Measuring the Influence – What to Look for in Your Influencers

Using influencers is a more personable way a brand can reach the audience they want to have using their products.

Influencer marketing is one of the many new golden children of the marketing world – and it makes sense. What brand wouldn’t want to have a person who actively engages with and has the trust of their audience to take their product and give a positive review of it. According to Nielson, 92 percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising – an increase of 18 percent since 2007. Closely following suit to word-of-mouth is online consumer reviews coming in at 70 percent. This online consumer review is where an influencer come in to play.

Randall Beard, global head, Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen, said, “Although television advertising will remain a primary way marketers connect with audiences due to its unmatched reach compared to other media, consumers around the world continue to see recommendations from friends and online consumer opinions as by far the most credible. As a result, successful brand advertisers will seek ways to better connect with consumers and leverage their goodwill in the form of consumer feedback and experiences.”

What is an Influencer?

The literal definition of an influencer is an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience. This is an individual who has a following in a niche, which they actively engage with. The size of the following depends on the size of the niche.

Influencers are creating custom, personalized engagement methods for brands that reach directly to consumers. With new metrics on the rise, here are some steps you can take to see how an influencer interacts with their audience and how to gauge if it’s a worthwhile investment.

There are many types of influencers too. Influencers can be celebrities, industry experts and thought leaders, bloggers and content producers, to micro influencers. The bulk of all content produced by influencers is done via social media. The platforms used can vary from user to user and can be cross-driven.

Influencer marketing grew out of celebrity endorsements. Typically, businesses have found that for many years, sales usually rise when a celebrity promotes or endorses their stuff. The problem, though, is that celebrities are expensive, and some brands don’t want to shell out that kind of change. The next natural step is to move to people who are thought leaders or whose opinions are trusted by many followers.

Is an Influencer Worth it?

To be blunt, yes. Businesses today are generally seeing $6.50 for every $1 spent on an influencer. A survey done by Tomoson emphasized how influencer marketing can be highly lucrative for brands who engage in it. The top 13 percent of businesses can make up to $20 or more for every $1 spent. From a business/money-making standpoint, influencer marketing can be highly beneficial financially. By leveraging the trust an influencer gains from their followers, brands can create an almost peer to peer appearance to their target audience.

How do you Measure an Influencer?

The measure of success depends on your brands’ goals set for the duration of the campaign. In order to measure success, it’s best to know what your brand is wanting to get out of the campaign. Whether it’s raising brand awareness to actual product sold compared throughout set times, having an active idea of what you want your brand to accomplish will help with measuring your metric.

What are some ways in which you can measure your influencer’s campaign?

For one, Brand Awareness. To measure this, it’s best to look at impressions. When an influencer makes a post on Twitter or Facebook or posts a photo on Instagram, you can measure how many times that post or photo was loaded and therefore seen by someone’s eyes. So with that, the more times the content was loaded, the more successful your Brand Awareness campaign was. It’s important to note too that just because there was an impression measured, that doesn’t mean there was actual engagement with the product. Yes, it does mean your product was seen, but that doesn’t guarantee that anything meaningful came of it.

Another measure is Brand Engagement. If your goal is to build an engaged community with your product then there are multiple ways in which you can measure engagement. Engagements can be measured through the likes, comments, shares, retweets, and reactions to a piece of content that features your product. Calculating these metrics is quite easy as all the data is open to the public and it’s a simple method of crunching the numbers. For example, influencer 1 may have received 305 likes on an Instagram post and 27 comments while influencer 2 received 2,047 likes and 56 comments. The total engagements for this campaign with influencer 1 and 2 are 2,435. This means that more than 2,400 people engaged with the content, which means they stopped, read the post, and consumed the content enough to engage with it.

Measuring the success of an influencer campaign where the goal is to increase sales can be measured in numerous ways, depending on the strategy. If the strategy involves an affiliate marketing component or discount code where you can track each sale and attribute it to an influencer or collaboration, it is very easy to access the effectiveness of the influencer campaign, as consumers will use a unique code to purchase.

Where no affiliate link or discount code is involved, you can still measure an increase in sales by looking at your total monthly revenue and trends that occur over time. You can use Google Analytics eCommerce tracking to monitor monthly digital revenue, trends, and growth, or the in-built reporting tools in your eCommerce platform (however, the ability of these reporting functions can be limited). You should also use campaign URLs here too, so you can attribute who is driving traffic that ultimately converts.

How do you Choose Your Influencer?

When it comes to choosing an influencer for your campaign, there are many options to weight out. Some immediate questions to ask are what is their follower count? How often do they post? Are they engaged with their audience – if so, how engaged are they?

Though follower count is important, it shouldn’t be the largest metric on which you base your influencer. Sure, a YouTube content creator could have a million subscribers, but how many of those subscribers watch their content. How many were bought? Are they real? What to look for in follower count is to see if these accounts are active with their content. No, this doesn’t mean searching through a million subscribers to see if they’re real. This means looking through the video metrics to see how many views it’s getting and how long.

Posting often does matter. If you’re choosing an influencer, you don’t want someone who maybe posts content once a week or even less. But you don’t want someone who shovels out 50 posts a day either. When choosing an influencer, you want to look for someone who posts a few times a day and posts on a regular schedule.

The most important metric to look for when deciding on your influencer is engagement. Around 90 percent of marketers said they use engagement rates as the measure of success for their influencer. Creating an engaged community of followers means more meaningful interactions and stronger bonds between the influencer and their followers. When an influencer actively goes out of their way to show their care and appreciation to their followers, the more likely their followers will use the same products the influencer is using.

To conclude, using influencers to endorse and showcase your products is a useful and meaningful way to reach your target audience. Still have questions? Schedule a free meeting with us and we’ll help grow your brand to the levels you want.