Written by Hannah Sears

Brands are partnering with influencers now more than ever, recognizing the power they have as brand ambassadors. Influencers are an effective way to help increase brand awareness, build social proof, and cultivate a loyal customer base. 

The success of influencer marketing, like any other tactic, is an investment of time, effort, and money. 89% of marketers say the ROI from using influencers is equal to or better than other marketing tactics. So how can you measure the ROI of influencer marketing?

Know your KPIs

Influencer marketing has become more prominent, more marketers are using it, and it’s clear that influencers can be a valuable resource for brands. But using influencers is only effective if the campaigns are meeting your goals. Before you start digging into the ROI of your campaigns and your influencer marketing program, you need to look at your key performance indicators (KPIs).

What were the KPIs for individual campaigns or your program as a whole? These are the goals you set out when you started working with influencers, like increase brand awareness, boost conversions, or drive engagement. If you haven’t started running campaigns yet, make sure you sit down and map out your goals. 

These may vary from campaign to campaign or even influencer to influencer. A macro influencer might be used to achieve a different goal than a micro-influencer. But, to know that your campaigns are successful, you need to have clear KPIs that you communicate to the influencer before the campaign starts. 

The KPIs you’ll measure are determined by your goals, so once you have your goals all set, you’ll know which indicators to keep an eye on in order to see the ROI of your influencer marketing campaigns.

Measuring ROI for influencer campaigns

Brands choose to work with influencers to help them achieve a variety of goals. We’re going to outline the major ones and which KPIs you should focus on to see whether your influencer marketing campaigns are successful.

Brand awareness

One of the ways influencers can help brands is through increasing brand awareness. Brand awareness is a measurement of how familiar your audience is with a brand and how well they’re able to recognize it by its name, logo, etc. Brand awareness can be tricky to measure but there are a few different KPIs you can use to see if an influencer is helping increase awareness and recognition of your brand.

  • Interactions: When people are interacting with or engaging with your content, it’s helping spread the name of your brand through word-of-mouth advertising. Interactions can include likes, comments, shares, retweets, video views, etc. 
  • Number of Mentions: Mentions are any time someone mentions your brand, service, or product–that can be on social media, in the news, or in an industry publication. With influencer marketing, you’ll probably be focusing mainly on social media mentions. The more people that are talking about your brand, the more awareness will spread.
  • Number of Posts: Is there an increase in posts about your brand or product that may not mention you directly? With social listening tools, you can track the organic conversations that are happening about your brand and measure the increase alongside your influencer marketing efforts.
  • Reach: The reach of your brand measures the total number of people who view your content online. Unlike impressions, this is the number of unique people who view your posts, videos, etc. Reach and awareness go hand in hand, so you want to expand your audience by increasing your reach. 

Sales

Increasing the number of sales is an integral part of most marketing strategies and it’s often the primary goal for partnering with influencers. Increasing conversions is a great way to leverage influencers since they are so trusted by their followers and provide genuine recommendations of products and services they like. Tracking sales directly back to specific influencers or campaigns is key to measuring the ROI of your efforts. 

  • Affiliate Links: An affiliate link is a unique URL that records the traffic that is driven to your site from a post, email, etc. Affiliate links are a great way to see which influencers, content, or campaigns are performing best. 
  • Promo Codes: You can give influencers a unique promo code to share with their followers. When followers make a purchase using the code, you can track those sales directly back to the influencer and campaign. 

User-generated content creation

Influencers create a very effective form of content called “user-generated content”–which is any content created by a user of a platform on their own, rather than branded or advertising content. UGC is highly effective, breaking through the noise of slick ad campaigns and paid content. 

If the goal of your campaign is to generate high-quality user-generated content, you can track how many photos the influencer created along with any content created by their audience that features your brand or product as part of a campaign. Contests and giveaways are effective tactics to foster the creation of UGC and using a specific, often branded hashtag is a good way to find and track the content that’s created. 

Whether you’re partnering with influencers to drive sales, boost brand awareness, or generate more high-quality user-generated content, it’s important to be able to measure the ROI of your campaigns. Each campaign may have a different goal, but every goal has KPIs that can be used to track the success and pivot if needed. Using these goal-specific KPIs will help you determine the ROI of your campaigns, influencers, and influencer marketing program. 

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