Email marketing, social networks, SEO… What should become the center of your marketing strategy?
Although all of these methods work, perhaps the best solution for you may be to do influencer marketing. Of course, much depends on the activity area and the budget that you are ready to allocate.
We offer you an instruction from which you will learn:
- What is influencer marketing?;
- Why influencers are a great promotion channel;
- The main KPIs of this type of marketing that you need to track.
What is influencer marketing?
A simple definition would go like this:
Influencer Marketing is the process of searching for and collaborating with people who are popular in your industry to mention your brand, service, or product in their online profiles.
Of course, not every company can afford to work with the top representatives of the online community. Still, there are personalities with tens and thousands of subscribers (and, in some cases, with an audience of millions). And these personalities have a profound influence on the opinions of other people.
The popularity of influencer marketing is so great that by 2022, the market size promises to reach $10 billion.
Advantages of influencer marketing
Let's start with the fact that this channel has the highest ROI (Return on Investment — return on investment). According to the survey results, most companies (55.6%) consider it highly effective for their (or client's) business.
Influencer marketing works well because you partner with people your target audience knows and likes, and trusts. It is these three emotions that matter to any customer decision. If there is no awareness, sympathy, or trust, then there are no sales.
Don't you believe it? Here are some statistics for you:
- 1 out of 4 teenagers trusts influencers more than celebrities in the traditional sense of the word.
- 49% of consumer decisions today depend on the recommendations of influencers.
- Partnering with influencers allows you to avoid filters such as banner blindness, ad blockers, and so on.
Influencer marketing works wonders in increasing brand awareness because, in social networks, you attract the attention of many different Internet audiences.
The most important KPIs when working with influencers
You can't single out any universal indicator. Before you start working with opinion leaders, you need to determine the goal of your particular marketing campaign.
The most critical KPIs may be the overall reach, number of registered users, number of leads purchased, or sales made. If you are running a regular marketing campaign with several influencers and your goals are related to branding, the most critical KPI will be Overall Reach. On the other hand, the overall reach will be less to attract potential customers to your landing page or increase sales. So start by thinking about the global goal that you are setting for yourself.
In General, we suggest tracking the following key marketing performance indicators:
- CPC (Cost per Click, CPC)
- Index of CTR (Click-Through Rate, CTR)
- Referral traffic
- Growth in the number of subscriptions/registrations
- Influencer audience loyalty
- The credibility of the channel
- Engagement (Engagement)
The ROI answers the question of how much revenue you received from your marketing campaign after deducting expenses. If you have achieved positive profitability, it makes sense to launch another similar promotion. If the ROI is negative, find out what worked and what didn't: how much traffic did you get, how many leads, and how many sales? Optimize each part of the funnel, prepare the influencer better, and launch another campaign.
The goal of partnering with influencers is ultimately to increase sales and conversions for your brand. Therefore, don't forget to measure your clickability and traffic, and be sure to determine the relationship between sales and your collaboration — then you will be able to decide on the return on effort.
Ad campaigns with influencers are difficult to evaluate due to a high degree of uncertainty about the results and possible fraud and manipulation of indicators. This problem is compounded by the significant role of the influencer in the client's journey, especially during the Consideration stage.
Modern technologies allow you to see the entire path of the client. The results can be traced back to the individual partner, regardless of the consumer stage. It means that advertisers can now opt out of more” soft ” metrics, such as reach and engagement, to measure the impact on the businesses of a particular influencer.
In most cases, this impact is estimated by the resulting profit and ROI; in some cases, the degree of influence is considered relative to the softer KPIs.
An accurate understanding of the value that this opinion leader has for your company is a potent tool for making strategic decisions about how and where to represent your brand.
What should you do if you don't sell products? Then use UTM tags, discount codes, unique landing pages dedicated to the campaign, and affiliate links to measure conversions (the number of downloads, registrations, and sales). So you will be able to track the source of traffic and how it converts each campaign with the participation of influencers and then evaluate their costs.
Cost per click (CPC)
If you've turned to influencer marketing, you're likely working with multiple people on different platforms. These can be blogs, social media accounts, and much more. The natural way to estimate the cost of your campaign, in this case, is to track the CPC.
When users click through to your site from different sources, of course, it is essential to monitor their engagement and behavior, but now this will be part of your funnel. CPC allows you to immediately see how various influencers and their audience performed during the campaign.
Consumers are inundated with advertising offers in our age, so it often takes several contact points to get them to make purchases.
