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Influencer Marketing ROI: The Complete Guide To Measure Effectively

Marketers say that proving the ROI is the hardest part of influencer marketing. But it is possible to measure effectively, and today I’ll show you exactly how to do it.


logo-2 What Is the ROI of Influencer Marketing?

Generally speaking, influencer marketing is effective for rapid growth and can also boost other stats like brand reputation.

According to research, influencer marketing can garner nearly 11x the ROI as a paid ad and generate $5.20 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing. Wild, right?

Influencer Marketing Hub found that for every dollar spent on influencer campaigns, the average earned media value is $5.20 — with some businesses reporting up to $18 in earned media value for every dollar they spend. 

However, earned media value is just one measure of influencers' ROI, and I believe this is where the trouble starts for marketers.

In a recent survey, 76% of marketers cited measuring the ROI of influencer marketing as their top challenge for influencer campaign tracking. And, honestly, I think this comes down to the fact that many marketers are looking for a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to ROI.
Here’s the truth:

There’s no single way to measure influencer marketing ROI.

Many ‘best practices’ will point you to measure sales, revenue, reach, or earned media value, but the ROI largely depends on your campaign objectives.  

 

Measure influencer marketing ROI on a campaign-by-campaign basis

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#1 Understand the goals of your campaign: Influencer Marketing ROI Statistics

Influencer marketing is often viewed in its own bubble, but really, it’s just like any other marketing tactic and influencer marketing ROI should be measured as such.

Influencer campaigns can help your business in a number of ways:

    • Brand awareness: Getting your brand in front of your target audience
    • Brand reputation: Creating affinity for your brand through an influencer
    • Sales: Driving sales directly from influencer audiences
    • Lead generation: Capturing data and new sales leads
    • Engagement: Number of people interacting with your brand
    • Traffic: Getting people to your website or a specific landing page

Any influencer campaign should always start with a clear goal, this will help you to measure success once the campaign is complete. So before you start, decide exactly what you’re trying to achieve and get ready to measure the ROI on influencer marketing!

#2 Choose KPIs for each goal

Once you have a goal (or goals) in mind, you need to think about how you will actually measure effectiveness in order to tell if your campaign has moved the needle at all.

Each goal could be measured in a slightly different way:

 

  • Brand awareness

Sometimes it’s not all about sales or traffic. If you’re a new business or launching a new product, you might just want to get in front of people and build some top-of-funnel awareness with average ROI influencer marketing.

For this type of campaign, you might not be looking at dollar signs to measure influencer marketing ROI, instead, you’ll be focusing on data like:

    • Post Reach: How many views have each influencer post in your campaign gained
    • Unique Views: How many individual people have seen posts included in this campaign (sometimes people can see the same post more than once, so it’s important to look at this in context with Post Reach)
    • Share of Voice: The number of mentions your brand received in comparison with your closest competitors
    • Branded Searches: This can take a while to show, but as more and more people hear of your brand, the number of branded searches should increase. Keep an eye on keywords directly associated with your brand (e.g. Your brand name or key product names)
  • Brand reputation

Sometimes you might want to launch a campaign to shift the consumer perception of your brand. This could be based on a rebrand, to launch a new product or to counter some bad coverage you may have received.

For example, after Samsung saw a number of bad press pieces after its phone battery issues, it turned to influencers like Casey Neistat, to switch the conversation back to the power of its technology, rather than the tech itself.

Here are a couple of ways to measure reputation online:

    • Key Message Penetration: This tracks the key messages you want to see in any coverage or mentions. For example, how many people are talking about your new slogan after a campaign
    • Social Media Sentiment: If you’re looking to create some positivity about your brand (much like the Samsung example above), checking the sentiment of your social media mentions is a great way to do this
    • Focus Groups and Surveys: Survey members of your target audience to see what they think about your brand. If you do this regularly — or at least before and after campaigns — you can see how your marketing is affecting your brand’s reputation
  • Sales

Here’s where the dollars start coming in. And though the goal of almost any marketing campaign is to bring in revenue eventually — e.g. changing brand reputation will hopefully drive long-term customers — some influencer marketing campaign ROI can be measured directly by sales.

    • Revenue: Revenue is the amount of money generated by sales in this campaign
    • Unit Sales: According to Linqia, 46% of influencer campaigns are measured by product sales. With this figure, you’re often looking at the number of units sold directly from a campaign
    • ROAS: Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) is a great way to ensure your campaigns are profitable. The calculation for ROAS is: ROAS = (Revenue derived from ad source)/(Cost of ad source). For example, if you spent $1,000 sponsoring an influencer post and generated $5,000 in sales your ROAS would be 500%
  • Lead Generation

Hubspot describes a lead as: “a person who has indicated an interest in your company's product or service in some way, shape, or form.”

And with influencer campaigns aimed at lead generation, you’re looking to capture data from people interested in your business. Often this will be an email address.

