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How To Track Influencer Marketing: Get More Out Of Your Campaigns

how-to-track-influencer-marketing:-get-more-out-of-your-campaigns

On average, brands earn a $5.78 return on investment for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, making it a highly effective marketing channel. But with a seemingly infinite number of channels to choose from, you need to know if influencers have earned a place in your marketing strategy.

In the past, influencer marketing was notoriously difficult to tie back to business goals. Today, there are more advanced affiliate and sales tracking tools available that allow you to measure the results of your influencer marketing campaigns. But tools alone aren’t enough — you need to know what to track and how. Use these tips to learn how to set up your campaigns correctly so you can see their impact and improve future influencer marketing efforts.

Determine your goals so you know what to track

You don’t want to just send money and a product to content creators, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. Determine your influencer marketing campaign goals, so you know exactly what metrics to look at when it’s time to see if your investment paid off.

Brand awareness

Brand awareness is your target audience’s familiarity with your brand. And it’s what 85% of brands are seeking when they work with influencers. Create key performance indicators (KPIs) around these metrics to evaluate awareness driven by social media influencers.

  • Follower growth is the number of followers your brand gains over time. This metric indicates that your influencer’s audience wants to hear more from you. Set a benchmark before an influencer campaign to see if it leads to more followers.
  • Views, reach, impressions, etc (see other blog) 
  • Branded search volume is the number of searches your brand’s name has received.
  • Impressions are the number of times your influencer’s content has been shown to social media users.
  • Views are the number of times your partner’s content has been seen, usually only measured for video.
  • Reach is the number of unique people who have seen the content.
  • Sessions will tell you how many referrals an individual influencer drove to your website. Use it to understand if the influencer’s post was engaging enough to encourage clicks.
  • Average time on site is an indicator of the quality of the traffic your influencers are driving. The time people spend on your site shows how aligned your brand or offer is with the influencer’s audience.
  • Bounce rate is defined as the percentage of users who came to your site but left without taking any further action. Similar to time on site, the bounce rate will tell you how well your offer aligns with the audience’s expectations. If an influencer’s audience is leaving right away, they’re probably not the best fit for your offer.

Engagement 

Consideration stage metrics show you whether potential customers want to keep getting to know you as a brand. They might subscribe to your email or text messaging list or add a product to their cart. These are high-value actions that indicate that someone is more likely to make a purchase, otherwise known as micro-conversions.

  • Engagement rate shows you how interested your influencer’s audience is in the content. It’s determined by the number of actions taken on a post (likes, comments, clicks, saves, shares, etc., depending on what actions are available on a platform) as a percentage of the followers, views, or impressions the post received, depending on the platform.
  • Email and text subscriptions are highly valuable to a brand because they mean you’ve earned the privilege to communicate directly with your new fans. Take this opportunity to nurture new relationships with a welcome series and encourage purchases over time. Tracking new subscribers against your influencer campaigns will uncover influencers who might not be driving sales but are introducing plenty of engaged users to your brand who may buy down the road.
  • Adds to cart is a useful metric to understand how engaged each influencer’s audience is with your brand or offer. Even if someone doesn’t purchase, you know the influencer is drawing qualified traffic to your website.
  • Sessions will tell you how many referrals an individual influencer drove to your website. Use it to understand if the influencer’s post was engaging enough to encourage clicks.
  • Average time on site is an indicator of the quality of the traffic your influencers are driving. The time people spend on your site shows how aligned your brand or offer is with the influencer’s audience.
  • Bounce rate is defined as the percentage of users who came to your site but left without taking any further action. Similar to time on site, the bounce rate will tell you how well your offer aligns with the audience’s expectations. If an influencer’s audience is leaving right away, they’re probably not the best fit for your offer.

Measure micro-conversions by setting up custom goals in your Google Analytics account.

Sales 

At the end of the day, earning a profit keeps you in business. So to understand which influencers are effectively driving purchases, you can track revenue, average order value, and sales conversion rate by influencer.

  • Revenue mapped back to influencer campaigns will reveal your most valuable content creators. Double down on these campaign types and build long-term relationships that are a win-win for both of you. Give your influencers trackable links and special landing pages, so you can trace purchases back to specific campaigns. Also look at the increase in revenue over time, or around the time you were running your influencer campaigns. As with any marketing channel, there are likely sales you can’t trace back to the campaign because someone didn’t take a traceable action (like click on a link or use a promo code).
  • Average order value will uncover the influencers who are driving the most value per transaction. This can be particularly useful when working with micro-influencers. They may not be driving a high volume of individual purchases, but you might find the value of their followers’ orders is much higher than that of larger influencers. If that’s the case, invest in building a sustained partnership with them now to lock in low long-term rates and grow your campaigns with them as they grow their following.
  • Sales conversion rates will show you how well your offer matches a creator’s audience’s interests, demographics, and purchasing behavior. If, for example, an influencer is driving a lot of traffic but no sales, maybe your product’s price point isn’t a good fit for that influencer’s audience.
  • Cost of content produced compared to sales will show you your ROI. You need to know how much you actually profited based on the cost of using an influencer to produce content. How much did you save on content as opposed to doing a studio shoot? How did you save by using this content to populate all other marketing channels?

