Move over Kim Kardashian; the new wave of influencer marketing is here.
If your business doesn’t use influencer marketing already, it probably will in the near future.
According to a November 2018 study by Retail TouchPoints, nearly two-thirds of retailers in North America use or are planning to use influencers, including celebrities, micro-influencers and brand advocates, as part of their marketing strategies.
There’s a lot to like about influencer marketing:
Consumers love it: In a survey of 3,500 consumers, 99% say they find new products thanks to influencers.
It’s growing quickly: Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online customer acquisition method and is forecast to top $2.3 billion in spending in 2019.
It’s safe to say that social media, especially Instagram, isn’t just for posting artistic overhead shots of avocado toast or pregnancy gender reveal videos.
Before we dive into how to measure influencer marketing, let’s start with the basics: what is it?
A quick introduction to influencer marketing
When I was growing up in the ‘90s, I begged and pleaded to own a pair of platform shoes just like the Spice Girls. My friends guzzled the drink Surge, so did I.
Copyright: National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board
Meanwhile, I sipped on my milk (thanks to ‘90s heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas’ “Got Milk” magazine advertisement) as I watched Zach and Kelly on “Saved by the Bell” and dreamt of the day I would have my own brick-sized cellphone.
OK, enough reminiscing.
Whether it was through a brand, celebrity or even a friend, my thoughts, actions and opinions were impacted significantly by those influencers in my life.
The same can be said in 2019, though it may look quite different than it did decades ago.
After all, the world has changed quite a bit since the ‘90s.
TV viewership has declined, especially among Americans between the ages of 18 to 34. This group watched less than two hours of traditional TV each day in 2017, down 15.7% from the year before and 43.6% than 2012.
Networks are rushing to discover new ways to modernize television advertising to drawn in a new audience. Earlier this month, NBCUniversal announced its new ShoppableTV that displays QR codes during specific moments in TV shows to drive direct sales to e-commerce websites.
However, even ShoppableTV may not be enough to make up the decline in viewership. It’s getting harder to get advertising messages in front of an audience.
According to Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker's annual Internet Trends Report, released in May 2018, the average adult is spending nearly six hours online each day. More than half of that time is from a mobile device.
Just 10 years ago, the average adult spent roughly three hours online. Of that, most of it was spent on a desktop of laptop.
Even though there’s a shift from television to online advertising, customers seriously dislike online ads.
Nearly 50 use ad-blocking programs. Facebook ad prices increased by 70% in 2018, yet Facebook ad impressions plummeted:
Translation: Consumers don’t want your advertisements.
So how do marketers reach consumers?
Answer: Social media
Around 80% of consumers say they regularly purchase items after seeing them shared on social media, and 60% of in-store shoppers are influenced by social media and blog posts.
As a business, how do you reach consumers through social media without advertisements? The answer: Influencer marketing.
What is influencer marketing?
At its core, influencer marketing is simple - these men, women, youth and even animals (or really, their owners) have tapped into a specific niche, built a dedicated following on social media and know which content will resonate with their audience.
Note: Influencer marketing is most associated with Instagram but can extend to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat and blogs.
When an influencer uses a product, their audience is watching.
When done correctly with a product that resonates with an engaged audience, sales of said product will go through the roof.
According to an Influencer Orchestration Network’s study, 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, and 40% said they had purchased something after seeing it on social media.
If you’ve ever seen the movie “Mean Girls,” it’s very similar to how the popular girls, also known as “The Plastics,” influenced trends among their fellow high school students:
For example, back in January, I was biding time at my daughter’s basketball game by scrolling through my Instagram feed.
Hey - it was halftime, OK? I think I earned three minutes of Instagram time!
As I scrolled through Instagram in those few minutes, I learned that a friend had successfully moved to a new house, and my sister made delicious-looking tacos for dinner last night.
I also saw actor Neil Patrick Harris and his family enjoying a tropical vacation at the Sail Rock Resort in Turks and Caicos.
Don’t you just want to be on a beach right now? I sure do!
