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Influencer Marketing

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Lesson 10, Topic 2
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Track and measure the ROI of your campaign

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What is ROI?

Return on investment, or ROI, is a mathematical formula that investors can use to evaluate their investments and judge how well a particular investment has performed compared to others. An ROI calculation is sometimes used with other approaches to develop a business case for a given proposal. The overall ROI for an enterprise is used as a way to grade how well a company is managed.

If an enterprise has immediate objectives, including getting market revenue share, building infrastructure or positioning itself for sale, a return on investment might be measured in terms of meeting one or more of these objectives rather than immediate profit or cost savings.

How do you calculate ROI?

There are multiple methods for calculating ROI. The most common is net income divided by the total cost of the investment, or ROI = Net income / Cost of investment x 100.

As an example, take a person who invested $90 into a business venture and spent an additional $10 researching the venture. The investor’s total cost would be $100. If that venture generated $300 in revenue but had $100 in personnel and regulatory costs, then the net profits would be $200.

Measuring the Influencer Metric

In addition to measuring the Brand Metric, the second key metric to track is the Influencer Metric, which can be broken down into three key areas.


The biggest problem many brands have when it comes to results from social scoring platforms is the “influencer” targeted is simply another number in a database with a large following and an amplified voice online. This lack of differentiation is guaranteed to provide poor returns.

Influence marketing customer journey

Instead, the ratio of community to followers is key – a thriving, interactive community that reacts to an influencer is far more important than higher follower numbers. It’s these qualitative reactions that provide a higher propensity of actions taken by the influencer’s community.

Measure how many reactions an influencer is receiving when sharing your message as a percentage of their overall following to extract a more exact return on that specific influencer.


Every marketing campaign, whether online or offline, succeeds primarily for one main reason – the perception of that campaign and the buy-in of the audience.

Using the same metrics to measure your influencer campaign will allow you to understand the sentiment around the brand message, and how the target audience perceives both your brand and the campaign itself. It also allows you to quickly identify areas that upset a certain demographic and amend the message accordingly, or instigate a crisis communication response if needed.

Additionally, you can see which influencer receives a favourable reaction and adoption, allowing you to increase awareness around him or her and helping improve the perception of a less well-received influencer.


The most valuable barometer to showing whether an influencer campaign has worked or not is the effect it has on your brand.

From a brand awareness point of view, measurement needs to include:

  • traffic generated to a website, microsite or landing page;
  • how many times your brand or product is mentioned online and how many people recognize your name when mentioned;
  • how many new fans or followers you accrue on the social networks your brand is on;
  • how many white papers or fact sheets were downloaded from your website;
  • and how many new subscribers you receive to your company blog or newsletter.

From a more dedicated business angle, it’s much more straightforward:

  • how many new inquiries did your inbound sales team receive;
  • how many referrals did your direct sales team receive;
  • and how many sales were directly attributed to your influencer’s work with their community.

Depending on your product or service, the purchase cycle of your customer may be a longer one than the duration of your campaign – include a plan to continue measuring the effect of the initial influence campaign on this purchase path.

1. Measure channel performance

While it can be difficult to directly track ROI from influencer marketing, I’ve found that if we can attribute a sale back to an influencer, then it is a measurable return. We also measure channel performance, such as increases in web or social traffic. Utilizing promo codes and landing pages is an excellent way to help measure return. – Alex Membrillo, Cardinal Digital Marketing.

2. Read direct comments

Influencer marketing has been a very powerful tool in this era. Not only has influencer marketing evolved but also the tracking of ROI in a marketing campaign. One way is to track direct conversations from consumers. It’s important to see an influencer’s post with consumers expressing their interest in purchasing the product featured in the post. – Cagan Sean Yuksel, GRAFX CO.

3. Track everything

Incorporate coupon codes so you can track any direct sales from the collaboration. In addition, remember that any links are valuable and can help contribute to SEO. On top of that, you’ve got social media exposure from retweets, comments, likes, etc. to help with brand awareness and exposure. Track everything that contributes to the sale, not only final sales numbers. – Bernard May, National Positions

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4. Look beyond vanity metrics

Influencer marketing can have a powerful effect on top of funnel metrics. We recommend that our customers include a brand lift study when evaluating influencer campaigns to get a more complete picture of how influencer marketing can impact strategic marketing goals like increasing awareness, shifting perceptions, conveying thought leadership and deepening customer relationships. – Corbett Drummey, Popular Pays

5. Determine your desired outcome

Too often, brands go into an influencer relationship before determining a desired outcome or setting expectations. Is the influencer relationship designed to drive brand awareness or action? How does the influencer measure engagements with brands with one or both of those outcomes? Before engaging with influencers, set your goals and go after the influencers with proven outcomes matching yours. – Lindsey Groepper, BLASTmedia

6. Request regular reports

You can provide influencers with exclusive codes or affiliate links to track any purchases that come directly from their efforts. We have found, however, that by asking our influencers to provide periodic reports to us on the engagement they are seeing, we get a better qualitative feel for whether the influencer is the right choice for the campaign, and if the campaign is making headway. – Scott Baradell, Idea Grove

It’s crucial to create custom tracking links for each influencer you’ll work with — this way, your company will be able to analyze the performance of every single influencer involved in a campaign and calculate metrics such as CPC. Thanks to conversion pixels installed on “thank you” pages or using third-party measurement attribution tools for apps, you will also be able to calculate CPI and CPA. – Alessandro Bogliari, The Influencer Marketing Factory

8. Utilize influencer analytics platforms

There are many platforms available that will allow you to translate the impact, engagement, sentiment and traffic of your influencer campaign. Depending on how you have set up KPIs for the campaign, each metric should easily be translatable into the ROI you are looking for. – Michael Smith, MDS Media Inc.

9. Implement measurable trigger points

Influencer marketing impacts all phases of the buying cycle, and demonstrating ROI can be more difficult. By implementing measurable trigger points like UTM tags, unique landing pages or custom offers, we can better understand a campaign’s success. With more insight into performance, we could determine a certain niche, audience or tactic worked better than others and optimize future campaigns. – Tripp Donnelly, REQ

10. Utilize unique codes

When possible, make an effort to distinguish the leads or customers generated by your influencer with something like a coupon code or special product only available to these followers or subscribers. The incentive gives the influencer something unique to promote and helps quantify their impact on your business. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions

You can make a separate affiliate link solely to give to the influencer that will track clicks, abandoned carts, email captures or sales. Or you can release a special edition product run just for that collaboration with the influencer and have them release it to their audience and see how it performs. The best way to track return through any influencer campaign requires isolation of the product being sold. – Vishal Jain, Sunshy Group Of Companies

The qualitative vs quantitative ROI of influencer marketing

Below, we’ve included some of the KPIs that you can use to evaluate the ROI of your influencer marketing campaign. But before we delve into them, a quick note: While the quantitative KPIs can be easily tracked and analyzed, understanding the ROI of influencer marketing campaigns may also require delving into the qualitative data.

If your goal is to develop brand awareness, for example, looking at the number of comments on a post isn’t enough—you’ll also need to evaluate the type of language used in the comments. For small campaigns, these can be done manually, while for larger campaigns, third-party analytic tools can be used to research this type of data.

Regardless of whether your focus is on the qualitative or quantitative data, Veneris’ advice is to follow the data.  

“Measurable attribution is possible for all channels and all influencers,” he says. “The performance marketing model with influencers works great for long-term, sustainable relationships and also gives you extremely concrete data about clicks, conversions, revenue, and AOV — and that’s possible from Twitch and YouTube, to TikTok.”