Influencer programs are often measured against legacy metrics that fail to assess their full impact or are misaligned to reality. The concept of Earned Media Value (EMV), inherited from Advertising Equivalency Value (AVE), that aims to give a dollar value to a “like” is part of that same approach. Overall, it’s basically akin to saying let’s measure success based on how much it cost us.
Furthermore, two separate but related issues arise when attempting to measure influencer efforts with EMV:
Unfortunately, when it comes to marketing measurement, bad assumptions don't cancel each other, but rather they amplify one another, and in turn lead to bad business decisions.
Brands that continue to use these old metrics to measure new strategies severely limit the scope of their program, prevent their teams from improving, and minimize the perceived impact of influencer marketing internally. The following approach to influencer marketing measurement provides a model for connecting your initiatives to your business goals and measuring what really matters.
The tactics and metrics of the past no longer align (if they ever really did) with how people are influenced and make decisions.” - Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Altimeter, Influence 2.0
Why are you working with influencers? To have a successful influencer strategy, you must first understand what actions or behaviors will impact your business goals.
Influencers can provide immense value to brands with the top-performing content they produce and the engagement they generate. They can help manage reputation, expand brand awareness, increase advocacy, reach new targeted audiences, drive lead generation and improve sales conversion. While having a full overview of everything influencer marketing can impact, the metrics and KPIs you measure should vary depending on your program goals.
A simple one size fits all metric doesn’t work. The solution has to work in all scenarios, be meaningful and credible, relevant and appropriate while speaking to organizational objectives.” - Richard Bagnall, Chairman of AMEC and CEO of Prime Research UK
Recognizing the various roles influencers play along the customer journey before, during and after transaction is the first step to measuring an influencer program.
Multiple teams work with influencers on programs that are ultimately tied to different marketing goals. For example, the digital marketing team will be tracking shared links and impact on SEO to drive lead generation, while the PR team will be looking at positive mentions and influencer generated content to increase awareness and advocacy.
Measurement is not one size fits all; it needs to be tailored to fit each program. While there is not a silver bullet for measuring the success of all influencer strategies, this matrix will help simplify your influencer marketing measurement.
First, think about the actual objective you are trying to achieve. What do you want influencers to do? Then, set KPIs you can achieve, and find what’s working and what’s not.” - Carlisle Campbell, Senior Director of Communications, Capital One
Our measurement model is inspired by AMEC Integrated Evaluation Framework and has been adapted to influencer marketing. Let’s begin with some definitions:
Then, create your own custom measurement matrix, tied directly to your influencer marketing program goals similar to this sample sheet.
How to use this matrix:
Check out these interactive worksheets you can customize to create your own influencer marketing measurement dashboard.