As a self proclaimed Instagram enthusiast, @jfeiseee, it comes as no surprise that I am a huge supporter of leveraging Instagram for influencer marketing (the right way...and not like this, as Sam Fiorella notes!) In terms of Instagram influencer marketing success metrics, there is good news and bad news.
The good news is, Instagram has experienced unparalleled user growth and boasts the highest engagement of any social network. Sources claim that Instagram users are 15 times more engaged than Facebook users. Sounds like a marketer’s dream!
There are many brands that are getting influencer marketing right on Instagram. I highlighted a few of these in my last blog post including National Geographic, Starwood and GE. Instagram has proven to be a great platform for influencer marketing due to the high level of user engagement. Influencer marketing on Instagram can help boost your brand's reputation, increase your reach and build loyal customers.
Now for the bad news: Instagram influencer marketing success metrics are not as cut and dry as other channels. It is hard, if not impossible, to know exactly how many people a post reached via Instagram. Likes, comments and number of followers can help to estimate how many people saw a post, but it is not an exact science. As marketers, it is important to understand and articulate the metrics behind all marketing programs in order to make strategic, data-based decisions, and get the executive buy-in you need to continue your initiatives.
When it comes to Instagram, how can you measure the success of your influencer marketing programs?
3 Instagram Influencer Marketing Success Metrics
Let’s start with the basics, likes are the center of the Instagram solar system. If someone liked a post, that means they stopped scrolling, analyzed the post and deemed it worthy of a double tap. How many likes an influencer’s post received is a good metric to view as the minimum number of impressions created.
Comments are a step up from likes, because it shows true engagement. Whether someone is commenting to tag a friend, ask a question, or voice their opinion, comments show a deeper level of engagement than likes. Comments on your influencers’ posts indicate an active community that you definitely want to engage with.
Followers are essentially an influencer’s potential reach or audience. Although every single follower may not see every single picture a influencer posts, number of followers is a good estimate of the audience size. Think about followers in terms of, “how many more people do I get the opportunity to connect with through this influencer?” Influencer’s post resonate with their followers far more than the same post would coming directly from a brand itself.
Average posts from a brand reach about 25% to 35% of their followers, while influencer-created posts reach about 70% of their followers.
A successful Instagram influencer program starts with influencer discovery. When selecting influencers for your Instagram program, there are a few key points on which to focus:
- Reach: How big is the influencer’s audience? (i.e. how many followers do they have?)
- Resonance: How much is the influencer’s community engaging with them/how well-received is their content? This can be measured loosely on Instagram by number of likes and comments.
- Relevance: Is this influencer relevant for your product/is the influencer’s community in line with your target? There are opportunities, especially on Instagram, to think outside of the box here, too - great examples of that from MarketingProfs.
The screenshot below is an example of Instagram metrics for Sue Zimmerman, who is widely considered the Instagram Queen of the marketing industry. (I listened to Sue speak on #sbizhour a few weeks ago and loved her candid insights.) Sue’s metrics are quite impressive, with over 137,565 total likes and 16,929 total comments. This shows that her community is actively engaging with her posts, indicating a high Resonance. She has a large following, which also translates to a large Reach. These metrics help bring more clarity into how influencers are interacting with their followers.
It is critical that you select the right influencers, build lasting relationships with them, and measure your results to prove the success of your influencer marketing programs. Metrics around an influencer’s overall followers, likes, and comments can provide great insights for selecting the right influencers, while also helping you measure the success of your programs.