As I kept scrolling, I stopped at fashion blogger Sheaffer’s post about her favorite shoes, the Edge Lux 3 running shoe.
Immediately, I needed those shoes - those chunky laces, the perfect bow and the outfit-coordinating gray belonged in my closet.
Now, before I opened Instagram, I had never even known about Sail Rock Resort or the Edge Lux 3, but thanks to those influencers, I checked out the websites of these businesses for more information.
Both Harris and Sheaffer provided a prime example of two general types of influencers: celebrities and micro-influencers.
Celebrity influencers versus micro-influencers
Before we continue, we need to take a moment to look at the differences between celebrities and micro-influencers.
In the early years of influencer marketing, celebrities were the go-to option. As we’ve moved into a more transparent, authentic influencer marketing strategy, celebrity influencers are on the way out.
Micro-influencers and celebrity influencers also have campaigns that look very different. Let's look at two examples:
Celebrity influencer: Kylie Jenner
Product: Detox programFollowers on Instagram: 131 millionGoal: Reach as many people as possibleCost: $1 million for the post
Product: Surf boardFollowers on Instagram: 177,000Goal: Build brand awareness or promote a product to an engaged audienceCost: An estimated $500 to $1,500 per post
On the surface, you can spot some glaring differences:
Cost: 1 million versus $1,500
Number of followers: 131 million versus 177,000
Content: Posed shot versus more organic image
There’s another difference that takes a little bit more digging – how many interests the audience shares.
For influencer marketing to be successful, you must know your target audience and which influencer has followers with interests that correspond with your target audience. The more the followers have overlapping interests, the easier it is to understand how they may respond to the product promoted through influencer marketing.
If you’re trying to use influencer marketing to promote a new athletic wear for women, which would influencer would you pick?
Influencer A, 10 million followers with interests that include cooking, reality TV, romantic comedies, action films, parenting, interior design, room organization, fitness, travel and top 40 music (just to name the top 10 interests).
Influencer B, 50,000 followers with interests that include fitness, healthy eating, parenting and interior design.
Even though Influencer A has more followers, she’s a celebrity with followers who have little in common with each other. Their interests range wildly, and the only way the followers relate to each other is by following a celebrity.
Influencer B may have fewer followers, but she, like other micro-influencers, have followers that all share multiple common interests. Usually they will follow multiple influencers within the same interest group, and while they may not match completely with the rest of Influencer B’s followers, they share multiple similar interests.
Let’s look at two Instagram accounts:
Let’s break down their audience by interests.
First up, Johnson. Let’s look at four of Johnson’s audience potential interests - wrestling, gym-goers, action movie lovers and parents. If you looked how they relate to each other, it would look like this:
There may be some cross amongst the interest groups, but his audience varies substantially. The one thing they all have in common is that they follow Johnson.
Wiles, on the other hand, may attract primarily parents, whether they have younger children or older teens. She may also bring in a fair number of people who live in - or want to live in - New York City.
For her audience, interests may look like this:
They all may like Wiles as Mommy Shorts, but they also either have or once had small children, maybe now have older children and could live in New York City. Their main interest, however, doesn’t revolve around Wiles.
Why does this matter?
If you’re looking for an influencer to promote your product, you want to make the most of the influencer’s audience.
When Wiles promotes gummy vitamins, she knows her audience is going to eat it up - literally and figuratively. In the end, that campaign will reach a higher percentage of her overall following.
Johnson’s promotion of Under Armour may have the potential to reach more people, but with fewer shared interests, a smaller percentage of his followers will be interested in the campaign. Because he’s also a celebrity, the cost to use him as influencer is also going to much higher than if you used Wiles.
In the end, just having more followers doesn’t mean you’ll have a more successful influencer marketing campaign. Especially in 2019’s digital world, consumers just trust micro-influencers more.
According to a Collective Bias survey, almost one-third of consumers are more likely to purchase a product endorsed by a non-celebrity blogger than a celebrity, and 70% of millennials value non-celebrity endorsements, especially from influencers they consider peers.
