How to Measure Your Influencer Marketing Relationships
The main challenge brands say they face when it comes to influencer marketing is ‘measurement’.
This insight (from The State of Influencer Marketing 2019) indicates that brands can have a hard time placing a value on their influencer marketing campaigns, whether it is because they are unsure of which KPIs to track, or because they have difficulty determining which metrics are the most accurate. However, measuring your influencer marketing relationships can actually help you hone in on which profiles match your brand values, who will create the best, quality content, and who will help you reach your target audience.
How do you measure influencer marketing relationships?
“Less” is “more”
We all have a tendency to give greater importance to quantity over quality. In the past, brands have tended to collaborate with the ‘influencer of the moment’, focusing on the number of followers someone has in order to determine their channel value. With the world of influencer marketing no longer being a foreign concept, brands are realizing the importance of partnering with influencers that reflect their brand values.
Just focusing on who has the highest follower count doesn’t necessarily equal conversions, because you still may not be reaching your target audience. Analyzing your own niche, and influencers that represent this niche help make partnerships more meaningful, and authentic which will form connections with customers. Those that share your core brand values are also more likely to create quality content that you can later repurpose on your own channels.
Before you make content with influencers, you should reach solid conclusions regarding two basic aspects within your overall communication strategy:
Who is your target audience? You have to know who your product or service has been designed for as that will determine which influencer you are going to try to collaborate with. Having a strong understanding of the people who buy the product will be vital to break down the final target group into a well-defined segmented classification.
What is your aim? When we talk about setting objectives, we tend to be thinking about “conversions,” directly from “prospect” into “sale.” However, there is another wide variety of objectives that are able to help us achieve our sales goals such as gaining brand notoriety, enhancing our corporate reputation, increasing our digital traffic, etc.
Once this is established, you are ready to start the influencer identification process and define exactly who you want to get involved in your campaign. An effective identification tool that’s related to your target group and goal analysis will allow you to put a series of filters in place such as channels used, specific languages, concepts or keywords, that accurately describe who the potential influencers are and what characteristics they should have. This is what we call Influencer scoring. This will help you to measure the degree of relevance that any given influencer may have with respect to a concrete theme or issue related to your brand.
There are three key parameters that should be applied to measure this degree of influence:
Exposure: or an influencer’s community about a well defined, specific theme.
Echo: his/her capability to generate reactions within this community
Participation: the participation level that this person is playing in conversations about a concrete issue.
The influence attained by context, and measuring the degree of influence amongst a community will help to judge an influencer’s quality rather than quantity, whether from excessive publications or a large community.
Concentrate your efforts and actions
Now that the best potential influencers have been properly identified, you can choose your brand ambassadors. These people are the ones who (by being an active participant in your communications) have shown that they believe in your message and have gone a step furtherby conveying it to others within their own community.
Takin influencer scoring a step forward, there is also proximity scoring. Its purpose is to let you accurately measure the degree of interaction for each specific influencer and show you where you are in the process with each of these targeted opinion leaders.
This system will help you distinguish the influencers who can really add value to your brand and might become useful brand ambassadors (interacting, mentioning your brand, generating referral traffic to your website, etc.), from those who fail to respond to your actions. This analysis will enable you to concentrate your efforts and actions.
What is not measured, cannot be improved
Objectives must be “measurable” and quantifiable, or they cannot be benchmarked. This means that the action we are planning to carry out to reach our goal must meet certain criteria.
Before acting within the scope of your marketing strategy, you should define what the valid KPI’s are that will show if you have met the predetermined goals. Here is a couple of possible KPI’s:
Sales leads generated by one of a brand ambassador’s postings in their blog where they talk favorably about your brand.
The number of re-tweets coming from a brand ambassador’s tweet in which they mention your brand.
The impact generated in their blog over a certain time period.
These points may be applied to better grasp the outcome of your actions with specific influencers and show if you are really on the right track.
How to demonstrate your PR ROI
This is the eternal dilemma that all of us involved in PR have been facing for years. How do you prove the ROI for every single call made, email sent out, and event organized? Numerically speaking, it’s practically impossible. For quite some time, the number of impacts both on and off media, the Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) and the audience being reached have all served as KPI’s included in monthly communication performance reports.
In a new digital environment, however, what happens in London today plays a role in what will happen in Tokyo tomorrow. Your interactions with opinion leaders take place in a number of channels and formats and are more and more personalized. Beyond simply using traditional metrics, applying a system that will enable you to both monitor and measure the on-going evolution between your brand and each contact will be extremely useful.
The model that we outline in our guide explaining how to set up a manageable system for measuring your influencer marketing performance is a scoring system based upon points being given to each of your interactions with an influencer. Let’s look at an example:
.Based upon each influencer’s score, here are the four levels that we apply to classify them:
Create an emotional tie
Convert them into brand ambassadors
So, now it’s your turn to accurately measure your own influencer relationships.