Influencer Marketing ROI & Analytics
In recent years influencer marketing has grown from a niche component of the marketing strategy of enterprise companies and globally recognizable corporations to relying on Influencers for larger marketing initiatives. As more and more strategists incorporate influencer partnerships into their brand marketing efforts, the need for analytics tools and a thorough understanding of the data has increased accordingly.
Read on for a thorough analysis of influencer marketing ROI, including a look at the most common influencer marketing campaign analytics to track, how to understand social media metrics, and ways to calculate the ROI of your latest influencer marketing campaign.
What is Influencer Marketing ROI (+ Why Does it Matter)?
Influencer marketing ROI is an overview of how well your influencer marketing campaigns are performing. How much return or efficiency are you generating as a result of your campaigns?
Because influencer marketing campaigns are a living organism that can evolve during their lifespan, perform across platforms, and work to engage audience members in a variety of ways there are several ways to calculate and look at ROI.
Having access to actionable data improves ROI right off the bat, so whether you’re looking for ways to analyze brand lift, product sales, engagement, or another goal, each campaign serves as a wealth of knowledge for the next.
Once one of your influencer marketing campaigns runs its course and the partnership between Influencer and brand has expired, it’s time for you to begin the process of analyzing your campaign to prepare yourself for future campaigns. (Of course, analyzing campaigns in progress and correctly capturing data in the moment are also important aspects of assessing campaign ROI, but more on that later.) Depending on your campaign goals, there are a variety of metrics you can track to determine ROI and benchmark performance for the future.
How to Calculate the ROI of Influencer Marketing
No matter what type of marketing campaign you are running, the ROI matters. Unlike calculating the ROI of your other marketing efforts, calculating the ROI of your influencer marketing campaigns is more than just reducing your campaign to a single number or percentage. Instead, it's important to define the KPIs that matter most to you whether that is sales, sentiment, brand lift, or another metric when determining campaign ROI.
Influencer Marketing ROI Formula
To gather the direct tangible percentage of your influencer marketing campaign, use this straightforward formula.
With this formula, you can easily assign a percentage to the success of your campaign.
For example, if you spent $500,000 on a campaign that generated $2,000,000 your ROI for this campaign would be 400% or 4x.
And while it’s always nice to have a solid number to stamp on your campaign to deem it a success, a simple ROI calculation doesn’t tell the whole story of your campaign. Nor does it give you much information about how to use the data to improve campaigns in the future.
Take a deep dive into understanding ROI for influencer marketing here —>
Using Sentiment Analysis to Analyze Influencer Marketing Campaigns
That’s where sentiment analysis comes in. When you use sentiment analysis to determine the strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement for a campaign you will be able to apply what you learn in order to optimize future campaigns. Sentiment analysis should be done at the end of campaigns to gain a deeper understanding of your ROI, and while campaigns are in progress. By constantly analyzing audience feedback, your team can adjust and make changes, improving outcomes even more.
What is sentiment analysis for influencer marketing?
Occasionally referred to as “opinion mining”, sentiment analysis is a way for brands to analyze their audience engagement in terms of positive, negative, or neutral engagement.
For example, you can use polarity-focused sentiment analysis to gain insight into the performance of a single post. 24 hours after an influencer publishes a branded post, consolidate all of the comments and engagements on that post. Then, analyze your data in terms of “very positive” “positive” “neutral” “negative” and “very negative” to gauge how your audience felt about that particular piece of content. Finally, use what you’ve gathered to make informed decisions about the content published during this campaign based on how past content performs.
Other types of sentiment analysis you can run are:
- Emotion-focused— when engagement is flagged in terms of how the consumer feels such as “happy” “sad” “angry” or “satisfied”
- Intention focused— an easy way to reveal the intention of your audience by flagging engagement as “interested” vs “not interested” in your brand
- Aspect-based— a way to target the success of product reviews and specific features of your products in “positive” “negative” or “neutral” terms
Ultimately, sentiment analysis is about more than just the number of likes, comments, and shares your branded content is generating. And while that data is also important to collect, sentiment analysis is a prime way to conduct analysis for campaigns still in progress.
Read more on sentiment analysis in influencer marketing here —>
The Most Common Influencer Marketing Campaign KPIs
In addition to sentiment analysis and calculating the ROI of your completed campaign, there are also many key performance indicators (KPIs) that it would be in your best interest to track in order to gain a more detailed view of your campaign.
How do I track an influencer marketing campaign?
Answering this will start by asking the question of why you’re running the campaign and what you are hoping to accomplish. The top influencer marketing campaign KPIs to track include:
- Brand Lift— essential for campaigns aimed at increasing brand awareness, this measures how your campaign is impacting metrics like brand awareness and purchase intent.
- Impressions— AKA how many people have seen each post
- Social engagement— depending on which platform your campaign is on, this could be measured in comments, likes, favorites, shares, or mentions
- Customer acquisition— to be measured in downloads, subscriptions, or sign-ups
- Click through rate— how many times a specific link is clicked on
- Conversion rate— how much of your campaign engagement directly led to a sale
What’s a good influencer conversion rate?
For influencer marketing campaigns of all lengths, a commonly agreed-upon good conversion rate is 3% and above, but that really depends on a few factors such as industry, your website layout and how marketing campaigns normally convert, and the average sales cycle.
For the best insight into how your campaign performed, the conversion rate (and all other KPIs and data you gather) should be compared to the data collected during past campaigns. There’s a reason why there are so many KPIs and metrics to analyze during influencer marketing campaigns, no single piece of data is holistic enough to tell you how well your campaign performed. Instead, it is only once you’ve gathered all of your campaign data that you can begin to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your campaign.
