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By The Pollack Group

While influencer marketing is not new, it’s currently a rising tide many companies are exploring, especially to reach younger consumers who spend a lot of time online. Yet, working with influencers needs to come with a measurable return on investment—otherwise, what’s the point? How can companies measure the ROI of their partnerships with influencers? The agency’s president, Stefan Pollack, was featured in the Forbes Agency Council’s latest piece, ’13 Ways Businesses Can Measure The ROI Of Their Influencer Partnerships’. Check below for his insight in the article, as well as additional Forbes Agency Council views. View the original article on Forbes.

11. Remember The Campaign’s Specific Purpose

As with any ROI assessment, the goals of the program need to be taken into account. If influencers are tapped to generate awareness, then metrics should be rooted in how many measurable eyeballs the program reached. However, if the goal is to accumulate conversions, then the influencer marketing campaign needs an actionable call to action, and traditional ROI measurements should be used. – Stefan Pollack, The Pollack PR Marketing Group

1. Create A Unique Hashtag

Tracking the effectiveness of influencer marketing campaigns provides clients with tangible ROI data. Incorporating sentiment analysis within a campaign by creating a unique hashtag is a strategy that enables a company to view trending insights associated with the campaign-specific hashtag and, therefore, gain an understanding of the campaign in real time. Data and analytics power influencer ROI insight. – Matt Anthes, SociallyMined

2. Start With A Tangible Goal

You should never begin an influencer marketing campaign without a tangible goal in mind—creating general brand awareness doesn’t count! Direct sales of your product can be one of the easiest ways to track ROI. Provide your influencers with a promo code and you’ll be able to measure the exact outcome of your efforts. – Lisa Arledge Powell, MediaSource

3. Define Metrics Of Success

For better or worse, influencer marketing works if done correctly. There’s no better way to bootstrap a campaign than with a carefully curated group of influencers. For our influencer campaigns, we look at three metrics to define success: 1) video views, 2) quality engagement and 3) earned media. In addition, we always design for a press pick up, so the creative and communications teams must work in tandem. – Nicolas Van Erum, Sid Lee

4. Leverage Custom Tools

When working with a variety of influencers, it’s vital to create custom links, promo codes and content for each. This allows you to internally measure ROI. It’s also important to request screenshot analytics from posts and stories. This is a strong second tool that can aid in measuring whether or not an influencer campaign was successful. – Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

5. Assess Brand Sentiment Shifts And Revenue Lifts

The goal is to build long-term partnerships with the right influencers that gradually align your brand with the characteristics you desire. To measure impact, set up brand key performance indicator (KPI) markers that capture your current brand perception. Repeat the measurement periodically to identify shifts. Equip your influencers with an affiliate link to compensate them for purchases that they’ve referred. – Andrew Au, Intercept Group

6. Focus On Earned Media Impressions

Earned media impressions are the best way to measure the ROI of an influencer campaign. When the influencer resonates well with a brand’s target audience and the content that supports an influencer campaign speaks to their fans, then well-planned campaigns can drive significant social interactions (likes, comments and shares) and in turn, earn loads of impressions for your brand or product. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing + Partnerships

7. Analyze Relevance, Reach And Engagement

You measure ROI by concentrating on three areas: Relevance, reach and engagement. For relevance, the information that you are giving should be relevant to what people are looking for. As for reach, make sure that the people who are taking in your information are in the demographic you are looking for. Lastly, for engagement, how are those people responding to the information you are giving? – Jason Hall, FiveChannels Marketing

8. Provide Offer Codes And Watch Page Views

Though hard to measure, awareness and page views are the best way to know if consumers are paying attention to your influencers’ posts. If the influencers have specific offer codes to give to their audience, you can easily measure how many people are using the code and finding you through those influencers. ROI will differ from post to post and platform to platform, though. – Sarah Mannone, Trekk

9. Monetize Every Step In The Customer Journey

Determine the value of distribution, then draw the line back to the initial exposure (the influencer) to determine ROI. For every X impressions/views/mentions—whatever your KPI is—on this channel, we get X amount of website visitors. Then for every X website visitors, we collect data from X%. Then, out of each of those people we remarket to, we’re able to convert X% of them.  – Josh Sample, Drive Social Media Saint Louis

10. Track Landing Page Traffic And Custom Campaign Features

Tracking activities on Facebook and Instagram and their impact on your brand is critical. The right analytics enable quick, nimble adjustments to the program. Analytics should monitor and track traffic to your website’s landing page(s) tied to the campaign, impressions and engagement. Piggyback with trackable tools by using custom redirect links, custom hashtags and promo codes. – Jodi Amendola, Amendola Communications

11. See Above

12. Set A Baseline From Past Performance

I think to measure you have to have something to compare. Look at your selected influencer’s past campaigns or brand engagements to set a baseline. Measurement should be based on the quality of the content that the influencer develops. But beware, as “likes” are not enough to move any needle. Measure the shares and positive comments to measure true brand affinity. – Kathleen Lucente, Red Fan Communications

13. Verify Follower Engagement Via Sales

Influencer marketing isn’t new. Businesses have aligned themselves with people with a following for centuries. It’s much easier to fake relevance today, so verify you’re working with an actual influencer by inquiring about previous campaigns and independently verifying the results. Once chosen, influencer ROI is best measured by how their followers engage with your brand over time via sales. – Benjamin Collins, Laughing Samurai