Influencer Marketing Measurement: KPIs, Metrics, ROI

A computer screen with 3D charts coming out
A computer screen with 3D charts coming out

Influencer marketing has become a hot topic. As a whole, the industry is worth an estimated $13.8 billion as of 2021. Data suggests that 17% of companies have allocated over half of their budgets to influencers. And 89% of marketers say influencers are at least as effective as other channels. It’s a potentially lucrative tactic for marketers, but how do you know your influencer marketing campaigns are successful?

This fast-growing acquisition channel can add strength and scope to the rest of your marketing strategy. But as with any type of marketing, there are no guarantees. The only way to know whether your efforts pay off is to track your progress.

Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Learning how to measure the success of an influencer campaign takes a slightly different approach compared to other types of marketing. It’s more fluid and less rooted in numbers.

So, how do we do influencer marketing measurement?

1. Measure according to the objectives of your influencer campaign

Setting campaign goals for your influencer marketing helps you decide what success looks like. Maybe it’s short-term sales, or a larger social media following, or something else. 

Once you set your goals, you can start connecting the dots between your current position and where you want to be. If you achieve your goals, consider your influencer campaign successful. 

And if you miss the mark, you might still call your campaign a success. Making progress toward those goals can show you something is working. Discover what you need to tweak or refine to do better on your next campaign.

An influencer marketing campaign can be thought of with many different goals in mind. For example:

These goals should be at the forefront of your campaign. At every step of planning & implementation, you should always keep this goal in your mind.

2. Choose your influencer marketing KPIs

There are different categories of influencer marketing metrics you can choose from:

Visibility indicators

  • The reach of influencers: Number of unique people who have seen their posts
  • Impressions obtained: Number of views of a post (the same person can be exposed several times to the same publication)

Indicators of engagement

  • Number of reactions: likes, favourites, reposts, etc.
  • Number of comments
  • Number of shares
  • Number of brand mentions
  • Publication engagement rate: number of followers

Community growth indicators

  • Number of new subscribers earned over the campaign period

Web traffic indicators

  • Clicks generated by influencer posts
  • New users
  • Page views
  • Session duration
  • Bounce rate

Sales Indicators / Lead Generation

  • Number of conversions
  • Influencer marketing ROI

Awareness indicators

3. Measure the ROI of your Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Track sales generated

It’s fairly easy to track sales generated from influencer campaigns. There are two main ways to track whether a sale has come from an influencer.

Using UTM tracking

UTM example

If you send your influencers links to your site to share, consider incorporating UTMs.

UTM tags (also called UTM parameters) are simple codes that you can attach to a custom URL. They’re useful in tracking influencer marketing performance.

UTMs allow you to see how many people are clicking on your links, where they’re coming from, and what type of device they’re using. This information helps you see which marketing channels are working and which ones aren’t.

Then follow the conversions generated from Google Analytics.

Promotional codes

Provide promo codes to influencers. Followers can then use this code at the checkout to receive a discount, you’ll then be able to track how many sales have been made through these codes.

Remember to give different links or promo codes to each influencer, so you can track the individual performance of each influencer. This will also be important if you have agreed to a commission for each sale generated with the influencers.

Similar to affiliate links, you can generate unique discount codes for your influencers to use in their content. These promo codes make it easy for marketers to track campaign performance at a glance. See which codes are driving the most conversions to see your influencers’ effectiveness.

Promo codes can also help you separate sales that come from influencers and sales that come from other marketing channels.

Another method of tracking sales that have been created off the back of your influencer marketing campaign is by looking at purchase trends to see if your campaign has generated sales peaks.

Why check this? It might be the case that a follower has seen an influencers post, but then organically searched for your brand or product, rather than use the UTM code.

Of course, not all influencer marketing campaigns aim to generate sales. How do we measure the ROI of these?

Compare to your own campaigns

If you prefer to rely on your own experiences, you can compare the performance of your influencer campaign to your other social media advertising campaigns.

For example, by comparing the cost per engagement, per click or lead of your paid campaigns to the performance and cost of your influence campaigns, you can estimate the return on investment of these.

Take into account the other benefits of influencer marketing

Influencer campaigns have other benefits that are important to consider when reviewing your campaigns.

This type of campaign allows you to win new content, the one created by influencers. You can re-use their posts on your site, social media campaigns, emails, etc. (provided you have agreed with the influencers beforehand). This is usually quality, authentic content, featuring personalities familiar to your audience.

Also, unlike social media campaigns, content creation is outsourced, and usually supported by influencers, saving you time and money.

4. Get the tools you need to measure your influencer campaigns

To gather this data, you will need to equip yourself with the right tools.

