In today’s world, there are 2 basic aspects of communication and marketing that show the industry’s rapid evolution to where we are now. The first one is about content, and I’ll bet you have heard “Content is King” a million of times, haven’t you? The second one is directly linked with measuring because “what can not be measure, can not be improved.”
This has been one of the main points of our new release #Winter15, called influence scoring, which allow you to measure the effectiveness of your Influencer Marketing. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, measuring in communication is critical. And to coincide with our launch, we are going to give you 4 reasons that will help you understand why you shouldn’t waste any more time not measuring the effectiveness of your influencer relationships. So let’s get going…
1. Because “less” is “more”
We all have a tendency to give greater importance to quantity than quality. I’m sure you have all heard someone saying something like “by this time next month, we have to have 100 influencers collaborating with our brand.” But have you ever bothered to stop and think whether these influencers are really the most suitable ones for your campaign?
Before you even make contact with them, you’d better have reached solid conclusions regarding two basic aspects within your overall communication strategy:
- Who make up your target group. You have to know who your product or service has been designed for as that will determine which influencer you are going to try to collaborate with. For example, it certainly is not the same to try to sell cosmetics or clothes and accessories rather than some sort of beverage. Having a strong understanding of the people who buy our product will be vital to break down our final target group into a well-defined segmented classification.
- What is your aim. When we talk about setting objectives, we tend to be thinking about “conversions,” directly from “prospect” into “sale.” However, there is another wide variety of objectives which are able to help us achieve our sales goals such as gaining brand notoriety, enhancing our corporate reputation, increasing our digital traffic, etc.
Once we have successfully done these first steps and have it clear in our own minds, then you are ready to start the influencer identification process and to define exactly who are the leaders you want to get involved in your Influencer Marketing campaign. An effective identification tool that’s related to your target group and goal analysis will allow you to put a series of filters in place such as channels used, specific languages, concepts or perhaps by keywords, that accurately describe who the potential influencers are and what characteristics they should have. This is what we call Influencer scoring. This will help you to measure the degree of relevance that any given influencer may have in respect to a concrete theme or issue related to your brand.
There are three key parameters that should be applied to measure this degree of influence:
- Exposure: or an influencer’s community about a well defined, specific theme.
- Echo: his/her capability to generate reactions within this community
- Participation: the participation level that this person is playing in conversations about a concrete issue.
Yet an influencer doesn’t necessarily have a valid role in our communication strategy simply due to the fact that he may have a large number of followers on Twitter. Influence attained by context, and measuring degree of influence amongst a community will help to judge an influencer’s quality rather than quantity, whether from excessive publications or a large community. Engagement is the most important.
2. Concentrate your efforts and actions
So, now what are we supposed to do once our best potential influencers have been properly identified. The time has come to build your brand ambassadors. These people are the ones who (by being an active participant in your communications) have shown that they believe in your message and have gone a step farther by conveying it to others within their own community. They are the people who will talk about your product or service in their blog and/or speeches.
Nonetheless, you’d better be aware that you will never create a brand ambassador just by snapping your fingers. Earlier we had talked about influence scoring and now we are going to move on the second aspect: proximity scoring. Its purpose is to let you accurately measure the degree of interaction for each specific influencer and show you where you are in the process with each of these targeted opinion leaders.
This system will help you distinguish the influencers who can really add value to your brand and might become useful brand ambassadors (interacting, mentioning your brand, generating referral traffic to your website, etc.), from those who fail to respond to your actions. This analysis will enable you to concentrate your efforts and actions.
3. What is not measured, cannot be improved
In today’s world, we must be defining objectives that meet what is known as the SMART criteria as is defined below:
- Agreed upon
- Time period
As we have seen earlier, one of the main requirements is that this objective must be “measureable” and quantifiable. This means that the action we are planning to carry out to reach our goal must meet this criteria.
Before acting within the scope of your marketing strategy, you should define what are the valid KPI’s that will show if you have met the predetermined goals. Here are a couple of possible KPI’s:
- Sales leads generated by one of a brand ambassador’s postings in his blog where he talks favorably about your brand.
- Number of re-tweets coming from a brand ambassador’s tweet in which he mentions your brand.
Number of impacts generated in his blog over a certain time period.
These points may be applied to better grasp the outcome of your actions with specific influencers and show if you are really on the right track.
4. How to demonstrate your PR ROI
This is the eternal dilemma that all of us involved in PR have been facing for years. How do I prove the ROI for every single call I make, for every single email I send out, for every single event I organize? Numerically speaking, it’s practically impossible. For quite some time, the number of impacts in both on and off media, the Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) and the audience being reached have served as KPI’s included in monthly communication performance reports.
Within this new digital environment, what happens in London today plays a role in what will happen tomorrow in Tokyo. Your interactions with opinion leaders take place in a great number of channels and formats, and are more and more personal in nature and adapted to each and every specific individual. Beyond simply using traditional metrics, applying a system that will enable you to both monitor and measure the on-going evolution between your brand and each contact will be extremely useful.
The model that we outline in our guide explaining how to set up a manageable system for measuring your influencer marketing performance is a scoring system based upon points being given to each of your interactions with an influencer. Let’s look at an example:
Based upon each influencer’s score, here are the four levels that we apply to classify them:
- Generate interest
- Gain credibility
- Create an emotional tie
- Convert them into brand ambassadors
By doing this, you will avoid interactions that are a waste of time… Your time! Actually it will be exactly the opposite as each and every one of them will add points and move further up the PR ladder and closer to your final goal.
So, now it’s your turn to accurately measure your own influencer relationships. Download our Whitepaper + Template and start to qualify all of your actions within the scope of your Influencer Marketing strategy.