Finding influencers and setting up influencer marketing campaigns is a tall order, but well worth the effort (for most brands, at least). But what's the point of getting those campaigns up and running if you don't know how well they perform or where there's room for improvement?

Some companies may not even bother with influencer marketing at all because they're unsure of how to track it, which could mean missing out on a huge opportunity to reach new leads.

By analyzing the right metrics and ignoring the ones that don't matter, you can make your campaigns more effective and your budget stretch further.

Decide Which Influencer Campaign Metrics to Track Based on Your Goals

Before you can decide which metrics to track, you have to be clear on your goals for the influencer marketing campaign.

For example, do you want to increase sales, or are you more interested in letting people know your brand exists (brand awareness)? Do you want to generate more leads, or is there another type of engagement you're focused on right now? Maybe you want people to share a post rather than click through to a landing page.

Knowing what you want out of your influencer campaigns will help you determine which metrics to track, and whether they're working in your favor.

Influencer Campaign Awareness Metrics

Three awareness-related metrics you can track are reach, impressions, and audience growth:

  • Reach tells you how many people potentially saw the influencer's post. It's a reflection of how many followers the influencer has.
  • Impressions can give you a better idea of how often audience members actually saw the post, since reach can be difficult to track and potential viewers aren't the same as actual viewers.
  • Audience growth tells you how many new followers your social account received as a result of the influencer marketing campaign. It's a bit difficult to track exactly why you have new followers, but if you get an influx of followers while an influencer campaign is running, that's a good indication it's working.

Awareness metrics, along with engagement metrics (which we'll get to next) usually can be tracked using social data from the social platform itself or from a third-party tool.

The influencer's social data—which the influencer should share with you for the posts you've sponsored—along with your own account's social data, will give you all the information you need to track awareness metrics.

Influencer Campaign Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics to consider tracking include engagement rate, clickthrough rate (CTR), and cost per click (CPC).

Overall, engagement metrics tell you how well your audience received the campaign and what it did as a result. If an audience is inspired to act, your campaign is doing its job.

  • Engagement rate is the percentage of the audience that somehow interacted with the influencer's post. It includes people who liked, commented on, and shared the post, for example.
  • CTR is the percentage of the audience that clicked on your ad (or on the link the influencer included in the post).
  • CPC is how much you pay for every click on the link in the post. The lower the CPC, the better.

Influencer Campaign Sales Metrics

At some point, you're going to want to generate revenue from your influencer marketing efforts, which is where sales metrics come in. The ones to pay attention to are lead generation, sales, and revenue:

  • Lead generation tells you approximately how many leads were generated by the influencer marketing campaign. The more leads you get, the more opportunities there are to make sales.
  • Sales is pretty self-explanatory: You track the number of sales that are a direct result of the influencer campaign (more on how to do that in a minute).
  • Revenue is also self-explanatory: You track how much revenue those sales generated.

Sales metrics require you to create trackable links so you can figure out exactly which links led to which sales. Using specific links in your influencer campaigns will tell you where leads or customers clicked the link that brought them to the next step of the buying process.

In addition to—or as an alternative to—trackable links, you can create custom promo codes that the influencer promotes to followers. That way, whenever people use the promo code to make a purchase, you know they found out about your brand, product, or service through that specific influencer post.

By combining trackable links with promo codes, you can cover your bases even if someone clicks the trackable link but doesn't use the promo code.

Influencer Campaign Traffic Metrics

If you're hoping to drive traffic to your site via an influencer post, you'll want to keep up with traffic metrics.

You have CTR, which tells you how many times a link has been clicked in an ad or a post, but you also have to track actual website traffic. People can click the link but then veer away from your site before it gets a chance to load, thus making clickthrough an inaccurate way to keep an eye on actual website traffic growth. (However, CTR is still a solid indicator of how well an ad or post is performing: If people are clicking the link, then that means it's doing a big part of its job.)

Traffic analytics can be found either through your website itself or via Google Analytics, which may provide a more well-rounded view of traffic. You can also check bounce rate, pages per session, pageviews, and time on site to see whether and how your web traffic is growing and also how valuable that traffic is.

* * *

It's not always easy to determine the ROI of your influencer marketing campaigns, and, truthfully, no single metric is going to show you the exact number.

However, by paying attention to the right stats and knowing what you're looking for, you can create a pretty accurate snapshot of how well a campaign is performing. Then, armed with that insight, you can make tweaks to your current influencer campaign to give it a better chance of success, as well as decide whether to work with that influencer in the future.

More Resources on Influencer Campaigns

How to Build (and Level Up) Influencer Campaigns

The Six Secrets to Successful Influencer Campaigns

How to Find and Hire Social Media Influencers [Infographic]

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image of Brian Meert

Brian Meert is the CEO of AdvertiseMint, a Hollywood-based digital advertising agency that specializes in helping companies advertise on Facebook. He is the author of the bestselling The Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising.

LinkedIn: Brian Meert

Twitter: @brianmeert