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Better influencer marketing

How to track your Influencer Marketing ROI and how to maximize return on investment

Better influencer marketing
16 min
December 28, 2018

How to effectively track your influencer marketing ROI?

Getting creators to promote products through influencer marketing seems to be a key marketing strategy for marketers in the upcoming years.

Whether you are doing B2C or B2B influencer marketing campaigns, hiring, or building reputation in a particular city, everyone keeps running into the same problem of having to effectively track influencer marketing campaigns.

Every campaign is different and despite the various influencer marketing tools out there, most still haven’t cracked the ROI code.

So we have put together a list of ways to measure influencer marketing ROI. Whether you are doing them with instagram influencers, twitch influencers, fashion influencers or fitness influencers, this article should help you measure influencer marketing ROI better than ever.  

Influencer marketing measurement

Influencer marketing has so many variables, and there are many ways to measuring return. For each campaign, there will be a different set of tactics that help you measure success.

Determine which outcomes matter to your business, and the value of helping your customer make decisions. You should work hard to tie your return to a specific part of your customer journey and not be seduced by vanity metrics that don’t impact your customer or your business.

Your goal is to push your customer through a specific decision. Whether it be to visit, buy, spreading the word, each goal will have it's own set of metrics.  

Influence ideally should not be treated on a single-campaign basis. If you are building long-term influencer marketing strategies, their success will not be measurable only by traditional metrics. The metrics that matter today have to do with how easily your customer can make the decision to buy your product.

Find ways to use influence to build advocacy, educate and connect with your users in a meaningful way. Build your reputation, showcase your unique value and create thought leadership by owning conversation topics.

Help your users do something.

Influencer marketing measurement is tracking how well you do that.  

Promo Code Measurement

Custom promo codes empower you to track the ROI of your influencer campaign long after the campaigns. Not all of your customers will make their purchase directly after seeing an influencer’s post, even if the content drives decision to buy. Taking this into consideration, trackable links only reveal part of your return on investment. Promo codes help you track long-tail purchases inspired by influencer marketing.

Try creating promo-codes that are associated with a specific influencer in order to embed yourself in the content.

Affiliate Links Tracking

Combining your influencer marketing campaign with affiliate marketing techniques is one of the most straightforward ways of tracking your ROI when working with creators. Building a trackable link for a post helps you to track sales made through their social channels and blog posts.

In affiliate marketing influencers would typically receive a cut of each of the sales made through their content. These links provide data around the number of clicks to the brand’s website, the number of sales, and the order value for those sales.

h3h3 host Ethan presenting influencer marketing banner ads on his podcast

Don’t forget that affiliate links do have some limitations. Sometimes a purchase can occur months after a shopper sees a product on an influencer’s platform and the life-cycle of a trackable affiliate link is normally 30 days. If a shopper buys the product online or in-store, you won’t be able to trace the purchase to creator content, even if that was what drove the sale.

Influencer Marketing Isolation

Isolated marketing is a way to measure an influencer’s impact on sales no matter when or where the purchase takes place. With this method, you identify a segment within your business that can be experimented on with influencer marketing, without too many other variables. For example, a new product, a specific market or a new job opening.

Isolating your marketing efforts allows you to track throughout your entire funnel, including in-store purchases. Your test will give you a more complete picture of your consumers’ buying habits, meaning you can gauge the total sales you’re likely to generate from influencer marketing in future campaigns.

Share of voice

Share of voice on social media has a massive correlation to market share. For example 10% increase in share of voice can potentially lead to a 10% increase in market share. Looking at the share of voice before the influencer marketing campaign using social listening tools will give you an idea of what you are starting with.

As you launch influencer campaigns, track this metric for your own brand, and that of your main competitors. Comparing and contrasting the two will give you strong metric for analyzing the impact of your campaigns.

Loyalty and Credit cards for offline purchases

Sometimes tricks you’ve never heard of are the ones that work the best.

Using a third party tracking provider like Cardlytics, you can cookie visitors of your site and easily track offline purchases. These tracking tools can be used to tap into a wealth of consumer behaviour. This data can open the flood gates of comparison before and after an influencer marketing campaign.

They work by analyzing consumer buying behaviour and visualising the journey they go through when making purchases. Then, when you launch a successful campaign, you can see an acceleration within this behaviour, with rapid purchasing or shorter buying intervals.

Checkout page survey

A simple addition to measuring not only influencer marketing, but the impact of all of your marketing efforts is a simple checkout survey. After a customer has purchased your product, booked a room or applied for a job, have them fill a form asking them how they last heard of you. This is direct insight into where their activity is being driven from.

When building a checkout form to ask this question, be specific. Broad options like “social media” or “the internet” aren’t direct enough. Get granular and ask specifically if they heard from you via a paid Facebook ad, or an instagram creator post, Estonian billboard, etc.

