If you’re up to date on all things social media, then you are no stranger to influencer marketing. Partnering with influencers can accompany a range of benefits such as increasing brand visibility, engagement, etc., especially for small businesses. Essentially, you are creating another stream of contact with your customers, using a voice that has already established a high level of trust. As a business owner however, you need to know that there will be a return on investment (ROI) when you fork out the dollars for this type of strategy. 

That’s where we come in. In this post, we’ll explain how to lay a great foundation for an influencer campaign, track your key performance indicators (KPIs), and measure your return on investment (ROI) for your small business. 

Set your goals 

It’s time to outline your objectives with specific, measurable, attainable, and time-bound goals (commonly referred to as “SMART” goals.) The idea is to use these goals to anchor your influencer strategy. This way, you’ll have a clear direction for your campaign and will be able to measure your results. An example of a SMART goal could be: To increase brand loyalty among current customers through increased engagement rates of 75% on all social channels by the end of the campaign date.” 

Determine your key performance indicators (KPIs) 

Your goal will determine the KPIs you’ll need to measure in order to identify pain points and ensure your campaign is successful. For instance, if your goal is to increase overall sales, then tracking performance via affiliate links and promo codes will take precedence over monitoring hashtags. You should also set KPIs for your influencers depending on what the focus of your campaign is. 

Set your budget

As a small business, it’s important to set a budget when putting together any campaign. Something to take into consideration is what type of influencer you are looking for. Common influencer categories are Nano-influencers (1K-10K), Micro-influencers (10K-100K), Macro-influencers (100K-1M), and/or Celebrity-influencers (1M+.) The specific category of influencer that you decide upon will likely determine the cost of that influencer, and the type of campaign you will be running (i.e., a giveaway, promo code, affiliate link, etc…) Unlike big companies, you might not have the extra set of hands to dedicate time into researching and reporting your influencer ROI. Think about using a third-party tool like Creator.co to match your small business with influencers, and keep you organized and efficient with your tracking efforts in one program. 

Now for the good stuff – measuring your ROI through specific metrics 

Engagement and reach 

Engagement and reach are important KPIs to track as they help you understand how your campaign was received by your customers. To calculate the ROI for engagement and reach you need to look at what the average engagement, follower, and brand mention rate is. This could be through cost-per-engagement (CPE) measured in terms of dollars spent per 

like/comment, or by interaction through video views or click-through rates. The easiest way to measure engagement is by dividing the number of engagements by your current followers, then multiplying that by 100. 

Tip to measure CPE: Total Ad Spend Number of Engagements 

Expanding awareness 

For a small business, awareness is a great KPI to measure as it’s all about attracting new and existing customers who find your brand attractive. To measure your ROI in relation to brand awareness, you should focus on impressions, mentions, and hashtag use on specific content from the campaign. This could include items such as a featured blog, video, or social media post. You can gather this insight on each individual social platform’s metrics, as well as Google Analytics, and your influencer’s performance insights. 

Number of followers 

While engagement, reach and awareness will tell you how far your brand has reached, tracking audience growth will tell you how many people were actually impacted. The use of influencers to increase followers has the potential to strengthen brand messaging and create call-to-action on posts that direct your audience to your brand’s current (and future) campaigns. You can easily monitor your followers through the analytics of each social platform, or you can use a dedicated customer relationship management (CRM) tool to help you. 

Tip: (Latest Follower Number – Last Period’s Follower Number) x 100% Last Period’s Follower Number 

Click Through Rate (CTR) 

Your CTR will show you the number of times a potential customer clicks on a promo code or URL. Each influencer you use will have a code or link that is specific to them which means they (and you) will be able to track their individual performance insights. A high CTR will show you that your influencers have successfully brought in more traffic to your website/social page. A lower CTR will mean a weak call-to-action, or wrong target market. 

Website traffic 

If you’re looking to generate traffic to your website through influencers, you can measure metrics like shares, impressions, bounce rates and time spent on a page. Usually, brands invest in creating dedicated landing pages that are associated with the campaign, and are trackable through the promo codes, affiliate links and brand ambassador programs. 

Ready to jump in? 

Influencer marketing is a leading marketing strategy that can help push your brand ahead of your competitors. But, like all strategies, measuring your results is necessary to help you track your progress, and give you insight on how to pivot if needed. 

So, if you’re ready to invest in a successful influencer campaign, Creator.co is an ecosystem designed to perfectly bridge the gap between brands and influencers. Sign up today to become part of the community!