Both the concept and practice of influencer marketing have been around far longer than social media has. It may be hard to believe, but influencer marketing has actually existed since the late 1800s. During the 19th century, celebrities were often paid to promote popular items of the time, such as home goods and cigarettes. This is during the time when companies were beginning to create characters that were designed to personify their brands and directly relate to consumers.

However, it’s only over the past few years that influencer marketing has become a crucial strategy in the digital marketing landscape. Previously, it may have simply been categorized as “word-of-mouth” marketing. But with the number of influencers growing rapidly on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, digital marketers looking to create a successful and comprehensive marketing strategy have frequently been incorporating influencer marketing into their overarching strategy.

With that said, it’s still absolutely imperative for brands to know how to measure the success of an influencer marketing campaign. To help define the true ROI of your influencer partnerships, you need key performance indicators (KPI’s), and you need the right ones. Let’s jump into the 5 metrics to measure the success of your influencer marketing campaigns.

group of millennials sitting on a ledge looking at a smartphone

5 Metrics To Measure For Success

There are numerous KPIs that serve a specific purpose for different elements of your strategy. But these are the 5 most important KPI’s for your influencer efforts.

1. Conversions

As stated, influencer marketing has many goals. This includes increasing your brand’s reach, growing your online audience, driving user engagement, and increasing site traffic. Yet with all marketing efforts, the primary goal is always to drive growth and sales, and this is why conversions and conversion rates are crucial.

One of the easiest ways to track the conversions of an influencer marketing campaign is to track sales before, during, and after the campaign, then compare any changes in sales that occurred while the campaign was actively running. More sophisticated approaches include setting up affiliate links, landing pages, promo codes, UTM parameters, and link tracking.

overview of a conversion dashboard

Keep in mind, conversions are not always related to sales; there are other conversion rates your brand should also consider monitoring. Conversions can be categorized as any instance in which a prospect completes a desired action. This includes clicking on a link, signing up for a newsletter, downloading a case study, or any other action you may want a prospect to take. Influencer marketing KPIs can also be directly tied to your brand’s social media growth. This may include tracking how many Instagram likes you generate or how many new followers you obtain.


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2. Engagement

Engagement is an important KPI for influencer campaigns. It provides your brand with a much more in-depth perspective of how your campaign was received by potential consumers. Metrics like traffic and reach tell you how many people saw your ad material. But engagement will tell you how well it was received by your audience.

Engagement is crucial because it’s not only a key indicator of how your brand is being received, it also illustrates how relevant you are, how strong your relationship is with your audience,  and how loyal your customers are or will be. Engagements can be one of many different actions taken by your audience. These include like, comments, clicks, shares, reactions, pins, votes, mentions, etc.

engagement graphic


There are a few ways you can measure engagement. One of the simplest ways is to use a software tool like Influsoft, which has the ability to actually track and measure engagement for you. For those who prefer to measure engagement manually, you can do so by dividing the number of engagements by the number of impressions. You can also do so by dividing the number of engagements by the number of followers your brand has.

Furthermore, you can calculate the cost per engagement (CPE) by dividing your total ad spend by the number of engagements, and this will give you a better idea of your ROI and budget requirements for future campaigns.

3. Reach and Awareness

One of the primary benefits offered by influencers is their massive audiences. Their huge followings can help to increase the visibility of your brand on social media, which is crucial when you are looking to boost brand awareness. In order to accurately measure the success of this goal, you need to track the number of people you reached with your campaign, how many new prospects were made aware of your brand, and how effectively the campaign was able to reinforce your brand with current prospects.

One of the best ways to measure reach and awareness is to track impression data on your content. This includes social posts, videos, blog posts, and any other content created specifically for the campaign. This data can be found via social media site analytics, influencer analytics, and through your Google Analytics. Dive into the numbers and compare new visitors to returning visitors while the campaign is active.

4. Audience Growth

In many ways, audience growth is similar in nature to reach and awareness. However, there’s a critical difference. Though somebody may have been impacted by your campaign, that doesn’t mean that individual was successfully converted. This is one of the reasons that the audience growth KPI is so important. It provides a much broader, more detailed picture of your campaign success. Keep in mind, it isn’t about just trying to reach as many people as possible with your campaign – it’s also about trying to convert them into an engaged and loyal fanbase.

facebook audience growth dashboard

You can use social media site analytics to effectively track audience growth by monitoring your follower counts and seeing how many new followers you gain during the campaign. From there, compare the growth to your pre-campaign numbers.

5. Referral Traffic

While the conversion KPI is perhaps the most important metric to track with influencer marketing, it’s certainly not the only one that matters, as we have outlined throughout this piece. In addition to the above listed KPI’s, the amount of traffic that a campaign drives to your site is also noteworthy.

The reason referral traffic is important is because it not only gives you a good idea of the campaign’s reach, but it also can tell you a lot about the overall success of your campaign. Keep in mind that while conversions are crucial, they don’t always tell the whole story.

For example, if your brand’s website is not properly optimized for conversions, then it’s entirely possible that a campaign was still a success even in the event that you don’t see an increase in sales. In this case, referral traffic can help you in determining how many people actually came to your website as a direct result of your campaign.

You can actually use the same tools to monitor campaign-driven web traffic as you do for conversions. As outlined above, this includes promo codes, UTM parameters, etc. Additionally, you can also analyze the data provided by Google Analytics and directly compare them to pre-campaign data to accurately gauge success. These data points include new visitors, total page views, time on site, and (of course) referral sources.


Final Thoughts

It goes without further saying that influencer marketing is becoming increasingly important in 2020. Though consumers have always had an inherent trust for word-of-mouth advertising, influencer marketing is essentially a more sophisticated version of this. As Viral Nation co-founder Joe Gagliese has said on many occassions, influencer marketing is “basically word-of-mouth on steroids.”

Although we are witnessing the power of effective influencer marketing all across the globe, it’s just as imperative that brands have the ability to accurately measure the success an influencer campaign. By focusing your efforts around the KPIs we outlined in this article, you will gain a strong understanding of just how successful your campaign was at achieving your desired goals.

We only do marketing that works.

Work with us →

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