As brands develop their influencer marketing strategy and mature it over time, it is important to make sure that the path to ROI remains clear. Promotions, coupon codes, and tracking links can help marketers prove the effectiveness of their influencer marketing strategies in achieving business goals. Below we give an overview of each tactic plus how you can tie them back to influencer marketing.
How do promotions, coupon codes, and tracking links aid influencer marketing?
Promotions apply to a company’s entire catalog or a specific product or service line. Think 40% off site-wide or 10% off blenders. Here, influencers are mainly used to advertise the existing promotion rather than the brand creating a new promotion based on the influencer marketing campaign itself.
Coupon codes (or promo codes) provide a discount on the brand’s product or service which incentivizes consumers to complete their purchase or purchase more items than they originally intended. These codes can be specific to a particular product or service, unique to each influencer or the campaign itself, or even be a universal code that can be used by anyone for any item.
Tracking links are unique links that can be provided to influencers for them to put in their post captions, within their bios, or included in their content via swipe-up links in an Instagram Story or via a direct link from a pin or a blog post (just to name some examples). Additionally, they help track conversions which can be attributed to individual influencers.
Each of these tactics can strengthen your influencer marketing strategy by providing deeper insight into how your customers behave, how aware potential consumers are of your brand, and who best drives sales for your company.
Let’s go over each of these in more detail.
Since promotions are usually site- or store-wide discounts on a product line or service, influencers can be used to boost consumer engagement and drive potential customers to the website or store. You can track this through engagements and impressions driven by the campaign as well as evaluating site or store traffic before, during, and after the campaign.
If the promotion revolves around a certain product line, choosing influencers that naturally align with that product (when it comes to the look and feel of their channels) is important in order to have the best chance of driving users to the site with the intent to purchase.
Coupon or promo codes can reveal the effectiveness of a specific influencer, the overall campaign, and the promotion in general. If your coupon code is unique to each influencer, this can help you determine which creators have been the most successful in persuading their followers to use their code and purchase from your brand. This will give you the opportunity to build long-term influencer partnerships with your top-performing creators based on the number of conversions they have driven.
Additionally, influencer-specific coupon codes allow you to track all conversion activity off of the platform the campaign is being run on. If you run a month-long campaign on Instagram and that influencer chooses to also include their unique code within Tweets, mention it on a podcast, and or give it to a friend, you’ll be able to collect performance data across all channels.
Coupon codes prove ROI by explicitly showing the number of conversions driven and the dollar value of each conversion. This gives your company exact metrics that will inform you on the effectiveness of your influencer campaign.
Like coupon and promo codes, tracking links can help you gain information about which influencers are most effective when it comes to driving purchases for the campaign. By seeing where your target audience clicked on the link and tracking their journey to the link’s destination, you can see how successful an influencer is at driving their followers to your site and convincing them to make a purchase.
If the link is unique to the campaign and not unique to each influencer, it has the same effect. Here you’ll have a higher-level view of how effective the campaign is at driving conversions and will be able to determine if you need to pivot your strategy based on campaign success.
How do I choose which tactic(s) to use?
This will depend on your campaign and business goals. Based on these three example tactics, we recommend the following:
- I want to drive sales: Coupon codes and tracking links are your best bet here. Whether specific to certain products or services vs. general across the entire site, coupons give people the satisfaction of saving money with the added benefit of feeling like they belong to an exclusive club. With the ability that tracking links and coupon codes have to capture specific influencer effectiveness, you can optimize your strategy by narrowing down which influencers or which type of influencers give you the biggest bang for your buck.
- I want to increase my brand awareness: Coupon codes are great to use for this goal, especially if you use a campaign-level code with brand specificity (i.e. BRANDNAME20). This way, when influencers tell their followers to use their code they’re saying your brand name every time rather than just saying it once within the messaging outside of the promo code.
- I want to understand customer behavior: Promotions and tracking links are best for this type of goal given they can track the customer journey as well as which type of promotions work best for them. Through tracking how customers get to your website via which influencers, along with what their activity on your website is, you can gain insight into a multitude of consumer behaviors. This includes insight into directly related measures, like the effectiveness of the promotion or specific influencers, plus the effectiveness of your user experience and product or service discoverability.
Whether your team chooses coupon codes, promotions, tracking links, or a combination thereof, it remains true that some means of quantifying your influencer marketing campaign will make your life easier when calculating ROI. These methods help embed that quantifiable evidence of success into your influencer marketing strategies and prove their value.
Need help choosing which method is best for your business? Speak to one of our strategists today!