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?

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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 & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.