October 24, 2017

How to measure influencer marketing ROI

How to measure influencer marketing ROI

One of the biggest challenges social marketers run into when working with influencers is - measurement - it's a problem that keeps coming up. Since influencer marketing campaign is typically run alongside other marketing programs, it can be difficult to determine which conversions were generated by influencers.

In this article we're going to help you get in touch with different methods on how you can measure the true ROI of your influencer marketing campaigns.

Define your goals.

Try to define what you want to achieve with your influencer marketing campaign. Do you want to increase brand awareness, get more followers or increase sales? 

Here is the 3 most common goals:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Engagement
  • Revenue

You'll measure your ROI differently based on the marketing objectives you want to achieve with your campaign. Here are three ways to measure ROI based on the different objectives: 

Brand Awareness

Whether you want to promote a new brand or introduce a new product to the market, sometimes your primary goal is to be seen by as many potential customers as possible. For campaigns focused on visibility, measuring the ROI will be based on the number of new potential customers who become aware of your brand through the campaign.

It's incredibly important to ensure that the impressions you're buying align with the target demografic you're trying to reach. Most influencers have access to in-depth analytics about their target audience on blogs & social media, so don't hesitate to ask them to send you a screenshot of their analytics before starting with the campaign.

KPI's to measure brand awareness:

  • Views/Reach
  • Target Demographic
  • CPM (Cost per 1000 impressions)


Engagement refers to the likes, shares and comments on a social media post. Engagement has historically been a common metric for evaluating social media performance. The engagement rate on your influencer marketing post is a great indicator of how the influencers audience feel about your brand. 

Having a very low engagement rate can mean that the influencer you worked with was not a good fit for your brand or that the content felt unauthentic for the audience.

KPI's to measure engagement:

  • Likes, comments, shares, hashtag participations.
  • Engagement rate (viewer to engagement ratio in %)
  • CPE or Cost per engagement. How many dollars did you spend per engagement? 


Now let’s talk about what people usually think of when they hear “ROI.” How do you know what your influencer marketing campaign has returned in terms of revenue to your bottom line? How can you measure your revenue earned versus dollars spent? This is actually easier to track than you might think. Here are four ways to measure your return on monetary investment.

Affiliate Links

Using an affiliate link in your influencer marketing campaign is the easiest way to track the ROI in terms of dollars earned directly through influencers. Generate a unique affiliate link for each influencer you're collaborating with.  These links will provide data around the number of clicks to the brand’s website, the number of sales, and the average order value for those sales.

One thing to remember is that Affiliate Links has tracking limitations. Sometimes a purchase can occur  90 days after a shopper sees a product on an influencer’s site. Since the cookie duration for affiliate links is normally just 15–30 days, if that shopper buys the product online or in-store, you won’t be able to trace the purchase to influencer content, even if that was what drove the sale.

Promo Codes

Custom promo codes allow you to track the impact of your influencer campaign beyond immediate sales. As mentioned above, not all consumers will make a purchase immediately upon seeing an influencer’s post, even if the content ultimately inspires their buying decision. In this sense, affiliate links only reveal part of your ROI. Promo codes help you track “down the line” purchases spurred by influencer marketing. Most e-commerce sites like Shopify or WooCommerce will allow you to generate promo codes easily that you can provide to your influencers.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is another incredibly powerful tool for tracking online sales. By setting up an “Event” goal, you can see which of your online customers visited your e-commerce site from an influencer’s blog or social channel, giving you a reliable assessment of ROI on e-commerce sales. Working with an Influencer Marketing platform like Shopping Links, you can also see this important metric in the overall results. Our results page also shows you how many people visited a blogger’s website while they were promoting your brand.

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