Clare Gore, head of affiliates at the UK website Vouchercloud, said it best in an interview with “The Drum”:
“With globalization, digitalization and the advent of a truly connected culture, influencers have a newer model available – one with smaller reach levels but far greater influence levels. An audience of 2,000 where 50% are directly interested is far better than an audience of 2 million where 0.005% are interested. It’s targeted, it’s cost effective and it’s efficient.”
For micro-influencers, campaigns look less like Kim Kardashian:
And more like Cristine Rotenberg:
While you may not immediately recognize Rotenberg, better known Simply Nailogical on YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, she has more than 9 million subscribers who love her nail art, beauty tutorials and humor.
In her role as influencer for a Roots campaign, Rotenberg didn’t take the Kardashian approach. Her content is more natural and authentic without feeling pushed.
She didn’t use buzzwords of jargon; she told a (very cold) story that triggered an instant desire to be warm and comfortable in a pair of sweatpants.
While celebrities may have fans flocking to their every move, they struggle to connect with their fans on that personal level. Micro-influencers, on the other hand, are real people - usually with day jobs - who have budgets, struggles and insecurities they aren’t afraid to show on social media to connect with their audiences.
For another example, let’s look at Tiffany Jenkins.
While you may not know her name, her 408,000 followers on Instagram and 2.6 million followers on Facebook do.
Jenkins, better known as Juggling Jenkins, is comfortable sharing her real story as a mom who hates mornings, struggles to help her children with math homework and documents not being able to use the bathroom in peace.
Whether you follow her on Facebook or Instagram, it’s hard not to love Jenkins. When she partnered with FitFabFun subscription boxes, her followers took notice. <p></p>
Whether you follow her on Facebook or Instagram, it’s hard not to love Jenkins. When she partnered with FitFabFun subscription boxes, her followers took notice.
As one of her fans commented, “I've seen so many celebrities posting about this box but never paid any mind. it's nice to see a normal day-to-day person show this box. I'm definitely more interested in the @fabfitfun box. 😁”
Now that you know more about influencer marketing, let’s move to what you came here for - measuring and ROI.
Getting to the good stuff: Goals, metrics and ROI
When it comes to influencer marketing campaigns, you can’t get to metrics or measurements if you don’t start with goals.
Marketing without goals is like trying to bake a cake without a recipe. You know you’re making something with the right ingredients. On the other hand, you don’t how it will turn out, how long it will take to bake or even if you’re going to end up with something that resembles a cake.
Just like other marketing campaigns, you need to start with the goals of your influencer marketing campaign.
In the early stages, your goals may look something like:
Build brand awareness/visibility
Grow the brand’s social media engagement/followers
As you get further into the campaign details, you’re going to want to go into more detail with firmer results, such as:
Add 100 email addresses to your newsletter subscription within a month
Drive $2,000 in sales each week
Attracting 500 new visitors to your website
Increase shares, comments and engagements on your social media posts
Once you set your goals, make sure you also share these goals with your influencer. You want your influencer to know exactly what you’re expecting to get out of the campaign. Influencers want to trust your brand just as much as your brand wants to trust the influencer.
Since his/her success is tied to your success, a strong relationship and communication is key.
When you communicate your goals to an influencer, you’re developing a strong, long-term partnership and making the influencer a part of your team.
The better the relationship you have with your influencer, the more successful your campaign is going to be in general. When you’re open about your goals, both your business and the influencer benefit from the transparency.
Tip: Be strategic with your influencer. Create a content plan and research your influencer’s niche. When you understand what is trending and what the influencer would naturally be talking about, the better fit your content will be.
For example, let’s say I’m selling Parmesan cheese crisps. If I’m looking at an influencer and see a rise in discussions around the keto diet, I’m going to alter my strategy to use the influencer to promote my crisps as Keto-friendly instead of gluten-free.
Now, if my product is only available in the Midwest but that influencer’s audience is primarily in the east, I may need to look at a different influencer within the same interest group and region.