You can measure lead generation by:

    • Leads Generated: The number of new leads captured as part of this campaign
    • Sales Qualified Leads: Many businesses have a process of ‘qualifying’ leads to ensure they fit with their business. The more qualified a lead, the better their chances of becoming a customer
    • Conversions: This is the number of leads that convert and become customers. It can be best to measure this figure over a longer period of time to allow leads to move through your funnel
  • Engagement

The engagement has become an important measure for influencer campaigns, with 90% of marketers using it as a gauge to judge the performance of their campaigns.

Engagement is so important because it focuses on the number of people interacting with content around your brand. It may not bring direct sales right away, but it shows there’s an interest there and potential for future revenue.

Here’s how to measure engagement:

Cost-Per-Engagement (CPE): This figure shows the cost of each engagement on posts within your influencer campaign. Engagement can include likes, shares, and comments. The calculation for CPE is: (Spend)/(Engagements). For example, if you spent $50 on a campaign and generated 1,000 engagements to CPE would be $0.05
  • Traffic

59% of marketers use clicks as a measure of success for their campaigns. Traffic measures click to your website or chosen landing page from posts included within your influencer campaign.

To measure the traffic you could look at:

    • Clicks: How many clicks were generated as part of your influencer campaign.
    • Cost-Per-Click: The amount of money you spent on the campaign divided by the number of clicks it received
    • New Users: This figure shows the number of visitors that have come to your site (or landing page) for the first time. Great if you want to specifically connect with a new audience as part of your campaign

influencer marketing roi key performance indicators

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#3 Set Your Targets

At this stage, you should know what you’re measuring: Your overall goal and the KPIs relating to that goal.

For example, let’s say you want to create a campaign to drive new potential customers to the landing page of a new product, you might include the KPIs:

    • Clicks
    • New Users

You then want to figure out what the targets for the campaign will be.

To do this you can look at some previous benchmarks. Ideally, you might have some data for previous influencer campaigns or industry benchmarks, but if not for other forms of advertising such as search or social media ads can also work great.

You essentially want to set a baseline that you want to achieve with the budget you're investing into your campaign - a small step you can take that will make it easier to measure distinct influencer marketing ROI.

For example, if you know you can generate clicks from Facebook Ads for $2.40, you might want to see similar results from your influencer campaign. So set a benchmark at $2.40 per click.

With $1,000, you could then set a target of over 416 clicks for this campaign. And if the influencers you’re working with are new to the business, you might aim for 80% new users.

The targets you set will always be specific to your business and unique circumstances.

#4 Track Performance

As your progress through your campaigns, you need to measure performance to see what’s working and what’s potentially not.

You could use your own spreadsheet to measure performance, or an influencer marketing tool like Traackr. What’s most important, though, is that you are checking in regularly in progress towards your goals and KPIs.

For more on how to track influencer marketing campaign ROI and performance, drop us a line — we’d love to chat.

#5 Share Learnings

How did your campaign perform? Every marketing campaign will generate a ton of learnings for your business and you should always make a note of them and share them with your team for future reference.

A few things you might want to pay attention to:

    • Did you achieve your targets? Why/Why not.
    • Which influencers were best to work with?
    • Which influencer's posts performed the best?
    • Which influencers drove the most ROI?
    • What would you improve for your next campaign?

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Measure Influencer Marketing ROI

When it comes to measuring the ROI of influencer marketing, it's easy to get lost in the weeds of the where and how. After all, sometimes finding concrete results can fee overwhelming and complicated if you have multiple campaigns running at once. 

In reality, though, it's really just as easy as any other campaign. Let's take a look at your frequently asked questions!

How to Track Influencer ROI

Again, when it comes to tracking influencer ROI, your #1 priority should be to pick a specific goal and track the metrics. If your goal is traffic, you'll want to closely measure Influencer ROI stats by taking note of traffic upticks associated with recent videos or blogs from the influencer. 

How to Calculate ROI for Influencer Marketing

When it comes to calculating your overall ROI for your influencer marketing campaign, we highly recommend compiling information as you go instead of waiting until the end of your campaign. 

Every video and influencer post needs to be followed by careful watch over your goal stats and a wider range of ROI green flags. If the campaign was focused on clicks, you'll still want a comprehensive view of the whole picture.

TL/DR: Stay focused on your target stat, but also look at the others for value!

Are you ready for your next influencer marketing campaign?

Do you have any influencer marketing campaigns lined up? Maybe you're not sure where to start, or you're just nervous about seeing positive influencer marketing ROI, but you know you want to tap into the magic of influencer marketing. If so, let Sociallyin help YOU and get in touch! We’d love to hear what you’re working on

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Keith Kakadia

I am a native of New Orleans, LA with a passion for social media marketing, entrepreneurship, and making new connections. I enjoy the opportunity to work with amazing individuals and brands everyday.

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