Many brands are failing to get value from their investment in influencer marketing. This is proved by the finding that only a quarter of influencers say that brands share their goals for their campaigns with them and only 11% of influencers who are paid to post a blog for a brand are asked for their analytics to prove the value of the post. This is according to research from influencer marketing platform ZINE, which looked at how influencers work with brands, and how consumers perceive posts that are sponsored by brands.
What stats/info do brands generally want to see before running a campaign?
Discussing how brands are failing to use influencers correctly, Caroline Duong, CEO of ZINE, says: “Although influencer marketing has seen a 39% increase in budgets, many are still struggling with the ROI question.
“With a wide variety of metrics utilised in the industry including reach, engagement, earned media value and all the click-to-buys, urchin tracking modules (utms) and tracking pixels, the ROI question cannot be solved or achieved without a solid who, what, how framework.”
Duong lists five steps to achieve a better return on your influencer marketing investment:
- Think of your audience. “The single most important factor to consider in influencer marketing is your target audience. Finding the right influencer, who has access to the right people, is key to a campaign achieving a good ROI. An influencer who is visually on brand and seems to associate with brands that fall into your landscape may seem like the best option, but digging deeper into their audience will reveal if this influencer can deliver ROI on your campaign.”
- Share your goals. “We have found a lot of PROs and marketers don’t set or share specific goals for their influencer marketing campaigns. But influencers need to know these goals. It's necessary to evaluate the success – and subsequently the ROI – of the campaign. It and also helps the influencer to tailor their content to the specific objectives of the campaign.”
- Consider awareness. “Whilst reach is often used to measure the success of a campaign, it needs to be relevant reach. An influencer with over 500,000 followers might look attractive, but what if only 5% of those followers are likely to be interested in your product or service?”
- Ensure there is engagement. “Smaller (micro) influencers typically have more engagement with their content. A combination of smaller influencers will on average, provide you with a higher total engagement than one large influencer with the same reach.”
- Focus on sales. “If sales are your ultimate goal, and you are keen on measuring success, make sure you select the right platform for your campaign. Instagram is lagging behind in tracking functionality, leading to an often cumbersome detour via the link in the influencer’s’ bio or referral codes – which is unlikely to catch all the traffic this post has generated. Instagram does, however, provide a tracking link for paid posts – a useful tool for influencer campaigns.
In terms of then creating a campaign that works, Duong suggest three key steps:
- Set benchmarks. “In the absence of any monetary value via sales, set a benchmark value, such as cost per mille (CPM) from other digital marketing campaigns you run) and compare it to the CPM achieved by the influencer campaign.”
- Calculate EMV. “From CPM you can calculate the Earned Media Value (EMV) of the influencer campaign – this effectively compares the value of the reach you achieved through the campaign vs how much it would cost to buy these impressions through a social channel. You can then measure EMV using engagement and CPE instead of reach.”
- Track sales. “Use specific tracking technology, like UTM links, tracking pixels and/or referral codes that are set up as goals in your google analytics to track sales coming from their source. This way you can attribute your total revenue from an influencer/campaign and calculate the campaign’s ROI.”
Using the right influencers in the right way, and then tracking results, is well worth the effort as it will ultimately lead to significantly higher profits.
The influencer marketing survey was conducted between November 2017 and January 2018 and included 1,000 influencers and more than 1,300 consumers.
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