22 Influencer Marketing KPIs to measure Influencer Marketing Success

May 21, 2024
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Peter Nettesheim
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22 Influencer Marketing KPIs to measure Influencer Marketing Success

In today's digital landscape, influencer marketing has emerged as a pivotal strategy for brands seeking to amplify their reach, engagement, and authenticity. However, to truly gauge the success of influencer campaigns, it's crucial to track the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Without the right metrics, brands can easily misjudge the effectiveness of their efforts. This article delves into the most important KPIs that marketers should measure, ensuring that their influencer collaborations yield tangible, impactful results, and provide a clear roadmap for future campaigns.

What are Influencer Marketing KPIs?

Influencer Marketing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are specific metrics used to evaluate the success and impact of influencer-driven campaigns. These KPIs help brands determine the effectiveness of their partnerships with influencers and measure various aspects such as brand awareness, audience engagement, and return on investment (ROI). By carefully monitoring these metrics, brands can gain valuable insights into their campaign performance, refine their strategies, and ensure that their marketing efforts resonate with their target audience, ultimately driving both short-term and long-term business goals.

If you need to report the impact of your influencer campaign you can access our free influencer marketing reporting template trusted by hundreds of influencer marketers. 

Most important categories for Influencer Marketing KPIs

Below are the most important influencer marketing KPIs which every marketer should measure to fully understand the effectiveness of an influencer marketing campaign. 

  1. Brand awareness: top of funnel 
  2. Engagement: middle funnel 
  3. Conversions: bottom funnel

Within these categories there are multiple influencer marketing KPIs which are important to get a better understanding for each step within the customers buying journey. It is important to understand that for an effective marketing campaign your influencer program should touch all three of these categories to make sure that you guide your prospective customers to becoming a paying customer and if possible even a brand advocate.

As marketers, CMOs or business owners we often get impatient and tend to focus only on bottom of the funnel influencer marketing KPIs such as conversions, however to build a sustainable business and brand it is important to nurture your leads across the buyer journey. 

22 influencer marketing KPIs to tracking influencer campaign success

  1. Number of impressions
  2. Cost per mille - CPM 
  3. Total reach 
  4. Follower growth 
  5. Total number of influencer followers 
  6. Likes 
  7. Comments 
  8. Shares & saves 
  9. Brand mentions 
  10. Click through rate - CTR 
  11. Google search volume 
  12. Sales
  13. Return on ad spend - ROAS 
  14. Number of new customers 
  15. Customer acquisition cost - CAC 
  16. Customer lifetime value - CLTV 
  17. Average order value - AOV 
  18. Conversion rate - CR 
  19. Newsletter signups 
  20. Add to carts 
  21. Earned media value - EMV 
  22. Number of UGC collected

1. Brand Awareness - top of funnel

What is brand awareness

Brand awareness in the context of influencer marketing refers to the extent to which consumers recognize and remember a brand through the promotional efforts of influencers. It involves measuring how effectively an influencer's content increases the visibility and recognition of a brand among their followers, ultimately enhancing the brand's presence and recall in the market.

Why it is important to measure brand awareness

Measuring brand awareness is crucial for marketers because it provides insight into the level of recognition and familiarity consumers have with a brand. High brand awareness can lead to increased consumer trust, influencing purchasing decisions and fostering brand loyalty.

By tracking this metric, marketers can assess the effectiveness of their campaigns, identify strengths and weaknesses, and tailor future strategies to enhance brand visibility. Essentially, understanding brand awareness helps ensure marketing efforts are resonating with the target audience, driving long-term business growth.

Which influencer marketing KPI’s to measure for brand awareness

As a top of funnel metric we typically look at all influencer marketing KPIs which are related to impressions and reach. Below are the main influencer marketing KPIs to measure for brand awareness: 

1. Number of impressions:

The number of times the promotional post has been displayed. To get insights on the total impressions on Instagram you typically need to ask the influencer to share a screenshot of their analytics of their post. There are some platforms which offer this metric but this would require the influencer to connect and authenticate their Instagram account to the platform which can sometimes cause friction with an influencer.

The easiest way is to simply ask for a screenshot of their analytics of the post which the influencer can access under settings within their Instagram account. On other platforms such as TikTok and Youtube the total number of impressions / video views are in most cases visible and can be directly accessed through the post. 

