How do you measure something that can’t be measured? How do you track changes in intangible concepts like brand trust? These are all questions that marketers have to contend with as they struggle to accurately measure their influencer marketing ROI, or “return on investment.”
It should come as no surprise to learn that in a recent survey, 84% of marketers responded that determining their ROI in influencer marketing campaigns was their number one challenge.
But don’t worry! We’re going to help you to rise to the challenge. In this post, we’re looking at how you can measure your ROI from influencer marketing.
We’ll be sharing the most important metrics you need to measure. You’ll learn to track and calculate things like brand awareness and EMV. You’ll also find some top tips on how to maximize your influencer marketing budget.
Table of Contents
How do you ensure a high influencer marketing ROI?
Let’s start by looking at how you can ensure the best possible ROI from your influencer marketing strategy. Here are some things to think about.
Choose relevant influencers for your campaign
Getting a positive ROI for influencer marketing is all about choosing the right influencers for your campaign. The influencers you work with need to be professional, but also relevant to your goals.
For example, let’s say you’re looking to raise awareness for a new outdoor product. There’s no point working with a fashionista who wouldn’t be caught dead in the great outdoors.
If the influencers don’t seem like a fit for your outdoor product, their followers are likely also uninterested in the outdoors. You’ll just be throwing money down the drain!
When choosing influencers to work with, make sure they have some links to your business or products. This way, the content they create about your brand or product will resonate with their followers.
Know your influencers’ audience
All good marketers should have an idea of their ideal customer profile. The profile typically includes information like the customers’ ideal age range, gender, location, interests, or occupation.
When choosing influencers for your campaign, their audience should fit your ideal customer profile. By doing this, your campaign becomes a lot more targeted. The more targeted the campaign, the higher the ROI you’re likely to see.
Make sure you’re working with influencers who have the right target audience by reviewing their audience demographics.
You can easily access their verified audience demographics from influencer marketing platforms like inzpire.me.
If you’re not using a platform, you can send influencers messages asking them to send you screenshots of their audience demographics.
Click here to get a free demo of our platform and unlock detailed influencer analytics.
Different audiences use different social media channels. While Instagram is popular with millennials, newer platforms like TikTok and Twitch are popular with Gen Z.
Because of the demographic divides between social media channels, it’s important to evaluate which platform has your target audience.
Again, this comes down to your ideal customer profile. Based on who you’re trying to target, you can choose the right platform to ensure a high ROI on your influencer marketing campaign.
Find influencers who are great storytellers and content creators
When searching for the right influencer, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for individuals that know how to really tell a story with their content.
These types of influencers are highly skilled at capturing their audience’s attention. Because of this, they tend to have high engagement rates and a strong sense of community amongst their followers.
If you take the time to find an influencer that ticks all of these boxes, they’ll be able to tell a great brand story that’ll resonate with their followers. That’s going to have a positive effect on your influencer marketing ROI in the long run!
Influencer marketing ROI metrics to keep in mind
Below, we’ve listed the most important influencer marketing key performance indicators to keep in mind when calculating your campaign performance.
The most straightforward way to determine your ROI is to look at the revenue your campaign generated. You’ll want to compare your pre- and post-collaboration sales figures.
With revenue, it can be difficult to isolate revenue gains that came directly from your influencer marketing campaigns.
For example, let’s say you noticed your revenue spiked in the week following a campaign. This certainly suggests that the campaign brought an increase in revenue. But can you really be sure that all those gains came from your influencer campaign and not other factors?
A way to get around this is to set up link tracking. You can provide influencers with their own affiliate links or coupon codes. That way, you can separate conversions generated directly from your influencer campaigns from those that weren’t.
Industry benchmarks suggest that the average revenue generated is around $5.78 per $1 spent on influencer marketing. It’s also been suggested that influencer marketing has an 11x greater ROI than banner ads.
I’d advise you to take these kinds of benchmarks with a pinch of salt. Every brand and campaign is different, and there’s no standard ROI. Comparing the results of your efforts to these arbitrary markers is rarely helpful.