Measurements: Know the metrics that matter
It’s going to be tempting to fall for vanity metrics. These are metrics like reach or follower counts. While these metrics can be diagnostic tools, they fail to be indicators of a successful campaign. What's most important is understanding each channel's current stats and facts so you can create better content for the existing environment.
Instagram surpassed 1 billion users in 2018, but among those users are an estimated 95 million bots posting, sharing, reacting and commenting as humans. It’s hard for influencers to track how many fraudulent accounts are following them, and it’s even harder for marketers, too.
As Leah Logan, vice president of media product strategy and marketing at Collective Bias, said in a March 2019 webinar, “As much as this is a great opportunity for you to understand your potential to reach, it doesn’t mean you’ll actually reach those people.”
Instead, look further beyond vanity metrics and dive into metrics that will help evaluate an influencer marketing campaign:
Percentage of actively engaged followers (i.e., shares, comments)
Number of views on a post
Coupon code redemption
UTM parameter tracking
New follower analysis
Set a baseline for these metrics before launching the campaign, and track these metrics on a regular basis to evaluate, detour or amplify content in real time, according to Ken Krasnow, vice president of omnichannel marketing at Henkel N.A.
“If you’re not looking at measurement metrics on a continuous basis, you’re wasting your money,” he said in the webinar with Logan.
Analyzing influencer metrics
Now that you’re tracking the right metrics, you can start to examine your campaign daily. Not all of these metrics may be relevant in evaluating your campaign though.
Keep in mind that if you’re turning to an influencer to grow website conversions, you will have different goals than if you’re trying to build a more engaged Facebook audience.
Social media influencer ROI
Keep a closer tab on your engagement rate per post, your new follower audience and their actions on your social media accounts.
One of the most overlooked aspects of using influencer marketing to grow social media engagement is to evaluate the quality of your new followers and understand their needs.
Ask questions like:
As my influencer campaign drives more traffic to my Facebook page, how does my audience react and engage with my current and past posts?
What are their interests and demographics and how does this relate to my brand?
How many are retained after three months, three months or even a year?
To evaluate it on Facebook, use page insights or ad audience insights to check the geographic location, how they are engaging on your website and engagement trends.
Even if you are trying to grow your page likes, you need to make sure you’re growing it wisely. Again, it’s quality over quantity. You want the influencer to drive people who are actually interested in your brand or products, not just to build your numbers.
If you suddenly see an increase in page likes but no increase in engagement with your posts, it may be time to re-evaluate your influencer campaign.
To evaluate it on Twitter, keep an eye on real versus fake followers on Twitter, especially when measuring the success of an influencer campaign. Run a Twitter audit to analyze how many of your followers are legitimate. If you gain 1,000 new followers, must know how many are fake before you even begin your analysis.
Twitter Analytics is a great place to start when analyzing analyze your audience. You’ll find quite a bit of valuable behavior from your Twitter Analytics, such as top interests, occupation, household income, language, lifestyle, consumer behavior and mobile footprint.
Sprout Social’s trends reports and Buzzsumo are paid third party tools that can also be helpful to understanding your audience and analyzing things like engagement rate or popular hashtags.
To evaluate it on Instagram, a good place to start is Instagram’s own audience insights. It’s not as detailed as Twitter, but it is certainly useful in evaluating and monitoring where your new followers are from.
There isn’t much information, but monitoring location, gender and age ranges can be helpful. If your target audience is typically over the age of 34 but you’re seeing a rise in younger followers, there could be an issue with the new followers.
For website goals(Increasing sales, driving more traffic)
According to a survey by Linqia, engagement, clicks and impressions were the leading measures of success for an influencer campaign in 2018, but these metrics could be misleading. If you use an influencer marketing platform, these statistics would be readily available to you.
However, as we’ve mentioned previously, these don’t necessarily correlate with action on a website. While these metrics can be useful as diagnostic tools, they won’t always show what’s going on once someone clicks on the link.
As Krasnow put it, “It’s not just about great content. It’s about commerce and driving sales lift.”
