to inspire impulse purchases - popular amongst fashion and beauty brands with a highly impressionable younger audience, or more of a long-term investment such as a car or piece of expensive software.

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How to get the most out of your influencer marketing campaign

Once you have defined your objectives and worked out how you will report on the campaigns, it’s important to consider how to make the most out of your influencer marketing.

As with most marketing campaigns, organised communication between teams is essential. Providing your influencers with easy access to your brand assets is crucial and especially effective if they are able to upload their own content created or reports in a centralised place which is accessible to the core team running the campaign. Asset Bank allows marketing teams to do just this and is used worldwide, from brands spanning the entertainment sector to global institutions such as BT and Unilever.

Ensure images and assets are easily searched 

Collating assets in one easy-to-reach location will enable your team to be reactive and find what they need quickly - essential if you are dealing with thousands of images. Dash, a streamlined, intelligent Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution uses cutting-edge auto-tagging, including facial recognition, making it as fast as possible to upload, tag, share and use your digital assets.

ASOS relied upon quick image search to conjure up a quick-witted reply to the EasyJet ‘backless seat’ furore which exploded across Twitter after a passenger shared a photo of their neighbour’s seat - sans backrest. The ASOS marketing team swiftly searched their extensive image library within minutes to find a ‘backless orange dress’ to share, hitting the mark brilliantly. Their ability to enable fast image search gained them a fantastic marketing opportunity and free brand coverage.

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How to ensure campaign tools are stored correctly 

Once a campaign is up and running, there’s no time for your marketing team to rest on their laurels. Valuable insights can be taken from images that influencers use or create, and by tagging each asset or tool with the campaign name you can ensure that they are easily accessed at a later date when the time comes to debrief what worked, and more importantly what didn’t.

A handy checklist for successful image tagging:

  • Tag every image with the campaign name
  • Save each image with its user permissions. Certain tools such as Asset Bank can send alerts when a license is expiring etc.
  • Tag the name of each influencer within the image description, or employ facial recognition if your DAM allows.
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Many brands are now employing ‘influencer-style’ ad campaigns, taking learnings from what makes followers click through and styling their posts to replicate the style. Whilst working with influencers, you may find that one of them may develop a post for your product that resonates particularly well with your target audience. By safely tagging and storing these posts and their results, it allows for marketing teams to take learnings for the creative direction of future campaigns.

“...when working with influencers, brands have to let go and allow influencers control of the narrative to preserve the authenticity of what is being communicated.” 

- Priyanka Dayal, content marketing manager at Centaur Media PLC

 

How to measure influencer marketing successfully

Proving the value of influencer marketing is certainly achievable - with the correct strategy at the helm. As with any marketing activity, preparation and storage of assets, team communication and taking the time to compare and consider outcomes is key to a successful campaign - both current and future.

Key takeaways:

  • Establish a specific goal. 

If increased sales are the desired outcome, set a monetary value against conversions in your Google Analytics. This works particularly well if you can track traffic from a unique Influencer URL or code.

  • Set a timeline. 

If your goal is increased traffic, choose a timeline to compare against e.g. two weeks from launch. This will give you a clear like-for-like result.

  • Keep assets tagged and easily accessible

Ensuring all campaign assets are tagged and stored correctly will not only save time later down the line when collating learnings but will also allow your team to jump on any PR requests or social media opportunities as they arise.

  • Keep it achievable. 

Influencer campaigns are a great addition to a marketing strategy. By understanding the outreach you wish to create and setting expectations (especially with those holding the purse strings) you should achieve both measurable and profitable results.