Gather Ye Data While Ye May

Measuring effectiveness is an ever-present challenge in influencer marketing.  However, measurement is a big, broad topic though.  There are so many factors that could be at play – the gathering data, the lack of data, the accuracy of data, or the telling a story with that data about a campaign’s impact.  There is a common thread here… data.  And in order to even get to conversations about accuracy and storytelling, you need to actually have data to look at.  That is no small feat though.  In a recent survey conducted by GroupHigh, nearly one third of marketers responded that gathering data is the biggest challenge they face in measuring influencer marketing.
There are a limited number of meaningful metrics on which any marketer can easily collect data.   Platforms like GroupHigh can help augment your fact base with data about bloggers’ activity and information on engagement with your campaign.  But there are a whole host of data points that only one set of people have access to… bloggers themselves.  Bloggers have data about their own blog and are probably already keeping a close eye on some key metrics that are important to them.

Here are some of the pieces of information you could ask bloggers to share as you evaluate success and plan for the future.

1. Referral Stats & Keywords.  You can see what keywords someone is using to get to your website and what sites (including your influencer sites) are directing traffic to you.  But what about how blog visitors find that particular blog?  What other websites or keywords on Google are sending people to the blog?  This data can help you understand more about the blog’s audience and what that audience is interested in.  The data might also provide good insight into where you can focus other marketing efforts or expand your influencer marketing campaign.
2.    New vs. Return Visitors. Knowing the loyalty and growth of the audience of a particular blog can help you better understand its dynamics and can inform your ongoing strategy with that blogger.  For example, if they have a loyal following, then you need to make sure that content is you are asking them to share is fresh and new.  If a blogger has a constantly growing or changing base you may want to find ways to have a single message about your brand continually reinforced.
3.    Visitor Demographics.  If a blogger has Advertising Reporting Features enabled for their site, Google Analytics will provide demographic information about readers – age, gender, interests, etc.  This data from Google isn’t perfect but certainly can provide good directional information and can help paint a good picture of the audience whom is consuming the content that is part of your influencer marketing efforts. You can compare this demographic information to how you have defined your target audience and see how well it aligns.
4.    Outbound Clicks.  Some bloggers will have metrics packages that allow them to track which links their visitors are clicking on to go to another website.  If the blogger uses a link that directs towards your brand, it can be helpful to see these statistics, particularly if you haven’t been able to provide a customized or tagged URL.  You can keep tabs on this information through your own referral stats on Google Analytics and this can be a good double-check that may be more accurate.
So go ahead and ask for your influencers’ help.  If they are truly interested in building a long-term partnership with you, they are likely to be willing to share information that helps prove their value.

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