By Danny Shepherd, Co-CEO of Intero Digital
Influencer marketing has become a popular strategy for brands seeking to engage and connect with their audience in a more authentic and powerful way. Still, there are numerous challenges that can impact the effectiveness and ROI of influencer marketing campaigns.
The right approach to influencer marketing will look different for every brand, especially because no one audience is the same. However, at the core of successful influencer marketing are two things that must be set up correctly to avoid common pitfalls and challenges of influencer marketing: metrics and strategy.
The Foundation of Influencer Marketing Campaigns
What’s the first step to understanding how to create a successful influencer marketing campaign? Understanding what it isn’t. Many marketers hold misconceptions about influencer marketing that can hinder their ability to fully understand their campaigns’ ROI. Before jumping ahead to building your perfect strategy, let’s break down some common misconceptions:
- Influencer marketing is not always a budget-friendly option. It’s essential to consider all costs when planning your campaign budgets, such as incentive pay, management fees, photographers, agencies, and videographers.
- You do not automatically own the content created by the influencer. Usage rights and ownership need to be negotiated and agreed upon to avoid misunderstandings.
- The value of influencer campaigns goes beyond direct sales. While influencer marketing can contribute to sales, it’s essential to recognize that the primary focus should be on building brand awareness and trust with consumers, as these factors contribute to long-term success.
A well-executed influencer marketing campaign can yield impressive results, but you must first establish clear objectives and goals to get impressive results. These goals should align with your brand’s overall marketing strategy and focus on increasing brand awareness, building consumer trust, and driving sales. However, established goals do nothing if they aren’t communicated clearly to your influencers, who can only create impactful content once they understand the bigger picture and know exactly what they are working toward.
The next step to impressive results is executing your goals creatively and, more importantly, authentically. A lack of creativity and innovation can result in content that fails to engage your target audience, while a lack of authenticity results in connecting with the wrong audience or driving your ideal audience away. It is crucial to identify the right influencers who genuinely align with your brand’s values and messaging. By doing so, you can create content that resonates with your target audience and maintains authenticity.
Measuring With the Right Metrics
While it’s easy to focus on vanity metrics (like the number of followers an influencer has), it’s essential to look at more meaningful data. The engagement rate of their existing followers is a more accurate indicator of the success of the campaign — an extensive reach with minimal engagement may not result in a successful outcome.
It’s also important to focus on metrics that reflect the effectiveness of the influencer campaign, which hinges on a clear understanding of your brand’s goals. If the goal is brand awareness, the campaign should focus on reach, engagement, increased followers, and site traffic. If the goal is sales, the campaign’s success can be measured by the number and value of sales attributed to the influencer. By tailoring your campaign to your specific goals, you can create a more effective and repeatable strategy.
To effectively measure your campaign performance, consider these key influencer marketing metrics:
1. Website traffic.
By tracking website traffic, you can determine how many people are visiting your website, which pages they are viewing, and how your influencer campaign is driving traffic. Google Analytics is an essential tool for tracking website traffic, providing detailed information on the number of visitors, page views, bounce rate, session duration, and other metrics that can help you assess your campaign’s performance.
You can also set up custom reports to track the traffic generated by your influencer campaign and compare it with other traffic sources. Additionally, you can measure how many visitors complete a desired action by setting up conversion goals, giving you a better understanding of how your influencer campaign is impacting your bottom line.
2. UTM strings.
UTM strings are parameters that you can add to your website’s URL to track traffic sources within Google Analytics. By creating unique UTM strings for each influencer, you can measure their specific traffic contribution to your website. This helps you differentiate influencer-generated traffic from other sources, such as organic social efforts, ads, or customer posts. You can also compare the performance of each influencer — which ones are driving the most traffic, engagement, and conversions on your website — and optimize your campaign accordingly.
3. Social media metrics.
By monitoring your brand’s social media metrics, you can gain valuable insights into the success of your influencer campaign on each platform. This can help you identify which platforms are driving the most engagement and conversions and optimize your campaign accordingly. Additionally, by comparing the social media metrics with the website traffic and UTM string metrics, you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the overall impact of your influencer campaign.
Ultimately, the success of your campaign comes down to driving sales. Therefore, it’s crucial to implement e-commerce tracking in Google Analytics to measure sales attributed to influencers. In doing so, you can track the revenue generated from each transaction and the products sold through your website. You can also track the conversion rate, average order value, and other metrics that can help you assess the effectiveness of your influencer campaign.
Measuring and analyzing the performance of your influencer marketing campaign is just the first step. To maximize your ROI, it’s crucial to continuously optimize your campaign based on the data and feedback you receive. By analyzing metrics such as website traffic, social media metrics, sales, and ROI, you can identify areas of your campaign that are working well and areas that need improvement. For example, if one influencer is driving significantly more traffic and sales than others, you can allocate more resources to working with that influencer in future campaigns.
Additionally, gathering feedback from influencers themselves can provide valuable insights into what worked well and what didn’t in your campaign. By building relationships with influencers and asking for their honest feedback, you can refine your strategy and make informed decisions for future campaigns.
About the Author
Danny Shepherd is Co-CEO of Intero Digital, a 375-person digital marketing agency that offers comprehensive, results-driven marketing solutions.