Which Metrics Do You Need in Your B2B Influencer Program?
This week, our marketing team worked on refreshing our influencer marketing strategy. The sequence of events I am about to divulge was a perfect “real work” example of which metrics you need to include in your plan, and how to do it. These metrics are specific to SaaS companies who sell a service and are sales- and funnel-driven in strategy.
Our brand team was working away on their fresh new updates to our influencer plan, and documenting this plan to present to our VP of Marketing. The first comment from our VP came under the goal section of the plan.
Not surprising at all that our VP wants to be able to speak in terms of revenue.
That’s when I received a calendar invite to talk about how we track these metrics with the tools we currently have. This is exactly what you should do: use your team to support your plan and help you succeed.
We met as a team to discuss what we need to track, and how we can do it. After the meeting, I did more research just to make sure I wasn’t missing the mark on tracking ROI for influencer programs. Most of the guides, studies, and blog posts I read didn’t mention anything about pipeline value or revenue.
After going through this exercise internally, we learned that, yes, you can track all these metrics. So let’s break down what we learned, what we recommend you track, and how to do it.
1. Referral Traffic
Set a goal to increase web referral traffic so you can see how the program is doing as a whole, and how each influencer is driving traffic. For example, Goal is to increase referral traffic by 10% in Q3.
Want to get even more specific? How about, Goal is to increase referral traffic from Twitter by 10% in Q3, from Facebook by 15% in Q3, and from Instagram by 20% in Q3.
How to Do It: Make sure that when your influencers share links, they have the correct tracking code on to work with your tools. Have your UTM’s set up correctly, so Google Analytics can track the lead source on the traffic to your website. This is important because your UTM’s map to your marketing automation platform, CRM, and other tools. You can populate the field lead source, which we will use later down the funnel.
Get specific about which social channels are leading to conversions and revenue for you, whether that is dark social, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Pro Tip: You should also create a custom link for each influencer. Check our social media tips for your own influencer program.
2. Content Pipeline Influence
Google Analytics is not enough. You need to be able to track the value of content produced and shared from influencers. If you have influencers produce long-form content, put on a webinar, or write blog posts, you need to see not only the engagement from sharing those assets, but how each specific asset contributes to the funnel.
How to Do It: Attribution and conversion tracking. At Simply Measured, we use Bizible for our marketing attribution solution. We look at a multi-touch attribution model which gives $$$ credit throughout the entire funnel. This allows you to look at the entire lead journey to closed-won, and gives you insight into what is working at different stages of the funnel, as well as a way of seeing your marketing efforts holistically.
We also use our own solution to track the effect of our influencer program on revenue over time.
Think about your customer journey. The first touch might have been a lead going to a blog post, then they could have downloaded a piece of content from your website which triggered the MQL. While in your sales funnel, people do not just stop engaging with your brand.
A prospect might attend a webinar, watch videos, or download more content. Being able to track all this activity and how your revenue is influenced by influencer sharing across various channels ultimately leads to closed business.
3. Closed-Won Revenue
Anything you do in B2B marketing needs to be mapped to revenue. Influencers are not any different—it’s just a newer marketing activity that is usually owned by social. If you set your influencer program up with these metrics and can tell the full story, from engagement to revenue, then you will know what IS working and HOW it is impacting revenue.
You can now tell the entire story and then get more budget for phase 2 of your influencer program.
How to Do It: Conversion Tracking.
How to Get the Ball Rolling: First you need to plan out what you want your your influencers to be doing and what they will be sharing, and contributing. Once you figure that out, it is easy to set up the operations to make sure your program gets tracked how you need it to.
Action Item: Once you have an outline, set up a meeting with your demand team and/or operations team. Make sure processes are in place before you start, so you can measure what is needed.
Good luck with your influencer program! Download our ROI Refresh Guide below to get a head start on measuring your influencer program’s effect on dollars in the bank.