What You Need to Know About Data-Driven Influencer Marketing

Jan 14, 2022 — Markerly Editorial Team, 3 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Since influencer marketing—especially digital influencer marketing—is relatively new to the scene, some brands may not put as much work into analytics and data collection as they do with other kinds of marketing.

If you’re one of those brands, it’s time to start reassessing your strategy. Like any other kind of marketing, success comes with a lot of testing and consistent check-ins to ensure that you are meeting your key performance indicators (KPIs)

But is all of that work even worth it? The short answer is yes. Social media usage has risen almost twofold in the last decade, and a recent survey showed that 49% of people on Twitter rely on influencers for product recommendations. Keep reading to learn more about data-driven influencer marketing and how it can elevate your campaigns and partnerships.

The Data-Driven Influencer Marketing Approach Explained

Data-driven influencer marketing is just what it sounds like: using data to measure and increase your influencer marketing strategy’s effectiveness, efficiency, and ROI. 

When data guides your decisions, you’re more likely to get the results you want out of an influencer partnership or marketing campaign since you can measure your progress and make changes along the way. At the very least, taking a data-driven approach lowers the risk of totally missing the mark when choosing between social media platforms and potential influencer partners.

Follow the Data To Find the Right Influencer

Data analysis can be a massive help during the process of influencer selection, as it allows you to look beyond the kind of content an influencer posts or the number of followers they have. It helps you understand more about their audience and what kind of impact you might have if you decide to work with them.

One data point that should be collected is the percentage of the influencer’s followers that actually see their posts. For example, imagine you are comparing two micro-influencers—one with 75,000 followers and one with 45,000. If only 25% of people regularly see the posts of the “larger” influencer, that’s just under 19,000 people being exposed to your brand (an even smaller percentage of this represents people that are actually in your target audience). On the other hand, if 65% of an influencer’s 45,000-person follower base sees their posts regularly, that’s almost 30,000 people being exposed to your brand.

Audience size and viewership/engagement metrics aren’t the only things you should be focused on, either. When comparing and contrasting any two possible influencer partners, It’s important to understand who their audience is (geographic location, age range, gender, etc.) and how much impact your brand might have on them. These pieces of data can help you determine which influencer partnership would perform better based on what you know about your own target audience. 

For example, suppose you are a Colorado-based company that sells snow sports gear and generally tries to market to locals and Colorado natives. In that case, you’d want to make sure that a good portion of an influencer’s audience is based in Colorado, or at least in the United States. That is, of course, unless you want to grow brand visibility in places like Canada or Europe.

Track Performance and Reach Goals With Data Collection

Whether the goal of your influencer marketing campaigns is to build brand awareness or to make more sales, data can help you achieve it. Collecting data at the very start of your influencer partnerships and campaigns can help you determine which aspects of your strategy are working out and which aren’t. 

Setting KPIs early on and then analyzing engagement, interactions, click-through rates, sales numbers, lead conversions, etc., will set your campaigns up for success. If a certain kind of content or a certain social media channel is clearly performing better than another, you’ll know how to tweak your strategy going forward for optimal effectiveness and ROI. This ensures that you’re not repeating the same ineffective approach month after month.

If you have long-term goals centered around becoming a bigger name in your industry and you want influencer marketing to help you get there, you should gather data on this as well. Much like search engine optimization (SEO), using influencer marketing to grow brand awareness takes time, meaning that you may want to wait several months to a year to dig into customer perceptions of your business within your market.

Things To Remember

Tracking how much traffic you get directly from influencer content (affiliate links, swipe up Instagram stories, etc.) is usually not enough to tell how big of an impact your campaigns actually made. So it’s essential to check in on your Google Analytics and use surveys and other methods of data collection as well. 

Some brands partner with influencers just to get more content out there and don’t want to use it as a viable method for successful marketing, and that’s okay! But just remember that if you think of influencer marketing as a standalone and implement it with a laissez-faire attitude, you likely won’t see many returns from it.

If you do want to see awesome results from your influencer marketing efforts, taking a data-driven approach is crucial. Doing the necessary research, analyzing the data, and creating campaigns can be very time-consuming, so creating a dedicated influencer marketing team or hiring an influencer marketing agency is often a good choice for brands that really want to commit.

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