How should influencer marketing be measured?
Linking influencer marketing to revenue is “the golden ticket,” Christina Westley, head of influencer marketing at PepsiCo Content Studio, says in Econsultancy’s “Influencer Marketing Best Practice Guide” study.
However, a wide range of approaches and methodologies are used to measure ROI and real-world interactions are particularly challenging to value.
PepsiCo’s Ms. Westley stated, “Influencer marketing will always have this human element to it that turnkey paid media won’t, so some of these metrics still have to account for the human side of things, and the natural reaction influencers might have to campaigns.”
The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) recently released its first set of guidelines for measuring influencer marketing. According to ANA, measurement guidelines for paid advertising — i.e., pay-per-click, branded content and display ads — have been available for almost a decade, but the ”lack of both consistency and transparency has limited organic influencer marketing’s value to advertisers.”
ANA’s guidelines offered various ways to define cost per reach, engagement and conversion.
Measurement hurdles, according to ANA, include a lack of measurement standardization and consistency across social media platforms as each defines what constitutes an engagement differently. At the same time, agencies’ proprietary measurement algorithms often make it challenging to know how different campaigns from different agencies compare with each other.
A recent report by Publicis Sapient and analytics firm Launchmetrics based on a global survey of 1,000 marketing and PR professionals found that 38 percent count on influencers to self-report their data, risking potential misrepresentation and manipulation. A third employ URL tracking to monitor influencer mentions and 22 percent, campaign engagement and hashtags.
Still, 80 percent of respondents are now using economic measures to gauge the efficacy of influencers versus only 24 percent who prioritize reach and views, indicating a shift from measuring awareness and engagement to measuring consumer conversions.
Publicis Sapient’s study states, “The reach and return on influencers remain undisputed however, marketers need to select the right tools to analyze the data (based on what channel, purpose of tracking, and needs of the team viewing the report) as without the right tools, marketers can’t produce the right analysis.”
- Measuring influencer marketing programmes – Econsultancy
- ANA Influencer Marketing Measurement Guidelines – Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
- ANA Offers First Guidelines for Measuring Influencer Marketing – Association of National Advertisers – Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
- The State of Measurement in Fashion, Luxury & Beauty 2022 – Publicis Sapient
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What are the primary challenges to measuring influencer marketing? Are adequate tools and approaches available to measure conversion driven by influencers?