Set up your campaigns for trackability

Now that you know what you want to track, set up your campaigns correctly to see the impact of influencer marketing against your goals.

Use UTMs to track individual campaigns

Add UTM tags to your partner’s URLs to track success by campaign and creator in Google Analytics.

Here’s a rundown of the different types of UTM tags:

  • Source: The source tag is the channel where the traffic originated. For example, you might use “instagram” or “youtube” to identify influencers on different platforms.
  • Medium: The medium tag categorizes website traffic channels like social, email, organic, or paid. We recommend separating your influencer marketing channel from the rest of your social media marketing as “influencer.”
  • Campaign: The campaign tag is where you get specific on the exact purpose of your link. You can use this in many ways — to differentiate your summer sale promotions, specific influencers, or stages of the funnel, for example. You could combine a number of them, too. So if you partner with Pilates instructor Tela Anderson for a monthly fitness challenge, you might use the campaign tag “telaanderson-aprilchallenge” to differentiate it from other campaigns you run with her.
  • Content: The content tag is useful for comparing different types of content, especially if you’re A/B testing. For example, you might compare Instagram Stories against a newsfeed post.

Here’s an example URL tagged with UTMs:

www.example.com?utm_source=instagram&utm_medium=influencer&utm_campaign=@telapilates-aprilchallenge&utm_content=newsfeed

In this example, we are running a campaign on Instagram (as defined by utm_source) on the influencer channel (as defined by utm_medium) with the influencer @telapilates for a monthly challenge (as defined by utm_campaign) in her newsfeed (as defined by utm_content).

Create your own trackable URLs with Google’s Campaign URL Builder.

Give influencers unique coupon codes

Give your content creators specific promo codes so you can see which purchases they’ve influenced, regardless of whether their followers clicked on a link to get to your website.

This is a great option for social platforms like Instagram that don’t allow links in their posts. While a link in bio can help grab some of that traffic, you can’t depend on all social media users to exit the post they’re on and find the right link in the creator’s bio. Many may simply go directly to your social media profile or website, leaving the influencer’s impact untrackable. So use a custom coupon code to see an influencer’s overall impact.

Add influencers to your affiliate program

If you’re not offering a discount to a creator’s fans, you can still measure a creator’s impact and compensate them in the process by setting up an affiliate program. Affiliate links won’t be specific to a campaign like UTM tracking can be, but they can streamline aspects of content creation for some of your influencers.

In many affiliate platforms, affiliates can set up an affiliate link to any page on your website. If you have partners that post about you frequently, they can create new links without going through you, so it’s easier for them to talk about you!

Create special landing pages for your influencers

Use dedicated landing pages to focus your influencer’s audience’s attention on what’s relevant to them — this is especially useful if you have a large product catalog.

Say you partner with a beauty influencer to create a whole look out of just your products on YouTube. You can create a landing page with just those products, so potential customers can buy the whole look on one page. They won’t have to go searching or click on multiple links.

Compare influencer marketing to your other marketing efforts

Now that you’ve set your influencer campaigns up to track the impact on your business, you can see how influencer marketing fits into your marketing efforts as a whole.

UTM tracking comes in handy here, so you can compare influencer marketing to organic social, paid ads, and more. Just segment your data in Google Analytics by source and medium to get the data you’re after.

But, keep in mind that it’s not going to be an apples-to-apples comparison. You need to play the long game when it comes to influencer marketing, similar to SEO. You’re paying for the relationship-building an influencer does to develop genuine connections with their audience — something you don’t get with paid ads. So results won’t happen overnight.

Measure influencer marketing the easy way

As powerful as Google Analytics is, it doesn’t show you the whole picture. It only shows the impact influencers have once their followers arrive on your website. Engagement data on social media is a huge indicator of influencer marketing success, and you won’t see that in Google Analytics.

But social media platforms’ built-in analytics tools can be clunky and time-consuming. And you often don’t have full visibility into the metrics of your influencers’ content.

Complement Google Analytics with Aspire. Aspire’s robust analytics dashboard gives you insight into your campaigns, the creators you work with, and their social metrics. By using Aspire and Google Analytics together, you can paint a complete picture of the impact influencer marketing is having on your business.

Knowing what’s working, you can adjust your influencer marketing strategy to double down on what’s working well.

What’s more, Aspire is a comprehensive influencer marketing platform that helps you find content creators and manage campaigns all in one place. Get started with a demo to find out how Aspire makes influencer marketing a breeze.

Special thanks to our friends at AspireIQ for their insights on this topic.
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