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How to measure the impact of Influencer Marketing on sales?

Developing an influencer strategy has become one of the most effective and popular levers for professionals in recent months. With the influencer marketing industry expected to reach $15 billion by 2022, according to Business Insider Africa, the number of social network users continues to grow. In 2021, no less than 409 million new users will have registered on social platforms worldwide (source: Kepios).

Five people meeting around a table seen from above
Five people meeting around a table seen from above

Influencer marketing is more relevant and powerful than ever for brands that effectively activate all its aspects. While its performance is well and truly approved by marketers, it is no less important to evaluate the quantitative and qualitative impact of each of the actions taken by professionals. Are you preparing or have you already launched your Influencer Marketing campaigns and would you like to know how to verify the impact of your actions on your commercial performance?

Because it’s not always easy to find your way through the amount of data available on the networks and the tools you use, it’s time to read this article to get a clearer picture. And in particular to answer the question: how can you concretely measure the impact of Influencer Marketing on sales? To be on the right track, there’s nothing like preparing, among other things, the indicators that will attest to the success of your operations. We’ll explain.

What is the purpose of measuring the impact of an Influencer Marketing campaign?What are the indicators to observe beforehand?Measuring the impact on sales and ROI

What is the purpose of measuring the impact of an Influencer Marketing campaign?

The choice to call upon, identify and activate KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) in your strategy is guided by objectives that you have clearly defined beforehand. You may need to increase your brand awareness by positioning yourself as a trusted brand or to improve your brand image by communicating your values or your social and environmental commitments.

You may also need to increase your visibility to a new audience and generate leads for conversion and sales. If certain objectives are not directly related to increasing your short-term commercial performance, such as brand image for example, it is possible to use Influencer Marketing as a real growth lever. In this case, the impact of influencer activation can be seen in the volume of sales generated, the follow-up of the follower’s path to purchase and the transformation rate.

Whatever the motivation for activating content creators for your brand, data collection is essential to:

  • Check the statistics per influencer to know the performance of each activated profile and the relevance of a profile identified before a campaign.
  • Analyse the relevance of the campaign and the good adequacy of the influencer / actions / target,
  • Evaluate your actions at different stages of the campaign and compare them with other campaigns already conducted and improve their final results.

Making intermediate assessments and accumulating data as the campaigns progress offer the possibility of adjusting your levers and taking corrective action during, or at the end, of your influencer campaign operations. In order to benefit from benchmarks, it is obviously necessary to prepare the data collection beforehand in order to select the Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, that are most relevant to the objectives set.

What are the indicators to observe beforehand?

Before the launch of your campaign, some indicators will be very interesting to note for the good preparation of the latter. On the one hand, they will help you choose the influencer according to your budget, your objectives and your target, and on the other hand, they will allow you to establish comparisons and precise performance measurements. Here, it is more specifically about measuring reach and engagement.

The reach of a campaign

Reach is the number of people exposed at least once to a piece of content. A distinction can be made between potential and actual reach. That is to say, the reach that a publication could achieve given the number of subscribers (on your accounts or those of your influencers) and the actual reach of the content on the audience after publication. Note that :

  • The number of influencers’ subscribers represents your potential target,
  • The number of impressions represents the number of times a content is seen by Internet users.

Before the campaign, you can look at the statistics of the influencer(s) to determine the reach that could benefit from your action by collaborating with him/her. This data can be used as a baseline to measure KPIs such as the increase in the number of subscribers during the campaign or the increase in the number of impressions.

However, measuring reach alone will not be relevant if you do not take into account the community’s rate of engagement with the influencer. This qualitative data should also be taken into account both before and during the campaign to analyse the performance of the content.

Engagement: measurement of followers' adherence

Engagement measures the interest and involvement of the community for the campaign through the content shared by the influencer (publications, stories, videos,…). Here, it is necessary to calculate the volume of interactions of the KOL’s audience. These are likes, clicks, shares, reactions (comments) and brand mentions (tags). Depending on the networks and the measurement systems of the different social platforms, the engagement rate can be a bit different but it is generally calculated as follows:

  • Engagement rate = total number of interactions on content / total number of followers
  • Real engagement rate = total number of interactions / total number of impressions.

Checking the statistics of the content creators before launching the collaboration allows you to ensure the qualitative value of the content published by them and to possibly discard those that do not correspond to your growth objectives. The engagement rate is also used to calculate the ROI of Influence Marketing and Earned Media Value.

Measuring the impact on sales and ROI

You have selected precise data to analyse upstream and you can now use it to evaluate the evolution of the campaign and the real impact on sales. If you opt for Influencer Marketing as a lever for commercial growth, you will need to effectively evaluate your ROI (return on investment), i.e. the measure of sales generated by the campaign on the total allocated budget.

To do this, you must once again prepare in advance to collect data that will allow you to evaluate precisely how much of the number of sales is due to the campaign. We explain.

The conversion rate

The conversion rate corresponds to the number of potential customers transformed into real customers by an act of purchase. Different activation levers allow you to collect data to calculate it.

  • The promotional code is a solution to establish a link between a collaboration with an influencer and the use of this code during a sale. Also in order to track the results of the Influencer partnership, it is important to give a unique promo code per influencer. This discount code creates an interesting sense of exclusivity for the content creator’s community and applies to new previews, products and time-limited offers specifically dedicated to the collaboration,
  • Affiliation links are mentions of the brand or its products integrated in the content published by the influencer that refer to the action desired by the campaign (a brand’s website, a product page,…). They allow us to know the origin of a visitor and his actions. To track the URLs in question, UTM tags must be added to them, a code that will make it possible to follow the path of the Internet user, from the click on the link to the act of purchase.

Website Traffic

During the Influencer campaign period, you can also rely on the evolution of measurements via Google Analytics in terms of traffic to your website. A lot of information allows you to determine :

  • the evolution of the number of new visitors to the site,
  • the clicks generated by the publications of influencers,
  • the evolution of the number and type of page views,
  • the evolution of the duration of sessions,
  • the bounce rate.

The ROI of Influence Marketing campaigns

Measuring the impact of your campaigns on your sales also requires taking into account the ROI of Influence Marketing (i.e. via a ROI-driven approach). Once again, this allows you to use the measurements observed to adapt your campaigns and adjust the allocated budget. In this way you can check the profitability of the campaigns implemented and identify the most relevant operations in terms of conversion. Thanks to the KPIs monitored, you will be able to identify the success or non-success factors of your Influence projects. To give you an overview of the engagement/ROI ratio, this Fashionnetwork article gives an overview of the average ROI for fashion brands according to the Kolsquare study “Fashion and accessories: Influence Marketing at the heart of brand performance“.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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