That photo an influencer posted on Instagram featuring your brand’s clothing sure looked pretty. And the video a YouTuber made about your brand’s latest video game was hilarious. But how can you know if your influencer marketing campaigns are making an impact? It’s one thing to look good and be funny, but it’s another to actually change or improve a brand’s standing. How can you measure influencer marketing impact?

Measuring influencer marketing gives you an idea of how a campaign is faring, and what the impact of a campaign is. There are a few metrics that are particularly critical for marketers to examine when measuring influencer marketing. Here’s what they are and how to measure them.

The Most Important Metrics for Measuring Influencer Marketing Impact

You measure influencer marketing when you want to understand how many people are seeing your brand’s message. It also helps illustrate how they are responding to that message, and what actions they take as a result. Those three goals can be broken down into three metrics:

  • Reach – The number of people that see a message.
  • Engagement – The number of people who respond to the message. Common examples of engagement include liking or commenting on an influencer post.
  • Leads/acquisitions – The number of people who make a purchase or otherwise take an action after seeing a message. They might sign up for your email list or subscribe to your blog, for example. Acquisitions can also give you an idea of how much money your brand earns from a particular campaign.

How to Measure Influencer Marketing Reach

Once upon a time (in 2015), reach was the metric to measure when it came to influencer marketing. Everyone was obsessed with follower counts and how many people could possibly see an influencer’s post.

Things have changed, as the focus on reach created a few major problems in the influencer marketing industry. The big issue is the practice of buying fake followers, which some argue is destroying influencer marketing.

For that reason, a few would argue that reach isn’t as important as other metrics, such as engagement. But that doesn’t mean you want to ignore it completely. It’s still important to make sure your brand’s message is getting out to the widest audience possible, particularly if that audience is going to be excited by or interested in what your influencer has to say.

To effectively measure reach, you want to look beyond follower count. You also want to pay attention to the number of times your post appeared in front of those followers or other social media users, and the number of times people clicked through a post and ended up at your brand’s website or social profile.

If you’re concerned about fake followers, it’s pretty easy to see who’s shelling out for fakes and who has a genuine follower count. SocialBlade lets you see how many followers an influencer has and how quickly he or she gains or loses them. An app like Fakers lets you see how many of a Twitter user’s followers are fake.

How to Measure Influencer Marketing Engagement

Engagement is anything a follower or social media user does to interact with an influencer’s post. Measuring engagement means tracking the number of likes, comments, Facebook reactions, and shares a post gets.

Another key engagement metric is the cost-per-engagement, or CPE. This is how much every single like, comment, share, or click costs your brand. The lower your CPE is, the better.

Measuring engagement can and should be a long-term thing. It allows you to see if people become and remain excited about your brand, or if interest in what you’ve got to offer cools over time. The more engagement you have over the long term, the better for your brand.

How to Measure Influencer Marketing Leads and Acquisitions

Measuring engagement gives you an idea of your brand’s standing social media and the impact influencer marketing is having on that.

But if you want to see the impact influencer marketing is having on your bottom line, you need to pay attention to the number of leads and customer acquisitions you’re getting as a result of an influencer campaign.

One way to measure acquisitions is to give your influencers promotional codes to share with their followers. You can then tally up the number of codes redeemed to get an idea of the number of customers who made purchases as a result of seeing an influencer’s post.

Another option is to use special tracking URLs, which give you an idea of which customers come from where. You can use trackers to count up the number of new or repeat customers you get, or to count up how many people perform an action such as subscribing to your newsletter or blog.

How To Measure Influencer Marketing at the End of the Day

Looking at reach, engagement, and leads/acquisitions gives you a good idea of whether or not a particular campaign or influencer is having the impact you hoped for. If not, you can go back to the drawing board. Switch things up by finding a new influencer to work with or changing tactics in another way.

Using influencer marketing software makes it easy to track and measure the metrics that will tell you how successful a campaign is (or is not). Software can also make it easier to find influencers and connect with them throughout campaigns.