2. Cost per mille - CPM

An important influencer marketing KPI which is used to determine the impact of impressions is cost per mille. Cost Per Thousand (CPM) is a metric that measures the cost of 1,000 impressions of an advertisement. It helps marketers evaluate the efficiency of their ad spend. 

The formula to calculate CPM is as following: 

CPM = Total marketing cost / Number of impressions X 1,000 

In the context of influencer marketing for example if your total cost of working with an influencers is $500 and the influencer generated 50,000 impressions your CPM on that deal would be as following: 

CPM = $500 / 50,000 X 1,000 = $10 

3. Total Reach

Total reach is the number of people who have seen the promotional post. The difference between impressions and reach is that reach doesn’t count if a person has viewed the video more than once whilst impressions would add up all the displays including multiple views by a single person.

Reach is an important metric to look at to understand how many different people have seen the promotional post. Similar to impressions to get access to this influencer marketing KPI you would need to ask the influencer for a screenshot of their Instagram analytics for this post.

4. Follower growth

Measuring the growth in followers of your brand’s social media account is a good indication of increased brand awareness and success of your influencer marketing campaign. It could be the first sign that the prospective buyer is interested in your products as they want to continue to see your products and content and might consider a purchase later down the buyer journey.

There are different social media tools like Hootsuite or buffer to measure your audience growth. An effective way to quickly increase your audience growth when working with influencers is using influencer giveaways. For a detailed guide on how to organise influencer give away campaigns and increase your brand’s followers access our full articles on this here. 

5. Total number of influencer followers

Although this number doesn’t provide specifics on how many people you have reached, it could be beneficial to sum up all followers of the influencers you work with to provide an indicator of the potential reach and size of the influencers you work with. Keep in mind however that followers doesn’t necessarily mean that you will reach all those people as some influencers have higher reach than others meaning that some influencers would reach a lot of their followers whilst others might only reach a fraction of their followers. This typically depends on the influencers quality of content and frequency of posting. 

Note: The transition between the different stages in the buyer journey are often fluent. Some influencer marketing KPIs such as brands follower growth could be considered as an engagement while others categorise it under brand awareness. When using these influencer marketing KPIs it is important to have an understanding of consumer behaviour and psychology and how prospective buyers move through the different stages until they become a paying customer. 

2. Engagements - Middle of the Funnel

What are engagements?

Engagements in the context of influencer marketing refer to the interactions and active participation of users with the influencer's content. This includes likes, comments, shares, saves, and other forms of interaction that indicate a user's direct involvement with the content.

Measuring engagements helps determine how effectively the influencer's content resonates with their audience, driving not just passive views but active participation and interest, which ultimately enhances the connection between the brand and potential consumers. It is one step further than top of funnel brand awareness as these people have actively engaged with the content which means that the marketing impact is often higher and is one step closer to converting the potential buyer to a paying customer. 

Why it is important to measure engagements?

Measuring engagements is crucial in influencer marketing as it provides insight into how actively the audience interacts with the content. High engagement rates indicate that the content resonates well, fostering a stronger connection between the brand and consumers.

This active participation can lead to increased trust and loyalty, making it more likely for followers to convert into customers. Assessing engagement also helps marketers refine their strategies, ensuring that future campaigns are even more effective in capturing audience interest. Social media platform also take engagements into account to determine the organic reach of posts.

The higher the engagement the more the content will be shown to followers as well as in some cases new people (E.g. on platforms like TikTok or Instagram reels). 

Which influencer marketing KPI’s to measure for engagements

As a middle of funnel influencer marketing KPI we typically look at all metrics which indicate an action taken by a person in regards to the promotion post. Below are the main influencer marketing KPIs to measure for engagements. 

1. Likes

As the friction to like a post is only a quick double tap on Instagram the level of engagement of a like is quite low meaning that this can be considered as a top to middle of funnel influencer marketing KPI.

Nevertheless it is worth a lot more compared to a normal impression as social media platforms often take these forms of engagement into account when deciding what content to show to the person the next time they login. As a like indicates to the social media platform that the person is interested in this content it will be more likely to be shown in their feed the next time which means continued brand visibility.

