Nothin’ but numbers: the data behind influencer marketing
I love data. There I said it. For someone who works in one of the coolest industries out there (no bias here), that might seem like a shocking statement.
But I can’t help it. Seeing numbers totting up at the end of a campaign and watching us either hit or overachieve on a target, really is a good feeling. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Carol Vorderman – I got a C in GCSE Maths and an excel formula is my best friend. But I’m in my numbers era and reporting really is something I look forward to in a campaign.
At Disrupt, we’re proud to say we’re an agency that is led by data. We look into the nitty gritty and have a % for everything. Open rate? Impressions rate? Engagement rate? Completed ‘em all mate. We tailor reports for each client, depending on what their objectives and goals were and what they’re keen to see in general.
The big dawgs are impressions and engagement rate. We have an impressions target for every campaign we work on, this varies depending on the number of creators involved, their size and of course, budgets. Impressions are the number of times a piece of content is displayed on a social feed (whether it’s been engaged with or not), so the higher the number, the more eyes have seen it. It’s our job to hit, if not transcend that impressions target.
High impressions are great for brand awareness as it’s ensuring a company is being seen by as many people as possible. This can help with new brands, companies wanting to crack a new market or if a brand’s key messaging or public perception has recently changed.
When we first started working with Vinted, it was our job to introduce them to the UK market and get high impressions, so we spent a whole year testing out different platforms, verticals, types of content etc to see what worked and got people talking about the brand. This was first done with YouTube videos, TikToks, reels etc. Now, 2 years later, we’re in a position where Vinted is so well known, we’re able to focus on lower-funnel activity, like getting link clicks, so our strategy has changed to predominantly stories.
In each campaign, we report the number of impressions per post, as well as the impressions rate. This is the number of impressions vs following, so if a post got 20,000 impressions on a profile with 100,000 followers, this is a 20% impressions rate. Industry-standard is seen as 20% so we always aim for higher with our creators.
An engagement is what it says on the tin – likes, comments, saves or shares on a piece of content. To calculate the engagement rate, you simply divide the total engagements by the number of followers you have. So if you’re averaging 100 likes/comments/shares and have 10,000 followers, this is a 1% engagement rate. We tend to say that anything above 2% is good.
Engagements are important as they show audiences are interacting with content vs watching is passively or ignoring it. It shows more interest and thus is better for the brand.
We always report the data of the number of engagements and the rate per post in a campaign. We also then create an average across everyone for the whole campaign, so clients have it upfront how the campaign has performed in general.
Influencer marketing is shifting more towards a performance-based channel, and with that comes the all-important link clicks.
ROI (return on investment) is becoming a want for a lot of clients, and while brand awareness will ultimately remain on top, it’s important to be able to offer that strategy for brands.
Organic clicks are never guaranteed, which is why we always recommend including paid social activations in your strategy, if this is a requirement (read our latest paid social blog post for more info on that). However, if paid social isn’t an option, then you need to ensure your brand is well established in the market first, and that can only be done organically through brand awareness.
As mentioned with Vinted, we spent time nurturing the brand through an always-on influencer marketing approach, in order to establish them as the number one place for second-hand fashion in the UK. We’re now lucky enough to be in a position where organic clicks come very easy for the brand, with 10s of thousands achieved per month.
Clicks can be recorded in a number of ways – either through Instagram stories in which creators a provided a link that they can use in content and report on with Instagram analytics, or trackable links can be made (ones using Google Analytics that can track website traffic are often effective, however, this needs to be done client-side unless we are granted access).
Content needs to entice people to click though, so it is also our job to ensure briefs are clear so influencers can create content that is worth clicking on. It’s also worth noting that your brand, product or service needs to be interesting enough for people to want to know more. So think about positioning when briefing an agency.
We also have CTR (click-through rate) which is the total clicks on stories divided by total impressions on stories.
More and more data
If it’s a key objective for the client we’ll sometimes include the open rate which is the % of someone’s followers who have opened their stories. We look at anything above 5% as a good measurement.
We can also report on things like CPM (cost per thousand impressions) rates which is fee divided by impressions times by 1000 – so you can see how much you are paying for impressions by the thousand. Different clients have different benchmarks for this.
Whatever a brand would like to see, we can get the data and tailor it to how you want it to be reported. For more information on our data-first approach, check out our website and follow us on socials!