As per recent trends an influencer marketing strategy can have many benefits to your business in terms of SEO, brand awareness, increasing conversions and much, much more.
No doubt then, you’ve already got your own strategy in place and are actively engaging with influencers in your niche.
But how do you know if it’s working?
If someone asked you how your influencer marketing strategy is going, would you (honestly) be able to give them a data-backed reply?
It’s all good and well doing something, but in order to be successful at it, you need to measure it.
That’s why I’m here.
But first there’s some essentials we need to cover:
What’s the point?
Don’t take offence at that. I promise I’m not asking you to question the meaning of life.
If you take one thing away from this article, I want it to be this. Whatever you’re doing, question why you’re doing it.
Ask yourself, what’s the goal I’m trying to achieve here?
Whenever a new marketing strategy comes along, it’s easy to dive head first into actioning it, without considering what we actually want to achieve by it.
Establishing what your goal is from the beginning is absolutely essential. Not only does it help you when it comes to measuring success, but it can also help you plan your outreach, and which influencers you’ll approach.
When I’m talking about goals, I don’t just mean vague, pulled from the air goals either.
Sure ‘driving traffic’ and ‘increasing conversions’ are valid goals, but to get any real value from your data, you need to be a bit more specific.
Think about your business, what’s the point of your business?
Okay, so you want to make money – that’s everyone’s ‘goal’. Metrics such as Revenue, and Profit are valid data points by which to determine your success, but dig deeper. What made you choose your business in particular?
Maybe you decided to sell charcoal face masks because you believe that everyone deserves to have beautiful skin.
Maybe you started your consultancy because you want to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Whatever your ‘point’, figure out what you need to do in order to help you achieve this.
So if you want to help everyone get beautiful skin through your charcoal products, you might decide that you need to build awareness of the benefits of charcoal in beauty products, and create a loyal following of brand ambassadors.
These are your goals, and it’s these that will help you determine whether your data is showing a successful strategy or not.
As Avinash Kaushik puts it, “The beauty of goals is that they reflect specific strategies. They are really DUMB. They are priorities. They are actually things almost everyone in the company will understand as soon as you say them.”
One other thing:
Make sure you’re measuring the right data
I can’t stress this point enough.
Before you start ANYTHING make sure that you are tracking all the data you need.
How you track them and where your tracking them might vary depending on your business and your goals, but at the very, very least you should have your goals set up on Google Analytics.
As a self-proclaimed data nerd, however, I feel obliged to tell you: track whatever you can, even if you think it might not quite be relevant right now.
If you’re not tracking it, you can’t measure it.
Sure, right now you might think you don’t need it. But trust me, there will be a time when it will come in handy.
It’s also about making sure the data you’re measuring is easy to find.
Particularly for outreach marketing (though this applies to any strategy), using something as simple as UTM tags can help you do just that.
But, Sarah, I hear you say, Google Analytics will tell me where my referral comes from, so I’ll be able to spot the influencers who’ve sent me traffic/conversions.
But what if you work with one influencer on two separate campaigns? How do you then determine which campaign got you the best results?
If you’ve used UTM tags, you’ll be able to head to the Campaigns section of Google Analytics, segment by traffic from that influencer’s sites and then see the information right in front of you. It would likely take you less than 10 clicks.
If you haven’t tracked that data, sure, maybe you’d be able to dig through and eventually find out what worked and what didn’t, but in that time you could have been building relationships with influencers, and searching for new ones on Ninja Outreach!
If you’re unsure about how to use UTM tags, you should check out this bumper guide to campaign tagging from Annie Cushing.
Whether it’s PPC, Influencer Marketing or email newsletter – make sure that your UTMs are set up and tracking correctly.
It’s also worth creating a simple spreadsheet to track who you contact and the results of that at the beginning of your campaign. This will save you having to find the data when you want to start measuring.
So, with that covered, let’s see how we can start measuring your success.
When To Measure Success
While we still put together monthly reports to track how we’re doing, I’m of the firm belief that data is more useful when it’s being used actively, rather than solely at the end of a campaign or project.
It’s all about being data-informed.
Obviously I’m not recommending that you quit working on your existing marketing strategy and instead spend your time analysing data – you’ll achieve nothing that way.
No, you need to work like split testers and PPC specialists.
Think about it, when was the last time you heard of a PPC campaign that was just left to run until the money ran out or the promo ended?
Because PPC campaigns are visibly spending your money, you check on it at regular intervals and make tweaks to the campaign based on the data you get back.
CROs, A/B testers, whatever you want to call the job, they follow the same ideas. They never create a landing page, leave it and hope for the best. They set up experiments, look at the results, optimize and repeat.
This is the approach you should be taking to your outreach strategy.
Your outreach strategy doesn’t just consist of the end results, so you shouldn’t just measure success by the end result.
You should be measuring your success during the process of finding, reaching out and working with those influencers.
What to measure
Let’s face it, we are not all Neil Patel, and we don’t all have people begging to collaborate with us. So when we’re building relationships and reaching out to people we’d like to work with, it doesn’t always work.
