Influencer Marketing ROI: Our Research shows 5 Key Metrics that Impacts ROI

August 27, 2023
7 Min
Peter Nettesheim
| Author
See Which Influencers Follow Your Instagram
They are 8X more likely to work with you

Influencer Marketing ROI: Our Research shows 5 Key Metrics that Impacts ROI

Maximising your influencer ROI might be one of the number 1 priorities of a marketer. With a wide variety of data points it can be tricky to understand where to start and what to measure to improve your campaign ROI. At Influencer Hero we collaborated with various Influencer Agencies through which our data scientists could analyse over 10K commercial influencer posts and finally determine the correlation between conversion and all the different data points. 

Some of the variables which shows significant correlation with conversion were audience growth and credibility (fake followers, mass followers). If you are looking to reduce your CAC and maximise your ROI, make sure to read until the end to learn about all the data points which correlate with conversion. This groundbreaking analysis, offers a unique perspective on influencer marketing, underlining the power of data-driven decision making in a space traditionally governed by intuition and guesswork.

Data Showing Age Range & Top Locations from a Campaign

A Deep Dive into Influencer Performance Marketing Data

Our analysis examined the performance of influencers across multiple variables e.g., follower growth rate, audience credibility, engagement levels, total followers, other audience compositions which are segment specific like gender, age and ethnicity. By crunching these numbers, we were able to draw some significant correlations between these variables and conversion performance - a key metric that directly impacts CAC.

In order to determine the correlation and visualize the insights better, we categorised the influencers into the following three segments:

  • HP (High Performers): Influencers with >10 conversions / post 
  • MP (Medium Performers): Influencers with 3 - 9 conversions / post 
  • GP (General Performers): Influencers with <3 conversions / post 

As low performers might sound offending to certain creators we decided to label influencers with <3 conversions / post as general performers.

Unveiling the Numbers: Key Insights and Correlations Impacting ROI

1. Audience Growth Rate

A significant finding from our analysis was the strong correlation between an influencer's audience growth and conversion performance. This intuitively makes sense as active influencers creating compelling content will be able to grow their audience. The strong correlation however still surprised us, making audience growth an important variable to analyse before allocating budgets.

Another benefit of working with a fast growing influencer early on is to ride the wave. Identifying rising stars early enables you to build up a relationship early and continue to work with an influencer as it is often a lot more difficult to sign a high profile influencer after they reached their peak audience size as managers get involved and the fees the influencer will request often rise with together with their audience growth. 

To put these numbers for audience growth more in context the average growth rate on the IG platform is around 0.1%

  • GP (General performers, <3 conversions / post) audience growth rate: -0.1% 
  • MP (Medium Performers, 3 - 9 conversions / post) audience growth rate: 1.0% 
  • HP (High Performers, >10 conversions / post) audience growth rate: 3.2%
  • IG average audience growth rate: 0.1% 
Follower growth of low, medium and high performing influencers

2. Engagement Rate

Engagement rate is probably one of the most used variables by marketers to rank influencers. Up until now we were not able to find any evidence or data backed research if there is actually a correlation between conversion performance and engagement rate. Especially after analysing various campaigns, we saw that older demographics naturally engage less on social media compared to younger audiences which grew up with social media.

We argued in previous articles that this could paint the wrong picture as older audiences often have higher disposable income which could lead to higher conversion performance despite lower engagement rates. We now finally have sophisticated data backed results which do show a correlation between conversion performance and engagement

Read: A Step by Step Approach for Creating a Performance Driven Influencer Marketing Program in Our Ultimate Influencer Marketing Guide.

We looked at both engagement rate (which takes out the size of the influencers) as well as total engagements (which correlates with the size of the influencers audience). Both the engagement rate as well as total engagements showed a significant correlation with performance (see graph below). Using our free engagement rate calculator you can access the engagement rate of any influencers. Access our free tool here.

Engagement rate and total engagements of low, medium and high performing influencers

3. Number of Followers

Brings us to the next data point we looked at which is follower size. If you did some research on influencer marketing before, you will find countless articles stressing the impact of micro influencers arguing that engagement rates are higher which impacts to better performance.

Although this argument certainly has merit based on the data we analysed, the audience size of the influencers seemed to have a positive correlation with conversion performance. While a larger follower count doesn't necessarily guarantee better conversion performance, our analysis revealed that influencers with follower counts exceeding the 75th percentile (over 96,731 followers) yielded better results.

Number of followers of low, medium and high performing influencers
Influencer List Widget
Free Influencer List
Receive a list with all influencers which follow your Instagram page. Influencers which already know you are 8X more likely to work with you.
Influencer List Image

4. Audience Credibility

Similarly, audience credibility emerged as a crucial factor. The credibility is the amount of real followers an influencer has. With a larger audience having a certain percentage of bot following is inevitable. However, some influencers show a larger percentage of these bot & mass follower accounts in their audience which have a negative correlation with conversion performance.

With the help of the Influencer Hero analytics tool we were able to compute a cross statistical analysis where our data scientists analysed the correlation between conversion performance and audience credibility. Influencers whose audience credibility was above the median score of 73.17% saw enhanced conversion rates, emphasising the value of authentic influencers. Using our free fake follower check tool you can analyse influencers to avoid fake followers. Access our free tool here.

Fake followers / audience credibility of low, medium and high performing influencers

5. Verified Accounts 

The verified batch is the blue check mark Icon you often see with more established influencers. With 26% of GP in our dataset being verified accounts, 34.4% of MP being verified and 61.1% of HP being verified it shows that being a verified account could be an indicator of higher success when it comes to conversion.

The verified label is also correlated with the size of the influencer as larger accounts are more often verified. That being said it could be the case that the size of the audience is the leading variable in this case. Nevertheless, you could still take the verified batch as an additional data point to take into account when allocating budgets.

Percentage of verified accounts for low, medium and high performing influencers

Key Takeaways and Metrics to Maximize ROI

Based on these insights there are several variables to keep in mind when allocating budgets. Keep in mind that these insights are mainly for conversion campaigns. Influencer marketing has a lot more benefits like high quality UGC, social proof and top of funnel awareness which benefits are not included in the aspects discussed in this article. 

To recap the following variables showed a strong correlation with conversion. 

  • Audience growth rate
  • Engagement rate
  • Number of followers (>100K followers)
  • Audience credibility
  • Verified accounts

Within the Influencer Hero platform you are able to filter based on the above mentioned criteria. Even better, our developers have added an Influencer hero Magic filter which allows you to identify the most promising influencers based on the research conducted. 

What key factors influence the ROI of influencer collaborations?
Can the ROI from influencer marketing campaigns be accurately predicted?
How does Influencer Hero help brands analyze and predict the ROI of influencer campaigns?
What are some common mistakes brands make when trying to predict ROI from influencer campaigns?
What best practices should brands follow to maximize ROI from influencer marketing?

Most Popular Blogs

Ready to achieve 10X+ ROI?

Schedule a Demo with one of our media experts below.