This blog post is a condensed summary of key points that were discussed in Synup’s webinar titled How to Measure and Optimize the ROI from Influencer Marketing, featuring Shane Barker and Varsha Vishwanathan. Click here to view the full webinar.
With the advent of social media, the constant need for brands to be visible is more important than ever. Marketers are incessantly striving to create an active social presence that consumers love.
With more and more consumers using social media to search, communicate and make purchase decisions, it’s very important for brands to stand out and get noticed. Influencer Marketing can help brands do just that.
From local businesses to large corporations, Influencer Marketing is now being embraced by everybody. According to reports, 59% of marketers increased their influencer marketing budgets last year. And 51% of them believe they get better customers through influencer marketing.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is the process of promoting brands, products, and/or services through influential individuals such as bloggers, journalists, industry experts, and celebrities. 92% of marketers who leveraged influencer marketing in 2017 found it to be effective.
However, influencer marketing can often be daunting and expensive with no guarantee of success. So, before kickstarting influencer marketing campaigns, there are few factors that a marketer needs to consider to measure and improve the ROI of such campaigns.
Optimizing the ROI from Influencer Marketing
How to Set Your Influencer Marketing Campaign Up for Success
Know Your Audience:
As a brand, it is extremely crucial for you to know your audience. For any marketing strategy to succeed, it’s important that you know who are you targeting. From knowing what interests your audience to what kind of content they follow, you need to get your target audience analysis right. Moreover, 76% of consumers expect businesses to understand their needs and expectations.
Benefits of knowing your audience:
- Makes it easier to find relevant influencers.
- Helps you understand which channels to use for your campaigns.
- Helps you decide on the kind of content you want to co-create.
Choose the Right Influencers
Finding the right influencers ensures that your products are shown to relevant audiences who may be actually interested. Therefore, evaluating your influencer is necessary before you get them onboard or else you may end up with the wrong influencers or even fake ones.
Reach is the total number of followers an influencer has on social media or their blogs. You need to make sure that your influencer has genuine followers on the medium you wish to run your campaign.
Just having followers is not enough, as a good influencer will also have great engagement. This means the followers actually interact with the content posted by the respective influencer and trust their choices.
Recent research found that Instagram influencers with 1K to 5K followers have greater engagement than bigger influencers.
- Domain Authority
If you’re using influencers who will be using their blogs to communicate your brand’s message, it’s crucial that the blog has a good domain authority. When an influencer blogger creates content that links to your site, it generates a high-quality backlink.
Followers trust an influencer’s recommendations only if it sounds authentic. Their posts (especially any brand-sponsored content) shouldn’t look like something they’re talking about only because they’ve been paid to, but something they actually believe in.
An influencer’s personality is very important, as it needs to align with your brand’s messaging and value. This type of resonance will ensure the content truly appealing and relevant to your audiences.
Therefore, when looking for influential bloggers for your brand, read their posts to ascertain if they write about relevant topics. Check out quantitative numbers like Domain Authority and social media statistics before contacting the ones who meet your criteria.
Use warm outreach
It’s very important that you know about the influencer’s interests before approaching them. You should ideally start following and engaging with their posts on social media and show your appreciation for their work. Remember to also share their content in your social media profiles, as this makes them feel you have a common interest and you understand the subject.
Once you have warmed up to the influencer, you can reach to them with an effective email that will grab their attention. Your outreach email should address the following very clearly and precisely:
- Who you are and how you came to know about them.
- Why you are reaching out and what do you want from them.
- What you can offer in return.
- How they can take the conversation forward.
You need to make your offer sound lucrative enough to increase your chances of getting a response. Highlight some of your successful campaigns and mention a clear call-to-action in your email.
A good influencer marketing campaign is one that ends with you building a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with your influencer at the end of it. It helps to maintain a rapport with the influencer even after the paid partnership ends.
You need to define your goals and expectations very clearly to the influencer and offer fair compensation in return. Most importantly give the influencer the creative freedom, let them take an approach that works for them. After all, they will know their audience best.
Studies say an overly restrictive guideline is the second biggest influencer marketing mistake. According to Crowdtap survey, 77% of influencers would work with a brand more than once if the brand gives them creative freedom. Brand projects in which they get creative freedom tend to be a favorite for 58% of influencers.