2. Comments

Comments are a more active form of engagement as a person is now taking the time to type and leave a comment. It is important to consider here that there are also different forms of commenting. A simple emoji or one word comment might be considered less valuable than active engagement through dialogue, conversations and sharing opinions and emotions.

Social media platforms often put higher weightage on comments when deciding the reach of a post meaning that the more comments a post has the higher the reach typically is. The tone of the comments can also indicate the overall sentiment towards the brand which can be positive, neutral or negative. Social listening tools like Meltwater or Hootsuite can provide more detailed insights on this. 

3. Shares & Saves

Shares and saves are also a stronger form of engagement as it indicates that people want their audience to see the content as well indicating high quality or engaging content. 

4. Brand mentions

If people actively tag your brand account in the comments it indicates a stronger form of engagement as people are directly reaching or mentioning your brand. 

5. Click through rate (CTR) - Web traffic

Click through rate is the percentage of people who click on a link. The formula to calculate is

CTR = Total numbers of clicks / total number of impressions.

A higher CTR often indicates a strong match towards your target audience as more people who see the promotional post seem to be interested in your products or services. Click through rate and web traffic are very important influencer marketing KPIs to consider which can be considered mid to bottom of the funnel engagements. The person seems to show significant interest in potentially purchasing one of your products as they exited the social media platform to view your website and product offerings. This can be very valuable as you can now also retarget these people for example using Meta advertising (if you have pixels installed on your website).

Tools to track the number of website visitors can be Google analytics and more specifically influencer specific affiliate links. Influencer Marketing platforms such as Influencer Hero offer tools to measure this effectively. 

6. Google search volume

If you see an increase in overall search volume for your brand related keywords this is also a positive sign and can be considered a mid to bottom of the funnel influencer marketing KPI. If people are actively looking for your brand it is a very active form of engagement. 

As you can see, engagements as a middle of the funnel influencer marketing KPI is important to analyse when working with influencers. A key KPI which can predict the engagement of an influencer post is the overall engagement rate of an influencer. Using free tools like Influencer Hero’s free engagement rate checker allows you to analyse this metric more in detail. If you need to report your influencer campaign results you can access our free influencer marketing reporting powerpoint template here. 

3. Conversions - bottom of the funnel

Conversions in the context of influencer marketing refer to the desired actions that consumers take as a result of engaging with an influencer's content. This can include purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter, downloading an app, or any other measurable action that aligns with the campaign's goals. Measuring conversions helps brands assess the effectiveness of their influencer partnerships in driving tangible business outcomes, ensuring that their marketing efforts lead to meaningful and profitable consumer behavior. 

Why it is important to measure conversions?

With all forms of influencer marketing conversions is in most cases the end goal as it impacts your overall growth, cashflow and revenue of your business making it one of the most important influencer marketing KPIs to analyse. It quantifies the actual impact of campaigns on business objectives.

By tracking how many followers take desired actions, such as purchasing a product or signing up for a service, businesses can assess return on investment (ROI) and optimize future strategies. It helps in identifying which influencers drive effective engagement and sales, ensuring that marketing budgets are allocated efficiently. Especially for e-commerce D2C brands and physical product businesses, conversions are extremely important to manage your cash flow better which can make or break a business.

Having a good conversion rate will allow you to reinvest the cash into growth. Moreover, understanding conversion rates helps in refining messaging and targeting, ultimately enhancing campaign effectiveness.

Which influencer marketing KPI’s to measure for conversions

1. Sales

The most obvious influencer marketing KPI for conversions is sales. The total number of orders multiplied by the average order value. At the end of the day is the main objective of your marketing activities to achieve sales. It is important however to keep all the other influencer marketing KPIs in mind to fully understand your marketing impact. Looking beyond sales and valuing the long term impact on your business and investing in top of funnel marketing is crucial to succeed as a brand.  

2. Return on ad spend ROAS 

An important influencer marketing KPI which is often analysed in combination with sales is ROAS. It measures the revenue generated for every dollar spent on influencer campaigns and is calculated as following:

ROAS = Revenue generated / marketing cost 

For example let’s say your influencer marketing campaign generated $120K in sales and the total compensation for the influencers you worked with was $30K and the cost of the products (COGS) and shipping which you had to send to the influencers was $5K. You would calculate ROAS as following: 

ROAS = $120K / ( $30K + $5K ) = 3.4X ROAS

is probably one of the most frequently used marketing KPIs for marketers in general. In the context of influencer marketing it provides a good understanding of the effectiveness of your campaign. An important point of discussion here is frequently what cost to take into account when calculating ROAS. ROAS is for example frequently used in paid social as well where in most cases the overhead / human cost of running the marketing activities is lower when compared to influencer marketing.

