Influencer Marketing; How to Measure Campaign Success
Marketers face changing measurement dynamics due to privacy regulations and user preferences. All measurement methods should align with business objectives for effective marketing evaluation.
August 23, 2023
Influencer Marketing; How to Measure Campaign Success
When it comes to marketing in the modern era, measurement means everything. Peter Drucker, the famous management consultant, once said "If you can't measure it, You can't improve it". Now I'm not so sure he foresaw the meteoric rise of social media influencers, but let's give credit where credit is due as this principle is as relevant as ever when it comes to measuring campaign success. And because the measurement landscape is an ever changing target due to privacy regulation, browser changes, and user preferences - marketers will need all the guidance they can get to navigate the uncharted waters ahead.
No attribution model is perfect, but some are more useful than others. Consider these 5 useful methods when planning your go to market strategy:
- Affiliate Links; Affiliate marketers promote links that help brands increase their reach and traffic. These affiliate links are unique URL's that direct to a website or product sales page, using tracking parameters at the end of the URL. When an affiliate partner promotes this link, it allows marketers to track engagement, conversions and sales data that come through from the influencer and attribute performance back to their content partner.
- Track Engagement & Impressions; Whether they lead to a sale or not - likes, comments, reposts, and shares are different ways that an audience can engage with your influencer content. Additionally, impressions are how many people viewed the content overall. Taking the impression total and dividing by the number of engagements, you can determine the engagement rate. Engagement rate can be particularly helpful when tracking a) alignment between influencer audience and brand target market and b) which creatives are working best with the audience when running multiple creatives.
- Unique Promo Codes; This method is a layup and probably the most often used for small to medium size brands since it's super easy to create a promo code and attribute sales back to a medium. In your CRM or sales dashboard you will be able to see how many customers entered the unique code in your checkout when purchasing and tally up a return on your ad spend with creative partners.
- UTM Parameters; Urchin Tracking Modules (UTM) is a code added to URL's to identify and track site traffic back to specific mediums and sources. Similar to affiliate links and promo codes, they are unique codes and allow brands to understand which channels, partners, or specific campaigns drove users to their site.
- Period over Period Measurement; If you have a specific influencer campaign launch during a period of time, you can track performance before and after to see what the engagement and sales uplift is. This is more directional and it can be a challenge to calculate a true return, but every brand is going to want to see sales jump when that campaign launches. When it comes to planning these launches, make sure to consider seasonality and any other ad spend, PR, or other factors that could impact the numbers.
- User Surveys; When in doubt, you can always ask a customer how they ended up purchasing from you or heard about you after they checkout. Take this data with a grain of salt though because customers may not really recall accurately. Surveys can muddy the attribution waters because it likely took many touch points across different devices and experiences to convert you into a paying customer, but it's good to know the last little nudge that got people to the finish line. At the end of the day, it can't hurt to have a checkout survey for a little extra customer data to work with if you leverage it appropriately.
Determining Return on Ad Spend
ROAS, or Return on Ad Spend, is how many brands measure ROI in the world of marketing. Put simply, for every dollar they have invested in a channel or marketing partnership, how many did they get in return? If an E-Commerce brand pays a micro influencer $1,000 for sponsored content, and the influencer driven traffic yields $3,000 in sales (measured by unique promo codes used in checkout or revenue lift), then the ROAS is 300% or 3:1.
But remember that if you are an E-Commerce brand, you are selling a physical good and that will have a "cost of goods sold" (COGS) that needs to be factored in as well. So if your top line revenue is $3,000, minus your ad spend of $1,000, your “profit” is now at $2,000 after cost of advertising. Here is where you factor in margins and profitability on that $2,000 to determine whether this partnership is truly profitable growth or not. Pro Tip; when thinking about what a successful influencer marketing campaign looks like, start with your business objectives and work backwards towards a campaign objective that aligns with your acquisition goals.
Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM's)
Not all marketing is measured in revenue or profitability, usually because it's really hard to attribute back to traditional or non-digital sources. Many brand marketing buys are purchased at the CPM level, also known as Cost Per Thousand Impressions.
Depending on the content, CPM's can be as cheap as a dollar, or extremely high if you are purchasing ad time on premium inventory (think about those expensive Super Bowl ads). Influencer rates are generally determined based on their reach and engagement rate, so you can work with creators by providing the CPM goals you have for a business and explore what types of content/partnerships would make sense for you both.
Items for consideration, beyond the engagement rate which we have written about in our blog before, is how much alignment the creator's audience has with your target market. Total impressions are great, but I doubt any brand cares about impressions with markets that have little to do with their buyer. With Risefluence's Creator Marketplace, you can search specifically for the vertical of expertise you are aiming to partner with and maximize alignment of the investment with the target audience. Our goal is to find partners that will help drive the right results for every campaign.
All Roads Lead Back To Marketing Objectives
Influencer Marketing or not, when it comes to measuring marketing success, it should always be aligned with what your goals are as a business. Too many brands will launch campaigns with fluffy engagement goals that don't move your bottom line. Unfortunately, many of those same brands today are struggling with the monetary policy changes that are shifting businesses from growth mode to profitability. Set your brand up for success by using these tried and true performance measurement methodologies and remember...nobody ever went broke by taking a profit!