Although marketers understand and experience the benefits of using influencers, they still struggle to measure return on investment. In fact, according to ‘The State of Influencer Marketing’ report by Linqia, 78% of marketers see calculating ROI as their top influencer marketing challenge.

As influencer marketing evolves, we are more than likely to see standard KPIs come into play. At the moment, brands that have experience with influencer campaigns have developed their own.

Here’s a checklist of seven KPIs we at theright.fit use when we work with an influencer.

  1. Engagement

    It’s not enough to look at follower numbers, you need to know whether the followers are active and engaged. Quantify engagement actions such as ‘likes’, comments, and shares/reposts/retweets by taking that figure and calculating the percentage of the influencer’s followers that responds.

    There are online tools that can do this for you, or you can simply use the formula:
    Total engagement on the post divided by number of followers (x 100 to get the percentage)

  2. Website traffic

    Which number is important? While page views are helpful, the number of unique visitors to the influencer’s website will give you a better idea of their true audience size. You can also benchmark your website traffic and visitors before engaging the influencer and then later to discern the effect of the campaign.

  3. Referral traffic

    Measuring referral traffic will show you whether the influencer’s endorsement has led to their followers embracing your brand.

    Let the influencer share a URL with followers on their blog or website, or via social media platforms like Insta stories or LinkedIn, to encourage ongoing referral traffic.

    When someone clicks on a hyperlink to go to a new page on a different website Google Analytics tracks the click as a referral visit to the second site. You can measure this and see the influence in action.

  4. Brand awareness

    One benefit of engaging an influencer is that they can introduce your brand to an audience that may not have heard of you (or may not have engaged with you), and that you might not be able to reach through traditional marketing channels.

    Pushing your brand to the front of their followers’ minds and driving positive brand sentiment are both extremely valuable results from engaging an influencer.

    Reach is harder to measure than engagement and traffic, but you can generally tell if the influencer is having an effect on your business if you can see a demographic shift in your followers and customers.

    Formally, you may wish to survey new customers and ask how they came to know your brand or offer a unique special for the influencer’s followers, so you can trace the source of leads.

  5. Trackable links

    Trackable links combine referral traffic measurement and tracing the source of leads. Create a unique, trackable link for the influencer to share with their audience. The traffic generated from that link is directly traceable to the influencer’s impact.

  6. Quality content

    Many brands seek influencers because they create high-quality and original content (blogs, photos, videos, and so on) that can be repurposed for the brand’s own channel or website, or its collateral such as newsletters and online advertising.

    Create an agreement with the content creator to ensure you can use the material in this way and include this use as part of your KPIs. Bespoke content requires a thorough brief to ensure your idea of quality aligns with the influencer’s.

  7. Follower behaviour

    The behaviour of loyal followers is a good indicator of the influencer’s effect. You can usually measure loyalty through specific kinds of engagement; for example, positive comments on a branded/sponsored post: ‘Wow that lipstick looks great on you, I am going to try it!’ or ‘That software you mentioned sounds exactly like what I need. Thanks, I will check it out!’

    An increase in new followers for your brand after influencer activity is also evidence that the campaign is working.

Using KPIs to shape how you work with an influencer will give you a framework for measuring ROI. That way, you can compare what works and what doesn’t and better engage the influencer’s talents for the promotion of your brand.