Influencer marketing may have started as early as 2017. Brands saw a steady change in how they relate to the audience. From being the only authority, they now share the spotlight with a handful of people called influencers. Fast forward to 2020, when the most common question on marketers’ lips is how to measure the effectiveness of influencer marketing.
If you are leading the market efforts of a brand or looking to make a smaller brand’s audience engagement more effective, then you may want to experiment with influencer marketing. Here are a few things to remember about this strategy.
Practical Ways to Measure Influencer Marketing Reach
Understanding how influencer relations work is just the first step. Now, the question to ask is, “How is influencer engagement measured?” Some tools may already be in your marketing arsenal, but the usage may differ, depending on the tactic you execute with your influencer.
Use industry benchmarks and KPIs
A brand’s efforts rarely take flight overnight. You would need to put some metrics in place, so you know which one to look out for when expecting insight on results.
There are a number of KPIs and metrics to measure for a holistic campaign. Start with knowing your input, which are the efforts that you do during the start of an influence marketing campaign. Tracking input usually occurs when you are still in the phase of finding influencers for your brand. This can include the search for influencers and partnering with them.
You will also need to track the output, which includes the turnout of the previous step’s effort. It’s important to know if your input attracted the right influencers, created new channels for influencers to join your efforts, and engage them properly to establish good relations.
Monitor and measure reach and engagement
Of the available KPIs, the engagement rate may be the most important. Follower count will not be useful if they do not engage with the influencer’s content.
Knowing which content your audience is engaged in can help you decide where to amplify or improve efforts. Remember, the engagement rate should not be left up to the influencer’s devices alone. Amplification also needs the brand’s support, so it pays to be on top of these data and decisions.
Use an influencer platform for your brand
Managing influencers, content, and monitoring can actually be done in one place. Many influencer marketers put their trust in an influencer platform because it works.
An influencer platform is a software program that helps gather data and run them through algorithms. Some offer relationship management, analytics, and content amplification. All of these can help not only track your influencer’s performance, but given insight on what can be done better.
A more effective relationship with your influencer means giving them this insight so they can adjust their efforts accordingly.
Don’t shy away from promos
Introducing new tactics like promos and promo codes may seem like extra budget. However, if you want to see your influencer’s power and sway over their audience, this may be among the easiest ways to do it.
Promo codes can be personalized to the influencer. This is a significant move when you have many influencers because it allows you to track the metrics of engagement and response. You can even consider it as bonus sales if your influencer happens to get a good haul of support for the promos.
New Users, New Trust Circles
Influencer marketing may be the answer to tapping new audiences and reaching more ground. Many brands now realize that their market is concentrated in one place: social media. As much as technology has paved new channels for them to tap, social media has become a common ground.
Whether it’s to use it to get news, to reach friends, or to follow celebrities and trendsetters, social media makes everything accessible in one’s curated feed. It’s about being part of a community that shares the same interests. For many users, this means influencing and getting influenced by others, which is now the new form of word-of-mouth.
Reach more women through proper channels
In families, women still make up a good part of the decision-makers when it comes to essential brands. Research also shows that brands still target women when it comes to their marketing efforts.
What changed, however, is where women get influenced in these purchases. With up to 45% of women admitting to being more active in social media now, influencers can reach them better through these platforms.
Targeting teens through social proof
Another favorite target market of influencer marketers is teens. The younger generations have become far more discerning of who they trust. Celebrity endorsements may have been the measure of success of older brand campaigns. This time, it’s the rise of influencers’ hold on their followers.
According to the Digital Marketing Institute, as many as four in 10 millennials relate to the influencers they follow. And compared to celebrities, 70% of teens are more likely to trust influencers in terms of recommendations for purchase.
The lifestyles that influencers have built tend to attract their followers more than celebrities. Endorsements no longer cut it–purchase decisions also need to be based on lived experiences, something influencers wield over celebrities.
When you tap influencers, your brand does not need to fully and personally establish strong ties with your customers. The influencer brings the audience closer to your brand by becoming the mouthpiece and voice of reason as to why they should engage with you.
Engaging depending on industries
Some industries already heavily engage with influencers more than others. The fashion industry leads in this aspect. This can be seen in how influencers can integrate beauty and fashion brands into their lives seamlessly.
Some industries may find it easier to engage with fans through influencers compared to others. For example, tech influencers can easily become influential decision-makers despite not having full technical backgrounds.
The goal for most brands is to understand their market and see how they can tap influencers. There needs to be a seamless integration of the brand into lifestyle to create better dialogues and influence.
When it comes to understanding how to measure the success of influencer marketing, it pays to also look at the number of partners made. Brands who tap influencers do not only tap another spokesperson. They create bonds and partnerships.
