When it comes to measuring KPI’s, everyone wants an answer to the question before the process even begins. Measuring results should yield just that…results. There is a process, an X+Y=Z equation, to making any campaign work successfully. So let’s hang back a moment on the Z and talk about the X+Y, which is what’s needed to get results your marketing team may actually want to see.

Create Your Strategy

First, it helps to know what marketing strategies will work best to meet your KPI goals. To get positive results, one needs to pick a marketing channel that performs. With the rise of adblockers and the growing distrust of brand-direct messaging on all platforms, what has proven to continuously work in this new digital age is Influencer Marketing. It’s not a magic bullet, but it drives more results, by far, than any other channel.

At the same time, finding the right influencers can be taxing and the acceptance rate for typical influencer requests is lowless than 20 percent is the industry norm. So what is the best way to manage an influencer-based campaign effectively with a greater likelihood of accessing the right influencers for the right price and right KPI results?

Influencer automation is a great way to go. Don’t try to fish for influencers in the vast ocean of the Internet; fish where the fish are. Using an opt-in influencer marketplace is a great example of where the fish are ready and willing to bite. Studies have shown that if there is a marketplace available, the acceptance rate rises exponentially—up to 80 percent!

Pick Your Influencers Wisely

Despite the community-based nature of influencer marketing, brands do need to carefully select with whom they partner for an influencer marketing campaign. Marketers who only align with “mass” influencers may find their efforts falling short, mainly because reach in itself is not enough. One can have one million followers, but have low engagement.

Remember: social influencing is about community and relationships—selling without selling. It is tricky to determine if you don’t have the correct metrics with which to work. That is why using data-driven software within an opt-in marketplace is the best approach to hone in on the most effective influencers for your campaign goals.

The bottom line is, it is best to focus on relevance to the topic and relationship with the brand before reach should be considered, but without the right metrics, you may not make the best matches needed for your brand.

Get to Know Your Influencers

A common theme among influencer marketers and those they seek to influence is the need for a long-term commitment to relationship building. Part of that relationship is based on a reciprocal fit and both need to benefit from the relationship.

“There’s one thing that influencers like almost as much as money — and that’s more influence. When both members of this influencer partnership have equity to offer, natural brand advocacy occurs (or at least offers your brand greater leverage in negotiations),” John Hall recently wrote in his April 15th Forbes article.

Thus planning, setting up clear goals, and knowing an influencer’s following are major steps to creating a good relationship.

Influencers Create Community

Talk to any influencer marketing pro, and you’ll hear the word “community” repeatedly. Technology changes regularly, so it is the power of the community that keeps influencers (and your brand) ahead of the curve.

“Too much of influencer marketing still places value on quantity over quality, which is counter-intuitive to the idea of influencer marketing to begin with,” Devon Wijesinghe, CEO of Insightpool, recently wrote. “That kind of thinking neglects the end-goal of marketing and even ignores social media’s primary value.”

Wijesinghe further explains, “At its best, social media helps you discover and engage with those influencers in your space who become advocates for your business, because it allows for the kind of matchmaking that is a win-win for customers and companies.”

Overwhelming research has shown that influencers with not just a loyal following, but valuable community engagement, is key to getting your brand heard.

If Influencers Are Used Effectively, Results Will Follow

Effective use of influencer marketing can fundamentally change brand exposure and offer considerable return on investment. A great example is when Kraft sought a content trifecta in influencer marketing, which included high quality content that was less expensive to create, less expensive to distribute, and more effective in reaching its consumer markets.

How did the campaign work? First, they worked with optimizing their content with a select group of influencers, analyze performance, and select winning content to distribute. Second, they optimized their use of influencers by testing optimized content with different influencer groups, analyzing performance, and automatically selecting the best influencers to optimize brand and influencer audiences. Finally, they fully optimized distribution by push top performing content and watching it catch fire.

NOW It’s Time to Measure

There is clearly a lot of X+Y preparation and strategy involved before objective measurements can even be taken. But now that you are here, your marketing team needs to determine if goals have been met with a nurtured campaign. This is the Z of the equation, and it is likely that if you are taking the right steps to prepare and using the right tools to measure your process, from beginning to end, your brand will reap the benefits of your well-planned marketing strategy.

How is your brand measuring up these days? We’d love to answer that for you. Click below to download our complete Guide to Influencer Marketing Automation.