How to conquer change in influencer marketing evaluation

In 2018 brands and agencies will demand far more meaningful and robust return on investment (ROI) measurement from their influencer marketing work.

Presently little more than a quarter (28%) of digital marketers use platform-specific metrics. Just 22% use success metrics provided by influencers and only a fifth use social measurement tools to demonstrate ROI, according to a report featured in Econsultancy.

76% of marketers cite measuring the ROI of influencer marketing as their top challenge for 2018 according to another industry survey, this time reported in PRWeek.

SEE ALSO: 12 top influencer marketing predictions for 2018

These statistics illustrate a disconnect in the industry. Whilst more than three-quarters of digital marketers appreciate that effectively measuring investment return is paramount, most lack the tools or know-how to do so capably.

We change for a reason

A core tenet of change is that we change for a reason. There is a specific reason or objective for any change. Accurate data and robust, independent campaign performance evaluation, along with industry benchmarking, will become a fundamental part of the influencer marketing campaign planning process because the industry can no longer afford to fudge the monitoring and evaluation of its work.

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It is time to get serious with influencer marketing monitoring and evaluation because costs are soaring. 39% of marketers are set to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2018. The price hike has been forced on them for two reasons:

  1. Higher demand for social influencers’ creativity is translating into higher tariffs for their services
  2. This increased spend on creators is coupled with brands having to pay to ‘amp’ their influencer’s reach with paid promotion as organic reach starts to be squeezed

Adopting change needs industrial, organisational and personal relevance

Adopting a change takes more than awareness of the new procedure. It needs relevance, too. The reasons for the change need to be made relevant at an industrial, organisational and at a personal level.

The bridge between a quality solution and realising the benefit is people embracing and adopting change. Successful change outcomes at an industry level are the collective result of individual change – of influencer marketing practitioners doing their jobs differently.

But change management initiatives fail when they start with the education bit. The ‘how to’ element of embracing the new process. How to master the new tactic. How to adopt the new behaviour.

The change process needs to start far earlier than this. It needs to start with building awareness of the change context. Not just ‘here’s an expertly thought-through bit of kit or an idea’ but with questions like: Why does there need to be a change? And what are the risks of not changing?

The change process starts with those affected by the need to change becoming aware of the situation, then building a sense of urgency to do something about it. Starting with awareness of the situation and then developing a desire to embrace that change.

When a desire or at least understanding has been established, then you can start the education phase.

SEE ALSO: How to build influencer marketing measurement best practice

At this point in-house teams should work at setting objectives which marry the interests of their business, customers and influencers. Agencies should consider setting benchmarks and performance evaluation that is both independent and transparent.

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The economic value of content is zero unless it is seen, shared and acted upon. Various metrics and methods can be used to define influencer marketing success depending on the campaign objectives set during the planning phase.

Benchmarks help you compare your influencer marketing performance against your competitors and the broader industry. With accurate benchmarks you can answer questions like:

  • Is a 3% average campaign engagement rate good within the gaming vertical?
  • Is it within the top 10% best performing? Top 50%?
  • What is the typical performance of an Instagram post within the travel vertical shot on a beach?

At the planning stage benchmarks can help inform decisions like:

  • What is the best time of year / week / day to promote makeup products within the beauty vertical?
  • Which influencers work best on face & body care posts?
  • Do competitions / discount codes boost engagement significantly on food & drink posts?

These data can guide you at the creative brief stage and provide insight when evaluating success after the campaign.


CampaignDeus is the leading independent provider of influencer marketing campaign data for Instagram and YouTube. Our platform identifies and classifies brand sponsored influencer campaign performance metrics, tracking hundreds of thousands of posts.

We use this data to provide Brands & Agencies with industry insights across verticals, benchmark campaigns against vertical & competitor averages, and equip clients with in-depth reporting and recommendations on how to make campaigns more effective. Get in touch for more details.


Scott Guthrie works with companies to drive business growth in the social age through strategic insight and technical know-how. A former digital director of influencer relations at Ketchum, Scott is now an advisor at CampaignDeus. You can find Scott on LinkedIn and Twitter, or on his blog.