Influencer Marketing Analytics: 8 Key Metrics to Track Performance
When it comes to paid advertising, many will agree that influencer marketing can have one of the highest ROIs out there.
With the right influencer partnership, you're able to tap into an engaged audience, increase your brand’s reach, and generate new creative assets in the process. That said, tracking the exact return on influencer marketing can also be notoriously challenging for marketers.
Unlike traditional ad platforms, you’ll typically need to take several additional steps to track ROAS such as creating referral links, assigning discount codes, and so. With these extra, often manual tasks, influencer marketing can also much more difficult to scale than PPC advertising.
Whether you run an influencer marketing agency or want to simply test new advertising channels, in this guide we’ll discuss 8 key metrics you should be tracking to determine your influencer marketing ROI. We’ll also look at how you can automate much of your analytics with a dedicated social media dashboard. In particular, we’ll discuss:
- Tracking Influencer Marketing Attribution
- 8 Key Influencer Marketing Metrics to Measure Performance
- Using Annotations to Track Influencer Marketing
Let's get started.
Tracking Influencer Marketing Attribution
When testing new influencers as part of a marketing campaign, you'll typically want to start with a small group to begin with and make sure you have your processes in place to scale your tracking. From the beginning, you should be comparing each influencers engagement rates, conversions, and more.
There are two common practices for attribution influencers with subsequent user actions, these include:
- Custom URLs: By creating a custom URL using a service like bit.ly you're able to monitor direct traffic coming from a certain social media post or blog post.
- Discount Codes: Discount codes are another useful tracking technique that not only provides the influencers audience with an incentive, but is also easy to attribute sales back to a specific person.
Now that you have the attribution tracking in place, it's important to define clear goals and a timeline for measurement. If you're simply looking to increase brand awareness, not every metric below will apply to your campaign, although the key is to know how you're going to measure success before launching the campaign.
8 Key Influencer Marketing Metrics to Measure Performance
Now that we’ve discussed attribution tracking of influencer marketing, let’s look at the metrics you can use to monitor performance. In this section we’ll look at social media metrics across a variety of platforms, although they all still apply to influencer marketing analytics regardless of which channel you’re focused on.
Keep in mind that you will need to connect the influencers account in order to view these metrics in an AgencyAnalytics dashboard, although this is a quite common practice when working with larger brands and influencer deals. As Scott Baradell from Idea Grove told Forbes:
We have found, however, that by asking our influencers to provide periodic reports to us on the engagement they are seeing, we get a better qualitative feel for whether the influencer is the right choice for the campaign, and if the campaign is making headway.
If you’re managing the social media accounts of a brand and don’t have access to their account, you can still track the influencer's posting schedule with goals and annotations, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
Reach & Impressions
Two of the first metrics to look at in analyzing influencer marketing performance are the average reach and impressions of each post. Reach refers to the total number of actual people that saw a post or video, whereas impressions counts each time the content was displayed, regardless if it was viewed multiple times by the same person.
One of the main advantages of influencer marketing over more traditional paid advertising is the massive audience you can immediately tap into. In many cases, the reach of influencer marketing can also be much more valuable than an equivalent amount in paid ad spend since their audience is much more receptive and engaged with their content. This leads us to the next key metric to track.
Before and after investing in influencers, audience engagement is one of the most important metrics to analyze. Since many social media algorithms use engagement as a factor to determine how many people will see a post, this metric is more important than ever. In evaluating influencers, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily want to compare this metric solely based on raw numbers. Instead, you want to compare an influencer's engagement relative to the size of their audience. For example, smaller “micro-influencers” should typically have a much higher level of engagement than those with 1m+ followers.
Below is an example of how you can monitor engagement for Instagram stories with our dashboard:
Audience Growth Rate
Another key metric to track after an influencer post goes out is your client’s audience growth rate. Assuming the influencer's brand is aligned with your clients, you should typically see spikes in audience growth align with their post schedule:
Another important metric to track is the number of brand mentions the company is receiving before and after the campaign. With a tool like Mention, for example, you should be able to correlate influencer posts with an increase in brand mentions.
Traffic from Social
Although audience growth and reach are important, most influencer campaigns will include a CTA to drive the audience off of social and onto the company's site. Analyzing traffic from social will give you an idea of how receptive their audience is to brand partnerships. In many cases, it may be the first time their audience is exposed to the brand, although if users land on the site they can then be retargeted with brand-building content and may ideally convert later on.
Below is an example of traffic from social that's tracked using our Google Analytics integration:
Conversions from Social
Similar to traffic from social, tracking conversions is key to determining the ROI of influencer marketing. Again, attributing conversions from social to a specific influencer can easily be down with trackable links using bit.ly. then viewed in Google Analytics under “Goal Completions”:
Revenue from Social
Finally, revenue from social is of course essential to measuring the return on each influencer and each social channel. This can be tracked with Google Analytics using their Goal Value metric, which is an optional value you can assign to a conversion. In the context of influencer marketing, if you’re providing tracking URLs or discount codes for each influencer, you’ll then be able to attribute an exact amount of revenue they’re generating for the brand.
Using Annotations to Track Influencer Marketing
Now that we’ve discussed key influencer marketing metrics to track, let’s look at how you can automate much of the analytics process by using goals and annotations in AgencyAnalytics. With the above-mentioned challenges of calculating influencer marketing ROI, one of the most important parts is to track exactly when a certain post went out and who posted it.
Instead of using a spreadsheet to track this, you can add annotations to time-based charts. For example, let’s say our primary goal is to increase brand awareness with Instagram influencers. In this case, I can create a line chart that tracks impressions over time. In order to correlate impressions with increases in impressions, I can then click on “Edit Widget” and add an annotation with the influencer and the time posted:
As you can see, you can then easily align the influencer posting schedule with whichever metric you’re tracking.
Summary: Influencer Marketing Analytics
Influencer marketing has quickly become one of the most important marketing techniques for brands in the last several years. What will separate you from other marketers, however, is being able to demonstrate the exact ROI you're achieving.
The first step to measuring performance is determining which metrics matter most to the brand. From there, with the right attribution tracking in place and a dedicated social media dashboard you'll be able to automate much of your influencer marketing analytics.
Written by Peter Foy
Peter Foy is a content marketer with a focus on SaaS companies. Based in Montreal, QC, when he’s not writing or managing ad campaigns, he’s usually studying data science and machine learning.