It’s easy to be wowed by influencers. They seem to be doing all the right things in all of the right places all of the time. And they often appear to have massive audiences of enthusiastic followers on social media cheering on their every move and recommendation.

But brands and marketers need to measure the reality behind the beautiful images and upbeat comments that pepper so many influencer posts. It’s crucial to look carefully at the audiences the influencers are really reaching, including who and where they are and in what numbers.

Fortunately, that’s where influencer analytics enter the picture. Influencer analytics measure, analyze and evaluate an influencer’s reach and performance, including where followers are based. But that’s not all. Because they measure how often influencers and their followers engage and how, they can also tell you whether their followers are real or not.

Influencer analytics can also tell you the type of content that works best for your target market — their followers. It can answer questions like whether their followers respond best to a product giveaway on Instagram or to a funny video tutorial on YouTube. Knowing and following influencer analytics can deliver a successful influencer campaign rather than one that quietly fizzles in the vast social media cosmos.

The Influencer Analytics You Should Know

Whether you’re already partnering with influencers or about to collaborate with one, influencer analytics can help you map out a successful campaign. Here are the influencer analytics that brands and marketers should know:

Reach

An influencer’s reach is the number of followers they have on each social media channel. Influencers’ followers value the content the influencers create. When brands find influencers whose content syncs with the brands’ product and image, they partner with them on sponsored posts.

For instance, an influencer might have an impressive reach on Instagram and YouTube and a more modest one on Facebook and Twitter. Knowing where an influencer has the greatest reach helps you decide whether to use them for your campaign or not.

A smaller reach isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker though, especially if it reaches a specific niche market your brand is targeting. Some influencers reach broad general markets, while others reach those that are smaller and more precisely defined. Sometimes it’s better to work with multiple nano-influencers with smaller followings that reach your niche rather than one influencer with a huge general audience.

Relevance

It’s important to know an influencer’s relevance to your brand’s social media marketing campaign. Do they post content about topics that your target market values and that are relevant to your product? Do they express the values that are important to your brand and your target market? Influencer analytics can help you determine whether they’re the best fit for your campaign.

Activity

Activity is an influencer analytic that shows which social media channels the influencer is active on and how consistently the influencer posts. It helps you confirm that an influencer you’re considering can create quality content on a regular basis.

Performance and Engagement

Engagement measures the clicks, comments and views an influencer’s posts generate. You can measure engagement per post as well as overall engagement and the consistency of engagement performance. Performance also measures the volume of traffic an influencer’s post drives to your website and the conversions that result from it.

What Are the Benefits of These Analytics?

Following an influencer’s analytics is beneficial at all stages of a marketing campaign. As you’re developing the campaign, running it and finally assessing the results of it, it’s important to track influencer analytics. Doing so helps your team stay nimble, informed and ready to tackle any issues that might spring up. Following influencer analytics:

Helps You Find Influencers That Reach Your Target Market

There are millions of influencers on social media, and they exist in just about every industry and community. Trying to discover those that are the best fit can be overwhelming. When you follow influencer analytics, it can make finding the right ones for your campaigns easier. That’s largely because your decisions will be data driven, and data-driven decisions result in higher ROI.

Helps You Create Effective Content and Marketing Messages

Influencer analytics let you learn from the past as you assess engagement rates for the influencer’s previously successful campaigns. That information can help you create effective content and marketing messages for your brand’s campaign.

Helps Your Brand Choose the Best Social Media Channels for Your Campaigns

Knowing the social media channels the influencer is most successful on can help you select the best options for your campaign. That knowledge also guides you to the best format for your campaign. For instance, say the influencer whose audience best reflects your target market is most successful with YouTube videos. Depending on the product you’re promoting, that’s probably the content format you should choose for your campaign.

Helps Detect Fraud

Influencer analytics can help you detect whether your influencer has fake followers. You can see the history of an influencer’s audience growth and also discover the countries where their audiences are based. Tip-offs like any sudden spikes in followers or finding large numbers of followers based in unlikely countries can alert you to possible fraud.

Finds Out Who’s Mentioning Your Brand

You can use social listening to discover the influencers who are mentioning your brand often on social media and see which channels they’re using. You might find that some of the best influencer advocates for your brand are some of your own loyal customers rather than big-name celebrities.

Targeting the micro-communities these nano-influencers reach could be your best marketing campaign strategy. Their audiences include friends, family and coworkers who are likely to share their recommendations on social media, creating reach that keeps on growing.

Partnering with your brand’s own loyal customers can also be far less expensive than working with top influencers — and far more effective too. Consumers often see everyday people as more authentic and trustworthy, and their enthusiasm for a product can be infectious.

Helps You Make Changes to Content and Strategy When Needed

Over the course of your campaign, influencer engagement analytics can guide you to make any necessary adjustments to content and strategy. If you’re not getting the results you need with an influencer campaign, try different post formats and social media channels and compare the results.

Saves Money, Time and Headaches

Following influencer analytics ahead of a campaign can be a big money and time saver. It helps brands and marketers weed out influencers who don’t really have the numbers to back up their follower claims in advance.

It can also prevent the frustrations and failures that can occur when working with an influencer who doesn’t really know your target market. Think of taking the time to research and follow influencer analytics as an investment in a successful marketing campaign. It’s an investment that often pays big returns.

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