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 and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.