Today’s internet users have a vast number of shopping destinations and an ever-increasing range of tools such as adblockers to help them tailor their online experience. So it’s no surprise that influencer marketing has become a vital tool in every marketer’s arsenal. Influencers know how to engage with audiences to shape their purchasing decisions, and studies indicate 49 percent of consumers rely on influencer recommendations when shopping. All the success stories make it clear that there’s no time like the present to start your own influencer marketing campaign, but how do you know if your marketing is a success? No two campaigns are alike, and knowing which key performance indicators (KPIs) you intend to use is an important first step in ensuring you have the data necessary to quantify your success. As the first step in your campaign, decide which influencer marketing KPIs to use.

Reach

When you’re establishing your campaign goals, it’s important to be specific and focus on those things that are quantifiable. For example, a common goal for a campaign is to make people more aware of your brand. But how, exactly, do you gauge the level of awareness? It’s better to set your goals based on measurable influencer marketing KPIs. That way, it’s possible to tell whether you meet or exceed your expectations. Focusing on brand reach is one option.

Reach is the number of people exposed to your product through the course of the marketing campaign. There are several ways to evaluate reach:

Influencer audience

When you work with influencers, you immediately gain access to their audiences. This is an important part of niche influencer marketing, as you have an opportunity to sell to a captive audience of people who are in your target demographic. The size of the audience gives a good indication of the reach. But keep in mind that only a fraction of the audience is going to see the post, and fewer still are going to engage. Look at an influencer’s likes-to-followers ratio to get a better understanding of what percentage of the audience is going to pay attention to your marketing.

Impressions

An impression is an instance in which your content appeared to an end user, regardless of whether that user interacted with it or even viewed it. Tracking impressions shows how far your content spreads, but doesn’t give an indication of the level of interaction it receives.

Engagement

Boosting engagement is an essential component of content marketing, with 90 percent of marketers considering level of engagement to be the most important measure of a campaign’s success. An engaged audience is more likely to view subsequent content, share the content with friends, or make a purchase. Any form of engagement is a sign that someone has viewed your content and had a strong reaction, and those reactions are the basis for developing a loyal following. A good level of engagement means you have a strong relationship with your audience, and indicates that your followers find your content relevant and important. Working with good influencers helps with engagement, as influencers already have a loyal following. But it’s still important to measure the engagement levels for posts containing your brand content. There are several different types of engagement to consider:

Likes

Indicating someone enjoyed the content

Reactions (emojis)

A more specific form of likes, indicating a greater level of engagement

Shares

Showing someone thought the content was good enough to pass on

Comments

One of the strongest forms of engagement, as it takes time to formulate and type a comment

Website Traffic

Your influencer campaign should be directing people to your official site whenever possible. There are several easily measurable statistics to keep track of: New visitors, repeat visitors, page views, total number of sessions, and total session time.

Keep in mind that it isn’t enough to get people to visit your site. You also want them to stick around, and maybe even make a purchase. Ensure you monitor your bounce rate, recording how long people stay on your site, and what pages they’re on when they click away. This information is particularly helpful for improving your website design and on-site content, such as a blog.

Sales Leads

A sales lead is the data gathered on a prospective customer, usually comprising a contact name and address, or an email. This data opens up new opportunities for contacting potential customers and making offers. It’s possible to use influencer marketing to gain sales leads by asking people for email addresses to gain access to white papers, or encouraging site visitors from influencer posts to subscribe to a newsletter.

Sales

While each influencer campaign has a specific goal (such as reaching a new demographic or improving brand reach), the ultimate goal is usually to increase sales. There are several ways to see how your campaign affects sales:

Sales comparisons

Track sales for the duration of your campaign, and compare it to sales from the period immediately before and after. For a more accurate result, select a test product and only advertise it through your influencer campaigns, so it’s easy to tell how many sales the campaign generated.

Influencer affiliate links

Give each of your influencers a unique link to include in their content, and monitor sales from the links.

Coupon codes

Do you  want to give each influencer a link? If you do not, consider using marketing codes that your visitors can enter when making a purchase. This can help identify where they heard about you.

UTMs

Urchin tracking module parameters are codes appended to custom URLs to help you track them. By using Google Analytics, it’s possible to see which campaign every sale came from.

QFT: Marketing KPIs Matter

Influencer marketing is big business, but that means it also has the potential for big mistakes. Marketers understand the importance of having influencers on board, with 94 percent of marketers believing it’s an effective tactic. Many are in the dark about  how successful their own campaigns are. 76 percent of marketers say that determining the return on their investment is one of their top challenges. The simple fact is, influencer marketing has the potential to elevate your brand.

Influencer marketing can improve your reach, engagement, and sales — but it isn’t going to happen overnight. For this to happen you  have to make influencer marketing a part of your content marketing system. Use your time  to analyze your results and identify trends. Learn what works, and keep in mind which influencer marketing KPIs are the most important for your business to succeed.

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