Creating influencer strategies go beyond a one-time deal. Aim for long-term partnerships. The more they identify with the brand, the more they can incorporate them into their lifestyle. This creates an authentic connection, one that will make fans see that there is more to your partnership than just surface strategies.
A way to go around ad blocks
A big disadvantage for traditional marketing are ad blocks. Used to be, it was the consumers who were frequent channel changers. Online, these are consumers who use ad-blockers.
As much as 40% of laptop users in the United States have ad-blockers, while 15% install them on mobile phones. This immediately cuts off a brand’s access, no matter how interestingly made the content is.
With influencers, you can bridge the gap between creative content and audience attention. Influencer content is more organic, even if it works as a review of a brand or product. Some can even have a simple product post or a short video that incorporates a brand. Avid followers don’t block content. For some, they may also leave likes, appreciate the message, or even inquire about the product.
How Effective is Influencer Marketing?
For a lot of beginning marketers, this is such a common question. Yet it’s also good to step back and ask the bigger question: why is influencer marketing effective? Every marketer must understand the turns and roundabouts of this trade before aiming to measure its effectiveness.
First, it’s such an important tool in your brand’s arsenal. Most of the market, especially for mainstream brands, make use of the Internet and social media in some way. Veteran marketers understand that as much as this opens new possibilities for creativity, it also creates a few problems.
With more freedom and options to get their information, your audience becomes harder to reel in with the usual tactics. The Internet made content available left and right. As a marketer, this expands your horizon and makes your audience harder to reach with a single-strike campaign.
Expect better ROIs
When talking about effectiveness, ROIs still remain the favorite gauge for a campaign’s success. When it comes to influencer marketing ROI, up to 89% of companies who engage in this tactic attest to its effectiveness.
Smart Insights confirms that many marketers find it either comparable or even better than other marketing channels. Of course, this will only be possible if one carefully plans and executes a strategy that strengthens the partnership and uses it efficiently.
Be vigilant with your influencers’ resources
While influencers started out more as a hobby to engage one’s interests and share it with others, the opportunity has grown into an industry of its own. Hence, some find it to be an easy way to make a living.
It’s important to be careful of influencers who manipulate numbers and use tools that could create fake followers. Because some brands still prefer influencers with a bigger base, the business of buying fake followers has become a trend.
However, this does not mean that most influencers subscribe to this tactic. But as a responsible marketer, you should always make sure that you engage with influencers who are authentic about their trade.
Proper monitoring of reach and engagement
A simple answer to the question, “How do you monitor influencer marketing?” would be to take a deep-dive into the available metrics.
Next to content, the other thing that makes up any kind of marketing is the use of collected data. As much as your influencer may provide you with the data you need from their end, it also pays to see this from a macro scale of the industry.
This means planning your every move for your influencer marketing strategy, from the beginning of the campaign down to the predicted results. Before enumerating the KPIs you need, first, determine the big strokes of the goals and needs of your brand.[visualizer id=”1538″] Source: smartInsights.com
Tricks of the Trade: Things You May Not Know
When you want to know how to measure the effectiveness of influencer marketing, it’s important to not forget the details in the bigger picture. Some practices, though seemingly small in returns, may actually help boost your influencer’s and your brand’s reach.
Micro-influencers are a must
Brands and marketers who have a more traditional background tend to prefer loud and big sweeps. These include going for macro-influencers, who hold celebrity status, and a big follower base.
Thus, you may have asked, “How can a business measure the effectiveness of social media marketing?” especially in the context of micro-influencers. In reality, micro-influencers can also go big on returns in terms of engagement.
Micro-influencers may seem small, with followers sometimes numbering only up to 10,000. But even 1,000 strong, devoted, and avidly engaged fans will do better than a million scrollers with no deep investment in what a mega-influencer has to say.
Creative marketers see micro-influencers as an opportunity to create a niche for the brand. Plus, given the smaller need for a budget, strategies here become all about creative plays to engage consumers on a personal level.
Let both brand and influencer benefit
A big trip-up for brands is to try getting the best of the deal. When an influencer has a fairly small following, brand marketers may decide to give them the smallest compensation or focus the fewest funds for their content.
Influencers may thrive on the partnerships they have with brands. But don’t forget that they already had their fans before they became your partner. The last thing you want is to give them a reason to cut ties with your brand.
Because at the end of the day, your influencers are also your customers. They experience your brand on a more special plane, but they experience it nonetheless. Their work with you also counts with that experience. And if they are not satisfied, they will communicate this not only to their audience, but potentially also to other influencers.
And there you have it, our take on how to measure the effectiveness of influencer marketing. If you’re interested in learning more about how technology can boost your influencer marketing strategies, check out our guide, “Teching Up Influence: How Technology Boosts Your Influencer Marketing” for more.