With that in mind, how do you measure success?
Linqia’s survey also found that more marketers are using product sales/conversions to measure influencer marketing campaign. Nearly half of marketers used conversions as a measurement in 2017, compared to 35% in 2016.
Tracking influencer campaigns
If you’re looking at sales numbers alone, you’re going to get a general idea of how many sales the influencer campaign produced.
Without providing any tracking, which we will discuss in just a moment, you’re connecting the sales dots yourself with a little analytics, a bit of guesswork and some duct tape to piece it together.
A good alternative is to customize your links to send to your influencer before the campaign even starts. Here are the common tracking methods as well as their pros and cons:
Helpful tip: Test, test and test again if you’re using multiple tracking methods. Even though systems should play nicely with each other, it doesn’t always work that way.
You can also combine multiple tracking methods, such as adding UTM parameters to a promo link and shortening it.
When it comes to tracking links, it gets a little tricky. You have to answer questions such as:
How long is the influencer campaign running, and how long do we expect it to generate an increase in sales? If a campaign is running for a month, traffic and conversions may still trickle in for a few weeks or even months to come.
Will the link be available for a short time through the influencer’s Instagram profile or Insta-story, or will it be posted as a shortened link or promo code in the post itself? In other social media platforms, will the link be clickable? Access to the link is a very important aspect to consider. If the link isn’t readily clickable, such as through the profile or Insta-story, you may see the campaign generating more brand awareness than sales itself. You want to make it as easy and simple as possible for customers to get from the influencer to the product page.
How many different influencers are you engaging for this campaign? If you’re using more than one influencer, you’re going to need to provide each influencer with a unique tracking method to evaluate which influencer is more successful, which audience is more engaged and how you met your campaign goals.
Don’t forget UTM parameters and behavior tags
You’re going to quickly discover that when tracking influencer campaigns for website goals, UTM parameters and behavior tags are going to be necessary.
If you’re new to UTM parameters, let me explain quickly. By adding pieces of code to your link, you can track campaigns in analytics tools like Lucky Orange and Google Analytics.
If it sounds complicated, it’s not. It’s very easy to do, especially with the help of Google’s free URL Builder.
Yes, the link is going to look long and ugly. You can use a shortening service (see above) to shorten it to something like this: http://bit.ly/2K2ZHom.
At this point, we highly recommend setting up behavior tags to get more capabilities to analyze and evaluate campaign results.
Behavior tags let you “tag” a webpage or link to your website you want to monitor.
The result: You’ll be able to find analytics of a campaign faster and see exactly what visitors did on your website. Just make sure you set up this up before your campaign goes live.
To set up behavior tags:
Under your settings, click on behavior tagging.
Click “Add New Rule”
When you’re using a UTM parameters, keep one of the parameters constant for all of that influencer’s campaigns (i.e., the name of the influencer). If your influencer’s name was Fred, your UTM parameters may look something like this: https://www.yourwebsite.com/?utm_source=Fred&utm_medium=Instagram&utm_campaign=LiveChat. In this situation, my behavior tagging would look like this:
To break it down, your behavior tag may be set up like this:
URL to match: Fred (campaign source parameter)
Matches URLs that contain this text
Tag recording with: Easily identified name
Once it’s done, click “save changes,” and you’re ready to start tracking.
Confused? Here is a quick guide to setting up behavior tags, or our team can help lead you through the process.
While you don’t have to set up behavior tags to evaluate your campaign, it’s especially helpful in quickly narrowing down your data to see just those visitors who used the link to visit your website.
Now that you have behavior tags in place, you can:
Learn how they interacted with your forms and whether a specific form field caused more of the campaign’s visitors to abandon the form (form analytics)
Understand what visitors are doing on your site – are they clicking on your CTA? Do your dropdown menus work? Is there something like a popup that is stopping them from checking out? (heatmaps, recordings)
Find the elements on your website they clicked on, and compare it to your normal traffic behavior (heatmaps)
Set up a funnel to find where in the sales process the campaign’s traffic abandoned your website (conversion funnels)
Discover if your call-to-action is placed strategically on your webpage/website, or if they missed it completely (scroll heatmap)
Diving into influencer campaign traffic
Let’s get down to it – measuring your website-based campaign goals.
