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How to Be Data-Driven in Influencer Marketing Without Sacrificing Feel

The influencer part of influencer marketing is all about authenticity. Authenticity is all about feeling. The marketing part of influencer marketing is all about results. Results are all about data. So how do we make data-driven decisions about influencer marketing without compromising that all-important feel? 

These two things are not at odds. We marketers know that while our campaigns live and die by data, this is still a creative field. 

That said, it can be a struggle to prove the success of influencer marketing campaigns beyond less tangible metrics like brand lift and engagement. Collecting the right data and putting the right filters on this data, marketers can demonstrate impact in influencer marketing campaigns, and even measure the less tangible elements of influence marketing. 

Let’s explore.

Identify Your Objectives

Clearly defining what success looks like before we start a campaign is the best way to know if we’ve been successful once said campaign wraps. We need to know what the goal looks like so we know when we’ve arrived. 

It’s important to identify clear objectives from the start. What are we trying to achieve with this specific influencer marketing campaign? Is it an effort to drive down customer acquisition cost (CAC)? Are we looking to gain some awareness? Are we looking to improve return on ad spend (RoAS) relative to other campaigns by adding an influencer element? Is adding prospects to an existing drip campaign the end game? Is it pure conversion? Pure awareness? In all likelihood it’s some weighted combination of these. The point stands: clearly defined objectives are job one.

Choose the Right Metrics

Once you’ve identified your objectives, it’s important to choose the right metrics to measure success. Depending on your objectives, you may want to put more focus on a particular metric like engagement, reach, conversion rate, or RoAS. It’s important to choose metrics that align with your objectives and can be measured in a meaningful way.

Track Affiliate Links

If you’re using affiliate links as part of your influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to track them in a centralized location. This will allow you to measure the success of your campaign in a tangible way. There are services that can help here (and if you’re working with BENlabs, we’ll track all that for you) but if you don’t mind a bit of manual work, a good old spreadsheet will work just fine.

A/B Test Your Campaigns

Testing assumptions and hypotheses in influencer marketing is important. That’s the feeling part. Gut feel might tell us an idea or approach will work, but only data can prove it out. Testing multiple versions of content, copy and call to action (CTA), against multiple audience segments is the key.

A/B testing at any kind of meaningful scale is difficult to accomplish if you’re going it alone. BENlabs A/B Autopilot is an AI tool that can test a practically unlimited number of content/copy/CTA combinations to surface meaningful insights early in the campaign, when they can make a difference.

A/B on Autopilot

BENlabs AI can test practically unlimited content/copy/CTA combinations and quickly learn from results to optimize campaigns early, when it makes the most difference.

Optimize, Optimize, Optimize

With data gathered in A/B and other tests, acting quickly to capitalize on successes and improving low-performing creative before it drags the campaign down are key. To this end, BENlabs AI tools surface reliable predictive data early, immediately taking action on its learnings to increase all campaign success metrics.

Without AI tools, optimizing means getting data early, analyzing that data to see what’s working and what’s not, then taking action quickly to maximize campaign impact. For example, if you notice that a particular influencer or category of influencers is driving outsized engagement, acting quickly to move campaign spend or invest further with that individual or category will help to push overall campaign performance in the right direction.

Measure Your ROI

All of our influencer marketing efforts, data gathering, and action distill down to one key number. Return on investment (ROI) is the most tangible and universally understandable number to measure the impact of your influencer (or indeed any) marketing campaign. Thinking back to Marketing 101, ROI is a calculation of revenue generated as a factor of campaign cost.

Rinse and Repeat

Influencer marketing works. The key is to make authenticity a priority, clearly identify objectives, choose the appropriate metrics to measure success, and to learn along the way.

Influencer campaigns can prioritize brand lift while still measuring against more direct performance metrics. Use data to optimize your campaigns, distill that data to tell your influence marketing success story, and remember that being data-driven doesn’t mean sacrificing the human element of influencer marketing. 

By combining data with the creative and intuitive elements of influencer marketing, you can create a powerful campaign that connects with your target audience and drives real, measurable, results.

Influencer Marketing Made Simple

The BENlabs team uses proprietary AI tools to help make influencer marketing smart, scalable, and successful. From finding the perfect content creators, automating A/B testing content, copy and CTAs, and surfacing clear, predictive analytic insights early, when they can make the most difference, BENlabs is here to help.

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