Hidden Value Marketing Tips: How to Evaluate Influencer Performance

A performance-based approach is beneficial in most areas of marketing, and influencer marketing is no different. Evaluating how well an influencer has performed on a program can be broken down into a variety of different ways (many of which we've gone over in our Math & Science of Influencer Marketing series), but often marketers should have a set goal in place of what they define as a successful influencer program.  

Establish KPI's and Communicate Your Influencer Marketing Strategy Beforehand 

In order to successfully evaluate an influencer’s performance, we need to first make sure that we’ve done our job as the marketer in letting the influencer know what our goals are beforehand. Since influencers are masters of their craft and have built their audience through relevant, optimized messaging, they’ll know best how to cater to the marketer’s needs while still connecting with their audience in an impactful way if they know what the marketer’s goals are. 

Up-front communication with an influencer instantly accomplishes a few major objectives: 

  • The influencer can frame their content in specific ways depending on a brand’s KPI’s 
    • Does the content need to be sales-oriented? 
    • Are we focusing on getting engaging comments to showcase purchase intent/word of mouth? 
    • Is this content going to be repurposed and showcased in other areas where we need to be mindful of different aspect ratios/video quality settings? 
  • Speeds up the content approval process, decreasing turnaround time and increasing overall performance 

  • It sets up a level of transparency and trust, allowing for a smooth partnership across this campaign and anything in the future 

Gathering Influencer Marketing Metrics and Evaluating Performance 

After content has been published, evaluating performance based on analytics is where most marketers will determine overall success for the program. Remember that sponsored influencer content is evergreen and will continue to show performance over time, unlike a display ad that disappears after the campaign is completed. 

Something that brands and marketers that are new to influencer marketing often overlook is figuring out the best ways to acquire the analytics for a piece of content. The social media platforms usually only show engagements and views, but sales, impressions, clicks and many more attributes aren’t readily available unless you have a way to gather that data.  

Most common ways to acquire influencer marketing campaign analytics: 

  • Use an influencer marketing tool to gather analytics easily and at scale 
    • *Note that most influencer tools in the space will not showcase sales per influencer and you’ll need to work with specific partners in the industry that have this setup if you’re looking to track and optimize based on sales.

  • Ask influencers directly for screenshots of their analytics 
    • Influencers can see all of the back-end data and will often send screenshots over to you if asked. This is inefficient and time-consuming if you’re publishing more than just one or two pieces of content, though.

  • Manually go to the post and use front-end analytics from the social platforms 
    • As mentioned, you’ll only get the few metrics that social platforms showcase with this method such as comments, likes, or total video views 

Value of the Ease of Working with Influencers 

Time is money and not every partnership is a perfect match between brand and influencer. A major part of evaluating an influencer’s performance is calculating how easy or difficult an influencer was to work with. In the vast majority of cases, influencers are extremely professional, reliable, business-focused entrepreneurs that are perfect for any ambassadorship that makes sense. 

It’s completely up to the brand or marketer how much this weighs on the overall evaluation, but as you scale up your influencer efforts to utilizing 20, 30, 40+ influencers on one program, the time value and reliability value of quality partnerships increases exponentially.