Influencer marketing was a $13 billion industry in 2021. The growth potential of this market combined with the development of new technologies and social platforms and the expansion of the creator economy leads to an even more impressive estimate: the global influencer marketing industry is expected to reach $84 billion by 2028.
Despite the numbers and the increasing investments in the power of digital talents, measuring the results of influencer marketing campaigns remains a challenge for most marketers.
While on average businesses earn $5.20 for every dollar they spend on influencer marketing, 84% of marketing professionals feel proving the ROI of a campaign is an unsolved issue - especially because setting a clear measurement strategy is not prioritised along with the other stages of the marketing plan.
Why should brands develop a measurement strategy?
Setting an assertive measurement strategy contributes to improving the results of current and future campaigns. It helps marketers better frame campaigns and understand why previous investments worked or did not work, as well as which actions should be taken to ensure more effective ROI.
Moreover, as influencer marketing is such a fast-paced industry, the measurement of results can set a clear path for brands willing to develop long-term relationships with creators instead of a one-time project. It allows them to have a clear perspective of the impact of digital influence and go beyond vanity metrics - like comments and likes. Marketing teams' decisions can be supported by those strategies when it comes to which channels to use or which content direction to establish.
On top of it, properly measuring campaigns ensures efficient use of digital marketing budget, directly impacting on sales activity to improve conversion rates.
How to develop an influencer campaign measurement strategy?
Developing a consistent measurement strategy for influencer marketing starts by having a clear understanding of how particular each campaign is. It means despite similarities, every influencer marketing project is unique and should be designed with specific goals - aligned with the business objectives.
Setting a clear goal is indeed the first step. Before starting an influencer collaboration and diving into content directions, brands need to understand which results they're looking for and who their audience is. It's important to consider the overall company's vision and which role marketing plays to help it get there. Depending on the campaign goals, different KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) can be set.
Building awareness is usually how businesses initiate the strategy based on the customer journey. Influencers can impact hugely on supporting brands to spread their message and build a solid digital presence, enhancing their positioning in the market. Many marketing strategies consider digital talents the best tool to achieve this goal - although marketers still find it hard to showcase those results tangibly.
In regards to KPIs, reach and audience growth can help brands connect influencer marketing efforts with businesses' results. As the measure of potential audience size, reach alone does not tell everything, but it becomes powerful when linked to other engagement metrics. For instance, traffic data can give a clear perspective of the impact of a creator's content and illustrate a lot about the audience.
On the other hand, the audience growth rate can be much better explored if marketing teams consider not only the numbers but the speed. How quickly the brand gained followers helps marketers have a clear comprehension of the potential of an influencer to access the audience - while also paving the way for long-term partnerships strategies.
Around 71% of businesses see engagement as the pinnacle of influencer campaign success, while 81% of marketers identify engagement rates as their primary method of measuring a campaign’s success. The reason behind it is the fact engagement as a goal helps brands determine the power of campaigns in getting attention enough that encourages interaction as well as the level of trust between a creator and the audience. It shows how many people are receptive to the message and aim to nurture some kind of connection.
The usual engagement KPIs are focused on those specific interactions in the digital environment - comments, shares and brand mentions. They allow marketing teams to see the tangible impact of content, while also supporting influencers to boost their expertise and close better deals. Those KPIs can be enhanced by adding more in-depth data - like CPE (Cost per Engagement), for example - therefore exploring performance more accurately and leveraging the measurement strategy.
Conversion is one of the goals businesses can expect from an influencer marketing campaign. In this case, the investment will be focused on attracting the audience to act on a specific objective - usually after building solid brand awareness.
Conversion, as a goal, is pretty attached to engagement and how the audience is willing to interact with the influencer's content. In that sense, long-term partnerships can make all the difference to help the audience reach the end of the customer funnel.
There is a range of possible KPIs to measure conversion rate, depending on the call to action (CTA) - like the number of clicks, sales, downloads and leads generated.
Why each campaign is singular.
Every campaign is unique and this uniqueness influences the way marketers develop their measurement strategies. The selection of influencers, the type of content and the size of the market are some of the aspects that help build the singularity of a project.
If brands work with micro-influencers, for example, goals need to consider the nature of this tier. This category is usually very successful for conversion as those niched profiles are experts in getting audiences' engagement and buy into what they're communicating.
Another key aspect is cultural relevance. If the campaign is connected to a specific topic that is significant at the moment, understanding how it resonates with the audience before jumping into the buzz is an essential part of the process. In those cases, sentiment analysis is the qualitative metric to support the strategy and clarify the level of engagement accomplished.
Many marketing teams are also tapping into innovative campaigns to increase results and stand out in the market, combining immersive and technological experiences with the power of digital talents. New metrics will rise from these activations that are to reshape completely the measurement strategies put in place so far - depending on how much audiences are familiar with new approaches and engagement formats.
- Developing a measurement strategy supports influencer marketing campaigns in achieving better results and forecasting future performance and investments.
- The KPIs definition depends on the business' goals and the impact of these goals on the overall business objectives, which should be set as the first stage of an influencer marketing planning process.
- Conversion, engagement, and awareness are some of the main influencer marketing goals, each attached to a stage of the consumer funnel.
- Each influencer campaign is unique. Understanding the particularities of each of them is key to developing a more assertive measurement strategy.
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