Influencer marketing is booming – in just three years, it has more than doubled in size to $13.8 billion. Influencers add value to brands by enabling marketers to connect authentically and engagingly with their audiences.
One of the reasons influencer marketing is such a powerful strategy is its ability to accomplish a wide variety of marketing goals – from brand discovery and awareness to conversions and lifelong loyalty. To determine the characteristics of a successful influencer marketing campaign for your brand, you must first define your marketing objectives. After establishing a specific objective, you can develop key performance indicators (KPIs) that accurately measure your success.
Increasing brand awareness
If a marketer wishes to collaborate with influencers in order to increase brand awareness, they should begin by establishing relationships with well-established influencers who have a sizable following. Collaborating with influencers whose passions and values align with a brand’s message and mission is critical for a brand awareness campaign to be successful.
However, once you’ve identified the right influencers for your brand awareness campaign, how do you determine the effectiveness of your strategy?
Social engagement is an extremely important metric to monitor. If influencer posts receive a high level of engagement, it means that your brand message is being communicated effectively to the influencer’s audience. Additionally, brand awareness can be determined through social mentions and campaign hashtag usage. If an influencer strategy is successful, people will actively participate in branded campaigns by sharing relevant hashtags or directly tagging the company’s corporate handle on social media. Similarly, as more people become aware of your brand, you should anticipate an increase in your following.
Bear in mind that marketers who invest in brand awareness campaigns at the start of their influencer journey frequently experience what we refer to as the influencer “halo effect.” This refers to an influencer’s value that extends beyond a single campaign – established influencers frequently inspire both their peers and up-and-coming influencers to engage with a brand. This expands the audience’s reach in novel and exciting ways, attracting new customers.
Making a positive impact on the bottom line
After establishing a brand’s online presence through brand awareness campaigns, it’s critical to consider opportunities for lower-funnel growth. Influencers can support brands in a variety of ways, but one of the most effective is through the use of affiliate links. Affiliate links empower influencers to actively promote brands’ products and services that align with their audience’s values and passions—and influencers are rewarded for driving sales by earning commission on each purchase made via a follower clicking on their posted affiliate link.
Calculating the return on investment for influencer marketing strategies aimed at increasing conversions is a little easier. Examining the click-through rate for influencer affiliate links provides valuable insight into how much time people spend on product-specific content. Marketers should take note if their click through rates is high but their conversion rates are not keeping pace. Other factors at the merchant’s end could be contributing to people abandoning their shopping carts, such as pricing, stock limitations, and so on.
Setting benchmarks is key
Whatever the objectives of your influencer marketing campaign, one thing remains constant: the importance of setting aspirational yet attainable success metrics. To calculate the return on investment on any investment, marketers must first define success and then prioritize campaign objectives when multiple objectives are at stake.
Setting specific objectives for increasing brand awareness or driving sales is critical for determining whether an influencer marketing campaign accomplished the initiative’s overall goal.
Therefore, if you’re a marketer considering incorporating influencers into your marketing mix, consider what you hope to accomplish through influencer collaboration, how you’ll measure success, and then develop an influencer marketing strategy that assists you in meeting those specific campaign milestones.