Getting the most from your influencer marketing is all about having clear goals and a proven strategy.

The ‘Kim Kardashians’ of Instagram and YouTubers successfully flogging their sponsored products may have lead you to believe influencer marketing was going to be the answer to your prayers. And it could be…if done correctly. One of the biggest complaints we hear at Boost Social is from small business owners who’ve sent products or paid influencers and been disappointed with the results. One of the first questions that we ask is and “how are you measuring the results?”

The answer is usually based on sales, which isn’t a true indicator of a marketing campaign.

Deciding an influencer campaign was a flop because it didn’t shift 1,000 units of a product is unrealistic. Why? Because most people don’t go to social media to avoid making decisions. They go socials to escape, be educated catch up with friends or watch cat videos. We’re not saying you CAN’T sell on social media, but that if this is how you plan to measure your return on investment (ROI) you’re going to be disappointed.

To gauge whether your influencer marketing has been successful or not, you’ll need to take a deep-dive into the data. Yes, we know that sounds boring! However it will give you a better idea on whether what you are spending is more than the money, service or products you’re throwing at it.

Before you hire the services or send products to an influencer, it’s important to know what your goals are.

Suggested goals for your influencer marketing campaigns:

  •       Increase brand awareness by expanding your reach, impressions or the number of people who view a video and visit your profile page.
  •       Grow engagement by starting conversations and generating customer loyalty.
  •       Lead generation by encouraging followers to sign up for your monthly newsletters, attend an event or webinar.

How much should I spend on an influencer campaign?

Once you’ve established your influencer marketing goals, it’s time to think about the budget. If you’ve never worked with influencers before it can be hard to scale. Some influencers are happy to showcase products in exchange for keeping what you send, others are a little more like Cuba Gooding Jr in Jerry Maguire and will be screaming “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”

There are several ways you can use to determine a marketing budget for using influencers.

  • Take a look at your advertising spend to your audience and then times that by the estimated reach of your chosen influencer.
  • Using your expected ROI and estimated profits, determine what you consider to be a reasonable amount.
  • If you have an influencer in mind, ask! Don’t let on how much you’re prepared to spend. It may be less than what you were prepared to offer.
  • Calculate the amount you would spend if you were to advertise on radio and TV.

To measure the success of your influencer campaign, you’ll need to set some Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

How to I choose influencer KPIs?

An acronym that’s widely used in marketing circes is S.M.A.R.T.

Is it Specific? For example; 1000 new email subscribers vs get more subscribers

Is it Measurable? No such thing as blurred lines here! You need to be able to track what’s happening.

Is it Attainable? In other words keep it realistic for the time-frame. There’s no point making your goal, sell $52,000 worth of motorcycle gear or whatever it is you’re peddling because it’s simply not going to happen.

Is it Relevant? Make sure the influencer you use is relevant to your brand. That is, there’s no point having an influencer that’s outside of your demographics.

Is it Timely? Set a deadline. It’s not unusual to hear small business owners bellyaching because they sent products to their influencers several months ago and they still haven’t posted anything online.

Once you’ve established your goals and the campaign is underway, you need to determine how to measure the results.

What’s the best way to track results from influencer campaigns?

Influencer reporting

A quick and easy way is to ask your influencer to provide numbers of page views, impressions or click-through-rate to your landing page, but it’s also subject to fabrication unless you ask for screen shots and hard evidence.

UTM Parameters of Google URL Builder

Google URL Builder allows you to input keywords and track your campaign. This is a good idea if you are tracking click-through to sign up for a newsletter, webinar or free event. The Influencer then shares that link in their posts. You can then view the results on Google Analytics.

Use a unique hashtag campaign

A branded hashtag unique to your influencer marketing campaign is good for brand awareness and allows you to track the distribution. For example; one of the most successful hashtags used in marketing is the #ShareACoke used by Coca Cola. Think of your own unique hashtag relevant to your marketing campaign.

Coupon codes

A unique coupon code that can be entered at the checkout is a good way of tracking product sales. Note: If this is the first time you are using an influencer marketing, brand awareness is better than going straight in for the hard sell. Selling to a cold audience is like being on Tinder and expecting a marriage proposal before the first date. Your followers have to get to know you first.

Use Traackr

Traackr provides influencer discovery, vetting, relationship management, campaign organization, measurement, and the industry’s only influencer market performance benchmark.

By instigating a clear plan, measurable goals and using tools to help you track the results, you’ll soon discover that even if you didn’t sell ‘x’ amount of products, your influencer marketing campaign was still a success in other ways. And if it’s been a dismal failure, you’ll have a starting point of where it went wrong and what you can do to change it.

If you need help with influencer marketing, Boost Social has years of experience dealing with influencers across the globe. Contact us today to learn more!