Influencer marketing is big business these days, with brands allocating a significant spend toward enticing top influencers to generate awareness in today’s highly competitive online environment. And that applies to every vertical.
But is it working? And how can brands be sure? Measuring influencer marketing success requires a particular set of skills – skills that go beyond typical ROI savvy, to criteria that specifically relates to influencers. Let’s see how that looks!
The first hurdle brands face is defining success. Enhancing brand awareness is always an overarching goal. But by how much? And what’s the measure? Well, we have lots of possibilities available, including:
- Attributes (likes/dislikes around a topic)
- Authors (unique users posting about a topic)
- Behaviors (top positive/negative behaviors – like ‘buy’ or ‘avoid’)
- Daily Visitors/Followers
- Emotions (top positive/negative emotions – like ‘love’ or ‘hate’)
- Engagements (interactions on posts)
- Insights (attributes, emotions and behaviors derived from analyzing mentions)
- Likes and dislikes
- Net sentiment (score about a passion around a topic/brand, ranging from -100 to 100)
- Original posts
- Passion emotions (The top strong positives, weak positives, strong negatives, and weak negatives)
- Passion intensity (ratio of strong emotion to all emotion expressed about a topic or brand)
- Positives and negatives
- Potential impressions
- Replies and comments
- Strong and weak emotions
- Terms (top words or phrases surfacing from conversations about a topic.)
Brands need to consider what they want to generate awareness around, to start – and with whom. Next, they need to explore conversations happening around those topics with their target audiences to see where the passion lies. And both need to happen before and after engaging influencers, so they have a baseline to measure against.
And InfluencerS? Yes, more than one. It’s likely a brand will require more than one influencer, as “influence” is not a one size fits all. One influencer will not resonate with every segment your brand wants to target. And if you’re wanting them to, you’re setting your effort up for failure (so don’t do that!).
About That Baseline
There’s nothing very complicated about sorting a baseline, until you realize how nuanced that baseline actually is. Brands must look at, and analyze, conversations target segments are having on Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, forums and news sites, and also reviews on Yelp and any other sources where its audience interacts online.
Optimally, this will all be aggregated and available via an accessible dashboard in your social analytics tool, as gathering this data on your own is pretty impossible. You won’t be able to create anything useful with an Excel spreadsheet populated by an intern, that’s for sure, as you’ll want:
- Real-time data from numerous sources, viewable (and making sense!) in one place
- Historical data, that goes back 27 months (the gold standard), to compare against what’s happening today
- Data accuracy that’s second-to-none
- Data results informed by Next Generation AI and advanced Natural Language Processing that captures sarcasm, emojis and imagery in your results (or it’s pretty useless)
- The ability to slice and dice data down to a granular level, to confirm why you’re received any surprising (or expected) results
And finally, you need data transparency that just makes sense when it comes time to explain your exceptional ROI to stakeholders. Why did that spike in sentiment happen? What caused it, exactly?
With a transparent tool, you’ll be able to click through and sort that out in a way that supports, rather than questions, your results.
Let’s see it in action:
In the example below, the spike on December 18 was driven by posts with negative sentiment:
And if you click the spike on the timeline to open the Fluctuation Summary dialog box, you can review post counts, Net Sentiment score, and Potential Impression counts, as well as popular terms emerging from the selected time period – revealing an incident caused the spike:
And then the StoryScope widget uncovers trending negative conversations!
And is an influencer behind it? You can go to the Authors widget to see who is talking and how many impressions they contribute to the overall count – like this influencer, discussing “bump rates:”
Not only does that tell you keywords that resonate, who is directing the conversation, and how significant their reach it, but it also reveals lots of other valuable information:
- Other influencers – if you pay attention to who interacts with this influencer, you’ll find other potential brand ambassadors with highly relevant followings, or you can just click around and see if other influencers are saying similar things.
- Precise sentiment – showing you that “bump rates” is actually being used in a good way about your brand (assuming you’re Virgin Airlines here).
- Actionable, competitive insight – it would be important to dig deeper and see if other influencers, or just your target audience in general, are complaining about bump rates of other airlines and create marketing campaigns to take advantage of that edge!
And all of that will give you an edge not only in your category, but in your company. It will help not only measure the ROI of your influencers, but the ROI of social media marketing as a whole. You can clearly and accurately measure limitless data before and after engaging with an influencer – it just takes a little bit of brainstorming to sort out what’s important to your brand. And the rest is gathered up for you!
We know it’s just as important to convince and convert your CEO when it’s time to demonstrate the amazing value your marketing efforts offer – and a solid, transparent dashboard is certainly a confidence booster all around! Reach out for a demo and we’ll show you exactly how that looks and why NetBase customers are so happy with what we offer!