Due to the operational nature of influencer marketing some argue that you should also take the cost of your employees or agency fees into account to fully understand the effectiveness of your marketing. One last thing to note is that ROAS is an influencer marketing KPI which is more useful for non recurring business models. This could be for example kitchen products, fashion or jewellery.

The reason is that it doesn’t fully take customer lifetime value into account which we will discuss more in detail in the next section. 

3. Number of new customers 

Sales and ROAS doesn’t show the complete picture when it comes to conversions. To fully understand your marketing funnel it is recommended to have a good understanding of your CLTV ( customer lifetime value ). For some businesses this is more crucial than others. For example, if you have a recurring business model e.g. cosmetics, food or beverages you typically have a lot of customers which purchase on a regular basis or purchase a subscription. As ROAS only looks at the immediate conversion value, it doesn’t take the repeat purchases into account which is why marketers prefer to look at customer acquisition cost CAC. 

4. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Customer acquisition cost is an influencer marketing KPI which defines how much a marketer had to spend to acquire a new customer and is calculated as following: 

CAC = Total marketing spend / number of new orders

 For example if your influencer marketing campaigns resulted in 1,000 new customers or orders and your marketing spend for influencer compensation and gifting products accumulated to $35K you would calculate CAC as following: 

CAC = $35,000 / 1,000 = $35 

Recurring business models often prefer to look at CAC as you simply look at the total cost of acquiring a new customer instead of looking at the first time conversion value. You typically tend to evaluate the effectiveness or how much you can effort to acquire a new customer by looking at customer lifetime value CLTV. For example if on average your customers stays 6 months with an average order value of $30 / month your CLTV is $180 ($30 multiplied by 6 months). You could then resonate then that spending $35 to acquire a new customer who is on average worth around $180 is effective to grow your brand profitably. 

5. Customer lifetime value (CLTV)

As we already explained quite in depth in the previous section, customer lifetime value is the average total amount a customer spends with your brand. Especially for subscription or recurring business models, this influencer marketing KPI is important to understand. In the context of influencer marketing some influencers might refer customers which spend more over its lifetime than other influencers which is why it is important to keep an eye on this metric. 

6. Average order value (AOV)

Average order value AOV is another KPI which is important to analyse and understand when working with influencers. AOV is the amount which a customer on average spends in your store. The formulate looks as following: 

AOV = Total sales / number of orders

For example if you generated $1.2 million in sales this month with 12,000 orders your AOV would be $100. 

AOV = $1,200,000 / 12,000 = $100

This is on an aggregated level. If you work with influencers you typically want to look at the average order value on an influencer level. Certain influencers which have an audience with a higher disposable income for example can have considerably higher AOVs compared to other influencers. To calculate this you would use the slightly adjusted formulate below:

AOV Influencer XY = Total Sales generated by influencer XY / Number of orders referred by influencer XY 

7. Conversion rate 

The conversion rate is calculated by dividing the total number of orders by the total number of website visitors. It provides you with an impression of the quality of the traffic. The formulate looks as following: 

Conversion rate = Total orders / total number of website visitors 

Some influencers for example have a very high conversion rate meaning that a lot of people who click on their link and visit your website end up paying customers while some other influencers can generate a lot of clicks which would contribute to brand awareness but with a lower conversion rate referring to less paying customers. A very low conversion rate for some influencers could indicate a mismatch between pricing and the audience of the influencers for example. 

If your overall conversion rate of your website is low there might be technical issues which should be fixed to improve conversion rate. This approach is called conversion rate optimization and is a big industry in digital advertising. 

8. Newsletter signups 

Another influencer marketing KPI to look at is newsletter signups. Although this is a more mid to bottom of the funnel KPI it is still a valuable metric to look at. As you now have the email you can convert them into paying customers later down the line by using email marketing campaigns. We typically consider an email take rate of 2% and higher a good email take rate in D2C e-commerce. 