Here are the tools needed to measure the indicators listed above:

Google Analytics

Ideal (and free!) To track all the KPIs related to your websites like the traffic obtained and the conversions generated.

A spreadsheet (and a lot of patience)

If you want to manually track the performance of social media posts from your influencers, you can create a spreadsheet and record the number of engagements, comments, and endorsements received.

Impressions will not be visible publicly, so you will need to ask influencers to share them directly.

However, some indicators are very difficult and time consuming to measure manually, especially when working with multiple influencers at the same time.

Use an Influencer marketing platform

Screenshot of the Meltwater and Klear Influencer Marketing Platform

Influencer marketing tools like Klear and Meltwater do all the work for you through collecting and measuring your different KPIs (Reach, Impressions, mentions, sentiment, etc.). All you have to do is analyse the results!

These platforms generally allow you to retrieve all content generated by influencers (even Instagram Stories, which is notoriously difficult to track!) and analyse the results in depth.

Get your free Meltwater Social Influencers demo today and learn how to measure your influencer programs with Klear →

5. Create your campaign report

Creating a report is the best way to analyse your campaigns and make better decisions for your strategy. It’s also important to internally showcase your efforts and what your work brings to your business.

To evaluate your influence marketing work, two types of reports are possible:

A specific campaign report

This type of report allows you to analyse a specific campaign, product launch, brand event, or special promotion.

We focus here on the objectives of the campaign (sales, brand awareness, engagement), which we can choose to compare with other campaigns. The benefit of comparing to previous campaigns is you can realistically benchmark against previous work.

Over a time period (month, quarter, year)

This type of report is interesting if you work with influencers over a long run.

The report will be built around the objectives of this long-term campaign and will highlight the evolution over time of these different KPIs (month after month, quarter after quarter, etc.).

You can also incorporate a competitive benchmark to compare your influencer strategy with other players in your market.

The benefit of a time period report, as opposed to a campaign report, is that sometimes we won’t see all the results of a campaign until much later down the line.

What metrics to include in your influencer campaign report

  • Detailed analysis of each influencer: number of posts, true reach, engagement rate
  • Analyse specific posts by engagement, sales etc.
  • Analyse audience reached: age, location, gender and interests
  • Analysis of the mentions generated: key trends, sentiment, increase in mentions
  • Comparison: to a past period, to a competitor, to a similar campaign
Influencer marketing metric screenshot

6. Learn for your next influencer marketing campaigns

Analysing your influencer campaigns should allow you to create an action plan to optimise your communications strategy. Here are some examples of lessons to be learned:

Effective content for your audience

Influencers in your industry know what kind of content will resonate with your audience. Pay special attention to the content they offer you as part of your campaign.

Once the campaign is over, identify the publications that have generated the most reactions, and get inspired for your own content strategy.

The most engaging influencers

By analysing the impact of each influencer during your campaign, you will be able to determine which ones were most effective.

You can then focus on these influencers and build long-term relationships with them.

Discovery of new ambassadors

If your campaign is effective, it will generate mentions and comments. Scan the profiles of people who have mentioned you, you may find your next ambassadors!

7. Measuring Influencer Marketing Success with Meltwater

Measuring influencer marketing success is usually the last step in a campaign. But at Meltwater, we think that measurement should be part of the whole process, not just something you do after the fact.

Learn how to measure influencer campaigns a better way! Our platform gives you data-driven insights from start to finish. Discover and vet influencers who share your target audience, and partner with influencers who are most likely to give you great results. Then, easily track your campaigns in real-time, step-by-step. Monitor all your most important performance indicators and high-performing influencer posts. Track consumer sentiment and see how your influencers are making a difference.

Easily manage and scale your influencer campaigns with our influencer marketing hub - demo Meltwater banner

When creating your reports, don’t forget to analyse a range of metrics. Keep influencer fraud in the back of your mind. This is where influencers fake followers & engagement.

“There are literally thousands of influencers who are making a full-time living out of creating the appearance of having a big audience when in several cases 95% of their engagement is fake,” Bartlett said. “In real terms, you’re paying $1,000 to get 1,000 people to act, but really if I only get 50 people to act I’m stealing $950.”  says Social Chains CEO, Steve Bartlett.

Make sure you are blending a range of metrics based on your objectives to ensure accurate reporting.

Contrary to what one might think, it is quite possible (and simple) to estimate the impact and return on investment of influencer marketing. The key is to focus on the important indicators for your business, and serve you this as a springboard for your next campaigns, and make use of a social influencer hub!

Fill out the form below for a demo of the Meltwater Social Influencer Tool.

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