Mar 26, 2024

6 Essential KPIs for Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

Influencer marketing is so successful as it leverages a word-of-mouth strategy through social media channels. It’s now a $2.1 billion industry. 

While the landscape used to be limited to a small pool of influencers or celebrities, influencers now come in all shapes and sizes from nano (less than 1,000 followers) to macro (up to a million followers). 

Brands can now use influencer marketing to promote nearly anything and tap into their target audience - especially with artificial intelligence now making the process of finding and using the right influencer easier. Plus, using influencers is no longer limited to Instagram, other platforms like TikTok, YouTube and Facebook are also in on the act.   

But how do you as a marketer know if the strategy or influencer is working? 

Like any digital marketing channel, you need to measure performance and that requires key performance indicators (better known as KPIs). In this blog, we’ll explore six essential KPIs to track for your influencer marketing campaigns:

  1. Traffic
  2. Engagement
  3. Conversions
  4. Brand awareness and sentiment
  5. Audience growth rate
  6. Return on Investment (ROI)

What do you want from your influencer campaign?

Before you set your KPIs it’s important to dig down into what you want from your influencer campaign. Think about what you want to achieve by using an influencer that you cannot do any other way. 

If you have run an influencer campaign before, what was achieved? Is there anything you want to change to make it more successful? 

Think about your key goals as these will drive the strategy, content and channel for your influencer campaign. So is your goal to boost brand awareness, generate leads, boost conversions or drive sales? 

It’s also crucial to think about your social media platform. What network/s does your brand use to get engagement? What platform is your target audience active on? Where are you seeing success through organic or paid activity?

The graph below from Statista shows the top platforms used for influencer marketing in the United States from 2020 to 2025. It should be said that the engagement rates for influencer campaigns are highest on TikTok at between 10%-15% followed by Instagram at 1% to 4% according to The Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2024.  

Influencer engagement rates across social media platforms
Influencer engagement rates across social media platforms

Keep the popularity of the platform in mind when planning your campaigns and picking your influencers.  

Top tip: Once you know your goals, use tools like Heepsy, BuzzSumo, or TikTok Creative Center to find relevant influencers. 

How do you track your influencer marketing campaigns?

So, now you know your goals but how are you going to track and monitor your influencer campaigns? 

Like any digital marketing campaign, you should include tracking parameters or UTMs which are snippets of text added to URLs to measure the performance. If there’s an offer included as part of your campaign, track performance through a promo code (e.g. SUMMER20). 

Google Analytics (GA4) should be your best friend for reporting and campaign tracking. Alternatively, you can use a sales platform or a tool that focuses on influencer campaigns such as Upfluence, Keyhole or Grin. 

So let’s dig into those KPIs to track for your influencer campaign. 

1. Traffic

Traffic is an important metric for any digital marketing campaign as it shows how many people are actually seeing your content! 

Traffic will give you a good idea of the campaign’s reach, but also because it can tell you a lot about its overall success.

For example, if you notice an increase in traffic but not conversions, that’s an indication that something isn’t working on the page. Solutions would be to tweak the landing page or A/B test content or call-to-action buttons to see what people are reacting to.

Metrics that you can track for traffic are:

  • New visitors
  • Total sessions
  • Referral sources
  • Total page views
  • Time on site

2. Engagement

Engagement is an important KPI because it provides a more in-depth view of how your campaign was received. While traffic and reach will tell you how many people saw your content, audience and engagement will tell you how well it was received. 

Engagement is crucial because it’s a good indicator of how the campaign is resonating amongst your audience, how relevant you are, and how loyal your customers will be. 

To get an idea of engagement rates to benchmark your campaign against, here’s an example for TikTok users in the United States by influencer size and industry. 

TikTok engagement rates by industry
TikTok engagement rates by industry

A single engagement can be one of several actions taken by your audience (based on the platform):

  • Likes
  • Reactions
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Clicks
  • Votes
  • Pins
  • Video views
  • Brand mentions

To measure engagement, just divide the number of post interactions (likes, shares or comments) by the follower count and multiply by 100.

3. Conversions

As marketers, we know that the chief goal of any campaign is to drive growth and sales, and that’s where your conversion rate KPI comes in handy.

An easy way to track conversions generated by the influencer marketing campaign is to track sales before, during, and after the campaign, and compare any changes in sales that happened when the campaign was running. 

