Tracking influencer marketing performance and learning from the data is the foundation of a solid influencer strategy. Too often we only look at reports when a campaign ends or when our boss asks to see the numbers. But (just like influencer collaborations…) measurement works best when it’s an ongoing process and part of our monthly, weekly, or sometimes even daily workflow.
Rather than something that’s done retrospectively, measurement works best when it surfaces the insights we need to help make our next decisions and campaigns even stronger.
Here are six types of reports I recommend influencer marketing managers review on a regular basis:
Let’s start with the most commonly used example: the campaign report. A campaign is usually defined by a fixed timeframe and group of influencers that you’ve been actively working with, whether for an event, a product send to a larger group, or a smaller paid group for a new launch. Once the campaign’s over, you should look into the high-level KPIs achieved from all of the influencers, as well as the top performing posts.
Other valuable data can be found by looking into how each individual influencer performed on the campaign. In addition to seeing the overall number of posts each influencer made for my brand, try taking a deeper look by sorting by the total engagements they generated, or average engagement rate per post to see who worked best for you. This is the information to come back to next time your running a campaign to see who you should work with again, and perhaps who wasn’t the best fit.
Evaluating individual influencers after a campaign is interesting, but looking at how they perform over a longer period, including their unsolicited, organic posts and how much they’re posting about my competitors, is where this gets really interesting.
One of the first things to look at is how many times each of your influencers has mentioned your brand versus your top competitors. If someone’s been on your mailing list all year, and you see they’ve never posted about your brand, but keep posting about your competitors, you know you should take them off your list!
Filter the report by engagement rate to understand who’s been performing the best, and look at what type of content has been working best for your competitors.
Discovering and vetting new influencers is an ongoing effort. Running search reports on a regular basis helps you find relevant people based on key criteria such as the content they are publishing or their audience attributes. Are there influencers who have mentioned your brand, products or keywords in the last few weeks?
Another useful way of finding new influencers is to keep a close eye on who’s been increasing their audience size rapidly recently. On a monthly basis, I run searches for new influencers talking about my industry and also “Trending on Instagram” so I can quickly see whose audience has been growing the fastest, and find new and emerging talent.
Of course the opposite is also true and perhaps even more important. You want to know which of your influencers have been losing their audience! If you see huge drops, it can be a pretty clear sign that the influencer had a large number of bot followers that have been cleaned up recently by the social network.
It’s increasingly important to vet and monitor influencers’ activity for content that may damage your brand. Whether reviewing an influencer for a potential collaboration or ongoing monitoring to ensure the influencers you’ve partnered with haven’t posted content which contradicts your brand values. A brand safety report helps you research historical content and stay informed going forward. Each organization will have its own list of red flag terms which can be used to surface past content and reveal new content for review.
Everyone wants to know how their brand is performing compared to their competition. Set up this report across all of the influencers in your influencer relationship management (IRM) database to pull a wider group in for benchmarking, include all of your top competitors’ brand names, Instagram handles for photo-tags, and any specific products or hashtags they use for campaigns.
My Leaderboard gives me a quick view of my overall brand performance against my competitors, and I can quickly sort this by the metric I’m most interested in, for example in this case, I wanted to see which brand was driving the most video views.
This report finds the insights that help me make better decisions about who to work with and how to collaborate on content together. I look at everything from which platforms are performing best, which tiers of influencers are driving the most engagement, which campaigns outperformed others and more. This is the type of report I will share with my leadership team so they can see our program performance.
With these six reports at your fingertips, you will be equipped to optimize your influencer marketing programs on an ongoing basis. As one of my colleagues like to say, doing influencer marketing without analytics is like putting your makeup on in the dark. Probably not a great idea :)