So far in our series of Everything You Need To Know About Influencer Marketing we’ve learned what influencer marketing is and also how to build a firm strategy to drive success. Now we need to understand how to assess and use this success to grow in the right direction. From this extensive guide, you will know exactly how can you avoid developing a bad reputation and become a brand who is successful and recognisable.
How To Measure Success
Unlike other areas of marketing, it is difficult to attribute a rise in sales down to a particular campaign you have run with influencer marketing. The very nature of it after all is about boosting brand awareness and reputation. In order to be successful, you aren’t going to just do it once and never consider it again. It needs to be developed, planned and implemented over time. As a result, you may just see positive growth but struggle to explain exactly how and what worked best. Don’t give up now, as there are a few ways which can help you out.
As you would with your own content being published on social media channels you can check up on the engagement rates of the content your influencers are posting about you. Why would you need to do this? Well, it’s a way of assessing the success of this campaign which otherwise wouldn’t have been clear to yourself.
You don’t have the ability to view the influencer‘s own in-built tracking data, which you will have available on your own accounts. Some influencers may be reluctant to reveal exact figures for fear it’s not what you wanted. You can very simply though work out engagement rates for yourself and here‘s how.
Let’s say for example we can say an influencer posted some content about your product. This post received 13,500 likes and they have 275,000 followers.
13,500/275,000 = 0.0490 x 100 = 4.9% engagement rate.
4.9% is actually a remarkably high engagement rate. Some of the most successful influencers in the world only take in around 3-5%. What you should consider as a positive rate of engagement is anything above 2%, but it really depends on what you‘re looking for and your goals.
Impressions or views shouldn’t be too much of a problem get from the influencer. This is of course providing they are genuine and have a real community behind them. This will be how they try to communicate success to yourself as it is the easiest to directly attribute this success to. All this figure is telling you is how many feeds a post showed up in. The feed will only load for active users and if a user doesn’t come online during the campaign then they won’t have an impression attributed to them.
This is why it is crucial to not get fooled by influencers with bots following them or fake inactive accounts. On paper, they may have a large community behind them, but the vast majority of accounts following them aren’t a real person or active and users. Going back to what was discussed in part two, you can eliminate these accounts early on by assessing the influencers own engagement rates and comment types on their current content – try to avoid pages where the vast majority of comments are users self-promoting rather than engaging with the post it’s commenting on.
Track your own results
The main goal for influencer marketing is for you to grow your own brand and ultimately profits. If you notice an increase of enquires, sales or visits to your site during and after an influencer campaign you can attribute this to the success (or lack of) of using a particular influencer. The difficulty is that if you are using multiple influencer campaigns at once, or in close succession it’s very difficult to know who and where the new visitors and customers are being driven from.
You can provide each influencer with a link including a unique UTM tag. If you haven’t used UTM tags they are very simply a code which you attach to a standard URL. This code will inform you in your analytics data of traffic which originated from that particular link rather than the general URL. By giving a different tag to each influencer, you will have better control overseeing how each one is performing when driving traffic to your site.
Not all of their community will interact with the post or click a link to find you either. Some may see the post, absorb the information and later on search for you themselves. They will be the hardest to attribute to a single campaign but are as valuable nonetheless.
When undertaking an influencer marketing campaign, you should have your own set of wishes and goals to you’d like to see. Identify these early on and monitor them carefully. It doesn’t matter if your goal is to increase your own social media following numbers or to reach a threshold in profits. By establishing them and setting realistic targets you will be able to see that by reaching these targets and looking at the other data mentioned above, you have run a successful campaign and received a positive return on your investment.
Like with most other forms of marketing it isn’t going to be an overnight success. You should constantly work on developing your strategy with the influencer and monitor how things are going so you can eliminate any problems before they become an issue.
Playing The Long Game
If you find that influencer marketing has worked for you and you are eager to keep it going you have to make a few changes your end too. The likelihood is at the start of this process you had only enough resources to handle a small increase and growth. As you are now growing so too must your capabilities to keep up with the growth.
