Influencer Marketing ROI: How can I tell Influencer marketing is working?

GRIN also recommends this free guide: How to Get ROI from Influencer Marketing.

influencer marketing roi

Every marketer wants the same thing from their campaign – maximum return on investment. In influencer marketing, ROI comes more naturally than through other marketing channels. According to the Digital Marketing Institute:

Businesses earn $6.50 for each dollar spent on influencers with the top 13% earning $20 per $1 spent. That’s a significant return on investment for both client acquisition and retention since customers acquired through influencer marketing are generally better prospects.

However, DMI’s research leaves out a broader understanding of influencer marketing ROI. What about an increased lead volume that turns sales months down the road? How about the massive influx in user-generated content showcasing your brand?

Undoubtedly, your influencer marketing should ultimately increase your sales. But every marketer’s goals are different, and there are many metrics to watch that will clue you into whether or not your influencer marketing is working.

That being said, we’ll get into identifying influencer marketing ROI that matches your campaign goals. Then, we will show you what numbers to watch to help you tweak your influencer marketing efforts for better results.

Understanding the Relationship Between Influencers and Their Followers

Influencers have built their own communities from members of your target audience. That is why you choose to work with them in the first place.

Too many marketers try to micromanage their influencers and then are surprised when their ROI is minimal. That fact is, influencers are successful because of their efforts to build trust with their audience. If you want to attract customers, you need to honor the relationship between influencers and their audience.

What is Engagement (for real)?

Once you understand this bond between influencers and their audience, you’ll quickly be able to tell which influencers are real and which are fake. Just as Instagram found, authenticity is the foundation upon which social media engagement is built.

When examining an influencer’s influence, the “money metrics” are those that reflect post shares, relevant comments, and purchases. As you examine the landscape of influencers in your industry, make sure that you can distinguish between these “vanity metrics” and “money metrics.”

For influencers with blogs, you can gauge their impact by the site’s domain authority and web traffic. It is perfectly appropriate to ask for permission to track your influencers’ website metrics on Google Analytics.

What is Influencer Mapping?

By calculating meaningful engagements with potential influencers, you employ the technique of Influencer Mapping. You must first establish your influencer marketing goals and then measure the relevance of prospective influencers against those goals.

Rate these influencers by relevance. If your goal is increased sales, examine how they engage their audience with invites to buy, discount codes, etc. For influencers that specialize in brand awareness and user-generated content, mark their ability to increase brand sentiment and collaborative discussion.

Are You Working With the Best Influencers for Your Brand?

After better understanding real engagement (over vanity metrics), you will be able to approach the most relevant influencers. Failing to target the best influencers will definitely put a damper on your influencer marketing ROI.

Influencer Marketing ROI’s Best Secret: The Micro-Influencer

Most influencer marketing experts agree that Micro-Influencers (those with follower counts between 10k and 100k) are the best to target for modest to average budgets. Their reach is large enough to make a difference for your brand, but it is also small enough to serve your specific niche.

When Micro-Influencers begin telling stories with your brand, you should notice ROI within only a few weeks’ time. Allow the influencer’s efforts to swell. Measure each influencer’s ROI against the others, and establish long-term, collaborative relationships with your top performers.

Measuring Success for Influencer Marketing ROI

Qualitative Information

You can track your influencer marketing campaign effectiveness by noting the amount and quality of user-generated content. These are posts, product reviews, and comments by an influencer’s audience that spread awareness for your brand.

By examining the user-generated content, you’ll be able to get a sense of brand sentiment. Identifying brand sentiment is easily accomplished through tools like Google Alerts. You calculate your brand sentiment using a ratio of positive mentions to negative mentions. Also, you can search for hashtags directly on social media channels.

Be sure to also view traffic to your site. A notable increase in users means that customers are taking notice of your brand in ways they hadn’t before.

Quantitative Information

The quantitative results are a bit more tangible. For example, you should notice increases in lead volume, return customers, sales, website visitors, return visitors, and session durations (that is, the amount of time a visitor lingered on a page of your site).

The cheapest way to capture basic web traffic metrics is through a tool like Google Analytics, but it is limiting. A more robust influencer marketing platform like GRIN can help you access these metrics and properly attribute them to your influencers.

After gathering your quantitative data, compare numbers to a time before you used influencer marketing. If you’ve recently increased your influencer marketing budget, be sure to compare the current ROI against metrics from a previous budget.

Empowering Product/Service Development

The best influencer marketers don’t just know how to find the best influencers and secure more sales. They implement constructive user feedback. 

Influencer marketing ROI doesn’t simply stop with brand awareness and sales. In fact, influencer marketing is a critical component of the ongoing iteration of your product/service. You just get better at what you do.

Closing Thoughts

When calculating your influencer marketing ROI, it is possible to track everything manually. Manual tracking is better than no tracking at all.

However, using intuitive ROI-tracking tools with GRIN’s influencer marketing software makes your life easier. More importantly, you will be able to better scale your marketing efforts for max ROI.

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