Subscribe to The Spin!

Stay up-to-date on the latest news and trends in the influencer marketing space with our bi-weekly newsletter, The Spin.

Nov 01 The Challenges of Influencer Marketing Attribution

Many marketers have struggled with attribution when it comes to measuring influencer marketing efforts. While the problem is simple, the solution isn't - but we have two possible solutions you can test out.

#1. Create a Multi-Attribution Formula

Your first option is to create a formula for attribution where you give a percentage of value to various contributors - the first touch gets some value, the last touch gets some value, the influencer exposures on social get some value, etc. Some of our clients have developed these formulas and they're a good apples-to-apples way to measure the value of certain programs.

The problem, however, is that somebody who sees content on Facebook but doesn't click on it will not automatically go into your Google Analytics (or whatever analytics program you're using) because they didn't click through.

#2. Create a Snapshot-in-Time Analysis

The other option to consider is to create a snapshot-in-time analysis, where you look at the view rate to the conversion rate using the Facebook Pixel for the influencer exposures, and the view rate to conversion rate for the other marketing efforts you're running (banner ads, television spots, etc.). The benefit of this approach is you'll be able to see those people who were exposed to the content but didn't click.

Our experience with our clients shows that those who were exposed to content but didn't click is a much larger number than you'd assume. For one client, at the end of our program we found that 70% of the sales that we could track occurred within 24-hours of exposure to influencer content but without a click, yet only 3% of sales within 24-hours occurred with a click. So if you're only counting last touch click attribution, you're under-counting by a factor of about 25x.


This type of error has always been true within the auto industry. They highly value search as a last touch attribution, but they don't factor in what made the consumer search to begin with - like the TV ads, the sports sponsorship, the banner ads, etc. The same sort of problem is happening with influencer marketing.

Facebook has also attempted to provide a solution with their Facebook Pixel informing brands who was exposed and who converts. This approach works except that Facebook takes 100% credit for all those sales. Again, they're not counting the blog post, email, or banner ad the consumer saw prior to their purchase. There's two reasons Facebook does this. One, they have an incentive to show you your return on ad spend was fantastic because these exposed people bought. The second issue is more tactical - they can't actually see the other exposures. They can't see who got an email and who read a blog post because that's over in your analytics platform.

So those are some challenges and possible solutions you have to consider. Just know, if your team is using last touch attribution or first touch attribution, you're likely missing a huge percentage of the impact of your influencer marketing campaigns. So go ahead and create a formula or do that snapshot-in-time analysis.

I know this is a complicated topic, so you have any questions, contact us today and we can develop a solution for you.