How to Measure ROI from Influencer Campaigns

Social, web, email, or print. It’s likely that your brand has considered nearly every marketing channel out there and wondered which is best suited for you. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, most of the time it comes down to Return on Investment (ROI). You need to spend your limited marketing budget on strategies that you know will provide you with the biggest bang for your buck. In today’s social media driven marketplace, that usually means partnering with micro-influencers, but not many brands know how to measure the success of an influencer campaign (beyond going viral).

So, how do you track return on investment (ROI) for influencer campaigns? Well, the short answer is, it depends.

The way you go about measuring the ROI for influencer campaigns will differ based on your goals, which is why it’s incredibly important to determine your goals prior to launching a campaign. Generally speaking, influencer campaign goals tend to fall into two categories: brand awareness or direct response. So, if you’re new to an industry or launching a new product, brand awareness is probably your goal and what you will want to measure. But, if you want to track how your influencer campaigns are converting into cold hard cash (sales), then direct response key performance indicators (KPIs) will be the best metrics for you.

Goal: Increase Brand Awareness

Utilizing influencers to increase brand awareness is all about tracking the number of potential customers who became aware of your brand. This can be as simple as measuring the boost in your social reach through tracking your followers and subscribers. However, if you want to go a step further and ensure that your influencer campaign targeted the right followers for your brand, then engagement is what you’re after. A boost in engagement following an influencer campaign is a clear indication that you successfully targeted the right customers who are interested in what you’re trying to sell. The ROI for this type of campaign can be analyzed via cost-per-engagement (CPE), which is measured in terms of money spent per like, comment, click-through-to-purchase, or shares. It’s arguably the more important metric to track as it focuses on engagement and those who engage on social are more likely to purchase than those who quietly follow.

Goal: Direct Response

One of the many perks about influencer marketing is that most of the legwork is done online, which means nearly everything can be tracked, measured, or analyzed. Direct response marketing encourages a specific measured action in response to a campaign. In the realm of influencer marketing, this generally involves a call-to-action, the success of which can be measured through sales (affiliate links and promo codes), downloads, or signups. One of the easiest ways to track influencer marketing ROI is through the use of unique affiliate links, like what our friends at Refersion provide. Assigning each influencer with a unique link allows you to see which influencers are producing best in terms of sales and click-throughs. The one downside to this is the slow-to-purchase consumer, who takes several weeks to make a decision. Affiliate link cookies expire after 15-30 days, so if a consumer takes longer than this time period to purchase, the influencer won’t get the credit (and you will be missing some key data). Fortunately, unique promotional codes can help with this, as they can be made to expire long after the cookies do.

But, what about influencer inspired in-store purchases? We’re so glad you asked! If your brand wants to know whether influencers were behind a boost of in-store sales, try isolated marketing on for size. Isolated marketing is when a brand selects a test product that is only promoted through influencer marketing (or via a specific influencer) for a brief period of time. Since you isolate who is promoting the product it’s easier to see the ROI for the influencer marketing of that specific product.

Marketing has always been an industry that has struggled to quantify its worth, especially when it comes to things like brand awareness. Fortunately, the shift to digital has provided brands with invaluable consumer data that can be tracked, measured, and analyzed – making it easier than ever to determine whether a campaign was worth the investment.

What is Gatsby?

Direct-to-consumer brands need to acquire customers. Traditional advertising channels are increasingly saturated and expensive. Gatsby is a customer collaboration platform. It helps brands engage their influential customers in order to drive new business & retention.

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