Maximizing your Influencer marketing ROI

Avoid fake influence and focus on quality audiences

The potential to gain money and social status by building your personal brand has skyrocketed the demand for fake followers on all social media platforms.

alarming influencer data showing the actual audience of an influencer

Your influencer marketing campaigns should not be driven by the amount of subscribers and/or followers that the person has, but instead you should focus on the engagement and true influence of the creator you partner with. Engagement rate is one key indicator of a truly influential creator and can often indicate the quality of that person’s audience.

When selecting an influencer, it is necessary to understand how credible the engagement rate actually is. If the comment section is full of strictly emojis and robot-like 1 liners, it’s likely that the engagement is purchased, not earned. Some influencer tools offer the ability to see exactly what percentage of the audience and engaged audience of any given influencer is fake.

Long term influencer relationships

Influencer marketing is proven more and more to be effective when taken as a long term strategy and not a short term tactic. Yes, influencer marketing can bring you an immediate ROI, but the true value here comes from ongoing influencer relationship and the ROI that grows with them over time.

The first exposure to your product often does not lead to a sale. Building trust-based based campaign with a creator repeatedly, ties the influencer to the culture of the product. Meaning that the viewer of the content becomes more willing to try the product out, plus the repeated exposure is beneficial for keeping your brand name top of mind for your influencers audience.

As a potential customer I like ice cream a lot. Seeing that my influencer keeps working together with the brand Ben and Jerry’s will keep that brand name stuck in the back of my head. So if not after once seeing the post about the product, I might be just suddenly in the shop and thinking about ice cream. Seeing Ben and Jerry’s and think, why not give it a try. You have made a sale and have a potential future repeating customer.

Repurpose influencer marketing content

Repurposing creator content can be beneficial for you, the creator and your bottom line. This is a method of cranking up campaign ROI most brands aren’t effectively approaching.

Here are 7 ways to repurpose influencer campaign content:

  1. Republishing influencer created content
  2. Influencer content in facebook ads
  3. Case studies using a influential user
  4. Influencer testimonials
  5. Optimizing influencer content on other platforms
  6. Thumbnailing influencer generated photos
  7. Put influencers in traditional ads ( billboards, posters etc )
boostyourself using influencer content on their own instagram feed

Before repurposing influencer content, be transparent and have an open dialogue with the creators you work with. This will further strengthen your relationship and provide further ambassadorship between them and your brand.

The half life of influencer campaigns

Campaigns live longer than you think. Statistically it’s apparent that the life cycle of a given campaign behaves differently than that of a traditional piece of advertising. Imagine a creator makes a piece of content which is Christmas themed, that content not only can catch vitality if made with good creative, but can see a lift in the following winter season. Influencer campaigns have a massive life cycle. Other factors that play into this extended half life include content repurposing, influencer republishing, other creators featuring content, etc.

Defining audience for maximum influencer marketing ROI

The question isn’t which influencer is the perfect match for you, it’s which creator is the perfect match for your customer. To even begin trying to build an influencer campaign, we need to know who we are trying to reach. These campaigns can be done with a spray and pray mentality if you’re happy when any creator gets you eyeballs. However at the end of the day how many of that audience actually get value out of the content and equate to meaningful impact for your business.

Long term relationships are mutually beneficial and have long term impact on a creators audience. If you can successfully corner your niche and promote your products to your in a concentrated manner, continuously working to make the influencer as an ambassador for your product you can become a hero in their ongoing story.  

3 more tips on maximizing the ROI of influencers

Lower time investment with Technology

Modash’s technology enables you to input a target audience and instantly get results of which influencers speak to that target audience. How real is their audience, which brands are their audience interested in, location info, gender and so much more. All easily filterable with Modash.

Modash effectively gives influencer marketing a more structured form, offering a streamlined workflow with no major learning to get started. With Modash you can build and manage influencer campaigns easily. Saving you hours and hours of discovery, outreach and management time.

Minimizing CPM with scaled micro influencer marketing

Using Micro influencers at scale could earn you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Micro influencer campaigns involve working with smaller creators, leveraging their huge engagement rates and focused influence on a given niche.

These influencers typically cost little in monetary investment, and can show huge returns. Working with them at scale is typically difficult due to the time required to do outreach and communication. Technology can ease this pain and sometimes make it easier than working with huge celebrity creators.  

Learning and adjusting from successful campaigns

The overarching truth about growth, advertising and influencer marketing is that it requires learning and iteration. As you launch campaigns month over month, measuring and adjusting according to what is working is key in unlocking huge growth.

Part of Slack’s strategy for example, was to sponsor every podcast in their niche. They used coupon codes as the measurement tool of choice. Because of this approach, being everywhere their target customer looked, they could quickly learn and understand which creators to allocate greater budget and relationship with. This simple technique of learning and iterating is part of what made them one of the fastest growing companies of all time.

Be thoughtful and measured in your approach to influencer marketing. This medium of advertising is still under utilized and surprisingly underestimated.

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