We don't necessarily disagree, either. Most who are just testing the waters with influencer marketing likely won't see the direct impact of their partners' campaigns. But, that doesn't mean it's not there.
Indeed, you'll most likely see a lower CPA on your Facebook ads campaign than you will on your influencer campaign. The total value of influencer marketing can't be measured by dollar signs or neatly summarized in a performance report. That doesn't mean there isn't a way to demonstrate return, though.
We're here to break down how brands can measure ROI from influencer marketing campaigns.
Even the top-performing influencers won't cost less than your highest-performing ads, but they have far more branding power. An ad will sell your product better than an influencer, but an influencer will sell the brand better than an ad.
For example, if you see an ad from J.Crew for a dress on sale, you might tap through and purchase that dress. But if an influencer you trust posts multiple times about how much they love J.Crew clothing during a try-on haul featuring that dress, something else will likely happen. You may buy that single dress, but you'll also be more likely to continue shopping at J.Crew on a regular basis, just like your favorite influencer.
Any good advertiser knows that the warmer the audience is, the higher the conversion rate. Influencers are like a cold traffic prospecting ad that warms your target audience up for a bottom-of-the-funnel conversions ad. Neither cold traffic nor conversions ads are highly profitable when they stand alone, but collectively, they're the backbone of any successful ad campaign.
Both cold traffic prospecting ads and influencer campaigns are necessary to prime the audience and warm them up for conversions ads. Both generate a lower ROAS than conversion ads do, but they're essential for conversion ads to be profitable.
There's no perfect method to determine the true value of an influencer partnership, but there are a few ways to put a dollar value on campaigns:
On a final note, we've worked on influencer campaigns big and small and speak from experience when we say influencer marketing campaigns are profitable and should be part of every good social media marketing strategy. While key performance indicators like brand awareness, brand recognition, and brand loyalty aren't as easily quantifiable as KPIs like profits and return on ad spend are, they're equally as essential to the growth of your brand.