By measuring the performance of your outreach whilst building those relationships, you can learn what works and what doesn’t.
There are two key metrics that you should be measuring here; Response Rate, and
You can already see the Response Rate in Ninja Outreach, just head to the list management page and check out the Reply rate.
If you want to work it out yourself, however, it is super simple to do:
(No. of Responses/No. Of Influencers Contacted)*100
As I’m sure you’ve guessed, this simply tells you how well influencers are responding to your email.
Participation Rate is a little more focused in its calculation, but it will tell you just how successful the outreach part of your marketing strategy actually is.
Afterall, what’s an outreach strategy if you’re not actually collaborating with people.
I personally prefer to work out the participation rate based on the number of influencers who responded:
(No. of Participants/No. Of Responses)*100
You might be getting the response from influencers, but again, it’s essential to get them actually participating in your campaign.
If you want to see what your participation rate is compared to the number of people you’ve contacted, just switch out the No. of Responses for the No. of Influencers.
These might seem like pretty simple metrics, but it’s when you start segmenting the data for each of them that you can quickly build a strong view of how well you’re doing.
Segmenting this data will then allow you to start creating A/B tests and tweaking your outreach until you’ve got a killer email.
To decide what to start segmenting by, first, come up with a hypothesis. What do you believe could have an impact on response rate and participation rate?
Here are two examples:
You might think that the email subject might be having an impact on open rate and as a result, decreasing your response rate.
In your spreadsheet, you should sort your data by the email subject that you used and see what the results are so far.
Your hypothesis could be that subject lines that include a question get a higher open rate than those without, and so this is what you want to test.
If you’ve created your templates in Ninja Outreach, it’s super easy to create A/B templates.
Simply head to ‘Manage Templates’ > Create Template and then use the drop down to load the existing template that you want to create a test version of. Tweak your subject line and you’re good to go!
Other segments that you might consider and want to measure against are the niche of the influencers that you’re contacting (are you targeting the right kind of influencer?) or the type of collaboration you’re offering (you might get a high response rate, but the content you share with them might result in a low participation rate).
You could also consider testing against these 7 reasons that Neil Patel believes are behind a low open rate.
Take the principles of A/B testing into mind when segmenting your data, and don’t test too many variables at one time.
You should also be wary of making sure you have enough data to make statistically significant assumptions.
A response rate of 50% sounds great on paper, but not when you consider it was 1 influencer out of 2 that received an email with that subject line.
Now that you’ve got your killer outreach email, you’ll no doubt have some top notch collaborations in the works.
Whether your results are a guest post, product placement, or sponsored post, you’ll want to see the overall success of each collaboration and campaign.
How you measure these will depend on those goals you defined earlier on.
There are also many different types of campaigns you could run as part of your influencer marketing, and for each of these, success could be defined in highly different ways.
That said, there are some essential metrics that you can consider:
Goal Completion Rate / Conversion Rate
Everything comes back to goals.
If you don’t have a clearly defined goal, you might as well be throwing dollars into the wind.
I know I’m repeating myself, but it’s because it’s so essential to everything that you do as a marketer.
Your success is defined by your goal.
If your goal is to sell more charcoal face masks, the success is measured by looking at the conversion rate for that product.
If your goal is to build a community, success is measured by the number of sign ups.
The higher your conversion rate, the more successful your influencer marketing strategy was.
Traffic is often considered a bit of a vanity metric, but when it comes to influencer marketing, driving traffic to a specific page can often be the goal you’re aiming for.
Measuring the referral traffic can show you two things:
- How engaging the collaboration was for users
- How well your landing page is working
Sometimes, what we think makes a great collaboration on paper, doesn’t actually work. Maybe their audience just isn’t as interested in the type of content you created. Looking at referral traffic can help you gauge this.
It can also tell you a lot about your own site.
If you experienced a lot of referral traffic from an influencer, but a high bounce rate on your landing page, you need to revisit it and figure out what was turning potential conversions away.
Due to the very nature of influencer marketing, which usually involves putting your content on someone else’s site or social network, it means you can’t see specific metrics such as Bounce Rate and Avg. Session Duration.
What you can see, however, is the number of shares and comments on a post. These are your engagement metrics.
You might have other metrics in mind that you would measure, and that’s great. If they can help you determine how you’re doing in terms of your goal – that’s what you need to measure.
Measuring each aspect of your outreach strategy is essential. Being data-driven and measuring throughout your strategy rather than just at the end, can help you continually optimize your approach so that you’re guaranteed a successful outreach campaign. It can also help you to stay focused so that every campaign you run, and every influencer you collaborate with helps drive you towards your goals.
Are there any metrics that you’ve found particularly useful for measuring outreach? I’d love to hear how measuring your influencer outreach strategy has helped you.
Sarah Hewitson is the Community and Marketing Manager for Neatly.io. She loves finding ways to make data more accessible and easy to access for businesses. When she’s not doing that, you can find her planning what’s next for her ever-changing hair colour. Follow Sarah at @go_neatly or [email protected].