Setting and tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is an essential part of running an influencer marketing campaign. Without them, it’ll be difficult for you to determine whether or not your campaign was a success.
Keeping a close eye on your influencer marketing KPIs during your campaigns can help you monitor your progress towards your goals. This will enable you to quickly change directions if necessary.
After the campaign is over, you’ll be able to use them to determine whether you reached your marketing objectives. If you didn’t, they’ll help you evaluate exactly what went wrong, so that you can make smarter decisions going forward.
The only question is: what should you track?
Below, we’ve listed the 5 most important ones that you should be tracking, We’ve explained what they are, why they’re important, and how to measure them.
Table of Contents
Return on investment (ROI)
Return on investment (ROI) is arguably one of the most important influencer marketing KPIs to measure. It tells you whether or not the money you’ve spent on influencers was a good use of your marketing budget. ROI does this by showing you how much revenue you generate from the campaign per dollar spent.
According to a recent report, the average ROI is around 5.78x. In other words, for every $1 that brands spend on influencer partnerships, they can expect to earn around $5.78.
How you can track ROI
Unfortunately, accurately tracking the ROI of influencer marketing is notoriously difficult. In fact, 78% of marketers rate it as the #1 challenge.
Why? Because with most influencer campaigns, the goal isn’t to make sales. They’re more often intangible concepts like increasing brand awareness and generating traffic. These are hard to assign a specific “value” to.
Most brands look at Earned Media Value (EMV) to measure their ROI. EMV is a monetary representation of the publicity gained from their influencer campaigns.
There’s no set calculation for measuring EMV. You’ll need to think carefully about how much the publicity your campaigns generate is worth to you.
If the primary goal of your influencer campaign is to make sales, calculating ROI is much simpler because you’ll have concrete figures to work with.
In this case, you’d want to look at the return on ad spend (ROAS). To calculate ROAS, use the calculation below:
(Revenue derived from ad source) / (Cost of ad source) = ROAS
For example, you spend $1,000 on a sponsored influencer post and make $10,000 in sales. Your ROAS would be 1,000%. You can set up affiliate codes and tracking links to measure sales figures.
Note: see our blog on influencer marketing costs to understand what you should expect to invest in influencer marketing.
When most marketers think of conversions, they think of sales – but this isn’t exactly true. More accurately, conversions occur when the audience of your marketing messages take a desired action.
Depending on the goals of your campaigns, this might mean any number of things: clicking on a link, buying a product, signing up for your mailing list, following your social media page, making a purchase. Any one of these actions might be considered a “conversion.”
Tracking conversion rates tells you how many of the people you reach are taking the actions you want them to take. This gives you a good idea of the performance of your campaign.
How you can track conversions
One easy way to track your conversions is to compare the number of sales before, during, and after your influencer campaign. To be sure of where your sales are coming from, you might also want to set up things like dedicated landing pages for your campaign, link tracking, or affiliate links.
Depending on your goals, you might also want to track other metrics, such as newsletter sign-ups and other non-sales-related conversions.
Once you know how many new customers you’ve acquired through conversions, you can calculate the customer acquisition cost (CAC). To do this, divide the money spent on your campaign by the number of customers you acquired during that period.
(total spend on influencer campaign) / (number of customers acquired during that period) = CAC
For example, if you spent $500 on a sponsored influencer post and acquired 100 new customers, your CAC would be $5.00. Knowing your CAC can help you to determine whether the campaign was a good use of your budget.
Another important influencer marketing KPI is engagement. Engagement refers to how many of the people interact with the influencers’ posts. In other words, it tells you how many likes, shares, comments, views, and clicks the posts generate.
Looking at engagement gives you a good indication of how well your brand is being received, how effective the post is, and the kind of relationship the influencers you’re working with has with their audience.
Higher engagement generally means the posts are performing well. Lower engagement figures might indicate something is wrong. Maybe the post is missing the mark, or perhaps the types of influencers you’re working with don’t have a good relationship with their followers.
