How to measure the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaigns

Fri Nov 20 2020
Kyle Smith

Attribution and proving ROI continues to be one of the biggest challenges marketers are facing today. 

Sound familiar?

With a seemingly infinite amount of strategies, tactics, and channels to choose from, it is more important than ever for the modern marketer to confidently measure and report the effectiveness of everything they do. 

Because of the maturity and growth of traditional performance marketing channels like Facebook and Instagram ads, marketers have largely been able to solve the ROI challenge on these platforms. But many still struggle to measure the effectiveness of their influencer marketing campaigns holistically.  And because of that, many marketers are unable to determine which influencers they should deepen their relationship with and which ones to move on from.

So, as a marketer, how can you get an accurate picture of how each influencer is driving growth for your business? Introducing Google Analytics + Data Studio.

Using Google Analytics to prove the ROI of your influencer marketing program

With Google Analytics, you can measure each stage of the marketing funnel for your influencer campaigns:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration 
  • Purchase

To do this you will need to leverage UTMs on each of the links you send to influencers to promote your offer.

What are UTMS?

UTM parameters are simply tags that you add to a URL. When someone clicks on a URL with UTM parameters, those tags are sent back to your Google Analytics for tracking.

– Neil Patel

By tagging your URLs with UTMs, you can get a good understanding of how your visitors interact with your website and what campaigns are driving KPIs important to your business.

Here’s how to generate custom URLs for your campaign with Google’s URL builder (& UTM best practices)

Google created a tool to make it incredibly easy for anyone to create a link with UTMs. There are 5 total parameters that you can use to tag your URLs.

UTM ParameterDefinitionPurposeExample
SourceSpecific channel where traffic originatesCompares specific channelsInstagram vs. YouTube
MediumBucket of specific channelsCompares categories of trafficInfluencer vs. Organic Social Traffic
CampaignSpecific promo for the campaignCompare influencers@kyle vs. @joe
ContentCreative differentiatorCompare post type/placement; a/b test IG Story vs. newsfeed
TermKeywords for AdWords campaignsIdentify top performing keywords“running shoe” vs. “exercise shoe”

Here’s an example url tagged with UTMs:

www.example.com?utm_source=instagram&utm_medium=influencer&[email protected]&utm_content=newsfeed_image1

  • Click the example link to get started building your UTMS

In this example, we are running an influencer campaign (as defined by utm_medium) on Instagram (as defined by utm_source) with the influencer @kyle (as defined by utm_campaign) using image1 on the newsfeed (as defined by utm_content).

Now that you have your links properly tagged….

Here’s how to map your influencer campaigns to each stage of the funnel — plus, what to measure.

Measuring your influencer campaigns against KPIs at each stage of the funnel

Awareness

Influencers can regularly post on social media to increase awareness for your brand or product and drive traffic to your site. Awareness is typically tracked through sessions, average time on site, and bounce rate.

  • Sessions will tell you how much traffic that particular influencer drove. You can use this metric to understand if the influencer’s post was engaging enough to drive clicks.
  • Average time on site will give you an idea of how engaged prospects are once they click through to your site. This is also an indicator of the quality of traffic. The more time spent on your site, the more 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 give you an idea of how well your offer aligned with the campaign audience’s expectations. If a particular influencer has a high bounce rate, that means that the influencer’s audience is probably not the best fit for your offer.

Consideration

Influencers can help drive engagement with your target audience that we like to define as micro-conversions. Micro-conversions are any high-value action that a user takes on your site that is not a sale. Some common conversions to measure at this stage are email list subscribers, add to carts, and video views on your site. 

  • Email list subscribers are often highly valuable to a brand because brands can nurture them and convert them to check out over time. Tracking email list subscribers against your influencer campaigns will give you more insight into the middle of the funnel. It will also uncover influencers who might not drive sales today, but drive lots of engaged users who may convert to sales down the road. Without this data, you would miss them!.
  • Add to cart is useful because you will be able to measure and get a better understanding of how engaged each influencer’s audience is with your brand or offer. Even if a prospect does not purchase, you can identify an engaged person to retarget and you can properly attribute the first touch of this campaign to the influencer who drove those add to carts.
  • Maybe your brand has identified that 75% of users who watch your new product video end up making a purchase. Now, it becomes really valuable to understand what drives people to watch that video. Tying that action back to influencers and understanding which partners garner the most engagement will give you the insight you need to make decisions on the relationships to invest more time and resources into.

These micro- conversions can be tracked through setting up custom goals in your Google Analytics account.

Purchase

The holy grail of marketing campaigns… driving sales.  At the end of the day, you want to understand which influencers drive sales for your business so you can predictably increase ROI month after month. Not only can you track total revenue/transactions driven by each influencer, you can also track average order value and sales conversion rate.

  • At the end of the day, total sales driven by each influencer is what matters the most.  By mapping revenue back to influencer campaigns, you will be able to double down and invest in building the long-term relationships that create a win-win for both your business and the influencer.
  • Average order value will help you uncover the influencers that are driving high the most value per transaction. This can be useful when working with micro-influencers and help you identify which ones to build long term partnerships with. For example, maybe you have a segment of influencers with smaller audiences who aren’t driving a high total volume of purchases. But the ones they are driving are 2x the value of larger influencers.  If you invest in building a partnership with them now, you can lock in better long term rates and grow your campaigns with them as they grow their following.
  • Lastly measuring sales conversion rates will give you insight into how well your offer matches with the influencers’ audiences’ interests and demographic makeup.  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.  Mapping influencer campaigns to sales conversion rates will give you this insight.

Google Analytics is most powerful when combined with AspireIQ Analyze.  Given the many channels and infinite ways influencers can impact your business, not all important data is housed in one place.   AspireIQ Analyze gives you robust, real time analytics on your campaigns, creators you work with, and social metrics. Google Analytics complements this data by more granularly tracking the website and engagement metrics outlined in the awareness and consideration stages above. By leveraging AspireIQ Analyze with Google Analytics, you can marry pre and post click data to paint a complete picture of the impact influencer marketing is having on your business.

Comparing influencer as a channel to other marketing channels

Not only are you able to track which individual influencers are generating positive ROI for your business, you can also compare influencers as a whole to other marketing channels like instagram or facebook ads.

To do this, you will simply segment your data by source and medium (using the UTM guide provided above) to get insight on a more macro level and equip you with the data you need to confidently prove the success of influencer marketing and secure more budget for your team.

To learn more about tracking the performance of your influencer campaigns, contact us today.