Influencer marketing has grown beyond getting a viral moment. It has become a core element of marketing and sales strategies. Our Q3 2023 Pulse Survey revealed 81% of US-based social marketers consider influencer marketing an essential part of their social media strategy. They no longer expect accidental virality by hiring an influencer.
That’s why tracking key influencer marketing metrics effectively has become crucial. Doing so enables you to benchmark your influencer campaigns against business goals, determine the ROI of your partnerships and pivot quickly based on what is and isn’t working.
In this article, we explain which influencer marketing metrics you should focus on to prove a return on investment and show an impact on your overall social and business goals.
How to choose the right metrics for influencer marketing
Choosing the right metrics for influencer marketing begins with setting specific, measurable and time-bound goals aligned with your broader social media marketing strategy. Whether aiming to enhance brand awareness, generate leads or boost sales, ensure clarity in your objectives.
Here are a few examples of influencer marketing goals:
- Increase positive Instagram brand mentions by 20% in the next quarter using influencer partnerships.
- Generate 500 leads within the next month through influencer marketing campaigns.
- Achieve a 15% growth in online sales attributed to influencer collaborations in the upcoming quarter.
These goals are specific and fall within broader marketing objectives like improving brand awareness and increasing sales.
Selecting influencer marketing goals that align with your social and marketing strategies will help you set a clear benchmark for success and move the needle in terms of social performance and achieving business goals. They also enable you to effectively showcase the impact of influencer collaborations on the bottom line and secure buy-in for future campaigns.
10 influencer marketing metrics to measure
Selecting social media metrics that will best measure the impact and success of your influencer marketing initiatives is just a matter of connecting key performance indicators (KPIs) with your broader marketing objectives.
Here are ten important influencer marketing metrics based on insights from marketers, research studies and our Q3 2023 Pulse Survey.
Reach and impressions
Tracking reach and impressions in influencer marketing is one of the simplest ways to measure brand awareness. Reach refers to the number of people who saw your content. Impressions are the number of times your content was shown or viewed, regardless of whether someone interacted with it.
One person can see a post multiple times, so the impressions will always equal or exceed reach. Not all social channels tell you both reach and impressions. But using a platform like Tagger by Sprout Social where you can get in-depth reports like below, or requesting a performance report from the influencer, will enable you to gather one or both of these metrics.
The Q3 Pulse Survey showed 68% of marketers track social media engagement metrics (likes, shares and comments) and 19% look to user-generated content related to their brand or products to measure the effectiveness of influencer marketing campaigns. Monitoring audience engagement shows how well an influencer is resonating with their audience and offers a qualitative assessment of the impact and efficacy of their content in driving brand interactions.
Flannels, for example, partnered with influencers to promote its festive party wear collection on TikTok. The #PartyNeverStops campaign generated £3.68M in sales, an 18x return on ad spend, 91M video views and reached 11.9M unique users in the UK. TikTok shows #PartyNeverStops has 102.9M views.
Our research also found most social marketers consider social media engagement data a vital influencer marketing metric to secure internal buy-in for influencer marketing. You can also track the engagement rate by multiplying 100 by the sum of likes, shares and comments, then dividing them by the influencer’s follower count.
To make this process faster and easier, use social media analytics platforms like Sprout Social to automatically track engagement rates for you.
This metric refers to an increase in the brand’s social media followers due to influencer collaborations. A growing audience signals that people are regularly interested in what you have to share, amplifying your brand’s reach and awareness.
Gymshark, for example, has grown a social media following of millions by collaborating with fitness influencers who frequently promote the brand’s products on their social handles.
In our Pulse Survey, 41% said they measure the growth in followers/subscribers on social platforms to see if influencer marketing is working for them. Use social media management tools to track audience growth across channels. For example, use Sprout’s Instagram Profile Report feature to track followers gained during an influencer campaign alongside other key metrics.
Brand mentions tell you how often your brand is discussed on social media, regardless of direct tags. A rise in mentions after or during an influencer campaign can expand your brand’s reach, indicating genuine engagement among your audience. It also shows you have a growing community doing word-of-mouth marketing.
Forty percent of marketers in the survey said they monitor brand mentions and hashtags on social platforms to measure the effectiveness of their influencer campaigns.
Social media listening tools like Sprout Social help you track brand mentions (including misspellings and untagged mentions) and identify keywords linked to your brand, enabling a nuanced understanding of whether mentions represent positive feedback, a brand breakthrough or a potential crisis.
Social media share of voice
Share of voice (SOV) measures your brand’s presence compared to competitors so you can judge where you stand in the industry. Using SOV as an influencer marketing metric during and post-campaign helps you gauge its market-wide effectiveness.