Ensure that your site is maintained and not broken anywhere. If you have anything which will give a bad impression or hinder a visitors journey, fix them. Humans are impatient creatures and we are even more so when online. Most won’t wait a few seconds for a page to load. If it is messy, dated or uninviting then we will simply click the exit button and forget about you. If it‘s slower than before you may need to upgrade to a better hosting server which can handle higher traffic flows. If it‘s complicated or dated or broken work with a web developer to improve it. There really shouldn’t be any excuse for having your site be the cause of failure for any marketing campaign.
If you are trying to boost the number of sales which you receive, then don’t neglect to improve the processes you have in place to handle this. Can you keep up with enquires, orders and shipping? If any of this is no, then you need to review why; and if needed develop your teams and processes. Getting a bad reputation for failing to deliver on a service will undo all the work and money invested so far, and it is much harder to regain that trust and public opinion than it will be to lose it.
Don’t run before you can walk and at the same time don’t sit down and take a break while the race is still on. If there is a demand and you are growing too fast to handle then you will need to be honest with yourself and halt or reduce some of your campaigns. It’s very easy to see the increase in demand in terms of profit, but that will quickly dwindle if you can’t keep up.
Climbing The Ladder
By starting off slow and with influencers who are also still developing and have a lesser reach you will not inundate yourself with a demand which you can’t handle. But as time goes on and you are keeping one step ahead of the game you can start to look at moving into the next levels.
You may find that you are an appealing brand to multiple influencer groups and audiences and wish to reach out to them. You will want to slowly ease yourself into the deep end by taking it one step at a time. When the time feels right then you may consider moving a little deeper.
Don’t forget to bring with you the influencers who have helped you along either. If you have worked with them a few times and fostered a good working relationship they can be a huge asset later down the line. Inevitably, they may grow faster than you do and by moving forward together you can align your goals and plans and work off each other’s successes.
You may discover new influencers who can offer you more than you currently are able to receive. This can be very attractive but remember to maintain your brand’s integrity and following by being selective over the types of influencer you work with. If there is no mutual audience which you share and their values and style doesn‘t fit with your brand then there is no greater value to working with them over someone else, even if they have a huge following.
The influencers who you used in the past may also make new contacts who can actually help you out too. Keeping the bridges standing on a solid footing rather than burning them will only ever bring rewards later down the line.
Who Wants To Be An Influence-air?
Okay cheesy pun aside, is it actually something we as a business or professional individual can do ourselves. How do you think most of the more niche influencers started? They aren’t all gamers, beauty bloggers or travelling the globe. A lot of influencers are in their position today because they are considered a reliable and accessible source of knowledge in their field of interest.
What do you do if you need help with something IT-based? You probably can’t afford a tech support guy, so you look online. You might read a blog or watch a YouTube video which helps. Well, guess what, that’s how a lot of the influencers you see have stared, and it has now turned it into a full-time money-making role for them. Little by little, they are gaining a reputation as the go-to tech support channel or whatever their speciality may be.
This can be said for just about anything you can think of. There is likely an influencer for everything humanly imaginable. As long as people have an interest and someone is willing to put the content out there, then the possibilities are infinite.
Throughout your own journey in influencer marketing and working with others you have slowly been increasing your own brand awareness. You’ve perhaps grown your own following and attracted people loyal to your brand. Maybe you‘re now in a position where you can now relax a little try an experiment with new ways to keep this forward momentum going. Well you likely know more about what you do and your sector than anybody following you. Create content which appeals to your followers. Be it with tutorials, how-to videos or juicy articles which shed light on your industry.
By becoming the very person who you set out in search for, you are demonstrating the tremendous power which influencer marketing has and the benefits which can be reaped. You can help your community grow and flourish as you cement your brand’s place as the most reputable, knowledgeable and accessible in your sector.
If you enjoyed this 3 part series on influencer marketing and would like to see more articles like this please feel free to let us know in the comments. As always we are happy to hear from you if you have any questions you’d like answering. In the words of many influencers out there remember to share and subscribe for more content like this and don’t forget to follow us on social media.