Table of contents
  1. 1. Influencer marketing metrics definition
  2. 2. Influencer marketing metric model (KPI model)
  3. 3. Objective 1: Creating awareness and attracting new audiences
  4. 4. Objective 2: Increasing the brand engagement
  5. 5. Objective 3: Driving conversions
  6. 6. Objective 4: Improving the brand awareness

One of the most common questions influencer marketers face is: “How can you measure your influencer marketing campaigns?” Several brands have invested millions into social media influencers without any idea of their return on investment (ROI).  While we all know that, done correctly, influencer marketing can have a profound, positive effect on businesses, it’s crucial for marketers to understand the metrics and measuring methodologies in order to reach the desired outcome for their campaign or brand.

 

Influencer marketing metrics definition

Influencer marketing metrics are the methods of measuring the performance of social media influencers and the results of influencer marketing campaigns. Since influencer marketing is a fairly new marketing approach, there’s currently no market standard or well-accepted guidance on how to set up a metric combination. Different brands or agencies may have different ways of measuring their campaigns. However, in principle, a meaningful influencer marketing metric should always reflect the whole or a part of the campaign execution from the perspective of each involved party (e.g. brands, influencers or their followers). As a platform supporting companies in influencer marketing and influencer relationship management, we at InfluencerDB measure the campaign outcomes from the brand’s point of view, so we only select metrics that can tell us whether the implementation of influencer marketing benefits the company.  

Since it’s a part of social media marketing, some marketers tend to apply social media metrics to evaluate influencer marketing performance. According to TeachTarget, social media metrics is “the use of data to gauge the impact of social media activity on a company’s revenue.” The common metrics are followers, the number of posts, likes, interactions and traffic volumes, and most of them can be tracked with professional influencer marketing or influencer relationship management platforms

However, influencer marketers need to go a step further, combining those data into a more meaningful index that can show the direct correlation between influencer profile performance and campaign goals (e.g. growth rate, relevance score, affiliate links, revenue). Those metrics should help you figure out how much to pay an influencer for a partnership, and, eventually, determine the ROI of your influencer marketing campaign.

 

Influencer marketing metric model (KPI model)

Certain metrics are associated with different outcomes, so by focusing on a single desired outcome, you’ll be able to create a map out of the influencer marketing metrics maze. According to Statista, the leading goals of influencer marketing are: improving brand advocacy, managing reputation, expanding brand awareness, reaching a new target audience and driving sales conversions. Thus, InfluencerDB developed a metric model for each of these targets, as illustrated in the following graph:

Influencer Marketing KPI Model © InfluencerDB

1. Input

In this model, the input is the strategic approaches that can help marketers accomplish different influencer marketing objectives. Influencer advertising aims at short-term goals such as brand reach, brand awareness, and one-time sales, while influencer relations focus solely on establishing long-term relationships with influencers and their communities. Finally, the mixed strategy (or influencer marketing) is a combination of both, resulting in a more comprehensive solution for brands. 

This wiki article further explains the concept of influencer marketing strategy as well as digging deeper into these approaches.  

2. Output

The output in this metric model is the list of direct and indirect results marketers can expect from an influencer marketing campaign. The output contains two factors: objectives and outcomes. InfluencerDB adopts the Statista influencer marketing goals previously mentioned and derives outcomes from this categorization. These outcomes are sets of influencer marketing metrics used to tell if the campaign is on target and successfully executed or not. 

 

Objective 1: Creating awareness and attracting new audiences

If your influencer marketing campaign aims to create awareness or draw a new target audience, you’ll want to analyze the following metrics:

Impressions

One of the most common social media metrics, impressions indicate how often a piece of content has been seen. These numbers are usually visible on any social media. Instagram business, for instance, provides this metric to account owners. For video content or Instagram stories, marketers can also track views with a regular Instagram account. In most campaigns, brands won’t have access to influencers’ accounts to check the final number of impressions, so you’ll need to make sure to request that number from the influencers. You can also use an influencer campaign management tool to measure their performance.

However, the precision of impressions is still questionable. No final conclusions can be made based on this metric alone because a piece of content can receive more than one impression per user. Additionally, the impression number only means that a social media user is exposed to your content. There’s no guarantee that a social media user is actually a person (heard about fake followers?) or that the viewer actually perceives the content. Most users don’t focus that closely while scrolling through Instagram and tend to skim over many pieces of content. That means that impressions numbers generally overestimate the number of users who consciously register the content.    

Follower Growth Rate 

The follower growth rate illustrates the number of new followers a social media account gains or loses over a period of time. This metric is a percentage calculated by dividing the number of new followers by the number of existing followers. Using this metric, marketers can assess the health of an influencer’s social media channels as well as their growth stability and potential for development.