The formula to calculate share of voice is: Your brand metrics / Total market metrics.
A social listening tool automates the process of sifting through millions of online conversations and analyzing them to determine your SOV. It can also give you metrics based on your competitor’s activities.
Sprout’s social listening tools help you visualize the share of voice data. You can view metrics like positive sentiment and total engagement. Also use filters to segregate your social listening data, so you uncover new business opportunities and make the most of your influencer partnerships.
Website traffic from social media
Tracking website traffic from social media is paramount for illustrating the tangible impact of influencer marketing on overall business success. This influencer marketing metric links social media activities and website visits, showcasing the effectiveness of influencer campaigns in influencing potential customers to consider your brand by visiting its website.
Moreover, by monitoring website traffic, businesses can better understand the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and make informed decisions to achieve their KPIs. Home Depot, for example, partnered with the fashion blogger, The Mother Chick, to promote its products via tracked URLs.
Using tools like Tagger by Sprout Social enhances precision in tracking website traffic. Marketers can leverage Tagger to add UTMs and platform pixels or create custom URLs. For instance, implementing UTM parameters becomes crucial on Instagram, where clickable links are limited.
In fact, 50% of marketers track link traffic from social media posts (e.g., Link in Bio) or use promotion codes, while 45% analyze increases in website traffic during/after campaigns to measure the effectiveness of their influencer marketing campaigns according to the Q3 2023 Pulse Survey.
You can also use Google Analytics for social media reporting and influencer marketing metrics. Within Google Analytics, social teams can visualize web sessions attributed to specific social channels, providing a clear day-by-day breakdown. Marketers gain insights into the effectiveness of their influencer campaigns by discerning between traffic from Instagram bio links and Instagram Stories.
Conversion is the successful completion of a predetermined goal, signaling that the collaboration has influenced the audience to take a specific action.
Conversions can mean:
- Sign-ups for software or a newsletter
- A promo code usage
- Filling out a lead generation form
- Downloads of a whitepaper or ebook
You can track conversions by using tools like Google Analytics, asking users via a form how they discovered you or using influencer-specific codes during checkout.
To accurately measure the return on investment (ROI) of influencer marketing and its impact on your overall social media ROI, brands need to calculate the revenue generated by influencer campaigns—making it one of the key influencer marketing metrics. You can determine revenue generated during and after an influencer campaign using tools like Google Analytics, promotional codes and measuring direct sales on social media.
According to our research, 73% of those surveyed said their influencer marketing budget is shared with their social budget. So, when multiple teams compete to get a share of the marketing budget, you need to show the impact of influencer marketing to senior leadership.
By tracking revenue, companies can determine which influencers offer the best ROI and adjust their strategy accordingly.
Search interest refers to the frequency of people searching for specific terms or topics. An increase in search interest during an influencer campaign could indicate heightened curiosity or demand generated by the campaign. Quantifying audience engagement and interest helps you measure the campaign’s impact.
For instance, if an influencer promotes a new gadget and search interest for that product spikes, it indicates that the audience is actively seeking more information or looking to make a purchase. The Q3 2023 Pulse Survey showed that 24% of marketers use SEO tools (e.g., Ahrefs, SEMrush, etc.) to monitor search interest to gauge the effectiveness of their influencer marketing campaigns.
Earned media/press mentions
Earned media refers to the publicity a brand receives through organic channels, such as press coverage or media mentions, rather than through paid advertising. In influencer marketing, increased earned media could be a compelling indicator of brand success. The Pulse Survey revealed one-third of marketers track press or media mentions related to influencer campaigns.
Earned media is measured by equating the organic, positive buzz a brand receives to the monetary value they would’ve had to spend to receive the same recognition via paid ads.
When influencers generate positive attention from media outlets or across social, it signals that the campaign has resonated beyond the influencer’s immediate audience, reaching wider recognition.
Dove, for example, partnered with actress Gabrielle Union as part of their #detoxyourfeed campaign—an initiative meant to take action against toxic beauty standards. Union’s partnership with Dove has helped the company gain positive PR and showcase its values to a wider audience through an influencer and a hashtag rather than paying for ad placements.
Hone in on influencer marketing metrics to maximize your ROI
Influencer marketing can be a game-changer if you set strategic goals that align with your social media strategy and hire the right influencers for your target audience. And choosing the right influencer marketing metrics will help you measure the effectiveness of your campaigns and show their impact on the bottom line.
But, let’s be honest, making the most of influencer marketing is easier said than done. With so many factors at play, like changing social media algorithms and trends, finding the right influencers and effectively managing them, it can be daunting if you are not an expert at influencer marketing.
Our team has put together a detailed guide on maximizing influencer marketing ROI, so you can start making the most of your influencer campaigns today.