How to measure influencer relations for results
The world of influencer relations has shifted forward as more businesses move their marketing spend online. However, partnering with bloggers, YouTubers and social media personalities is still a very new area of digital communications.
If you’re considering working with influencers then there’s plenty to consider including how you can get the most out of it for your brand while doing it legally. This blog post focuses on how to measure influencer relations to make sure you get a return on your investment.
Proceed with caution when working with influencers
A recent study found that 85 percent of consumer goods companies had had their fingers burnt when working with influencers. Fake followers, reputation damage and wasted budget were among the problems they faced.
This might be enough to put you off. But the question needs to be asked about how prepared these companies were for the difference between working with influencers and traditional PR and advertising?
Harnessing the audience of an individual who has built up a following based on their personality and interests cannot be handled in the same way as pitching to a newspaper, exhibiting at a consumer show or running a TV ad.
It’s the one-on-one relationship influencers have with their audience that makes them authentic and valuable brand ambassadors.
And when it comes to results, you need to measure a different set of outcomes.
So, how do you set up a successful influencer relationship and get results?
Objectives for influencer relations
As with all marketing activities, you have to start by understanding what success will look like to you. Do you want to raise brand awareness, drive sales or build your customer base?
Are you looking for specific numbers in relation to your objectives? SMART objectives are more measurable after all.
These goals need to be agreed upon with your influencers. They may be able to give you insight into whether your objectives are achievable with their audience. If not, you need to adjust your expectation or find a different influencer.
Without a clear set of objectives you could end up with a nice set of blogs, videos and social media posts, but little impact on your bottom line.
Things you can measure in influencer relations
It’s important to be clear about what results you can quantify when it comes to working with influencers. Here are some of the measures you should be considering:
If you want to partner with an influencer to drive traffic to your website then you need to set up tracked links. Relying on Google Analytics to tell you the source of visits to your website can be risky, especially if a blogger sets your link open in a new browser window. This makes it harder to track.
Trackable links can be used in blog posts, YouTube video descriptions and social media posts. If you want to analyse the traffic from individual bloggers and different types of content each will require a unique tracking code.
You can also request data from the influencer to find out how many visitors or views their blog post or YouTube video received, as well as how long people stayed on the content to absorb its messages. Agree on what they will supply in advance.
Trackable links are the best way to see whether influencer content has resulted in a sale.
Once your influencer’s audience has visited your website you can use Google Analytics to see how many went on to make a purchase or take another action.
Having said that, people may not make a purchase straight away. In these instances a tracking pixel, or tiny coded image, inserted on your website will help trace a visitor’s behaviour over time.
Another way to measure the success of an influencer campaign is to see whether your customer base grew as a result of your partnership. This can be tracked by recording:
- How many new social media followers you gained
- How many people signed up for your newsletter
- Or how many people commented on the influencer’s content to say they were interested.
Engagement and reach
When you’re looking for influencers to be brand ambassadors you may be impressed by their follower numbers. But be aware that this isn’t a measure of success.
Social media algorithms mean only a small proportion of an influencer’s followers could see their latest post. Their account’s insights or analytics will give you a better idea of who saw the post, how they felt about it and whether they acted on it.
It’s one thing seeing the influencer you have paid talking about your brand. The next level of influence is to see their audience doing the same. You can track this using a campaign hashtag to monitor user-generated content.
These five ways to measure influencer relations are not exhaustive. Much will depend on your brand and marketing strategy. If you would like to increase the return from your influencer campaigns or are new to influencer marketing and would like to give it a go, please get in touch.
Amplify PR is a Southampton-based PR agency with expertise in content marketing.