Distracted. The content is unlimited. What about your potential readers? They are really, really impatient.
In order to truly attract audiences, more and more brands are beginning to cooperate with partners, influencers, and publishers.
Research earlier this year showed that influencer marketing is ranked as the fastest-growing online customer acquisition method, even ahead of email marketing and paid search. More than half of the marketers surveyed stated that they plan to increase their influencer marketing budget in the next 12 months.
Influencer marketing really works. A study found that for every dollar spent on activities with such partners, a return of approximately $6.50 was obtained.
Of course, this leads to another question-if influencer marketing is so good, how do you track the results? If you have syndicated content or worked with partners, you know that accessing these metrics can be painful.
Here are five ways to get started:
1. Set Your Goals
Before you launch an influencer marketing campaign, please be clear about what you want to achieve. Goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) will be very different.
B2B working with partners may prefer to track potential customers rather than audience growth and impressions. B2C may be interested in establishing a social presence on new channels, gaining engagement around hashtags, or driving sales.
Make sure that the influencer and the brand are aligned on the strategy and the results you want to achieve. In this way, you can ensure that everyone has the same concept of success.
2. Monitor Audience Growth
The easiest way to track the impact of influencers is to see if your audience has grown before and after the event. Seeing a surge in web traffic or fan and follower growth can indicate that your campaign is working hard to increase brand awareness.
Specifically, you need to measure:
- Brand mention
- Participation around hashtags
- New followers and fans
3. Check Your Traffic Referrals
Tracking recommendations in plugins like Google Analytics or Jetpack for WordPress can show you whether you are getting traffic from the efforts of influencers.
However, traffic is just a general indicator to track. What you really want to figure out is how much traffic can be directly attributed to third parties. This is where UTM parameters come into play.
By creating links with specific tags for partner promotions, you can monitor the referral sources of influencer marketing campaigns in Google Analytics.
4. Measure Clicks
Whether you are working with thought leaders, partners, or syndicating your work to a website, you should use shortened LinkShorteners links. By providing a LinkShorteners link to each third party immediately before the event, you can easily track the number of clicks and shares of each influencer, regardless of the channel.
This is the most important thing when you can’t access the analysis of the target page. This can happen to a lot of influential people direct traffic to a product page or write an article about you on their blog. The LinkShorteners link will also show how often the link is shared.
Dave Neuman, Director of Social Media Services at Prime Visibility, uses LinkShorteners links to show customers the impact of third-party placements:
"When we want to position our customers as thought leaders, part of the strategy includes linking to third-party content and expressing their reactions to third-party content, and we don't necessarily have the analysis or comprehensive data like our own content," he said. "LinkShorteners enables us to understand the content and types of content that our customers' social audiences are most interested in reading and participating in, whether they come from customer-owned websites or third-party content sources."
5. Discount Codes & Drivers
If you are a retail or e-commerce company, your first task may be to see if influencers are driving sales. The most straightforward method is to provide an influencer-specific discount code.
In this way, no matter what channel the influencer uses to promote the product (blog, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), you can easily track the bottom-line results of the campaign.
B2B companies that are more interested in potential customers should provide partners and thought leaders with specific UTM parameters and drivers.
At LinkShorteners, we created a parent marketing campaign in Salesforce to track the total number of potential customers from all our different channels and then created child marketing campaigns for each of the different channels. For each partner promotion, we create a sub-event (usually identified by the partner's name) and then provide them with a LinkShorteners link with a specific driver and UTM parameters.
The Relationships Behind the Metrics
Many marketers regard the hard numbers behind influencer marketing activities as unknowable, which has become a conditioned reflex. However, if you don’t have the data to understand what’s effective, you won’t be able to optimize the content in the future.
In other words, the first step in any activity is actually to identify influencers and build relationships with them. The better the relationship, the more willing influencers will be when sharing insights and data behind promotions.
The greatest power of influencers is that you have built-in brand advocates, who are always in your corner. When you work with influential people, you not only gain a new channel, but also a whole new network of potential customers you can reach.