How to Understand Basic Social Media Metrics
Before you can begin tracking social media metrics, you first have to set your campaign goals. Without taking the time to set appropriate goals for your influencer marketing campaign (regardless of which social media platform the campaign is on) you may find yourself with a fruitful campaign right in front of you but with no way to count your fruit. If you haven’t yet, pause here to determine the goals for your campaign.
Top Influencer Marketing Campaign Goals:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Boosting website traffic
- Generate leads
- Generate sales
- Increase social media engagement
- Improve your brand reputation
Now, with that in mind, think through which metrics to track that will be meaningful. As a general influencer marketing rule of thumb, each distinct campaign goal comes with a handful of affiliated metrics to track. For example, if your campaign goal was to increase social media engagement then you’ll want to track the likes, comments, followers, and shares generated by each sponsored post.
Let’s take a closer look at social media metrics that you can track during your next influencer marketing campaign:
Impressions & Reach
Often mixed up, impressions are the number of times a post appears in someone’s feed and reach is the potential unique views a post can have. To keep track of their differences, remember that impressions come first and are commonly aligned with the number of followers your Influencer has, although users can discover content through other areas like hashtags, Instagram’s discover page, etc. Reach comes after the post has been shared, and gives you an idea of the number of eyeballs that landed on your campaign. While it is a good idea to keep track of how many eyes are on your content, calculating impressions and reach alone won’t tell you much about how your content is performing until you include engagement rates as well.
This metric is used to track how and how much your audience actively interacts with your campaign on each social media platform. A high engagement rate means your content is connecting with audiences, spikes in engagement will show your most successful posts, and dips in engagement will show you which types of posts to avoid in the future.
Engagement is measured through likes, comments, shares, and link clicks. Engagement rate is calculated by your number of interactions divided by impressions, to determine what percentage of the people seeing your branded content are engaging with it. You can also calculate engagement rate by interactions divided by followers. There is no right or wrong way to calculate, as long as you are consistent with your approach.
For brands with affiliated eCommerce stores, tracking the conversion rate of your campaign will give you the greatest insight into how well it’s performing (especially if your goal is to generate sales). To gain better insights into where your customers are coming from, give each influencer you are working with a unique affiliate link to share with branded content. That way, you’ll be able to see both which Influencers and which content is gaining the most conversions. If you aren’t able to generate an affiliate link, UTM or Adobe link trackers are a great way to track sales from Influencer efforts.
Influencer Marketing Social Media Metrics to Track by Platform
No two social media platforms are alike in format, tone, or how they quantify engagement. Depending on which social media platform your campaign is running on and how that specific platform quantifies engagement, there are a few different ways to focus your campaign metric tracking. For example, Instagram engagement is measured in likes, comments, mentions, and shares. As new social media platforms grow in popularity and begin to be used for influencer marketing, strategists have to learn to adjust to different metrics for different platforms.
TikTok Influencer Marketing Metrics
A social media platform that quickly rose through the rankings to become one of the most popular platforms for influencer marketing, let’s take a look at how the video platform TikTok measures influencer marketing efforts:
- Measured by total video views, reach of a specific hashtag, plays of a specific song
- Measured by total number of likes, comments, and shares
- Measured by total number of fan made videos using a branded hashtag and total number of fan made videos using a specific song
- Measured by sales and website/social media traffic. However, sales/traffic is limited to paid ads on TikTok as you can’t link out in organic content.
Instagram Influencer Marketing Metrics
On Instagram, you’ll want to see how people are interacting with content. Try a few different formats like Stories, Reels, and Posts. Look for strong engagement and analyze which Influencers are performing best on which platform/style of post.
- Engagement across post types
- Audience demographics
- Video views
Facebook Influencer Marketing Metrics
Facebook provides advanced audience analysis and the ability to take an audience from Facebook and find lookalike groups to target with posts. Impressions and reach can be looked at for brand campaigns.
- Impressions or views
- Engagements with the granular analysis of different reaction types (“like,” “love,” “care,” and more)
- New followers
Twitter Influencer Marketing Metrics
Using Twitter analytics for influencer campaigns, you can work with your content partner to deliver content at just the right time in just the right way.
- Tweet performance by time off day, post type, content type
- Engagement types
- Follower growth
- Video views/completions
Pinterest Influencer Marketing Metrics
On Pinterest, a major goal for many is saves which not only indicates quality content, but virtually guarantees reach.
- Times a pin appeared in the home feed, search results, or in a certain category
Clubhouse Influencer Program
While none of the above metrics apply to Clubhouse— the new audio-chat invite-only iPhone app that has gained popularity in recent months— there is one very specific way to track campaigns there. With the launch of Clubhouse’s Creator First program the platform is looking to redefine what it means to be an Influencer. Clubhouse plans to support all Influencers accepted into the program and provide them with the equipment they need to succeed, creative support, a monthly stipend, and event promotion on and off the app.
The Top Influencer Marketing Analytics Tools
Now that you know which KPIs to track and how to understand social media metrics, you can begin using analytics tools to help you gain a deeper understanding of the performance of your campaign.
How do you monitor influencer marketing?
While many marketers swear by the native, in-app analytics functionality on each platform, there are also tools that can help you look at a campaign on a bigger scale.
Additional Resources on Influencer Marketing ROI & Analytics
- Influencer Marketing for Startups + Emerging Brands
- The Platform-Agnostic Influencer Marketing Platform Approach
- The State of Influencer Marketing 2020: Benchmark Report
When it comes to influencer marketing ROI and analytics, keeping an eye on your campaign goals is the key to getting the most out of your collected data. Remember, everything you learn about your finished campaigns can be a tool you use to optimize any and all future campaigns. For a complete crash course, download our Guide to Influencer Marketing Analytics today.