With your UTM parameters and behavior tags in place, now you can launch your campaign and track its results.
No. 1: Watch visitors through recordings
After launching a campaign, you can begin watching visitors immediately once they start to come to your website. To filter through recordings, you have two options:
You can filter through your behavior tag:
Behavior tags can also be combined with each other in different ways for advanced filtering capabilities. Here are some common combinations of behavior tags you may want to consider using our behavior tags:
Influencer-Fred (i.e., based on your influencer’s custom URL)
Checkout (i.e., your checkout page)
ThankYou (i.e., your purchase confirmation page)
Hat (i.e., one of your product pages)
Or, if you opted to not use behavior tags, you can still use the campaign UTM parameters to search for recordings:
Whether you filter by behavior tags or search by UTM parameters, you will find the recordings of visitors you want to watch.
Other visitor information available through recordings is their activity level, time on your site, landing page, exit page, browser type, operating system, number of visitors, location and more.
Example: Let’s say you have a product that’s only sold in specific stores in Ohio. If you use an influencer who is based in Ohio but are seeing an increase in traffic from the campaign from other states or countries, you can dive into recordings to find out more.
Are they still purchasing your product?
Are they attempting to find your product in their area, even if they aren’t local?
Do you high or low level of engagements based on the device type?
What other product pages are they visiting?
No. 2: Use conversion funnels as the recording (and analysis) shortcut
Shortcuts aren’t always a good thing, but in this situation, we’re using conversion funnels to be more efficient without cutting any corners. If you use behavior tags, you’ll want to pay attention.
Conversion funnels are an easy way to look at the customer’s journey through your website. Behavior tags are required to setup and use conversion funnels.
In this funnel, I wanted to see how many visitors our influencer campaign drove to our website, made it to the signup page and created an account.
From here, I could click on any steps in the funnel. The system will immediately show me recordings of visitors who stopped at that funnel. I can watch visitors navigate through the website.
Were my funnel steps in the wrong order?
What stopped more people from reaching the end of the funnel?
What could I do to make navigation easier?
To set up conversion funnels, go to your dashboard. If you don’t have a conversion funnel widget, click on “Widgets” to add it.
From there, follow the instructions to set it up. You’ll need behavior tags on all of your steps.
You can also click on the plus sign within the widget to add a new funnel.
No. 3: Analyzing through dynamic heatmaps and form analytics
Keep an eye on the overall picture of your campaign, too. Using your behavior tags, you can filter dynamic heatmaps to see where your visitors from this campaign are interacting on your website.
Unlike recordings, UTM parameters aren’t going to be enough to filter by the campaign in dynamic heatmaps. Behavior tags are required.
Like recordings, however, behavior tags can be combined to identify specific visitor. You can see things like:
Did visitors from the influencer campaign interact differently than visitors from a Google PPC campaign?
How did visitors from the influencer campaign click, move and scroll?
Was the influencer traffic more likely to come from mobile or desktop; how did this impact their buying behavior?
You have a form on your website, such as a lead generation or an email subscriber form, you can use these same behavior tag combinations to filter through form analytics.
In this situation, we stuck with one behavior tag – the influencer’s tag – to see a higher-level analysis of the campaign.
For a deeper look at the campaign, we could look at the form abandonment report of visitors from the campaign who didn’t get past your homepage and compare it with those who checked out.
Were there any differences you could use to increase your form conversions?
How could you take this information to improve your form?
Are there any form fields you could remove or explain better?
Bonus: Connecting with campaign traffic
Recordings, conversion funnels, dynamic heatmaps and form analytics can help you learn about your new traffic and ways you can increase your conversions. The opportunities don’t end there though.
You can also use your behavior tags to engage with your campaign traffic.