An influencer that has lots of followers, but extremely low engagement, can be a red flag. It suggests many of their followers may be fake accounts, or they might have gained them through follow-for-follow tactics.
How you can track engagement
Calculating engagement is fairly simple: just divide the number of engagements (likes and comments) an influencer’s post received by the number of followers. Then multiply it by 100.
(number of engagements) / (number of followers) x 100 = engagement rate
You can also calculate the cost per engagement (CPE) of your campaign by dividing your total ad spend by the number of engagements on the influencers’ posts. CPE tells you roughly how much you’re paying for every like, comment, or other engagement. The lower the CPE, the better.
Measuring CPE can be a good way to calculate the ROI of your campaign and help to inform your budget for future campaigns.
Content production is also an important KPI to track when measuring the effectiveness of a campaign. When you partner with influencers, it’s common for them to take charge of the production of posts.
Depending on your agreement, you’ll have varying levels of influence over the content they produce. Whatever the influencers produce for the collaboration is content that you can potentially reuse for your ads, social platforms, or website.
As a result of the campaign, you may notice an influx of user-generated content (UGC). If the influencers encouraged their followers to create content, you can track how many were created to determine how well your partnership was received.
How you can track content production
There are two ways you can track the value of content production for your influencer campaigns. These are:
Amount of content produced
To understand how much content you have at your disposal, you can calculate how much was produced by the influencers. Just add up every piece of content the influencers created.
You might notice that some influencers chose to create more content than you asked for in your collaboration agreement.
If this happens, it’s evidence that you’ve chosen the right influencer to work with, and shows that they were excited about the partnership. It also means you’re getting more bang for your buck when it comes to content.
Content quality isn’t something you can really calculate, but it’s something you should take into account.
Some influencers are professional videographers or photographers. This indicates they might be able to produce higher quality content.
When the campaign is finished, it’s a good idea to evaluate the quality of the content. Look for content that’s clear, well-composed, and optimized for the social channel it’s shared on. Would you feel confident reusing it for your ads, website, or social media?
If so, your campaign was successful in generating great content. You can also consider working with the influencers who created your favorite content again in the future.
Brand awareness and reach
Brand awareness and reach are 2 common goals for any influencer marketing strategy.
By collaborating with influencers, you can tap into whole new audiences that might be inaccessible to you. This will help you to reach more people and boost awareness of your brand across social media platforms.
In order to understand how many people your campaign is reaching, it’s important to track the reach of each post.
As a general rule, the more followers an influencer has, the more reach they have. But a common mistake marketers make is tracking reach by adding up the amount of followers influencers have. This isn’t an accurate way to measure reach.
In reality, influencers only reach a fraction of their following with each post, so it’s important to ask them to send you their actual reach for the posts.
How you can track brand awareness and reach
There are 2 core ways to track brand awareness and reach. Here they are:
Cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM)
CPM calculates the cost you pay per 1,000 views of the influencers’ posts. To figure this out, all you have to do is divide the cost of your campaign by the number of impressions it received. Then multiple the figure by 1,000.
(Cost of post or campaign) / (Number of impression) x 1,000 = CPM
The lower the CPM, the lower you’re paying per 1,000 impressions.
To measure brand awareness, you can conduct brand lift studies. By interviewing the audience the influencers reached with sponsored content, you’ll be able to determine whether your campaign was successful in raising awareness.
Conducting brand lift studies requires a budget, but it’s an effective way to get an idea of the effect influencer marketing is having on your business.
Many marketers believe it’s hard to track the performance of campaigns, but that’s no reason not to try.
Tracking the influencer marketing KPIs above will help you stay informed and organized so that you can optimize your future influencer partnerships.
Be sure to set out the KPI’s you’re trying to achieve in an influencer brief. That way you’ll have a clear idea of whether you have, or have not achieved them,.
If you’d like more information on managing and launching influencer marketing campaigns, test our influencer marketing platform.
Or if you want an expert team to run your campaign – contact our influencer marketing agency.