Digital media is a tremendous public relations and promotional tool, and influencer marketing is a proven brand builder. But what is the best way to measure the results of these modern PR opportunities?

The first thing to do is to integrate an effective influencer and digital marketing strategy. By leveraging social credibility and niche relevance of influencers, brands are able to increase awareness and build trust within their target market. Just how effective can these strategies be?

Influencer marketing is another form of word-of-mouth advertising, and we know that nearly half of all purchasing decisions are directly influenced by third-party affirmation. The more credible the source is considered to be, the more powerful the influence is on the buying decision.

And that’s not the only relevant statistic. According to recent consumer studies, eight out of 10 brands who tried influencer marketing found it to be significantly effective. Adjusting for campaigns that either chose the wrong influencer or made other mistakes, the percentage of brands that reaped the benefits of properly executed influencer marketing is even higher.

But how can companies measure the effectiveness of their influencer marketing or digital marketing efforts? Begin by creating dedicated tracking tools to compare the efforts and results of the influencer and digital marketing campaigns against other campaigns. This could be something as simple as a spreadsheet that tracks actions made by the influencer or through digital marketing and lists specific results of these actions.

Results to track include sales, mentions, visits, time on site, unique visitors and shares. Set up unique landing pages and other opportunities specific to those campaigns and track those results as well. Look at specific products or services mentioned by the influencer or targeted with digital marketing campaigns. Is there an uptick in mentions, interest, or purchases that coincides with the time of the actions taken by the influencer?

Results are not the only tangible, measurable metrics of influencer or digital marketing campaigns. Other deliverables include brand strength (how likely the brand is being mentioned on social media); how people feel about the brand, positive or negative; how likely the brand’s message or content is to be shared, and how far that message will travel.

Each of these less concrete metrics can be measured using tools such as SocialMention, Trackur, Google Alerts, and TweetDeck. These tools, and others like them, allow brand managers and PR teams to get legitimate answers to “How is this going” where, before, there was only speculation. 

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.