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Key performance indicators (KPIs) are quantifiable performance metrics/values that show whether or not a marketing campaign reaches its goals and/or business objectives. With influencer marketing campaigns (wherein a company works with a digital star and/or social media influencer to effectively drive engagement and increase direct response), brands may have specific primary objectives followed by secondary ones. KPIs are typically determined by the brand, are brand-specific, and vary depending on individual marketing campaign goals. Although they may overlap in nature, these marketing metrics fall into two categories: branding KPIs and response-based KPIs.
The typical KPI metrics brands to use to determine if influencer marketing campaigns are successful include:
Expressed as percentages, click-through rates (CTRs) can be calculated for a specific consumer actions. For instance, a CTR can be ascertained by comparing total traffic to a page (or total video views on YouTube) to the amount of consumers who clicked through a call to action (CTA) or link on that specific page. In some cases, influencers may be driving large amounts of traffic toward a landing page, and the resulting low CTR may instead be the result of a weak call to action or low-converting user experience/interface (UX/UI).
Beyond impressions, engagement, or new followers, the sales/conversions KPI metric shows actual sales, orders, or subscriptions generated from a campaign.
Total audience exposure can be quantified, measured, or determined in several ways. It is helpful to establish a set protocol for measuring impressions both before the launch of a campaign (forecast) and after to determine if a particular campaign achieved the desired reach.
Direct-response CTAs with social media influencers can be extremely powerful in driving targeted traffic to your site, whether to the homepage or to a dedicated campaign landing page. Tracking this KPI metric helps quantify the uptick in traffic as well as where traffic is coming from.
Related to new social media followers, brands can leverage influencer marketing campaigns to build targeted lists or free sign ups to meet a specific cost per acquisition (CPA) goal. Coupled with customer lifetime value (CLV), brands can glean the return on investment (ROI) from each new sign up and determine the success of the marketing campaign in its entirety.
Brands can use influencer marketing across several different channels and platforms (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube) to boost their social media following or subscribers. For campaigns that run across different platforms and leverage multiple influencers, it is helpful to track the performance of each influencer—certain social media influencers may produce great results on one channel and do less well on another. Noting this KPI metric can help brands optimize for future campaigns.
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Depending on both the brand and specific influencer marketing campaign objective, not all KPI metrics are tracked or given equal preference. A company seeking to build brand awareness around their new Instagram channel, for instance, would prioritize quantifying new social media followers or impression instead of focusing on sales or sign-ups.
In 2015, fast-growth startup Blue Apron was named the #1 food subscription service on social by software and social intelligence company Unmetric (Digiday). Here a few influencer marketing campaign examples illustrating how Blue Apron worked with top social media influencers, including YouTubers, and Instagrammers:
With nearly 3 million subscribers across her YouTube channels, Judy attracts thousands of video views through her authentic portrayal of family life. Here, the social media star collaborates with Blue Apron to promote their Call To Action (see YouTube video description).
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My FIRST fish tacos ever & thems be homemade! Yes, somehow I managed to go my whole life without fish tacos until now…don't judge me. LOL. Wah & I filmed a Wahlie's Kitchen for this so go to our channel (WahlieTV) to watch it! Thanks @blueapron for the recipe! Click the link in my bio for 2 free #BlueApron meals on your first order. (Limited to the first 100 people who click the link) Soo…gooooo!
Top beauty, lifestyle, and fashion YouTuber Weylie Hoang has over 400K followers on Instagram. In this brand sponsored campaign, she presents both branding and direct-response CTAs with hashtags, a shout out to the sponsoring brand, and link to engagement-generating promotion.