Measure Influencer ROI


More and more businesses have been moving towards Influencer Marketing as it is like a hybrid of old and new marketing tools, taking the idea of celebrity endorsement and placing it into a modern day content-driven marketing campaign. The main difference is that the results of the campaign are usually collaborations between brands and influencers.

If prepared well, the collaboration can be very beneficial for any brand, either starting out or just wanting to expand on their marketing strategies.

Here are some tips on how to run a successful Influencer campaign and how to measure your ROI for such campaigns:


1. Determine Your End Goal at the Beginning

Goal: Visibility

Whether you’re promoting a new brand or introducing a new product, sometimes your primary goal is visibility. For these “reputation” campaigns, your return on investment would be the number of new potential customers who become aware of your brand through the campaign. In order to get the best possible ROI, it is important to make sure your impressions are well targeted.

Influencer marketing allows you to reach the consumers most likely to shop for your product by selecting bloggers who closely align with your target audience. We advise you request the Google Analytics data from the influencer to get a better understanding of their demographic and suitability before committing.


Goal: Engagement

The cost-per-engagement (CPE), measured in terms of dollars spent per like, comment, or interaction such as a video view or click-through, is a valuable metric that brands can use to measure long-term return on investment, since engagement is a good indicator of how consumers feel about the brand, not just the product – although one needs to always be aware of an important factor: Reach.

If targeted properly, we have seen the CPE for some brands as low as $0.003, demonstrating how cost-effective strategic influencer marketing can be.
CPE has become a key measure of success for influencers, as it takes into consideration the value of a consumer’s long-term interest in the brand, not just their interest in an immediate sale. Engagement can include clicks to the website, likes, comments, video views, number of sales, repins on Pinterest, retweets on Twitter, and shares on Facebook, among other social interactions.


Goal: Content

Content is a great benefit of influencer marketing that brands overlook. Determining image rights to an influencer’s content is often far less expensive than of coordinating a photo shoot, and you have the added benefit of a third-party endorsement. Saving you in-house content creation as well as sales potential and reach; makes content a strong ROI.


Goal: Revenue

This is what people first think of when hearing about ROI. How to best measure the impact on an Influencer campaign is actually not as difficult as you think.


Affiliate Links

Generating a unique affiliate link for an influencer allows you to track online clicks and/ or sales made through their social channels and blog posts. These links will provide data around the number of clicks to the brand’s website, the number of sales or clicks and if applicable the sales value. This is one of the simplest way to track ROI.

If you want to make use of affiliate links, keep in mind that they have time limitation as the cookie duration is between 15 to 30 days – so any activity past this timeline will no longer be recorded.


Promo Codes

If you are looking for a longer term campaign that can be measurable, promo codes could be the answer as they allow you to track the impact of your influencer campaign beyond immediate sales. Promo codes help you track “down the line” purchases or clicks spurred by influencer marketing.

Once added to your e-commerce website, the data can be tracked via Google analytics.


Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful tool for tracking online activity. By setting up an “Event” goal, you can see which of your online customers visited your site from an influencer’s blog or social channel, giving you a reliable assessment of ROI on your promotion. Working with an Influencer Marketing platform like Shopping Links, you can also see this important metric in the overall results.


Isolated Marketing

Isolated marketing is a way to measure an influencer’s impact before you choose to collaborate. With this method, you select a special “test” product or campaign that, for a period of time, you promote only through a specific influencer. Isolating your marketing efforts allows you to track a specific campaign regardless of campaign duration throughout the entire funnel.

Your test will also give you a more complete picture of your consumers’ behaviors based on a specific campaign or product and work out better objectives you’re likely to generate from influencer marketing in future campaigns.


2. ALWAYS Plan Your Campaign With Measurement in mind

When designing your campaign, make sure to keep your digital and sales objectives in mind –  Likes, comments and engagement are important, but you should always have some form of measurement when it comes to ROI. As stated above you can achieve this through affiliate links, promotion codes and UTM parameters through Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder.

