How to Prove the Value of Your Influencer Marketing Campaigns
By Samuel Kellett
Influencer Marketing helps you tap into an existing community of engaged followers on Social Media. This form of marketing is centered around the relationship between a Business and an Influencer and derives its value from the social reach of the influencers in these networks, the original content they produce, and the trust that they have among their audiences.
Why are Influencers Important?
Any ordinary individual cannot become an influencer overnight. Fashion Influencers often started their careers as fashion models, and travel Influencers often had occupations that required frequent travel, such as management consultants, photographers, and English teachers. They’ve grown into their Influencer role due to their lengthy personal investment in intertwining and sharing their professional and personal experiences as blogs, Facebook posts, or Instagram pictures.
The reason why Influencers have the trust and loyalty of their audiences is due to their authenticity. Their voice is inclusive of their lifestyle, philosophy, view on aesthetics, and their opinion on world events, and they use this voice to present their subject matter expertise.
Why is There No Visibility on the Customer Journey?
Despite the large, potential impact Influencers can create for businesses, marketers tend to have very little visibility on how an influencer’s promotional activities impact the customer journey. Marketers ordinarily only have engagement, reach, and impression figures. The cause of this visibility lies in the improper technical configuration of these promotional activities.
What are UTM Tags? How Do They Help with Analyzing Influencer Marketing Campaigns?
A key feature of commonplace web analytics tools, like Google Analytics, and other email marketing platforms, is that they add little snippets of human-readable code, so-called UTM tags, to the links that appear in your banner ads and email newsletters. These tags allow you to identify the marketing campaign that triggered your customer’s journey towards a potential purchase at your online store. These tools, unfortunately, are not designed to support Influencer marketing campaigns with the same ease of use.
In order to give Influencer marketing campaigns the same visibility as paid search and email marketing, their Facebook and Instagram posts must have links to your online store that contain UTM tags. These tags, however, must be added manually and the resulting links must be sent to the Influencers who agreed to participate in your marketing campaign. Here are the five UTM tags that you can add to your links:
1. utm_campaign allows you to specify the name of the product promotion
Example: utm_campaign= john-doe-formal-trousers
2. utm_source will help you identify which site sent the traffic.
3. utm_medium allows you to specify the type of channel where your product is promoted.
4. utm_term is used by search engines to communicate search keywords to web analytics
5. utm_content identifies the type of link that brought traffic to your site.
Not all of these UTM tags are necessary for the tracking of Influencer marketing campaigns. For our purposes, we will focus on the contents of the “utm_campaign” tag as the tracking details that ensure accurate and detailed visibility of your incoming visitors should be encoded as the campaign name.
Creating and Deploying an Appropriate Naming Scheme for the “utm_campaigns” Tag
The key to having accurate tracking of incoming visitors entirely depends on the campaign naming conventions. Each influencer/promoted item/campaign date combination should ideally have a unique campaign name.
Imagine an Instagram personality called John Doe. He informs his audience of 6000 followers about the latest fashion trends in formal menswear. You agreed with John Doe that one of his posts should feature the formal trousers that you have on offer in your online store. An unambiguous, human-readable name for the “utm_campaigns” tag will help you with identifying the visitors that originated from John Doe’s Instagram post:
But, what if you’ve agreed with John Doe that he will promote your spring/summer menswear collection at random times during the months of March and April?
If his campaigns would receive a “utm_campaigns” tag that would encompass the whole collection, such as john-doe-spring-summer-menswear, then it would fail to present any useful insights about potential fluctuations in visitor inflow from John Doe’s Instagram posts. Appropriately and precisely annotating the “utm_campaigns” tag will help you understand such fluctuations in the light of John Doe’s promotional activities.
Would John Doe’s audience, for instance, be more inclined to visits your online store if he promotes your high-end cobalt blue silk shirt when compared to your black cotton shirt? Or would it rather be the case that his promotional efforts for the black cotton shirt were of much lower quality? Such questions become answered once each of John Doe’s promotional activities has a unique campaign name.
Tips for Working with UTM Parameters in Your Marketing Team:
- Make it possible for everyone on the team to use the same terms. It is ideal to have an internal guide with a uniform standard and structure for UTM parameters.
- Each UTM tag should have a unique term. For example, if the “utm_campaign” tag is named “BlackFriday”, then this term should not be used for “utm_source” and “utm_media”.
- Naming should be simple, uniform and clear. Could the UTM parameter be understood by someone who does not work at your company?
- UTM parameters should be written in small letters and should be hyphenated. Google analytics and Bloomreach are case sensitive. Naming inconsistencies will lead to duplicate data in your analyses.
Bloomreach is now able to track the impact that the promotional activities of your Influencers have on your visitor inflow and revenue. The following questions can be answered using this setup:
- How many unique visitors did this campaign generate?
- How many of those visitors have never been to your online store before?
- How many purchases can be attributed to this campaign?
Below you can find three cases that demonstrate the implementation and outcomes of Influencer campaign tracking using UTM tags.
Paid Content Article
Despite the advent of Influencers on social media, online magazines still have a strong following among interested communities. In 2017, influential women’s fashion magazines saw up to 16 million unique visitors.
Source: Magazine Porter
Demonstrating the value of a paid editorial in an online magazine works the same way as with Influencer marketing campaigns.
For the fashion editorial shown below, Bloomreach identified that this campaign attracted 3,342 unique visitors. The vast majority of these visitors, 3,127, have never visited the promoted online store before. A total of 157 purchases were attributed to this campaign. With an average gross margin of €15 per item, this campaign ran a profit of approximately €2,400.
|Newly acquired visitors||3100|
|# of purchases attributed to the campaign||157|
Facebook Post on the Initiative of the Influencer
Leaving the Influencer in control of the manner in which they choose to promote your offers allows them to tailor their promotional activities to the overarching narrative their followers are attending.
Source: Facebook – Victoria Beckham Account
This manner of coordinating promotional activities requires advance planning on the promoted offers and their utm_campaigns tag names.
For the Facebook post shown below, Bloomreach identified that this campaign attracted 542 unique visitors. A quarter of these visitors have never visited the promoted online store before, and a total of 14 purchases were directly attributed to this campaign.
|Newly acquired visitors||142|
Paid Instagram Post
Instagram is the preferred channel for Influencers whose professional career is highly visually oriented. The most influential fashion models have a reach of up to 2.9 million followers. Their promotional activities will help your offers stand out and increase their perceived value.
Source: Instagram – Sincerely Jules Account
The items that are being promoted by the influencer are often gifted. It may be beneficial to include an instruction leaflet with the sent item. This leaflet can explain where to find the appropriate links for their Instagram posts.
For the above Instagram post, Bloomreach identified that this campaign attracted 2,547 unique visitors. Most of them have never visited the promoted online store before, and 89 of these visitors purchased an item at this store.
Newly acquired visitors
# of purchases attributed to the campaign
These results illustrate that Bloomreach is able to present detailed and unexpected insights into the traffic generated by Influencer marketing campaigns. The acquired traffic and purchase attribution figures show that influencer marketing is a very effective customer acquisition method.