For a more sophisticated approach, set up affiliate links, UTM parameters, promo codes, landing pages, and link tracking for the campaign. This will help you to track the traffic sources of customers who converted during the campaign.

Remember if you’re running an influencer campaign to drive sales, then it’s not just about lead generation (although knowing your lead numbers is important). You need to track how many people who became a lead made a purchase.   

“ 56% of marketers use influencer campaigns to create user-generated content while 23% use it for generating sales” The Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2024

4. Brand Awareness & Brand Sentiment

One of the main benefits of influencers is they have access to an audience that can increase the visibility of your brand. This is an important first step when you want to boost brand awareness and build new relationships.

As KPIs, brand awareness and sentiment are top-of-the-funnel and will help you to look at how your brand is perceived (if at all!) They can be very useful for smaller brands or those operating in a niche industry as while the influencer follower count may be smaller, they should be people interested in what you have to offer.   

In this age of authenticity where people are seeking out brands that are transparent and stand for something, brand sentiment can help you partner with influencers that have the same values. This can help increase trust and create positive relationships with your audience.  

To measure brand awareness, track how many people you reached with your campaign, how many new prospects became aware of your brand, and how well the campaign reinforced your brand with existing prospects.

You can do this by tracking impression data on your posts, such as blog posts, social posts, videos, and other content you create specifically for the campaign. You can use social media analytics for this and GA4.  

For brand sentiment, use social listening tools like SparkToro or Talkwalker to gauge sentiment and see what conversations people are having about your brand. You can also use surveys or polls on social media to ask questions about the influencer campaign to get feedback. 

5. Audience Growth rate

Audience growth is similar to reach and awareness, but there’s a crucial difference: just because somebody was impacted by the campaign doesn’t mean that person engaged with the content. .

For example, say you were scrolling through your Instagram feed and clicked on a blog post from a food influencer. From the blog, you click through to the website for a new local restaurant. 

If you’re measuring reach and traffic KPIs, this would be a success. But let’s say you check out the  menu and realize they don’t have any food that accommodates your dietary restrictions. After this, you leave the site and never think about the restaurant again. So according to the audience growth KPI, the campaign wasn’t successful. 

But let’s say that when on the restaurant site, you realize their menu was designed with your diet in mind. So you decide to follow them on Instagram to get updates and news. This is a success as they’ve gained a new follower and possible customer. 

This is where the audience growth KPI is so important because it gives you a fuller picture of your success. Remember, you aren't just trying to reach as many people as possible: you're also trying to convert them into loyal customers.

To track audience growth, use social media site analytics to monitor followers and see how many new ones you gain during the campaign, Then compare the growth to pre-campaign numbers. 

You can do the same thing with your email lists by comparing the number of prospects who sign up during the campaign compared to before.

You can calculate the audience growth rate by subtracting the pre-campaign follower count from the post-campaign count and dividing it by the pre-campaign count. Then multiply by 100 to get the percentage follower growth rate.

6. Return on Investment (ROI)

Return on Investment (ROI) is one of the most important KPIs for any marketing campaign as it focuses on profitability - a metric that not only proves the success of a campaign but gives you leverage to run another one!

The goal is to get a positive ROI which basically means your revenue must exceed your expenditure i.e. the cost of your influencer and any other associated expenses. 

Bear in mind that ROI isn’t always about ‘profit’. Earned Media Value (EMV) is another metric valued by marketers as a measure of the ROI on influencer campaigns. EMV is a way to quantify the value of all organic exposure your influencer campaigns generate. 

Figuring out EMV can be a bit tricky and needs to be done by campaign but an example of a calculation according to Later is: 

TikTok EMV = (likes*value_per_like) + (comments*value_per_comment) + ((impressions/1000)*value_per_1000impressions)

Conclusion: Influencer marketing KPIs

Influencer marketing was once seen as a flash in the pan or a strategy reserved for big brands with big budgets. (Or with the explosion of TikTok, something that would be sidelined in place of content creators). 

However, the growth of nano and micro influencers has made it possible for brands of all sizes and types to use influencer marketing successfully. The key is to understand what you want to achieve, choose the right social platform and partner with an influencer that’s right for your brand and message. 

We hope that by focusing on these six KPIs, you'll get a well-rounded idea of how successful your campaign is at achieving your goals and allow you to change it if things aren’t working. 

Ultimately it’s about creating a successful partnership with an influencer that connects with your audience.

Updated 2024

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