Influencer marketing has been the most significant buzz word in the industry in the year 2019. While in this new reality, billions are being spent on influencers annually, it can be tricky for brands to figure out the true ROI.

Most firms today have moved towards a more consumer and content-centric era where the brand’s worth is determined by the ability to genuinely connect with the target audience and win them over by driving a compelling message or added value. This has given rise to the trend of influencer marketing, where brands collaborated with popular social media creators targeting digitally-savvy audiences.

While in this new era, billions are being spent on influencers every year, the RoI is still elusive. Questions remain- what content to power through which influencers? What are the true measures of influence? How to estimate the real growth in this bot-infused social media world?

Utilizing Data to Power Smart Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Firms should turn influencer marketing into a data-driven science where the goal is to stop wastage of marketing expenditure, which unfortunately tends to happen even when influencer and celeb selections are gut calls. The most complicated situation is misaligned influencer selection. For instance,  female beauty products are being promoted by female influencers on social media channels, while 80-90% of their followers are males.

Below are the top 7 key areas and the questions that need to be addressed while selecting influencers and measuring the campaign impact.

For data-driven influencer selection, firms should ask the below questions:

1. Relevance Authority: What’s the influencers’ relevance in the category to be promoted? Are they a known authority on the category, and do they frequently post about it? What do their followers follow them for? How does their content on the category perform compared to other categories? What’s their sentiment or dislike to like ratio on posts for the category?

2. Audience Demographics: What’s the age and gender and geography breakdown of the influencers’ followers?   Do they align with the target group? What’s the spillage?

3. Optimized Reach: Who are the influencers’ followers? What are they engaging for? Are the audiences of the influencers in the campaigns overlapping? What is the perfect time to post content to maximize viewership?

4. Authenticity: What are the influencers’ authenticity scores? Are shares and comments on their content from bots? Did they buy followers?

5. Influencer Mix Optimization: Is the influencer type appropriate for the campaign objectives? Would the ROI improve based on historic engagement rates with a different mix of influencer types?

  1. Content Plan: Which influencers are suited the most for the kind of content to meet the marketing objectives? Short-form v/s Long form? YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook and another platform? Videos, Images, GIFs, Carousel, Stories, Blogs, Challenges? What deliver’s the best ROI?

    7. Impact: How many positive comments mentioned the product or brand? How many swipe-ups/click-throughs/purchases to the site? What is the overall sentiment analysis on that post engagement? What was the cost per engagement?

    For all the frenzy over influencer marketing, the industry is still in a nascent phase. Marketers are looking forward to raising higher standards in the industry. They are drifting away from superficial metrics, bot-followed influencers, and increasingly making decisions based on intuition. This is leading to more authentic content having a genuine impact, assuring a win-win situation for brands and influencers alike.