For Instagram business accounts, the growth rate is available on the site, but keep in mind that you can only track the growth rate of your own account. Brands can track any influencer’s Instagram follower growth on the InfluencerDB free platform for influencer marketing. Additionally, by using InfluencerDB’s growth rate and follower changes feature in the premium software for influencer management, marketers can easily identify the influencers and mentions that result in growth.

Audience Data

To measure whether you are able to attract a new target audience, you may want to dig deeper into your audience data. Most brands usually break down their audience demographics by gender and location of followers. This detailed information is highly valuable to understanding who your followers are and how they change.  

Website Traffic 

This is usually measured in the number of visits. Google Analytics is a powerful tool that provides helpful insights like the overall page views, number of users, number of new users and the time a user spends on a specific site. Instagram Business also provides valuable analyses of the number of clicks on the link in your business account bio.

During your influencer marketing campaign, you should track whether these numbers increase and how they change. Referral traffic is an especially valuable metric for working with influencers since it tracks visitors who come to your website from sites other than the major search engines – for instance, by link clicks on social networks.

 

Objective 2: Increasing the brand engagement

If your desired outcome is increasing overall brand engagement, you’ll need to measure the relevant engagement rates. These include typical social media metrics such as likes, comments and the like-follower ratio. According to Business Insider, most marketers measure their campaign success by analyzing their engagement over any other influencer marketing metric.  

However, just tracking your own engagement rates isn’t enough. You can measure how well an influencer’s sponsored post promoting your product performs in contrast to other postings by looking at the posting’s performance.

 

Objective 3: Driving conversions

If your desired outcome is to drive conversions and you want to measure how influencers affect your sales or revenues, the best thing you can do is implement codes and links in your campaign. For this objective, the influencer marketing metrics include the performance of your affiliate links, quantity and quality of your campaign URLs and number of used discount codes. Ultimately, you’ll want to review your monthly revenue, which you can use to calculate the ROI of your influencer marketing campaign. 

Affiliate Links

The great advantage of using affiliate links in your influencer marketing campaign is that you’ll be able to track which clicks result in a conversion since the link is a specific URL that contains the influencer’s username. Make sure to brief the influencers about the specific link sharing technique before getting into a collaboration, and use a web management tool to track the traffic volume coming from the affiliate links during the campaign. 

Discount Codes 

This lead generation technique is similar to using affiliate links. If you provide your influencers with personalized discount codes, you’ll be able to identify how many purchases were made using that code.    

Campaign URLs 

Campaign URLs are the links containing additional information that can be recognized by your analytics tool (e.g. Google Analytics or Hubspot Analytics). Like both tactics mentioned above, campaign URLs allow you to monitor the influencer marketing campaign by collecting more information about the overall efficacy of campaigns or of different campaign partners. Campaign URLs can be created using this free Google tool or other web management tools. This might be helpful if your influencer marketing campaign launches on different social media platforms and you want to know which of them is attracting the customers who generate the most revenue for your business.

Monthly Revenue

Finally, tracking your monthly revenue on a regular basis can help you identify customer behavior, trending topics, and influencer’s performance. Using other metrics may give you a hint about the effectiveness of your campaign, but just by reviewing on a monthly or annual basis, brands can clearly determine what strategies or events result in the highest revenue and produce the best outcomes. 

However, in most cases, it’s not easy to clearly identify the source of revenue. Some business models may have a very complex customer journey, especially in the B2B environment. It’s difficult to identify and evaluate the critical point that triggers the intention to buy. Thus, marketers need to have a stable influencer marketing process as well as a well-defined model in mind before jumping into campaign execution. 

 

Objective 4: Improving the brand awareness

Of all the objectives we’ve discussed, improving your brand’s image is the most difficult to measure. The only measurable influencer marketing metric for this outcome is the mentions to your profile on social media. 

Using an influencer marketing tool or software, marketers can track the mentions and overall engagement of their social media channels for a specific time frame to find out how many of them occurred during your influencer marketing campaign or partnership. Unfortunately, even though you can track down the numbers, the impact on brand image mainly relies on the attitudes and emotions of your audience toward your brand, as well as how you distinguish between “good” and “bad”. Who is talking about you? Are the mentions positive or negative? Are the people mentioning your account influential and relevant? These are the questions that marketers and brand managers need to tackle and answer for themselves. 

Identifying the most important influencer marketing metrics for your campaign can be a long and demanding process. It can be difficult to figure out what metrics will tell you how close you are to your desired outcome. However, understanding the data and measuring the right influencer marketing metrics will help you optimize your campaign and get you the results you want.