3 Influencer Marketing Measurement Challenges and How to Overcome Them

It’s not a secret that influencer marketing has gained popularity over the past decade, thus it's no wonder that multiple companies dedicate larger budgets to working with influencers every year. But with everything in life, this marketing strategy only makes sense if its effectiveness is assessed. Furthermore, measuring isn't enough on its own. It is also important to know when, what, and for how long to measure. For instance, how do you tell whether a marketing campaign aimed at increasing brand awareness is successful? How can you determine which influencer produced the most sales? Our article will cover these topics, as well as other challenges and considerations related to influencer marketing measurement.

The Relation Between Goals and Measuring Influencer Marketing

What should be the first step in building an influencer campaign? Defining what you want to accomplish.

  • Having goals gives you a sense of direction toward your desired results.

  • They help you stay motivated and guide you along the way.

  • You can select influencer marketing metrics that help you measure progress based on your goals.

  • By analyzing the data generated during the campaign, you can benchmark your performance against your initial goals.

  • Consequently, influencer marketing measurement enables you to adjust your strategy and refine your approach for future collaborations.

Aligning your goals and metrics with the funnel stage

You can use influencer marketing to support your entire buyer journey if you understand your marketing funnel and identify touch points where creators can help.

Top-of-funnel goals usually include building brand awareness, improving visibility, and reaching a broader audience. A variety of campaign ideas are suitable for the awareness stage, including guest blogging, social media takeovers, and shoutouts. The metrics to monitor are the number of views, audience reach, impressions, follower growth, brand mentions, website traffic, and hashtag activity.

Influencer marketing collaborations typically focus on the top and bottom of the funnel, but there are several strategies that support the middle of the funnel. Building authority and growing engagement is ideal to nurture and engage with potential customers and drive interest. What is the best way to accomplish this? By sharing influencer unboxing videos and product reviews, tutorials and webinars, and creating giveaways. Naturally, you should track engagement rate, click-through rate, user sentiment, time spent on the website, the number of leads from submissions and sign-ups, and social media engagement including the number of comments, shares, and saves.

The other common goal of influencer marketing campaigns is to lead the customer down the funnel and convert them. A bottom-of-the-funnel marketing strategy can boost sales as well as generate leads. For the last stage of the funnel, affiliate marketing programs, discount codes, or limited-time offers are a good choice. You can gain a better understanding of your success by monitoring conversion rate, cost per acquisition, revenue, direct and indirect sales, and subscriptions.

But even with specific, relevant, and achievable goals, how and for how long do you measure abstract goals such as brand authority? How do you determine which influencer's post resulted in conversions along the customer journey? These are common challenges in influencer marketing measurement, and now we'll discuss how to overcome them.

Challenge 1: How Do You Measure Brand Authority and Awareness?

One of the most difficult aspects of influencer marketing measurement is gauging brand awareness and the authority you gained through influencer campaigns. Both are considered subjective and intangible and require a long-term perspective that is built on constant efforts.

The same content elicits different reactions from different people thus brand recognition is influenced by customer perceptions. The concept of authority encompasses trust, expertise, and reputation making it difficult to quantify and evaluate. As a result of their qualitative nature, there are no standardized metrics or benchmarks for measuring brand awareness or authority.

Quantitative and qualitative marketing metrics can assist in overcoming these obstacles

Brands can overcome these challenges by using a combination of qualitative and quantitative marketing methods, as well as influencer marketing metrics. As a qualitative technique, social listening, customer reviews, and feedback can be utilized, as well as aligning metrics, such as brand mentions, hashtag performance, and sentiment analysis. Quantitative metrics that enable you to estimate brand recognition and authority are impressions, reach, social media follower growth, website traffic, and search volume related to the brand.

Challenge 2: Measuring Influencer Marketing ROI and Conversions

Elements, like your objectives, can make measuring influencer marketing ROI and conversions difficult. It is common for influencer campaigns to achieve several goals beyond conversion, such as reaching new markets, driving traffic, or improving engagement. Even so, all of these goals have the potential to contribute to conversions, especially purchases.

This brings us to the point of why measuring ROI is difficult: identifying which influencer contributed to the sales - and to what extent. Customer engagement can include a variety of touchpoints, and they may interact with content from more influencers across several channels or do research before purchasing.

Attribution models and tracking mechanisms enable brands to determine influencers’ roles in sales

By implementing direct tracking, adequate attribution models, and using advanced tools brands can isolate the specific creator whose efforts resulted in conversion. Measuring creator contributions to the end goal will enable businesses to calculate the return on investment. Influencer marketing ROI sheds light on the effectiveness of individual influencers and the campaign as a whole. By doing so, it's easy to identify creators who charge high fees and fail to deliver, fine-tune spending, and discover social media platforms and content types that motivate users to take action.