When choosing an influencer, we recommend looking at influencers with less than 100000 followers as those are the ones with higher reach and engagement rates. But always ask to have access to their previous data to make a better decision. Measuring an influencer’s reach can help you determine how many people potentially saw your brand’s message . To examine influencer reach, measure the following key performance indicators (KPIs):

  • Followers: The number of fans or followers an influencer has
  • Impressions: The number of times your brand message gets in front of your target audience
  • Traffic data: The amount of traffic an influencer is driving to your site

When your influencer campaign goal is engagement, you can measure not only the number of engagements, but also the cost per engagement (CPE). Influencer engagement essentially indicates the future of your brand loyalty among consumers and is a powerful way for your brand to track long-term ROI.

  • Clicks: Clicks measure the interest level of your target audience, but you also want to have a good balance of clicks, likes, and shares.
  • Likes: Likes will generate more buzz around your content and can boost your content’s ranking on Facebook, too.
  • Reactions: Facebook recently modified its algorithm to give greater weight to reactions. Facebook perceives reactions as requiring more effort, therefore indicating sentiment better than a basic like.
  • Shares: Shares indicate quality. If people recommend your content to their friends and family, they’ll recommend your products and services, too.
  • Comments: A high number of comments on influencer posts indicates that your customers or potential customers like the post content.
  • Brand mentions: Mentions are a great KPI because you know your content is being discussed and your brand amplified.


3. Compile Campaign Data to Establish Influencer ROI

Based on the goal of your influencer marketing campaign, you’ll need to measure one or more of the following campaign data points in order to establish ROI:


Direct sales:

Measuring direct sales is the easiest to track, especially with a promo code.
To determine what you earned for every dollar invested, subtract the amount you spent from what you earned to determine what you earned from your campaign.



Impressions are the number of people who saw your influencer’s blog or social post. Brands typically look at actual impressions or potential impressions. Actual impressions are determined by the actual number of people who saw the post that the influencer produced. This data is easy to acquire via insights or Google Analytics.

If you want to take this a step further, you can calculate potential impressions for each influencer’s publication.
To do this, multiply the number of social shares that the post earned by the average number of followers per user on social media. The average number of followers for 2017 on each network are:

  • Facebook: 338
  • Twitter: 707
  • LinkedIn: 930
  • Pinterest: 229

For example, if your blog post was shared on Facebook 10 times, multiply the shares (10) by the average number of followers per user on Facebook (338). Also add the influencer’s following to that figure. If the influencer in this example had a total reach on Facebook of 10,000, your post had 13,338 potential impressions.

To translate impression calculations to ROI, businesses tend to use a numerical value of what they deem an impression is worth. This can be different for each social channel. A B2B brand would put more weight on LinkedIn than Pinterest, while certain B2C brands may value Facebook more than Twitter.

The global  average impression is worth $0.012 and can be increased or decreased per channel. To put a numeric value on impressions, simply multiply your actual impressions and/or potential impressions by $0.012 and, voilà! You have your ROI.



Conversions may overlap with a few other areas of influencer marketing campaign goals or measurements. To measure conversions, focus on the actions a user takes after viewing a social media or blog post. These actions might be downloads, subscriptions,  purchases, or certain website pages visited.

The global industry standard for conversions in 2017 was 9.21% but not specific to influencer marketing, so you might consider something like the percentage of website visitors who convert into buyers. To estimate how many of these unique visitors purchased from your brand, look at the number of website visitors brought in by following a link through an influencer’s post and  factor in the average amount a consumer spends per purchase.



Just like conversions, sign-ups can be measured in the same way. Sign-ups generated from an influencer’s content can give you great metrics. You can include a lead capture form to download a piece of content or sign up for a newsletter, which is a great way to build your email list.


Social media following:

You may want to employ influencers to help you build your social media presence – again just like signs up, you can track the number of new signs up as well as the source of the traffic.


4. Conclusion

You can evaluate your influencer marketing campaign’s impact in many ways. To choose which measurement is right for your influencer campaign, know your objectives for each campaign. Branding KPIs might interest large companies like Disney, whereas a small business might focus on generating direct sales. What you track depends on your goals and how the campaign is measured.

One important thing to remember is to make sure your Influencer follows some FTC Guideline where an influencer should clearly disclose their relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media. This can be as simple as adding #ad or something less spammy like #partner in their posts 🙂