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, I’m mainly interested in the high-level KPIs achieved from all my influencers, as well as the top performing posts.
I’d also look into how each individual influencer performed on the campaign. While it’s interesting to see the overall number of posts each influencer made for my brand, I’m usually more interested in sorting this by the total engagements they generated, or average engagement rate per post to see who worked best for me. This is the information I’ll come back to next time I’m running a campaign to see who I’d like to work with again, and perhaps who wasn’t the best fit this time round.
Evaluating individual influencers after a campaign is interesting, but looking at how they perform over a longer period, including their unprompted organic posts and how much they’re posting about my competitors is where this gets really interesting.
One of the first things I’ll look at is how many times each of my influencers has mentioned me versus my top competitors. If someone’s been on my mailing list all year, but I see they’ve never posted about me, but keep posting about my competitors, they’re off my list!
I’ll filter the report by engagement rate to understand who’s been performing best for me, and have a look at what sort of content has been working best for my 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. For example, are there influencers who have mentioned your brand, products or keywords that are important to you in the last few weeks?
If we enter Paul Smith and the brand's Instagram handle in here as a keyword and select ‘New Influencers’, I’ll have a list of completely new influencers to me who’ve been talking about the brand. By selecting just the past month as a content date range, you can be sure to never miss any emerging talent, regardless of which platforms they’re posting about you on.
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. Fenn here recently collaborated with Paul Smith, and her audience on Instagram has grown by 14% in the past month.
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 used language 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, and unsurprisingly this tends to be the report that generates most interest, particularly across wider teams in the company! This is best set up across all the influencers in your influencer relationship management (IRM) database to pull a wider group in for benchmarking, including all 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.
I like to delve in to this report to find the insights that can 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 best 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 :)