Have you ever been tempted to brainstorm ideas for your next sure-to-go-viral campaign before tackling the upfront planning steps? If you have, who could blame you? Talking tactics is a much sexier albeit distracting first step than, say, coming to consensus on goals, budget, and metrics. Am I right?
But, what sets apart one agency or brand (or team member, if you’re managing Influencer Marketing in-house) from the next is its (or your) ability to develop quality content (e.g., articles, social media posts, videos, etc.) and events that drive measurable results. So, not skipping ahead and, instead, focusing first on critical components like objectives, budget, and metrics is the key to developing campaigns that have the best chance of moving the needle for your brand. A viral video and ROI? What’s not to love?
Before we get down to brass tacks and share statistics and reporting benefits, assess your current metrics practices by asking yourself:
The answers to these questions help you determine whether or not you are making metrics a priority in your campaign planning process. If you answered “Yes” to the majority of the questions, then you are in good shape. Yes answers mean you include metrics in up front campaign discussions. “No” answers reflect areas for improvement.
The single most important reason to make metrics a priority in the campaign planning process is that they prove ROI.
In other words, to get budget for Influencer Marketing campaigns, agencies and brands need to prove that activations lead to sales. But, since sales is hard to prove (for most PR-related activations), secondary ROI is great: impressions, reach, engagement, website traffic, open and click-through rates, subscriptions, sign ups, testimonials, referrals, user-generated content, video views, and more. Metrics reports are the place to highlight that ROI.
At a minimum, identifying the following at a campaign’s outset is key:
Without building a campaign around success metrics, you may end up spending a ton of time and money without hitting any objectives. The result? Decreased or no ROI, unhappy clients, and less future Influencer Marketing budget.
But metrics don’t just prove ROI. Check out these five additional benefits of comprehensive metrics reporting and why metrics needs to be at the top of your campaign planning meeting agenda:
Clearly outlining key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics up front helps both agency/brand and client (or even you and your boss if you’re managing metrics in-house) to get on the same page. Furthermore, it makes decision-making and knowing which actions to take easier, especially when issues arise mid campaign.
Educating clients makes them feel included. Additionally, transparency yields trust. You could consider sharing how you are tracking against your objectives; which tools you’re using; algorithms, equations, or methodologies (if not proprietary); or other process-related details. Sharing and being open to questions will keep the lines of communication open, allowing you to best understand your client’s needs, as well as keep expectations in check.
With campaign goals and objectives agreed upon and a tracking system in place at a campaign’s beginning, reporting is a simple next step. Organizing the data in easily accessible spots (e.g., spreadsheet, slides, etc.) and making it available both real-time as well as in a summary format at the campaign’s conclusion is helpful. In this way, clients never have to worry about whether a campaign is on target to meet objectives. Furthermore, they won’t be scrambling to pull numbers from not having information at their fingertips when asked about the campaign’s progress during a meeting. The icing on the cake? Presenting polished comprehensive reports, because it proves ROI, not to mention adding a professional touch, is likely to open doors leading to new business.
But, reports are’t just a campaign’s status update or summary report. They can raise red flags on critical issues mid-campaign, allowing your team to get ahead of situations by brainstorming possible solutions. The more thorough and accurate a campaign’s report, the better they can help you avoid potential pitfalls.
Agencies and brands who thrive are those who keep their finger on the pulse of the Influencer Marketing industry and consumer trends and react real-time. Capturing solid campaign metrics offers a data-backed way to keep on top of hot topics and trouble spots and be agile. In short, you can add fuel to your campaign’s fire if the data shows you should invest more. Or, you can stop the fuel line, start a new fire, or otherwise find ways to improve if the data says to shift. Regardless, metrics takes away the guesswork.
In conclusion, metrics prove a campaign’s success. Without planning and tracking up front and accurately reporting throughout and at a campaign’s conclusion, knowing what is working, what isn’t working, what needs to be modified, and what could be improved is difficult.
As you are planning your campaign statistics and tracking, check out these helpful steps to Influencer Marketing campaign management, including what to include in your metrics reports.
What are your metrics tracking and reporting best practices?
This post was modified from the originally published articled on ForwardInfluence.com.