Many marketers still struggle with identifying tangible goals and KPIs that will improve their influencer marketing ROI (return on investment). In fact, 30% of surveyed marketers aren’t aware of how their influencer marketing program ROI compares to other marketing activations, suggesting a disconnect between goals and performance measurement.
When it comes down to it, setting goals should help you better identify where you have areas to improve. Similarly, if you don’t have the right benchmarks (or tracked KPIs) to base your performance off of, you have no way of measuring your success.
In this article I’ll walk you through some tips for setting goals and KPIs that I’ve learned during my eight years in the influencer marketing industry.
A big mistake that I’ve often seen folks make — they don’t ruthlessly narrow down priorities. If you’re trying to accomplish everything, you very well may end up accomplishing nothing. A better approach is to pick one single overarching goal and then break down the steps to that goal into smaller, micro goals.
Let’s say that you’ve been told that your campaign goal is to drive awareness for a new product. While this goal makes logical sense, its vagueness doesn’t help you determine the specific tactics or KPIs that you need to set to get there. Your influencer marketing goals - on both a programmatic and campaign level - should be SMART:
If we were to rewrite that campaign goal with these qualities, we’d get something more like: get our new product seen by 30% of our target audience this month.
Let’s say, for the purposes of this exercise, that 30% of your target audience is about 5 million people. This means that a more tactical goal for your campaign could be to earn 5 million views or achieve 5 million impressions on content from this new product launch campaign.
What’s great about this approach is that it creates a natural path towards thinking about tactics. You now have a specific goal in mind, so how are you going to achieve it? Will you pick five top-tier influencers (who all have between 1-5 million potential reach) to produce sponsored posts about your product? Or will you sponsor a larger group of mid-tier and macro influencers, but then supplement their content with a broader gifting program so you can gain some awareness from organic mentions as well?
Once you’ve honed in on your goals and begun thinking through some tactics, it’s time to set your KPIs (key performance indicators). Ask yourself, am I measuring something that truly indicates progress towards my goal?
When trying to determine how to measure performance among the influencers you are activating, you want to make sure that you use influencer marketing KPIs that can make “apples to apples” comparisons. As a best practice, avoid metrics that solely focus on volume or absolute numbers, as the data will often skew unfairly (and inaccurately) towards influencers with larger audiences. For example, if you’re comparing a VIP (5+ million followers) influencer to a macro tier influencer (50k-250k followers), of course the VIP is likely to achieve more views due to their scale. Here are some influencer marketing KPIs that are good for measuring performance:
“Obviously we look at metrics every day like video views and engagements but VIT is our North Star. It allows us to take a step back and understand where we are within our competitive set and how we are resonating with our audience. It’s an amazing metric for looking at the big picture.” — Brad Farrell, CMO of Beekman 1802
Another thing to keep in mind when setting KPIs for an influencer marketing campaign is to use any historical data you can as a starting point. When done right, this can help set a benchmark for you to work against, although, of course, you should always take into account important details such as resources or investment levels.
Tip: Make sure to track these KPIs in real time! An influencer marketing tool like Traackr will give your team the ability to see your campaign’s progress and evaluate how to improve.
Last, when it comes to setting goals you don’t want to “set ‘em and forget ‘em”. Setting good influencer marketing program goals and KPIs, and reacting to metrics in real-time is a skill that must be constantly practiced. Part of that practice is to take an unflinching look at where you fell short or surpassed your goals and put together actionable insights to inform future campaigns. Consider what the reasoning was behind your progress on your goals (whether good or bad).
The only way to optimize your performance is to understand it, and use data to inform the foundation of your influencer marketing strategy.