CTR will help you determine how many people clicked on an authority ad and reached your brand. You will know that all these people understood that represented your company and your product in the ad — this is important. Simply taking into account the degree of engagement or the number of subscribers will not give you much because people may not even have realized that your brand is being advertised.
Referral traffic is crucial for evaluating the success of a marketing campaign using influencers. You may have a well-optimized landing page, but conversions will remain low if traffic doesn't come to it. Google Analytics makes it easy to track how effective your campaign is in attracting traffic to your site.
Referral traffic is more challenging to track than likes, shares, and visits, but it's worth the effort because many vanity metrics don't provide any tangible business benefits. Such social cues can sometimes be part of the hoax.
Evidence of referral traffic is a user's subscription to the newsletter, made through communication with the customer support team and filling out the feedback form.
You can use referral data for retargeting: you take into account everyone who went to your site so that you can later send them retargeting ads. Sometimes it's hard to get direct traffic from influencers, but it's still important to keep track of traffic spikes while influencers actively promote your product or service.
A growing number of subscriptions/registrations
If influencers advertise your e-books, manuals, webinars, and other events, you can directly measure success in the number of new registrations or subscriptions. This indicator is much more valuable than brand awareness, mentions, and likes. It is even better than the traffic. Influencer marketing can't go any further than that, and it's up to you to measure it.
Use influencers to raise awareness of the content formats that trigger registration. Then evaluate the growth of the email address list as a KPI.
Audience loyalty of influencer
The fan base of influencers can be volatile, and the reason for this is difficult to determine. Before contacting a selected person for marketing purposes, see how loyal their audience is. The higher the loyalty, the better the content and the influencer's ability to promote.
People don't like it when a video is interrupted for advertising or when photos are related to product promotion. However, there are opinion leaders who only advertise brands that fit the interests of their target audience.
In addition, it is essential to embed ads so that they fit seamlessly into the overall content and context of a particular post or video. Then the influencer's mention of your brand will not significantly interrupt the user experience, and they will not object to the re-appearance of such ads.
Unfortunately, it is not easy to find influencers who are talented in terms of marketing. But if you are lucky with just one, then their loyalty to your brand and the loyalty of their audience will become your valuable capital.
If you select one metric in this aspect, it will analyze the audience's attitude to the influencer (the ratio of bad and good comments). When people tell a story about your brand on social media, it can be read by the entire world. Subscribers react and comment, and the narrative unfolds more and more. Understanding the audience's attitude to the influencer allows you to predict the story's development more accurately.
The credibility of the channel
When choosing opinion leaders, pay attention to which channels your target audience prefers to use. Usually, Instagram works well, then YouTube and independent blogs follow.
For example, when working with YouTube, you need to evaluate the channel's credibility and its ability to reach the top positions in terms of keywords. It will avoid problems with the quality of content and “dead souls” among subscribers. The channel's popularity serves as a specific insurance policy and a consolation prize in case the other metrics turn out to be lower than expected.
Some influencers can boast highly loyal fans who are ready to purchase anything they are recommended. It is why engagement is the essential element in evaluating a marketing campaign.
It would help if you had your audience be interested in your brand, product, or service. Look at the ratio of comments per impression and measure how many people who viewed the ad were motivated to take action.
Here's what you should pay attention to when determining the degree of engagement:
- Number of shared sessions
- The mention of the brand.
Engagement tracking starts well before the campaign begins because this metric shows how much influence the influencer has on its audience. It doesn't matter how many followers or likes a person has if no one interacts with their posts.
Engagement, as measured by the instrument in search of influencers.
Finally, you can calculate the cost of each interaction: how much will it cost to engage a subscriber based on each post.
Your goal is to reach as many people as possible. How to achieve this? Choose the right influencer. To correlate success with this goal, you need to track how many people you reached during your campaign, how many new potential customers learned about your brand, and how much the movement strengthened the brand's position.
The reach of a marketing campaign is estimated by the number of impressions of various publications in social networks, blogs, or others.
The key metrics we've mentioned will help you evaluate the success of your influencer marketing campaign. But once again, the most critical indicators are determined by the goals and strategy of a particular campaign. If your goal is to spread awareness about your brand, keep track of your videos' reach and views. If the goal is to attract traffic to your landing page, then pay attention to clickability; if the goal is to encourage direct sales, your main KPI is conversions.
So, think about what goals are most important to your business, and choose the appropriate impact marketing metrics.