Previous posts in this three-part series on influencer marketing measurement have focused on the 6 pre-campaign metrics most used by influencer marketers and how influencer marketers currently measure campaign success. This post details how brands can build best practice into how they approach measuring pre-campaign and post-campaign influencer marketing.
Selecting the most appropriate influencer
Follow these guidelines before choosing the most appropriate influencer for your brand’s next influencer marketing campaign:
- Know where this engagement comes from
- Distinguish branded versus non-branded content
- Measure the engagement ratio between branded and non-branded content
- Identify best-performing themes for branded content
- Influencer marketing benchmarking
1. Know where an influencer's engagement comes from
Is the influencer reaching your target audience? You’ve created a shortlist of potential influencers to work with based on the size of their audience and how much this audience interacts with their content. They’re creating content relevant to your brand. But where is their audience located? If you’re a UK-based brand trying to change behaviours you’d want to know that the short-listed influencer has an audience in the UK.
It might seem very obvious but make sure that any influencers you hire for a campaign actually match the demographic you are targeting. There is really little reason why a UK-focused brand should work with an influencer whose audience is 90% based in Russia, for instance, yet this is something we come across all the time! Unsurprisingly, it generates less than stellar results. An influencer’s current location does not instantly mean that is their biggest demographic.
2. Distinguish branded versus non-branded content
Divide your short-listed influencer’s recent posts into branded and non-branded content. At CampaignDeus, as a rule of thumb, analysis of the past 90-days' content is sufficient.
Branded content means posts where an influencer has collaborated with a brand. Non-branded posts are and influencer’s organically-created content.
3. Measure the engagement ratio between branded and non-branded content
Performance between organic and branded content varies in each vertical. In Fashion & Style, for example, branded posts perform 15% better than non-branded content. whereas in the sports vertical branded posts underperform by 10% compared with non-branded content. With such variance, it's important that a marketer knows exactly what they are buying.
Here’s an example: the engagement rate for a YouTuber averaging 500,000 views per video may be 5% across all content she produces. BUT, is she worth the £5,000 price tag once you’ve measured her engagement levels based on branded/non-branded content and discovered that, for sponsored content, she usually only generates 2% engagement?
4. Identify best-performing themes for branded content
Figure out what content themes or post types performed strongest for the influencer over the past three months. Consider what type of brands resonate best with the influencer’s audience for branded posts.
We'd never recommend a brand be too prescriptive with what you tell an influencer to do, but you can provide guidance backed up with data-driven insight.
If a fashion-industry influencer’s engagement rates are higher when she produces images which focus on a bag rather than on a pair of shoes, this should be considered in the planning process and be aligned with each influencer’s strengths.
5. Influencer marketing benchmarking
Until recently, there has never been an industry benchmarking service for influencers (CampaignDeus is the first) – a marketer should know that when they’re working with e.g. a fashion influencer in the fashion vertical, that they’ve created past branded posts that benchmarked at the top of that vertical.
Influencer ‘scoring’ is interesting to a point, but past campaign scoring provides a much clearer indication of future performance.
Brands need to feel confident that when they form a working relationship with an influencer the selection decision is backed-up with data-driven insight.
With the pre-campaign checks complete, influencers signed up under contract to your brand, and the content created, it's time to measure post campaign.
Each influencer marketing campaign is an iterative process of experimentation and improvement. So, it’s vital a brand evaluates all the data they can each time. Consider asking the following questions after each campaign:
Questions to ask after each influencer marketing campaign
- Branded versus non-branded performance - How did your campaign perform vs. the average ‘Branded’ and ‘Non-Branded’ performance of each of the influencers you used?
- Performance KPIs - When comparing performance across a group of influencers, it’s best to weight each influencer by the size of the audience. The relevant key performance indicators are:
- ‘Average Views per Post per Follower’ or
- ‘Average Engagement per Post per Follower’
This way you can compare different-sized influencers equally and figure out which ones provided you the most bang for your buck.
- Tracking conversions - If you are focused on multiple conversions with each influencer, you should make sure you are collecting all the data on each conversion from the start of the campaign – post-campaign reports should then be able to match every influencers to a very specific ROI.
- Evaluate each post by content type: If you are using multiple influencers producing more than a few posts each, you can now evaluate each post’s content (type of post, focus of post, location shot at, etc.) against performance and come up with takeaways that can help fuel your next campaign’s strategy.
- Influencer performance benchmarking - You should now be able to look at every branded post that an influencer has created for you in the campaign and compare it to averages in your relevant vertical. Armed with this information you’ll be able to drill down into the data to report that five of the 20 posts created in this beauty-focused campaign ranked in the top 10% of all branded posts in the beauty vertical in the last 3 months in the UK, for example.
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.