You can plug revenue figures into the calculation below to calculate your ROI:
(Revenue generated / investment) x 100
Brand awareness and sentiment
Revenue isn’t the only measure of success – and it doesn’t tell the full story.
Even if you don’t immediately see a positive ROI in revenue figures, it doesn’t mean you won’t see one in the long-term.
The boost in brand awareness and positive sentiment from influencer marketing campaigns can lead to an increase in sales down the line, but it’s much harder to measure.
That’s why it’s important not to rely on revenue alone. You have to factor brand awareness and sentiment into your ROI calculations.
Brand awareness refers to the number of people that know about your brand, while sentiment refers to the opinions they hold about it. Boosting brand awareness is the most common influencer marketing objective, with 85% of marketers rating it as their top campaign goal.
Brand awareness can be harder to measure than direct-response goals because they’re difficult to quantify. You’ll need to look at metrics like followers, subscribers, impressions, brand mentions, media mentions, and website traffic to measure it.
Measuring brand sentiment can be even trickier, but it’s getting much easier thanks to social listening tools.
These tools can help you to measure brand sentiment by looking at the context of brand mentions. They’ll show you whether the conversations your customers are having about your brand are positive, negative, or neutral.
You can also look at things like/dislike ratios, shares, and “dark social metrics” like DMs to get a better idea of brand sentiment.
Earned media value (EMV)
Calculating ROI is, in theory, simple. You just divide the profit earned by the cost of your influencer campaign to work out whether the return on your campaign has been positive or negative.
When it comes to influencer marketing, it’s determining the “profit” part that’s tricky. Profit comes from making sales. But many of the benefits of influencer marketing don’t result in increased sales in the short-term. This means we have to estimate profit based on the perceived monetary worth of other metrics, such as impressions.
That’s where EMV comes in.
EMV, or “earned media value,” is a way to quantify the value of an influencer’s post by looking at metrics like clicks and impressions, rather than revenue.
EMV tells you how much all those clicks, impressions, and other actions your influencer campaign has generated are “worth.” It’s based on how much you would have had to spend for the same results through paid social ads.
There’s no set calculation for EMV, but there are tools out there that can work it out for you. You’ll want to keep an eye on things like website visitors, views, likes, shares, and clicks to estimate your EMV.
User-generated content is content that’s created by people outside of your brand. Most of the time, you can repurpose them on, for example, your social media channels. It’s also one metric you can use to measure the success of your influencer marketing efforts.
Most influencer contracts will give brands the right to reuse content created by influencers. If you have these rights, you can repurpose the content on your website, emails, ads, print, and social media.
Often – especially in campaigns that involve UGC contests – the influencers’ followers will also create and share their own content of your brand.
For instance, to participate in the contest, you can ask the influencers’ followers to share stories about how your product improved their life. You don’t automatically have the right to use this content, but you can ask them if you can share it in the comments!
To calculate the ROI of UGC, use the following equation:
Cost of campaign / pieces of content
The intangible ROI of influencer marketing
Aside from tangible returns like impressions, clicks, and sales, there are also several intangible returns from influencer marketing that can’t be measured in dollars and cents.
These intangible benefits include:
- The “buzz” influencer marketing creates around your brand
- The boost in brand trust and authenticity
- Greater brand loyalty
- Better relationships with influencers, who might continue to act as brand advocates beyond your campaign
These kinds of intangible returns live on long after campaigns end.
When influencers mention your brand, it leads to a domino effect. The followers who engage with your influencers’ post might give your brand a try. If they like your products, they may go on to spread the word to their followers.
Plus, if the influencers you worked with genuinely liked your products, they might also continue to recommend your products or services even after you stop paying them.
Because of this, it’s worth remembering that influencer marketing ROI isn’t always best measured in monetary value.
A better measure of success would be to factor in these intangible returns. You may not see an immediate positive ROI in terms of revenue. But if you met your campaign objectives, it’s still a success.
As you can see, measuring your influencer marketing ROI isn’t easy – but it’s definitely doable. Just make sure you’re looking at the bigger picture and not relying on revenue figures alone to determine the success of your campaign.