How can you track sales?

Tracking links: With a campaign management tool or URL builder, you can create customized links influencers can embed in their content. Clicking on the link will provide you with data on where the traffic is coming from, allowing you to track purchases.

Promo codes: You can offer individual discount codes to creators who promote the offer via their posts. One of the easiest ways to track sales is to count how many times each promo code was used.

Landing pages: Create a landing page for your offer and check the number of visitors.

Analytics tools: You can track website traffic, page views, and conversions using services like Google Analytics, Clicky, and Adobe Analytics.

How do you determine which influencer triggered the conversion?

This is where attribution models come into play. Considering conversions are the last step in the buyer journey, last-click attribution makes more sense. It's easy to set up and gives full credit to the influencer who generated the purchase. The downside: As a single touchpoint model, last-touch attribution ignores additional touchpoints and other influencer content that may have led to conversion.

As a side note, brand awareness can also be measured using attribution models. In terms of single touchpoint models, first-click attribution is the most suitable, since it gives credit to the first touchpoint in its entirety. The use of a multi-touchpoint model like position-based attribution, which recognizes both the first and last interaction equally, can also work for you.

Challenge 3: The Duration for Measuring Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Your influencer marketing measurement begins when you set your goals and metrics, so before your campaign even launches. This is because your pre-campaign statistics will serve as your benchmark. And when will it end? It depends on a number of factors.

Your goals and buyer cycles influence your campaign’s duration

You would assume that measuring influencer marketing campaigns begins with the publication of the first post and finishes at a predetermined point in time. With bottom-of-the-funnel goals, you're not too far off the mark. Boosting sales using limited-time offers and promo codes has an immediate impact on your efforts, requiring short-term influencer marketing measurement. Even so, it is important to know the sales data prior to the campaign.

In contrast, goals at the top of the funnel don't drive immediate results. As a new company, if you are interested in earning market share and visibility you should launch several campaigns and build awareness among users gradually. For example, gifting is a great way to introduce your new business to social media users. You can use this traction to continue with giveaway campaigns and sponsored partnerships and then end your campaign series with challenges that generate ample user-generated content that you can reuse on your other platforms. But keep in mind that achieving such a goal will not happen overnight. Brand association takes time. In this case, we are talking about months or years.

Researching complex or high-value products like health insurance, investments or luxury items frequently extends the time between consideration and commitment. When it comes to low-cost, frequently used goods, the decision-making process is faster. Again, this influences your funnel and the number of touchpoints you need to include, which affects your campaign's length.

Content type and buying motivation also affect campaign measurement duration

Social media content types, such as Stories on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter Fleets, last for 24 hours. As a result of these posts, the FOMO effect is triggered, and consumers become more inclined to make emotional purchases rather than rational ones. For a sales boost, clothing businesses may combine these content types with promotional codes. Time is an emotional trigger and accelerates decision-making. Additionally, food and beverage brands can take advantage of them by providing fast home delivery to satisfy consumers' instant gratification needs. Considering that posts are visible in the users' feeds for up to 24 hours, the results can be analyzed after just three days.

Ultimately, it's best to monitor brand awareness, sentiments, and perceptions constantly and plan your decision stage strategy accordingly.

Key Takeaways and Final Thoughts

  • Keep your marketing goals and KPIs in line with the funnel stage.

  • Combine quantitative and qualitative approaches and metrics.

  • Apply tracking techniques, attribution models, and tools for measuring influencer marketing ROI and conversions.

  • Analyze your pre-campaign performance and benchmark it to your past-campaign results.

As a whole, you should constantly measure influencer marketing, so you can better your strategy and calculate the return on your investment more accurately. Follow the developments and trends shaping influencer marketing measurement. Take advantage of innovations and new solutions such as complex influencer marketing platforms that facilitate data tracking and integration, allowing brands to feel more confident about the results of their measurements.

The influencer marketing landscape will continue to change, so brands, social media networks, influencer platforms, and analytics tools will need to simultaneously refine and develop new approaches to measuring influencer marketing ROI and impact.

Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 137.2M+ account database.
Anna is an influencer marketing expert and content marketing writer at HypeAuditor. She enjoys discovering new social media trends and features.
June 19, 2023
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Anna is an influencer marketing expert and content marketing writer at HypeAuditor. She enjoys discovering new social media trends and features.
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Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 137.2M+ account database.