American Marketer


Influencer marketing analytics must go beyond basics

August 7, 2017

Kamiu Lee is vice president of business development and strategy at Activate by Bloglovin’ Kamiu Lee is vice president of business development and strategy at Activate by Bloglovin’


By Kamiu Lee

When thinking about measurement in influencer marketing, the first things that bubble up for many brands are reach and engagement.

While engagement and reach are certainly important tracking methods to determine the success of a campaign, for influencer marketing there are many additional levels of measurement available to brands for influencer collaboration analytics.

Understanding these analytic and measurement tactics can allow brands and marketers to target and scale programs much more efficiently.

Looking deeper into influencer profiles
Access to retailer affinity, or where the influencer likes to shop, can provide an advantage for marketers deciding whether the influencer is a true fit for the product or brand name, and whether the collaboration will feel organic.

Analyzing past branded collaborations that the influencer has participated in can show how he or she organically tells a story around a brand or product. Or, whether it does not seem organic at all.

If an influencer is able to work this branded content seamlessly into her own organic content, the posts are more genuine, leading to deeper engagement by consumers who are viewing their content.

In fact, our research found that 61 percent of female consumers would not engage with an influencer’s sponsored post if it did not feel authentic, proving genuine storytelling is essential in these campaigns.

An influencer’s area of influence may seem obvious on the surface, but there are many times where a travel influencer, for example can weigh in on food or home décor in an organic way.

Taking a look at how their past content and collaborations, particularly those outside of their typical area, flow with their day-to-day content can show marketers how their own brand will fit in.

Audience-level analytics
This measurement tactic, only recently developed, is capable of showing brands exactly where the influencer’s audience is based. No longer must you assume that a Seattle-based influencer’s audience is mainly based in Seattle.

Now, we can see the true make-up of an influencer’s audience on her blog and social media, as well as a demographic breakdown of geography, age and gender. This information is particularly key for brands launching in a particular market.

For example, if you are launching a product in Boston, but the influencer’s viewers are mainly in New York, it may not be the best fit. This geo-targeting becomes even more valuable when you look at the analytics after the campaign is in process.

By looking at the data, you can quickly tell that a post is getting much more engagement from consumers in Chicago than in San Francisco, and optimize your marketing spend accordingly.

Real-time content analytics
When coordinating with brands, a major advantage of using a technologically advanced influencer platform is the ability to see the data behind each piece of content, on each social platform, rather than just relying on what the influencer or agent tells you.

With this advanced measuring tool, brands can now see what the reach, views and engagement are for a post in real-time. This way, if you see that Instagram is doing really well, but Facebook is lacking in views, you can quickly add budget in the right direction.

While some of this data may be publicly available, it can be difficult to scale a program if you are manually checking analytics on each post.

A technology that aggregates this data in real time can allow the marketer to focus on which influencers and what content are working for them, and optimize accordingly.

Measuring ROI relating to key performance indicators
Calculating ROI from an influencer marketing campaign is far from black and white.

Many brands choose to measure it with earned media value (EMV), or a dollar value attributed to particular metrics.

For example, each engagement – a like, click or comment – adds up to a total EMV to calculate the ROI. This, however, can be a subjective method, and although likes are great, it may not show the real value of the campaign.

Conversion attribution to promo codes and affiliate links are used often as well, but they can favor influencers with more experience in coupon promotion, while the value of influencers that can introduce a new product to their audience may be undercut.

There are newer technologies that measure ROI by attributing value to content that introduces a product to a new consumer or drives a click to conversion.

The obstacle with this method is that brands or retailers must have the relevant server-side integration to track the content effectively.

BOTTOM LINE, ROI is a factor of a campaign that should be measured with consideration, as every method is not the same, and every campaign is not the same.

In fact, when analyzing any part of an influencer campaign, it is important to consider all of your options, including working with a platform that can do it all for you, before deciding how to show its value.

Kamiu Lee is vice president of business development and strategy Activate by Bloglovin’, New York. Reach her at