Triggering behavior tag-specific polls
Using your behavior tags, you can create polls that trigger specifically for the campaign traffic. You can learn more about your campaign traffic’s unique needs, wants, problems and expectations.
Using that information, you can work with your influencer to tweak the current campaign or develop a better strategy for future campaigns.
To set up the triggers for the poll, once your poll is ready to launch, click on the triggers tab:
You want to set the behavior tag trigger. You can also select the webpages you want the poll to appear on (i.e., homepage, checkout or shipping) and how quickly after a visitor who triggers the poll sees it (i.e., immediately or after a few seconds).
All of the results, even comments, can be exported for more analysis.
Using auto chat invites
If you don’t use chat on your website, an influencer campaign may be a good time to start.
You can stop visitors before they leave and answer their questions directly.
There are many ways you can chat with visitors:
Offer it in the corner of your website for visitors to initiate the chat
Watch visitors in real time through live view and invite visitors who are struggling to chat
Create an automatic chat invite that will trigger when certain conditions, based on behavior tags, are met
When you’re trying to reach your campaign traffic, an auto chat invite will be your best option. You’re spending money on your influencer campaign, so why not try to make the most of your new visitors?
To set it up, go into your chat tab and click on “auto invites.” From there, you can create a new invite that will look something like this:
You can add as many or as few conditions as you would like
If I knew from heatmaps or recordings that my shipping page had a higher abandonment rate, I could select conditions like the example above to help clarify the shipping page for visitors.
Real-life campaign situation: The case for promo codes
Circling back the post from fashion blogger Shaeffer, let’s say I ended up buying the shoes a few weeks after I initially saw the post.
By that point, the link in her Insta-story or profile would be for a different product thus requiring me to find the shoes from Google search.
If Nordstrom were just using an affiliate link to track how Schaeffer drove sales, my visit and purchase would not necessarily be linked to her.
Suggestion: Use promo codes and UTM parameters together to encourage visitors to complete their purchase and make it easier to track results even after the influencer campaign has ended. Here is a great guide to get started with promo codes.
Why it helps: In my situation, I didn’t visit Nordstrom from Schaeffer’s link. She would not have been given credit for driving my purchase, even though she was the sole reason I visited Nordstrom.
Promo codes are the easiest method of tracking because:
As we mentioned earlier, customers like to use them.
It’s immediately tied to an influencer.
When used with UTM parameters, it can be tracked through your analytics platforms, too.
Note: If you’re nervous about providing a discount code, consider offering free shipping instead. In a 2019 survey by the National Retail Federation, 75% of consumers expect delivery to be free, even on orders under $50. They are more likely to buy a $5 product with free shipping than a $2.50 product with $2.50 shipping.
We’ll say it again - customers like discounts. Promo codes are the easiest method of getting customers to your website and to help track an influencer marketing campaign.
Because you’re drawing on the customer nature to use promo codes, you’re making it easier to track who the influencer is driving to your website, whether they are buying (or not) and other behaviors. You typically can add UTM parameters to a promo link, but test prior to the campaign's launch to be sure.
Wrapping it all up
A successful influencer marketing campaign comes down to more than just meeting goals.
Using tools like recordings and heatmaps, you can evaluate the traffic driven by the influencer, how they behaved, and connect with them for a personal level of service.
Short-term, measure and compare the campaign results to its goals. Quantitatively, how did it stack up with your goals?
Long-term, dive into the traffic generated by the influencer campaign. Look at how they clicked and scrolled throughout your website and compare that to previous campaigns and normal traffic. Ask questions such as:
Was the campaign traffic more likely to convert on the first visit, or did it take multiple visits?
How long did these visitors stay on the website? Where did they click? What information were they seeking?
How can I use what I learned about an influencer campaign’s traffic behavior to make my next influencer campaigns ever better? Should I make a better landing page, or should I use a different influencer with an audience better suited for my product?
At the end of the day, influencer marketing campaigns have been proven time and time again to be an effective marketing strategy. When done correctly, they return solid results