Metrics: A Guide to Proving Your Worth

Metrics: A Guide to Proving Your Worth

Metrics: A Guide to Proving Your Worth

Every marketer on earth is looking for the golden goose called ROI: return on investment. Essentially they want to know what tactics will lead them to more sales. Knowing where you-- as an influencer or content creator-- fit into that equation will be key to developing successful brand partnerships. When you agree to a collaboration, you should know exactly what results you can and cannot promise. Additionally, knowing how your content usually performs will give you a great way to prove your worth to a brand against their measurements of success. Know your metrics and you will be ready to enter into confident partnerships and make realistic promises to brands.

What do brands care about?

Ultimately, brands care most about sales. However, smart marketers know that influencer marketing is most effective for the purposes of awareness and trust building. There will be times when you have to educate your clients on the realistic purposes of influencer marketing and whether or not their campaign goals are reasonable. That’s when it will be important to confidently redirect the conversation to what influencers can realistically achieve.

What can influencers realistically achieve?

The "path to purchase" is not linear and you're not responsible for all the steps. 

The "path to purchase" is not linear and you're not responsible for all the steps. 

Many brand marketers are still living in the world of the ad buy-- where TV execs tell them how many eyes they can guarantee on a commercial slot. Brands ask for follower count because that is what they’ve been taught to measure. However, you are worth more than just your follower count and you will be in a unique position to educate your clients, not only on what is realistic, but also what is really valuable.

An influencer’s role in path to purchase is to build awareness (through exposure) and trust (through recommendation). 

When to say no.

Influencer marketing falls on the awareness and trust building steps of the “path to purchase,” it should not exist in the same space as point of sale. Marketing jargon aside, this means that you should not be responsible for converting your followers into buyers.

If you are comfortable providing links to the products you promote, through link in bio or a third party service  (liketoknow.it, etc.), or providing a discount code for your followers, that is your choice. But brands should not expect you to guarantee a certain number of sales or require you to make a direct sales pitch in your caption-- especially if that pitch is scripted. Never accept performance based compensation from a brand-- you should be paid for the time and work you put into creating images.

Feel empowered to push back on brands who are looking for direct sales or spammy, low-quality brand pitches. This kind of advertising does not work as effectively as high-quality influencer marketing, in fact it typically results in low quality content and garners lower engagement rates. If brands insist on spammy tactics, scripted content, or direct sales metrics… say “no thanks.”

Important metrics by channel

Instagram and Facebook

Followers

  • Your follower count is the number or people who have selected to view your content on Instagram.
  • Your Follower count shows marketers your audience size, often this is one of the most important metrics brands use to evaluate you for a program.

Likes

  • Likes are a simple and fun form of engagement on Instagram. Instagrammers can like a photo by double tapping the content or clicking the heart icon beneath the post.
  • Marketers look to engagement metrics --such as Likes-- as an indicator of a post’s performance with its audience.

Comments

  • Comments are a deeper form of engagement on Instagram. Instagrammers can comment on a post to add additional color to their engagement beyond a simple like.
  • Marketers look to engagement metrics like Comments as an indicator of a post’s performance with its audience. Comments are typically deemed more meaningful than Likes because of the extra step it takes for Instagrammers to post these.

Video views

  • When videos are posted, Instagram will display how many views each video has
  • Video views are extremely valuable for marketers since they show how many times the video was seen by an Instagrammer, unlike photos which don’t display this metric.

Calculating average engagement rate

  • Your average engagement rate on posts can be calculated simply by taking your average Likes & Comments divided by your Followers.
  • This is a helpful metric to know when coordinating with marketers so you can report to them what to expect with the engagement on your posts.

HOW TO CALCULATE:  Chose at least 20 photos on your Instagram page. Add up the number of likes and comments on those posts. Divide the total by 20 (or the number of posts you chose)-- this will show your average number of engagements per post. Then divide that number by your number of followers-- this will show your average engagement rate.

This is a helpful metric to know when coordinating with marketers so you can report to them what to expect with the engagement on your posts.

