It seems like nearly every brand is jumping into influencer marketing. Since influencer marketing didn’t exist a few years ago, the boom is remarkable. And that growth is expected to continue: MediaKix estimates the influencer marketing industry will be worth $5-$10 billion by 2020.

Brands are finding that it makes a difference. More than 90% of brands that used influencer marketing in 2017 found it to be effective (Linqia). According to Business Insider Intelligence, the engagement rate for influencers is higher than that of brands (5.7% vs. 2-3% brand engagement on Instagram in 2018). What’s more, influencers are driving shopping behaviors and purchasing decisions.

That said, no one should be spending their marketing budgets on influencer marketing because it’s trendy – those decisions should always be led by strategy backed by measurement and data. Below are a few things to consider when creating a successful and measureable influencer campaign.

Measure Twice, Campaign Once

Influencer marketing should be treated with the same rigor as any other marketing investment – tied to brand objectives. Criteria for success should be developed at the outset. We suggest establishing KPIs within two categories: hard business drivers such as sales, conversion, lead generation, trial and advocacy; and engagement drivers such as reach, shares, views, likes, sentiment, comments, web traffic (CTRs) and volume of conversation.

For example, Mastermind Marketing recently executed a YouTube Influencer Marketing program for a major home improvement retailer. We carefully selected influencers based on their planned content, channel track record, number of subscribers, flexibility of adding branding, and most importantly, creating influencer-customized landing pages to drive conversion. The results were more than 6 million engagements and CTR/conversion that provided a triple-digit ROI. And these results will continue to grow over time, because the content is relevant year round.

It’s important to institute measurement tools from the outset that will help the team evaluate results against the investment. What you learn from campaign measurement also can inform the development and execution of the next one. It’s best to apply statistical financial modeling to every KPI, which shows ROI for every initiative.

All Influencers and Approaches are Not Created Equal

Once influencer marketing has been determined to…