As a marketer utilizing content creators to support your marketing strategy and overall business objectives, one of the most important questions that you should ask yourself after campaign completion is: “Was my influencer marketing campaign successful or not?” 

So how do you tell if your campaign performance is actually good? This guide will walk through the steps you need to take before launching your campaign in order to properly evaluate its success after completion. 

Define Objectives & Content Requirements for Your Influencer Marketing Campaign 

Before kicking off your campaign, you must solidify which specific objectives you’re looking to focus on and achieve by activating influencers. It’s important to note that you cannot achieve everything by having all-encompassing campaign goals, so carefully identify the most important, select few goals to hone in on.  Based on your distinct objectives, you will be able to determine the type of content requirements you are requesting from the content creators you choose to partner with. 

For example, if you know you want to drive brand awareness and generate engagements, you’ll likely want your KPIs to align with a specific CPM, CPE, and/or engagement rate. You’ll also want to activate influencers on channels that are best for driving awareness and engagements, such as TikTok, Twitch or Instagram. With TikTok focusing on trending content that has a high chance to go viral, Twitch allowing viewers to watch their favorite stream in real-time, and Instagram offering a variety of highly-engaging content formats, all three of these platforms allow marketers to successfully drive awareness and engagements.

On the other hand, perhaps you’re looking to focus on conversions and want your campaign to drive clicks and purchases. If this is the case, you’ll want to work with influencers to post on Pinterest or create long-form blog content, with either channel providing you with evergreen content that drives traffic to ecommerce while tapping into high search and discovery opportunities via SEO. By giving influencers promo codes and/or unique tracking links, you can track purchases driven. 

Alternatively, maybe your primary campaign objective is generating high-quality content that you can repurpose across your brand’s social channels, on your website, or in your marketing materials. If that’s the case, you’ll want to consider asking influencers to create high-resolution images for sharing on Instagram or produce quality video content on their YouTube channel. With Instagram allowing marketers to activate influencers at scale to create multiple pieces of high-res content and YouTube creators taking time to produce quality videos, both channels are great for achieving this key objective. 

Review Industry & Brand-Specific Benchmarks

Once you define your campaign objectives and subsequent content requirements, you’ll want to finalize your campaign budget for influencer incentives so that you can select creators based on their past campaign performance. For example, Mavrck allows you to review historical results when it comes to influencers’ average CPM, CPE, or engagement rate and provides you with an easy way to evaluate their content quality. 

At this point you may be asking: How do I know what my benchmarks should be in order to select the best influencers? Great question. 

At Mavrck, we always recommend establishing brand-specific benchmarks per social channel after running several influencer campaigns across each channel. This is because there are many factors, such as brand equity or affinity, that make it challenging to compare benchmarks from one brand to another, even when the brands are within the same vertical. However, we realize that marketers need to start somewhere, which is why we maintain and regularly update benchmarks at Mavrck, segmented by brand vertical as well as follower count. If you’re kicking off your first influencer marketing campaign by activating content creators, you can set your KPIs by referencing Mavrck benchmarks and then update them to be brand-specific as you continue to run campaigns.

Evaluate Campaign Results & Optimize for Future

Once your campaign has completed, you’re ready to evaluate its performance and determine how you’re going to optimize future campaigns. You need to start by reviewing your primary objectives/KPIs that you defined prior to launch and make the following decisions to improve your upcoming campaigns as needed. 

Was the campaign’s average CPM, CPE, or engagement rate below or above your original benchmarks? 

  • If you did not hit your goals: You should first evaluate the influencers you activated to see if there were any outliers who did not generate as many impressions or engagements as you originally expected based on their historical performance. Next, you have to dig into why that was the case. Did the creator(s) in question not have the correct audience aligning with your target consumer afterall, and therefore their content featuring your brand didn’t resonate well with their followers? If so, you’ll need to make sure to spend more time diving into the audience insights of the influencers you’re looking to activate on your next campaign. For example, while searching for influencers, Mavrck allows you to review creators’ audience details including their age, gender, as well as their location breakdown by top countries and cities.
  • If you did hit your goals: Congrats! Now let’s work toward exceeding them on the next campaign. You’ll still want to evaluate the influencers you activated to: 1) Determine who you’d like to partner with again and consider establishing an ambassador program to include them in and 2) Identify who might have underperformed compared to other creators and consider testing out working with a different influencer on the next campaign instead. 

Did the campaign result in the number of clicks and purchases you were hoping to achieve? 

  • If you did not garner clicks and purchases: You’ll want to evaluate your campaign’s content requirement. Did you only require influencers to post one Instagram Story with a swipe up to your page? If so, for your next campaign you’ll want to consider adding additional types of requirements in the form of more long-form content types such as a pin or blog post to help drive more traffic to your website and create more chances to drive purchases. Was the promotion that influencers were sharing with their followers enticing enough? Think about sending influencers a survey to see what they think – perhaps your promo code was too low to entice their audience to make a purchase. 
  • If you did garner clicks and purchases: If your campaign was a success and you reached your goal for clicks and conversions, you should still evaluate what you can do next time to achieve an even higher target. Take a look at the influencer copy and captions to see if the next campaign could test different messaging that would encourage audiences to click-through. Evaluate your promotion page on your website to see if you can increase purchase intent by making updates there.  

Were you able to produce enough high-quality content that you can now repurpose?

  • If you did not produce quality content: If the influencers you activated were not able to generate enough high-quality content, then you’ll want to do a deep dive into your influencer brief. Be sure to provide the influencers with a campaign brief that adequately describes content requirements while still giving them their creative freedom. Consider sending influencers a post-campaign survey so you can collect feedback on the original brief to learn how you can improve and direct creators to produce the IGC you’re looking for.
  • If you did produce quality content: If you were able to generate enough high-quality IGC to repurpose, but are looking to produce even more content for future campaigns, consider activating influencers for the sole purpose of content creation versus content creation and posting on their social channels. Establish an ongoing partnership with select top-performing influencers to generate photographs for your brand while saving some incentive spend that would have otherwise been offered for the creator to post on their social channels as well. 

As a marketer running influencer marketing campaigns, it’s not always easy to tell at first glance if your campaign performed well or not. In order to set yourself up for a successful campaign review and identify key learning opportunities for optimization, it’s important to first take a step back and establish your campaign goals and requirements before launching. You then should always decide on the benchmarks you’re looking to achieve, prioritizing brand-specific benchmarks over industry-wide. After campaign completion, take a look at performance compared to your objectives and take the necessary steps to improve your influencer marketing strategy and exceed your goals for future campaigns.