Last year, Instagram was the second most engaged network after Facebook and it’s growing as there are 500 million users using this platform every day. Instagram as well as other social networks had become an essential method for advertising of different brands alongside with influencers. Companies have realized how influencer marketing can be a powerful option when launching a new product, opening a restaurant, or hosting a major sale.
Even as word of mouth is a strategy that seems to still be working, traditional advertising is no longer as profitable as it once was, because consumers have changed their habits. Moreover, another option could be digital advertising on different websites, but there are many people that use ad blocking systems so they are able to surf the web without having ads that bother them. This is why influencer marketing is a strategy that has become a must-do for many companies, because people are interested in it and it doesn’t feel as intrusive as other methods. Influencer marketing has been growing in revenue over the past years, and in 2019 is predicted to become a $6.5 billion industry.
However, influencer marketing is not as easy as it looks. Brands need to go through a process of planning, execution and analysis of results that can take a while. The process of choosing an influencer is very important, and in order to have a successful marketing campaign you need to make sure the influencer has good metrics.
Whether you decide to choose one or more influencers for your campaign, you should take some time reviewing influencer metrics that are available in influencer marketing search tools like Heepsy. The more informed you are about what type of influencer it is you need, the more aware you will be of the type of campaign you can do.
Most important metrics to review before selecting an influencer:
We consider engagement as any interaction between an influencer’s post, such as likes, comments or video views. So in this case it would be the percentage of the audience that interacts with the influencer. Each influencer has a percentage of engagement and it varies depending on the niche that their content is about. This means that an engagement of 3% could be good for Fashion influencers, but different value could be good for Fitness influencers. The value may be good or not depending on what segment of followers that person has. For instance, in the segment of 50 - 250K followers, an engagement of 7.1% is very high. According to many brands and companies that do influencer marketing, this is a crucial value you should check first.
How many posts does the influencer you are interested share per week? You need to check that this value is not too high, because if it is, it might mean that the influencer’s followers are losing interest in their publications and the engagement rate might go down. On the other hand, if this rate is too low, it might mean the influencer may not be committed when the collaboration starts. In the proposal you send to the influencer, make sure the quantity of posts they should share in the campaign is stated. Oftentimes, influencers are working on several campaigns at the same time, so if you are planning for the influencer to share a couple of posts about your brand, keep in mind that the influencer marketing campaign can last a couple of weeks.
This is another important metric to take into account. Comments/likes ratio gives you an overall idea of whether or not the influencer has bought followers. Why is that? Because a fake influencer usually buys bots that like their pictures, but it's not very typical to buy comments. With this ratio, you can see the average ratio for that segment; so if it is higher than that, it could be a suspicious sign. In the case below, you can see that it's almost the same ratio, so you shouldn’t be worried.
As we mentioned before, there are influencers who purchase fake followers or use other techniques to grow their followers base. Have you ever heard about the follow - unfollow strategies? It is a way of getting followers fast but then you lose them very quickly because they are either bots or not interested in your account. If this number is close to 1, it’s typically a sign of this strategy so you should be careful and not hire that influencer, because their followers might just be temporary and not connected with the influencer.
This is another way to find if the influencer has being growing organically or buying followers. How can you see this? Well if you have a graph like the one you see here, you can see over time how much their follower base has been growing. If you see spikes, we recommend you to check the posts that the influencer has shared around those dates because it could either be a giveaway or the influencer might have appeared in the news. If you don’t see spikes that go up or down, don’t worry because it’s a good sign.
Alongside this, you should check the follower growth rate. If it’s a low to medium value, it’s normal since influencers don’t tend to have a follower growth that is higher than 50% (unless there is a giveaway going on). In this graph it is very clear to see how this influencer hasn’t been buying any followers or doing any suspicious techniques. Her follower growth rate is 5%, which is a good and consistent rate.
Before knowing if the influencer is a good fit for your brand, you might want to check if they have been mentioning your competitors in recent posts. They might have mentioned them because they like them or are wearing some of their clothes. You can check the brand mentions and what metrics those posts have (likes and comments). This also can give you an idea of the types of brands they usually mention or work with, and if they are aligned with your brand, the values and objectives you want the influencers to share with their followers
Cost per post
Have you ever wondered if you can afford the influencer you want to hire? You can contact them to ask for their media kit, but if you want to have an overall idea, you could check the estimated cost of promotional post. Depending on how many followers or the engagement they have, this value goes up or down. It also varies in each industry, as well as the country they are from, but it could be useful when estimating your budget. The cost per post is not the same for a Fashion influencer with 50K followers in France as a Fashion influencer in New York.
The average cost is very different, depending on the type of content. When an influencer does a video for a campaign, it requires more work than uploading a picture. Because of this, a video is usually more expensive than a photo. You need to take that into account when thinking about the budget and type of campaign you want. If you use the platform that we mentioned before, you can get the average cost per post for a promotional post (photo) and for a promotional video.
There you can also see the average likes and comments that a promoted publication has. This could be very valuable when you are presenting the strategy to your team and setting objectives based on the results that each influencer has on their promoted posts. The averages that you can see with this tool, are for the last 12 posts, so it gets updated.
This number quickly gives you an overall idea of the influencer metrics. If you don’t have much time to analyse all the metrics mentioned before, this value will tell you if the influencer is trustworthy or not. It considers all the results calculated in previous metrics such as engagement, comments/like ratio or follower/following ratio and provides a number from 1 to 100. This means that the higher the value, the healthier their metrics are. Of course this metric can change in the future, as the influencer could post more attractive content for their followers or do a collaboration with a popular brand.
As you can see, there are a couple of metrics that should be taken into account when hiring an influencer. Taking some time to analyse and discover influencers who are suitable for you is necessary in order to have a successful influencer marketing campaign. We recommend you see which objectives are good for your brand and then search for influencers based on those parameters.
Once the campaign has finished, you can go back to those metrics and check when they are updated to see if any of the values have changed. You could see if the follower growth for that influencer has been growing since then. Also ask the influencer to share the metrics with you that they usually get in the promoted posts, which are only available for them; those can be very insightful in order to calculate the success of your campaign.