Unlike typical marketing campaigns, influencer marketing adds an additional level of complexity; the influencer. Get it right, and you have a highly efficient marketing campaign. Get it wrong, and it is a dud. When measuring ROI of an influencer campaign, how do you evaluate the influencers’ performance?
As a specialty influencer marketing company, we have numerous methods of evaluating an influencer’s performance during all stages of a campaign. Here’s a few tips from our iStack ranking system that we provide clients at the end of every campaign with.
5 ITEMS TO CONSIDER WHEN EVALUATING AN INFLUENCER'S PERFORMANCE
REACH: WHAT’S REAL AND WHAT ISN’T
Don’t be fixated on the numbers, because reach does not equal influence. We’ve said this before and it is worth repeating for those in the back- reach does not mean influence.
Influencers with huge followings will not get your brand the type of engagement you need to make an impact. Why? It’s simple, not all of their followers will see your content organically. And the percentage swings widely, ranging from as low as 1% for some social channels to as high as 30% for others.
While we’re talking about reach as an ROI measurement tool, we also strongly encourage you to avoid using max potential impressions, because they're bogus. Even worse are second generation/viral impressions. Pure fiction.
Max potential and second generation/viral impressions dramatically overstate the number of impressions being generated. Don’t fall for it, they're bloated, meaningless numbers. At Carusele our method of counting impressions is more accurate, we count True Views. We believe in this so much that we put together a free true views calculator to get the actual reach of an influencer’s organic reach.
Influencer marketing is only as good as the content. At Carusele, we require all content to be reviewed by our team prior to posting to ensure that the brand guidelines are met and the brand is properly represented. But quality content is more than that. Is it thumb-stopping, aspirational, or informative? Does it make you want to share? Is it high-quality? Our process is very hands on and not something that can be automated, but we believe it is critical to a campaign’s success.
ENGAGEMENT: DOES THE INFLUENCER INFLUENCE?
When it comes to influence, reach doesn’t matter, but engagement does. Engagement takes several different forms, such as likes and shares, comments, views, saves and more. It is important that all of these metrics are tracked to get an accurate picture of each influencer’s level of engagement.
But it's not all data driven or automated. Our team reads comments to ensure that sentiments are relative to the campaign and the influencer is engaging with their audiences. Also, we put eyes on comments to gauge whether influencers are buying engagement - super easy to spot- or are part of influencer pods where they strategically drive up each others engagement. Both, obviously, are a big no.
For example, if an influencer is posting about a CPG brand, and all of the comments are asking about her shoes, we consider the engagement to be poor.
COST EFFECTIVENESS (CPM/ CPE)
CPM (cost-per-thousand) or CPE (cost-per-engagement) are important metrics, so how do you know you're hitting the right target?
Here's an example. A brand spends $50K on an influencer campaign and they get 25 million "impressions", which results in a $2 CPM. But, when you do the math on the real impressions, (approximately 1-3 million impressions, depending which social channels you activated on) they've really paid somewhere between a $16 - $50 CPM. They just didn't know it.
The good news is the $16-$50 CPM is getting prime, in feed native placements with great targeting (assuming your influencer doesn't have fake followers) and the cost used to calculate the CPM includes much more than just the cost to place the media.
COST EFFECTIVENESS (CONTENT CREATION)
Influencer rates vary wildly. Over and over we see brands overpaying influencers and not getting a fair rate because they did not do proper due diligence. Additionally, when an influencer works with a manager, their rate increases significantly, which increases their CPM, and often this makes them an undesirable partner.
When calculating an influencer’s rate, we look at a variety of factors, such as the impressions or clicks we will garner, engagement, the quality of their work, have we worked with them before, and their CPE.
Curious how we would evaluate influencers for your brand? Contact us to set up a free consultation.