What should a brand expect from Influencer Marketing?
Given that Influencer marketing is the current buzz word, brands are now relying heavily on influencer marketing to target potential new customers and reach fragmented audiences. While planning any marketing activity, it’s important to set a benchmark and have expectations on the ROI. Influencer marketing is no different.
How should you measure the ROI of Influencer marketing? Below are some of the key areas of impact which should be measured.
Increased Reach and Awareness amongst the target audience
The impact of your influencer marketing campaign depends on the quality of your influencers. Are the Influencers having a reach amongst the target audience? If yes, what is the extent of reach is their coverage of your brand getting? This can be measured in terms of the number of followers/fans or the number of visitors to their blog/posts.
The number of times an influencer’s post is viewed is a good place to start. Impressions are good indicators of the effectiveness of branding campaigns and become particularly useful when buying influencer inventory at scale. An influencer may have around 5000 followers, but if her content is regularly shared by someone with a larger follower base, that has a significant impact on her reach.
It’s not always about the size of the following, it’s about the engagement. Is the content created engaging the audience of the Influencers? What is the number of shares/retweets/likes and comments on the blog? These indicators can help identify the best influencers to collaborate with for the long-term. The type of platform you use is also key for driving engagement. The social media influencer can retweet your social media content, link back to your website on their blog. This will help you build traffic to your website as well.
Relevant Traffic to the website or mobile App
Although influencer marketing is often regarded as a branding strategy, marketers are quickly realizing its power to drive sales and sign ups. Brands must measure the impact of Influencers, in terms of their effectiveness in sending relevant traffic to the website or mobile app of the brand. This can be measured by ensuring unique URLs with tracking parameters to each influencer. Google URL builder and Google URL shortener tools you can use to create trackable links where you can go back and see in Google Analytics and measure your success.
What are unrealistic expectations from Influencer marketing?
Below are some of the areas where brands may set unrealistic expectations from the Influencer and content marketing plans
Significant short term jump in sales or bookings
Influencer marketing by its very nature is helping influence the perception of a brand/offering to a targeted audience. While this would definitely help drive targeted traffic to the brand’s website or mobile app, it doesn’t imply an immediate jump in sales, bookings or enquiries.
Expecting every engagement to take-off and show ROI
Despite choosing Influencers carefully, not every Influencer the brands engages with, will give the same ROI in terms of reach and awareness. Given subjective factors, including the type of content, channel and time of posting or audience demographics of the influencer, particular pieces of content may see a lower reception from consumers. The best approach is to test with multiple influencers and build long-term association with Influencers who are showing effective reach and influence.
Expecting Influencers to talk the brands voice
Influencers strongly prefer to be authentic and create content which reflects their values and resonates with the audience they have worked hard to nurture. Content from influencers adds credibility to their brand. While brands can and should monitor the content created by Influencers, expecting the Influencer to sound like a PR machine defeats the purpose of the recommendation from the Influencer is in line with what they have come to expect from the Influencer.
Influencer marketing is a strong way to compliment brands paid marketing efforts and needs to be setup with the right goals to ensure effective collaboration with Influencers, resulting in the growth of the brand and business.