By Brittnay Bell
Social media has modernized what was previously known as word-of-mouth advertising. The digital age of sharing, liking, tweeting and tagging one person now has the ability to reach hundreds, thousands and even millions of people instantaneously, with just one post. We’ve previously written about how brands can utilize influencer marketing to reach their target audience and bolster their own social media communities. Here we outline a few key metrics to use in tracking the success of your influencer marketing campaign whether your goal is to increase traffic to your website, boost sales or reach new audiences and increase brand awareness.
By definition, conversion rate “refers to a common metric tracked in social media that is the percentage of people who completed an intended action.” When a user completes a desired action, that is known as a conversion. In developing your influencer marketing campaign, you should outline clear goals and desired outcomes around user behavior. While most campaigns focus on sales, there are other user actions that can drive conversions.
Other common conversions include following a social media account, signing up for a newsletter, RSVPing for an event, submitting information for a demo session, visiting a specific page of a website or making a donation. Whatever your desired action(s), be sure to clearly outline goals for your campaign and share them with your partner influencers as your goals will likely guide their content.
For a true picture of the return on investment of your influencer marketing campaign you should also utilize affiliate links, promo codes, lading pages and link tracking in the campaign to track the traffic sources and user behavior of customers throughout the duration of the campaign.
Referral traffic is important to monitor because it will give you a bird’s eye view of the success of your campaign and tell you how many people came to your website as a result of the campaign. Google analytics is a commonly used tool that can help you track traffic from social media before, during and after the campaign. Tracking metrics like new visitors, referral sources, bounce rates and average visit duration is a good place to start. For more specific data related to traffic sources utilize UTM parameters and landing pages.
Engagement, Reach and Audience Growth
Engagement is a good tell of how well your brand is received and how strong your relationship is with your target audience. You should track engagements on each post of the campaign, including likes/reactions, comments, shares, mentions and clicks. Your partner influencer should be able to routinely share this information with you via a simple screen shot. To understand what impact these metrics have on your return on investment, calculate the cost per engagement by dividing your total ad spend by the total number of engagements.
Reach and impressions are metrics that show how successful the campaign was in building brand awareness. Reach is the total number of unique users who viewed each post and impressions are the number of times the content was pushed to someone’s feed. You will want to ask the social influencer for data on the reach and impressions of their posts during the campaign; this could be done on a monthly or weekly basis but should be a routine part of tracking and updating your campaign metrics. For a more encompassing understanding of how these numbers impact your overall marketing strategy, you can then compare this information with new users versus return users on your website during the campaign.
Audience growth is a good indicator of how many of the influencer’s followers became good customer leads for your brand by following your social media pages or signing up for your newsletter. You’ll want to track these metrics and compare them to the number or followers and subscriptions you had before the campaign started.
Influencers offer brands a unique opportunity to reach their following, which can sometimes be hundreds of thousands of people or it could be a niche audience that is highly engaged with the influencer. In any case, the influencer you partner with should align with your brand, mission and values so that you are capitalizing on the audience of your campaign. While marketers are just starting to crack the tip of the iceberg in leveraging these social media personas, it is important to measure the success of your influencer marketing campaigns accurately in order to prove how effective each campaign is at reaching goals and contributing to your overall marketing plan.
Need help tracking your metrics? Let’s talk.