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Performance metrics in influencer marketing

Measuring performance is vital to all forms marketing — influencer marketing is no exception. As social media marketing becomes increasingly performance-based, it’s important to remember that measurability is key.

Good influencer marketing utilises performance metrics throughout the campaign process — from influencer selection to campaign evaluation — but what exactly are the metrics we look at to achieve these purposes?

Influencer selection

Performance metrics can be used to determine the value an influencer brings to your brand. Photo by Viral Access.

When selecting influencers for a campaign, businesses typically use look for metrics that will help them:

  1. Gauge the authenticity of the influencer,
  2. Determine whether the influencer can deliver the desired results.

Nowadays, it is easier than ever to buy fake followers and fake engagement online. “Vanity metrics” such as an influencer’s total followers, likes, and comments can give a general overview of their fanbase size and activity. However, it’s important to ensure these metrics are indeed real. This can be done using AI and machine learning, but red flags can also be pinpointed manually. Be on the lookout for abnormally high followings with disproportionately low engagement, or general inconsistencies in the number of likes, shares, and comments across multiple posts.

Good alternatives for evaluating influencers are engagement and follower growth rates. Engagement is the number of interactions (likes, comments, shares…) a piece of content receives relative to other audience figures (total views, total followers…), and is usually measured using the 10–12 most recent posts. This metric can help could indicate whether the influencer has a strong connection with their fan base as well as whether or not users find the influencer’s content engaging. Follower growth rates track the number of followers an influencer gains over time, and indicates whether their account is actively growing or static, whether they are garnering attention or fading into obscurity.

Campaign evaluation

It is vital to track performance metrics that correspond with the goals of your influencer campaign. Photo by lilzidesigns on Unsplash.

With the influencers selected, it’s time to decide on relevant metrics that’ll be used to evaluate the success of the campaign. The best metrics will be different for every goal, but the principle of conversion can be applied to almost any influencer campaign.

Conversion rates are the differences in the amount of times a user interaction occurred before, during, and after a campaign. This could apply to all types of actions — product purchases, clicking a specific link, number of likes, comments, etc. Tracking conversion tackles a key challenge many digital marketers face: attributing performance directly to the campaign. In other words: being able to tell if the influencer campaign caused success and not other factors.

Here is a general breakdown of some common metrics used to evaluate campaigns:

Mentions: the number of times your brand has been spoken about on the internet. Increases in mentions during or after a campaign could indicate your efforts are sparking a conversation, giving your brand visibility.

Organic searches: the number of times users search for your brand or product. Increases in organic searches indicate that users have heard about your brand and would like to learn more. Organic searches show piqued interests translated into traffic, and like mentions, can be used to measure brand visibility and awareness.

Shares: the number of times users forwarded your content to other users or reposted it on their accounts. Although they are all forms of engagement, shares differ from likes and comments in their intentionality. Users share content they would like to be seen by others, meaning they engaged with it on a deeper level than a like would suffice for. High amounts of shares could indicate that that piece of content is resonating strongly with a specific audience.

Reach: the total amount of unique users who viewed a piece of content. High reach indicates that the algorithm is showcasing your content to a greater audience. Noting which content algorithms favour is useful for devising future content strategies.

Impressions: the total amount of times a piece of content was viewed. If the number of impressions exceeds a piece of content’s reach, it means that users are revisiting the content. Greater impressions mean greater visibility, and can indicate that a piece of content is gaining prolonged attention from users (resulting in them viewing it multiple times) which is good ad exposure.

Clickthrough rates: the proportion of users that click a link in a post compared to its reach/impressions. This metric can help determine which posts or which influencers are most effective in directing traffic to your desired location. Many brands compare clickthrough rates by providing influencers with individual links and promo codes so that traffic can be tracked back to its original source.

Final Thoughts

Analysing performance metrics helps marketers develop better strategies in the future. Photo by Viral Access.

Many of these metrics can be accessed for free, but using software specifically designed for marketing data analysis can provide more accurate and targeted information (both about influencers and consumers).

Influencer marketing campaigns are dynamic due to their human element. It’s important to balance that unpredictability with empirical data. Performance metrics provide concrete reasons for success or failure which can be invaluable in an industry so complex.

We hope that this article helped you in your social media marketing efforts! If you want to learn more, check out our website and social media.

Viral Access is an AI and data-driven digital marketing company who helps you tell your story through social media. We pair your brand with relevant micro and nano-influencers that help you increase brand awareness, engagement, and conversion. We have the systems and team in place to support large scale communications throughout Asia.

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We’re an AI and data-driven digital marketing company who helps you tell your story through social media.