Influencer Marketing is a term used to describe marketing that involves the services of a content creator with a loyal and engaging following on social media. It’s a blend of traditional and contemporary marketing and is similar to a brand collaborating with a celebrity, but instead of a celebrity, brands are collaborating with ordinary people with a large online following. These content producers drive conversation around a particular topic or service.
Influencer Marketing is a billion dollar industry, with more and more marketers dedicating chunks of their marketing budgets to it. An article on Social Media Today reported that 94% of marketers who use Influencer Marketing find it more beneficial than traditional advertising. Influencer Marketing is an effective way for brands to reach specific consumer pockets through a content producer in a particular community because people trust people more than they trust adverts. Influencers are reachable because they are part of that space and are therefore trusted by that group. The impact of an influencer on a campaign is determined by the goals that you set at the outset. These goals must be measurable in order to track whether or not the influencer is effective. The objectives of your campaign will determine the metrics that you track:
Engagement: Here you will track ‘likes’, ‘shares’, ‘comments’ and ‘click-throughs’.
Followers: Tracking the number of followers gained through influencer marketing.
Traffic: How much traffic is the influencer generating to your website or blog? You can also use Google Analytics to see where traffic is coming from.
Sales: If the aim of the campaign is to generate sales, then track how many, and which posts convert into sales.
You have to develop a strategy to measure the ‘return on investment’ of your influencer. You can use ‘Pixel Tracking’ to see how many people visited your blog or website through sponsored content. These analytics will reveal which piece of content is most popular and deserves to be boosted.
Bitly allows you to shorten and track links, which means you can see how many shares, likes, comments and click-throughs there were on your posts. You can even get more information on your demographic, like the region that they accessed the link from, you can track the audience size of your marketing campaign. If you use Bitly across all your channels and you can track links in real time which allows you to react to changes as they happen.
Google Analytics is a great free tool that brands can use to track data. It allows you to see the keywords that people are using to find your website, you can segment your audience and see how much traffic is being generated by your influencer. You can create a URL dedicated to the influencer campaign to track the performance and ROI of the influencer campaign that you’re running.
In South Africa, Influencer Marketing still has some way to go but has a lot of potential across various industries – it isn’t limited to luxury brands. There are influencers in every community that marketers can tap into. The success of Influencer Marketing lies with identifying the relevant individuals and knowing how to measure their impact.