A note about Instagram business accounts: f you have converted your Instagram account into a business account, you will have access to deeper analytics than these. You should by all means use those stats to increase your value to brand partners.

Twitter

Followers

  • Your follower count is the number or people who’ve selected to view your content on Twitter.

  • Your Follower count shows the marketers your audience size so this is one of the most important metrics brands look at to evaluate you for a program.

Likes

  • Formerly known as “Favorites,”Likes on Twitter work the same as the other platforms. You’ll typically see less likes on a post compared to the other networks though.
  • Marketers look to engagement metrics such as Likes as an indicator of a post’s performance with its audience.

Replies

  • When someone replies to your twitter post, this functions similarly as a comment on other social channels. This is a deeper form of engagement than a like and indicates to marketers that you’re facilitating a meaningful dialogue with your followers.

Retweets

  • Retweets on Twitter act as a way to reshare content from other users. These are what help build awareness of content and build viral trends. Retweets allow your content to reach beyond the limits of your follower base.

  • Marketers love to see high Retweet rates on posts. This means that a user is sharing highly engaging content which is reaching a wide audience.

Calculating average engagement rate

  • Your average engagement rate on posts can be calculated simply by taking your average Likes, Replies & Retweets divided by your Followers.

  • This is a helpful metric to know when coordinating with marketers so you can report to them what to expect with the engagement on your posts.

 

Snapchat

Followers

  • Your follower count is not publicly available on Snapchat. There are certain businesses, like Snaplytics, that will estimate your follower count for you, and some people have reported that you can request your follower count directly from Snapchat.

  • Marketers should not be too concerned with your follower count considering it’s essentially impossible to nail down definitively. Don’t bother trying to estimate it. Instead, focus on viewership and engagement.

Unique Story Views

  • One view is the equivalent of one unique person opening and viewing your Snapchat photo or video for at least one second, so the total number of views on your story counts unique viewers.

  • Story views are valuable for marketers since this metric effectively replaces follower counts.

Story Completion Rate

  • The completion rate measures your audience retention from the start of a Story to the end. Take the number of views on the final Snap of your Story (or Story completions) and divide it by the number of views on the first Snap of your Story (or unique Story views), and multiply it by 100 to get your completion rate.

  • If you have a high completion rate and you can captivate your audience for several continuous Snaps, this is a huge selling point to marketers. Brands who buy ad space on Snapchat only get to run one 10 second video at a time, but you can get your audience to engage with the brand’s message over a longer period of time through several Snap photos and videos.

Screenshots

  • Screenshots indicate the number of viewers who took screenshots of a particular Snap.
  • Since there’s really no way to comment, like, or share on Snapchat, screenshots are the best way to measure true engagement. You can prompt your followers to screenshot a Snap that features a URL or more information that they can come back to later, or you can use screenshots as a polling device by asking your viewers to screenshot their vote or favorite option. This is a helpful metric when working with brands who want to run a contest or see more communicative engagement beyond views.

Packaging these metrics

  • Celebrating success

When a brand partnership goes well, brag about the highlights! You can create a recap report for the brand that shows the awesome results. Include quantitative stats like reach, views or engagement and also include qualitative feedback like screenshots of great comments from your followers about the brand.

Provide suggestions (don’t give away too much!) about future brand collaboration ideas you may have-- show examples if possible. This will show the brand that you have put serious thought into your partnership and are enthusiastic about collaborating with them on a deeper level in the future. They may even bring you into the creative development process next time!

  • Falling short and having hard conversations

Campaigns don’t always go well. Marketers know this and you should know it too. If your content doesn’t perform quite the way you expected, don’t just say “oops, sorry” and leave it at that. If you want to maintain a working relationship with the brand team, you should do a postmortem on your unsuccessful brand partnerships. Provide your thoughts on why the partnership might have underperformed. Some reasons include: bad brand fit, too much content direction, insincere caption, or  too many posts required in the partnership.  Putting this kind of thought into each campaign wrap up will not only impress your clients and give you a great reputation in the field, but will also help you hone in more quickly on which partnerships are actually a good fit.

Creative Community Director at Snapfluence. 

There is often a pen stuck in my hair.