Measuring the ROI of Influencer Marketing
Why is it important to measure ROI?
No measurement of ROI = Inefficient use of budget and resources
Inefficient use of budget and resources = FAILED campaign
76% of marketers find it difficult to measure the ROI of their influencer marketing campaigns
The end goal of an influencer marketing campaign is to evoke actions by building relationships with your target audience. That can happen only if you have a well-defined goal and targets that you want to achieve.
The optimal way to measure your ROI will depend on what goal you set yourself for any particular influencer marketing campaign. If you have no goal for your influencer marketing, you are truly engaging in “hope”-marketing (hoping that people will read the content you or your influencer puts out).
A goal should be
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Achievable
R = Results-Oriented
T = Time-bound
Here are some examples of influencer marketing goals:
Boost Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is extremely crucial, as people will only come to you if they know you. Therefore, one of the most important and commonly focused goals is increasing brand awareness.
If your influencer marketing goal is to raise brand awareness, the following strategies can help you:
- Brand mentions
You can ask the influencer to mention or tag your brand in order to create more brand visibility. To achieve this, you need to partner with an influencer that understands and believes in the brand.
- Generate Sales or Conversions
This can only be achieved if you focus on strategies that can give you conversions. Like affiliate marketing and discount coupons to try your product/solution.
- Tap into a New Target Market
This works best when you’re launching a new product or revamping the existing one.
- Grow Social Media Followers
When you look at creating brand awareness it often results in an increase in social media followers. This can be possible only through interesting and engaging content that helps you connect with your audience. In fact, 90% of marketers consider engagement to be the most important performance indicator of an influencer campaign.
- Use Influencer Content as Testimonials / Social Proof
This helps in strengthing a brand’s position as a thought leader in the industry. To achieve this you need to ensure that you tie-up with an influencer who is extensively followed and loved by the community.
Setting goals helps a brand address the following questions:
- Did my influencer campaign work?
- Should we try a different type of influencer?
- What about a different medium?
- Do we need to change the content?
Effective Measurement of ROI Includes:
- Sentiment Analysis
- How to Measure:
– Go through the comments on your influencer’s posts.
– Look for brand mentions on social media.
- What to Look for:
– The nature of the comments and mentions
Example of positive sentiment
Example of negative sentiment
- Brand awareness
- How to Measure:
Look for brand mentions on social media.
- What to Look for:
The nature of the mentions.
This is to find out how many people are talking about your brand or products positively. And whether your brand name is appearing in discussions about problems that your product/solution can solve.
You can check for your brand mention using the following tools:
- Brand awareness: Reach, Engagement, Impressions
Reach is the number of people who have seen the influencer’s content. It’s an important indicator to measure the success of the campaign. It’s not very easy to quantify the benefits of reach, because if an influencer has a million followers, only 15-30% of those folks are actually going to see the post.
This is a more preferred way of measuring the success of a campaign, as it shows the actual impact of the influencer’s content. Engagement reflects the extent to which the audience is interacting with your brand. This includes the number of comments, shares and likes on the particular content.
The number of times users have seen an influencer’s post is what defines impressions. This is considered a better indicator than the number of followers to calculate the actual reach of an influencer.
Here’s an Example:
- Sales or Conversions – Clicks, Conversion Rates, Revenue, Referral Traffic
Questions that need to be addressed:
- How many people clicked on affiliate links?
- How much revenue was generated from this?
- How many people used the unique discount code of an influencer to buy?
- How much revenue was generated from this?
- How many people came to the website after seeing an influencer’s post?
Brands often and should seek to generate traffic for their websites as it helps in increasing visibility and strengthening their position as an industry leader. Conversion follows, as it is a direct result of increased traffic, and is one of the most significant campaign goals. As mentioned earlier, giving out discount codes to share with their followers, is a great way to achieve this goal.
Here’s an example:
Here are some tools that can help in Quantitative Analysis
Influencer marketing is becoming the preferred choice of marketing for most marketers as it has immense potential to reap great results. However, running a campaign with no goals is completely futile and a waste of marketing budget. Therefore, start with knowing who your audience is and what they like and dislike, and plan out your campaign thoroughly before executing it.