Influencer marketing has many moving parts and knowing what success looks like for you and your business determines favorable business results. It is important to regularly audit all influencer marketing efforts including influencer personas, activated influencer performance, success metrics, and overall campaign processes to ensure desired results are achieved. If you do not regularly audit your influencer marketing activities you will quickly realize that your return on investment is an allusive topic to discuss and budget will likely not be available when you attempt to expand and or continue your campaign.

How To Audit An Influencer Marketing Campaign

Auditing your existing influencer marketing efforts may seem daunting, but it is a necessary step in making sure your campaign is achieving actual business results. Start by asking these five questions to effectively audit an existing influencer campaign:

  1. Does the influencer marketing plan match up with my overall business goals?
  2. Do the individual influencers performance support the overall influencer marketing plan?
  3. Which metrics are we measuring and why?
  4. Do we have the right tools, people, processes in place, and if not, how do we address the holes?
  5. What is the plan for influencer marketing improvement – specifically scaling – over time?

Are Your Influencer Personas Accurate?

Each individual influencer has unique ambitions, target audiences, and will need to be outreached to differently to achieve desired outcomes for your business. Bloggers have different needs and goals than industry analysts and many different expectations than social amplifiers. Approaching them differently makes all the difference during the initial communication phase. For example, bloggers tend to be very active on social media, so it is natural to engage on Twitter. Contacting an industry analyst is typically more successful using a traditional communication channel such as email or phone. Knowing each influencer’s needs, goals, engaged community, and preferred methods of communication is key. Creating accurate initial influencer personas is important, but it is even more important to regularly evaluate and update influencer personas as your program and campaigns mature.

Are Your Activated Influencers Performing?

While it does not make sense to require each individual influencer to meet a maximum level of performance, it is necessary to set a minimum level of performance and to regularly assess and report on metrics critical to campaign success. Influencers who are not performing can affect the overall morale of the influencers involved and greatly alter the overall success of a campaign. It is best practice to outline desired influencer performance in initial communication documents and include examples of how influencers can maximize their experience with your business. An individual’s performance may be affected by their workload, personal life, and overall interest in your program. It is essential to track, report, and have continuous communication with your activated influencers to keep campaigns running successfully.

Are You Tracking The Right Metrics?

As influencer marketing has become a more common marketing practice the tools needed to identify, communicate with and monitor success of influencer marketing activities has also significantly improved. Meaning, there is no excuse for not knowing how your program is performing as a whole and how each individual influencer is contributing to campaigns.

There are many metrics you can monitor, and those will vary depending on the desired outcome of your program and campaigns. As a minimum here is three influencer marketing metrics, I suggest you track and regularly report on.

  1. Brand Awareness
    It is best practice to associate your influencer marketing efforts with a custom hashtag and encourage all influencers, team members, and related partners to use it as much as possible on social media. Tracking overall hashtag usage and use by each influencer and the generated impressions is a great metric for showcasing the results of your influencer activities. My two favorite tracking tools are Hashtracking and Zoomph to closely monitor hashtags associated with my influencer marketing campaigns.
  2. Content Creation
    We are very fortunate to have a plethora of communication channels to create and share content on these days. Tracking the amount and type of content each influencer creates is an ideal way to gauge influencer interest, relevance to your audience, and contribution to the success of your program. I’m a huge fan of Buzzsumo and Traackr to keep tabs on influencer content and mentions of products and services relevant to my campaigns.
  3. Trackable Links
    Encouraging your activated influencers to create content in and around your areas of interest is one thing…but determining the success of that content is the game changer. Be sure to track links shared, clicked, and viewed to make sure that the content being produced is relevant to your target audience and that each influencer is the best fit for your program. If content is being created but not consumed how relevant is that particular influencer to your audience? I rely on Bitly and Google Analytics to monitor my content campaign success.

With so many options available it is important to research and select the best-fit tool(s) for your influencer marketing efforts. As influencer marketing strategies continue to evolve auditing your tool kit to make sure you have the best applications available to identify, communicate with, and monitor your influencers will be essential to ongoing success.

For influencer marketing to be a successful investment for your business, you must systematically audit all components of influencer marketing including influencer personas, activated influencer performance, success metrics, and overall campaign processes such as outreach templates and communication methods used to correspond with influencers. Failing to audit your influencer marketing efforts will limit your achievements and make it much harder for you to justify continuing and expanding your influencer marketing campaigns.

Influencer marketing is a powerful strategy, and I am very excited to see what this year holds for marketing technology and social communication channels as more and more businesses collaborate with influencers.