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Influencer Marketing ROI: How to measure your campaigns

5 minute read

Most brands have realized that collaborating with influencers is a powerful way to build trust, engage with your audience and drive sales. Research shows that influencer marketing generates 11X higher ROI than banner ads.

But how can you measure and maximize your influencer marketing ROI to ensure you are getting the most out of your efforts?

Despite the explosive growth of influencer marketing, only 67% of brands measure the return on investment.

Whether you’re getting started with your first influencer marketing campaign or if you’re one of the 33% not tracking ROI—here’s what you need to know to measure the success of your campaigns.

Influencer marketing boosts ROI

It’s no secret that influencer marketing can attract new customers and boost sales at a very reasonable price point compared to other channels. Collaborating with influencers has become a favorite tactic in the marketing toolbox of most DTC brands hungry to drive sales and see ROI.

But what makes influencer marketing such a high-performing channel?

influencer marketing roi

1. Cost-efficient traffic and conversions

Whatever your goal – traffic, orders, event registrations or newsletter signups – influencer marketing will usually enable you to meet your goals for less budget compared to running ads in your own brand name.

2. Brand awareness

No matter how awesome your brand is, it’s easier to gain awareness when someone else is singing your brand’s praises. Validation from a third-party is more authentic than your brand telling everybody how great you think you are.

3. Reach

Influencers extend the pool of users your brand engages with, putting you in touch with potential customers you might miss out on otherwise. Paid social campaigns are usually highly targeted and based on demographics like age, gender and location.

An influencer marketing campaign enables you to reach people who might not fall into your classic audience criteria but could still be interested in your brand if the content resonates with them.

4. Influencers as business partners 

In 2021, influencers are more in control. Two-way partnerships between brands and influencers are getting more common. The brands give the influencers creative control over the product design to make it cater to their audience the best and profite from them knowing their followers the best.

How do you calculate ROI of influencer marketing?

This will depend on your campaign goals. In recent years, brands have shifted their influencer marketing strategy from focusing on awareness to generating tangible business results.

For most brands, the most common KPI for influencer marketing success is conversions and sales and 38.5% believe that you should gauge a campaign by the conversions/sales that result.

32.5% think that measuring clicks and engagement makes the most sense while 29% are convinced that KPIs like views, impressions and reach should be evaluated.

influencer marketing chart

What is a good ROI for influencer marketing?

This will depend on your brand and your goals. If you have already run campaigns in the past and have historical data to compare your results with, coming up with a benchmark is much easier.

Ultimately, there is no universal standard or official benchmark for all companies and industries to compare their results with.

That said, the Influencer Marketing Hub’s 2020 report shows brands earn up to $18 in earned media value for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, with the average being closer to $5.78 per dollar spent.

Tips to drive higher ROI from influencer marketing

The New York Times reports that as the demand for influencers has risen, the costs of influencer marketing have also increased. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to set clear goals and track the results of your influencer campaigns.

People trust recommendations from real people more than traditional advertising – that’s what makes influencer marketing so effective.

However, the majority of brands today have realized the power of influencer marketing, so competition is fierce and cutting through the digital noise can be tricky.

1. Focus on the right goal

Be clear on what you expect to achieve with your influencer marketing initiatives. For DTC brands, influencer marketing is often their strongest sales channel, so you will clearly be aiming to increase online sales.

For consumer brands, the emphasis might be more on improving brand awareness and perception, ensuring your brand is top-of-mind among your target audience.

2. Snap up new opportunities

The early bird gets the worm – and that’s also true of social media. New platforms, like TikTok, can offer an extremely high return on investment because the competition is not as established yet. 

If a brand collaborates with an influencer to publish a funny or cool video on TikTok, the algorithm might pick up on it and boost reach, making the content go viral.

This can result in a huge increase in sales, without much investment from the brand.

3. Reuse and repurpose your influencer content

Instead of relying on agency- or brand-created creative, try distributing high-performing influencer content across your paid and owned channels. Influencer content is already optimized for social, which makes it perfect for sharing across your own social accounts.

You can also share an influencer’s social media testimonial on your website, for example. Leveraging influencer content to build trust and credibility will save on costs of asset creation, thus increasing ROI. 

Gina Tricot, a Swedish fashion brand, is doing exactly that. Read more about how they work their influencer marketing here.

What about Earned Media Value?

While ROI is one of the most important KPIs, it’s not the only one. In recent years, Earned Media Value has become more popular in the field of influencer marketing.

In fact, The Influencer Marketing Hub’s 2021 report shows that 80% of marketers use Earned Media Value to measure their influencer marketing campaigns.

The estimated media value helps marketers to evaluate the success of their influencer collaborations and compare the media value with other marketing activities.

Check out the free influencer calculator template from Storyclash to predict and calculate the estimated media value of your campaigns. Our spreadsheet makes it easy to calculate the earned media value for any collaboration or campaign, tweet or Instagram story, Facebook post or YouTube video.

Ready to get started?

Measuring ROI is an essential part of successful influencer marketing. Now, you should have a good understanding of how to track the results of your influencer marketing campaigns.

Feel free to check out Storyclash, the leading software for influencer marketing that makes discovering as well as tracking influencer activity and campaigns easy.