Influencer marketing budgets continue to rise, but what’s the best way to gauge campaign effectiveness?
Measurement of influencer marketing is gradually becoming more sophisticated. However, that doesn’t mean ROI concerns are a thing of the past.
According to a survey conducted by Linqia, 39 percent of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2018. Just 5 percent plan budget decreases, yet more than three-quarters of marketers struggle to determine influencer marketing ROI, citing it as the “top challenge” of 2018.
“As the industry matures, marketers need to take a serious look at their measurement methodologies and hold their influencer marketing programs to the same measurement standards as their other media investments,” the report states.
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. When measuring influencer marketing programs, marketers cite engagement (87 percent), clicks (59 percent) and conversions (54 percent) as top performance indicators, but authoritative metrics remain elusive.
This year, 46 percent of marketers also used product sales to gauge their influencer marketing effectiveness, a notable jump from just 34 percent in 2016. Fewer marketers are measuring success based on reach, which signals a shift away from “vanity” metrics that are difficult to measure, Linqia says.
Benefits of social media measurement
Many experts recommend social media measurement tools to determine the value of influencer marketing and demonstrate its value to management. Social media measurement tools can identify ideal partners for brands and determine how widely their content spreads across the digital landscape. Measurement software can also gauge how influencers improve public sentiment toward a brand.
Although influencer marketing remains a popular approach, PR and marketing departments must identify ways to demonstrate how influencer marketing supports business objectives. Securing further influencer marketing investment depends upon it.
Other key findings from Linqia’s report include:
- Eighty-six percent of marketers used influencer marketing in 2017, and 92 percent found it to be effective.
- Ninety-two percent of marketers cite Instagram as the most important social network for influencer marketing in 2018, followed by Facebook (77 percent). At 71 percent, blogs are a close third, up from 48 percent last year.
- Fifty percent of marketers think Snapchat will be the least important social network for influencer marketing in 2018.
- Fifty-two percent plan programs using multiple types of influencers (celebrities, bloggers, micro-influencers) as part of an integrated strategy.
- Forty-four percent of marketers plan to use influencer content to improve the performance of other digital channels, and 36 percent will integrate influencer content with e-commerce to drive sales in 2018.
Influencer marketing appears to be an enduring, powerful trend. The trick is figuring out how to get your money’s worth—and then proving the results to your boss.
A version of this post first appeared on the Glean.info blog.