Here at Kickstagram, we’ve talked a lot about working with Instagram influencers to grow your brand and improve your social media marketing ROI.
And we have good reason to—Instagram influencers can provide you access to thousands of new followers, many of whom wouldn’t discover your content without paid partnership.
Of course, not all influencer campaigns are created equal. Some influencers may not be the right match for your target audience, while others could skyrocket your brand exposure to unimagined heights.
So, how can you tell if your Instagram influencer marketing is really paying off?
No worries—the following are five of the best ways to measure your influencer ROI:
1) New Followers
An increase in followers and reach are the first metrics most of us look to when measuring the results of any social media effort.
After all, new followers mean that there are more people who will be exposed to your content every time you post—this is never a bad thing.
A sudden spike in new followers the day after an influencer’s post is a good sign that your efforts paid off in reaching new people interested in your content, but sometimes it’s also good to take a bit more of a long-term view.
Continue to track your growth (or lack thereof) in the weeks and months following your influencer partnership. That way, you’ll be able to more accurately measure if an influencer had a bigger impact on follower growth than other marketing tactics.
2) Increased Engagement
Those new followers aren’t going to do you a whole lot of good if they don’t actively engage with your content! One way to tell if your Instagram influencer marketing is really working is whether or not the new followers you gain actually interact with your posts.
We’re not just talking about liking photos, either. After all, the only thing a like requires is for someone to double-tap their screen.
Comments and shares, on the other hand, are good signs that your content is actually connecting with your audience, helping you build an online community in the process.
Even more importantly, it means that those new followers your influencer brought onboard aren’t just bots or purchased followers.
3) Referral Traffic
Social media isn’t the only area digital marketers focus on. For many, SEO is of even greater importance, and they want Instagram and other social media platforms to play a part.
While measuring website referral traffic that comes as a result of an influencer’s post isn’t always easy, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Your best bet?
Add UTM parameters to a URL, then use Bitly or another URL shortener to create a link that is easily embedded into an influencer’s post or on your own profile.
As long as the link is exclusive to Instagram, the data provided by these link-tracking services will give you a clear idea as to how many people are visiting your site as a direct result of influencer marketing.
4) Brand Perception
Working with an Instagram influencer can (and should be) a huge public relations boost for your brand. After all, people follow influencers because they LIKE them.
As such, shouldn’t that affect how audiences view your brand?
While many brands only focus on the raw numbers to determine brand sentiment, there are a few not-so-quantitative things you can look at to determine if you’re getting the best results.
Start by digging deep into your post comments.
Are you getting more comments than normal? What is the tone like compared to that of comments your posts typically receive? You may also notice changes to the direct messages your account receives, or an increase in positive audience mentions of your brand.
When you look past the raw numbers, you can get a clearer idea as to whether or not an influencer partnership is building a positive digital image for your brand.
Yes, increasing sales is the dream goal of every company that partners with an Instagram influencer. And while it’s certainly possible to see an uptick in sales after an influencer’s post, these kinds of results usually don’t come right away.
Remember, Instagram is mostly about building a solid relationship with your audience that will eventually turn them into loyal customers.
Don’t start pulling your hair out if an Instagram influencer’s post doesn’t seem to immediately generate sales for your company.
Be patient, and keep producing your own quality content to keep your new followers engaged. In time, there’s a great chance you’ll see them turn into paying customers, as well.