9. Add to carts

Add to carts is also a useful KPI to analyse and is considered a bottom of the funnel metric as it is only one step away from conversion. It is typically recommended to have an automated email sequence set up through which you can try to recoup abandoned carts.

Another way D2C brands re capture these is to create a separate audience in your retargeting campaign. Meta for example allows you to track this through their custom pixel. You can show ads to people specially who have abandoned your cart which are typically easy to convert as the were already very close to placing the order. 

10. Earned Media Value 

Earned media value is an important influencer marketing KPI which summarises your overall marketing impact. Earned Media Value (EMV) in the context of influencer marketing refers to the monetary worth of brand exposure generated through unpaid or organic promotional efforts by influencers. It quantifies the value of impressions, social shares, mentions, and engagements that an influencer’s content garners, akin to traditional advertising metrics.

EMV helps marketers assess the financial impact and overall return on investment of their influencer collaborations, highlighting the effectiveness of their campaigns.The formula to calculate EMV is as following: 

EMV = Total impressions generated * CPM 

We typically recommend to use a CPM of around $15 - $20 to calculate EMV in influencer marketing. The reasoning is that an realistic average CPM on Meta paid social is around $10. An influencer impression can be considered higher in value compared to a paid ad due to the genuine nature of the post, higher reach and the genuine recommendation. People also tend to swipe away and ad while the view rate of an influencer post is often a lot higher compared to a paid advertisement. 

With Influencer Hero you can access all your influencer campaign reporting & analytics in an easy to read format allowing you to directly access key influencer marketing KPIs such as: 

  • Total clicks segmented by country 
  • Sales generated 
  • Number of posts 
  • Earned Media Value

11. Collected Content and User Generated Content (UGC) 

One last influencer marketing KPI to look at is the number of creatives collected. A big advantage of influencer marketing besides the direct marketing impact is indirect value such as the creatives which you could reuse. UGC can be used for: 

  • Paid social 
  • Organic social 
  • Your website 
  • Newsletter 

In fact it is recommended to use these creatives as much as possible to maximise the value you get out of your influencer program. Platforms such as Influencer Hero automatically capture all your influencer UGC which you can conveniently access through their content library. 

Tools and technologies to measure influencer marketing KPIs 

1. Affiliate links - UTM links 

Affiliate links are an effective way to track clicks and conversions. You ideally want to create custom links for each influencer so you know exactly how many clicks they refer to as well as the conversions. Affiliate links typically place a cookie in a prospective customers browser so the conversion can be tracked even if the customer places the order at a later stage. 

2. Voucher codes 

Custom voucher codes are another way to track conversions. You want to ideally share a unique voucher with each of your influencers through which the conversion can be assigned to an influencer. 

With Influencer Hero you can create both affiliate links as well as custom voucher codes directly from your influencer CRM. The payment integration allows for automated batch payments making it easy to manage your affiliate partnerships. 

3. Custom pixel

Some other advanced affiliate and tracking tools place a custom pixel on your website through which you can track additional data in your affiliate dashboard such as for example dissecting people who visit certain pages or take certain actions on your website.

Below is an overview of all influencer marketing KPIs

  1. Number of impressions
  2. Cost per mille - CPM 
  3. Total reach 
  4. Follower growth 
  5. Total number of influencer followers 
  6. Likes 
  7. Comments 
  8. Shares & saves 
  9. Brand mentions 
  10. Click through rate - CTR 
  11. Google search volume 
  12. Sales
  13. Return on ad spend - ROAS 
  14. Number of new customers 
  15. Customer acquisition cost - CAC 
  16. Customer lifetime value - CLTV 
  17. Average order value - AOV 
  18. Conversion rate - CR 
  19. Newsletter signups 
  20. Add to carts 
  21. Earned media value - EMV 
  22. Number of UGC collected

Conclusion

In conclusion, tracking the right KPIs is essential for the success of your influencer marketing campaign. Key Performance Indicators such as brand awareness, engagement, and conversions provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of influencer collaborations, helping brands optimize their strategies.

By carefully monitoring these metrics, marketers can ensure their efforts resonate with their target audience, drive meaningful interactions, and achieve tangible business outcomes. Integrating comprehensive tools and technologies further enhances the ability to measure and improve campaign performance, paving the way for sustained growth and a robust return on investment.

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