Influencer Marketing for Subscriptions: Best Practices & Improving ROI

August 22, 2019 · 6 min read

In our previous guide to influencer marketing, we covered finding and choosing the right influencers for your industry and goals, how to contact them, and how much to expect to pay.

Today’s post will continue and cover how to calculate and improve your ROI, along with three best practices to keep in mind as you create your campaign.

How do I calculate my influencer marketing ROI?

With any kind of marketing campaign, it’s important to track your metrics and make decisions based off the data. With influencer marketing in particular, it can be tricky to calculate your return on investment sometimes — but we’ve outlined a process you can follow below:

  • Determine your campaign goals: As with any marketing campaign, the first step is to clearly define your campaign goals. Some examples of common influencer marketing goals include building brand awareness, increasing sales or reaching a new target audience.
  • Define your campaign performance metrics: The next step is to match metrics to your goals. Metrics that are commonly used for influencer marketing campaigns include comments, brand mentions, engagement, audience reach, and impressions.
  • Set goals and metrics for each influencer you work with: The goals that you set for each influencer should be tied to your overall campaign goals. For example, if your overall goal is to increase sales within a quarter, the goal for each influencer would be to generate a portion of your total expected sales by the end of the quarter.
  • Measure and review the results: You’ll need to monitor the results of your overall campaign, as well as the performance of each influencer you work with. In doing so, you’ll be able to pick out top-performing influencers you can focus on building long-term relationships with. If you’re working with a group of influencers for the first time, digital marketing consultant Shane Barker suggests testing things out with multiple short-term campaigns. He explains: “If you commit to a long-term campaign with a fixed set of influencers, you could be setting yourself up for failure.”

Calculating ROI: Case studies and insights

Test and experiment with different elements of your content

With influencer marketing campaigns, we typically think about testing out collaborations with different influencers. Yet, it’s just as important to test out different elements of your content—and Bitsbox is a case in point.

After working with multiple influencers, the Bitsbox team had sufficient content to run performance tests so as to assess which images work best on their ads. They discovered that images which featured their box achieved higher engagement rates than the pictures without—and as such, requested that influencers include their box in future campaigns.

Making these seemingly minor improvements to their campaigns enabled Bitsbox to achieve significant results, garnering 7.5m impressions and ad content that outperformed their branded content by two times.

Maximize ROI by repurposing influencer-generated content (IGC)

Take a leaf out of the books of the YogaClub team by repurposing your IGC. As a subscription box that sent out yoga wear styled to each customer’s unique preferences, YogaClub needed to create a large volume of content that featured a wide-ranging variety of outfits.

And while its influencer marketing collaborations had started out as an acquisition channel, the YogaClub team realized that these collaborations were a scalable way for them to source images that could be used across their marketing channels—from social media ads to their website and emails. In fact, the team stopped creating content in-house altogether, as their IGC were more cost-effective compared to organising brand photo-shoots. The content also resonated more with their audience as it appeared more authentic.

What are best practices I can implement?

Invest in long term campaigns carried out on a regular basis, rather than one-off efforts

Having successfully implemented influencer campaigns for both his personal brand and company, Eric Siu has a key insight to share: “What I ended up learning is that when your influencers are posting sporadically, it doesn’t have a big impact. But if you have a huge budget and do it consistently and frequently, you can really start a movement.”

If you’re just starting out and don’t have a sizable budget to work with, there are ways to get around the problem. One option is to negotiate bulk packages with your influencer, so that you can generate a series of content at a lower cost.

The second way is to schedule your influencer’s posts for the same day, as Siu explains: “I tried to have influencers post once a week, every week, on a specific day. When I had all the influencers do it on a Monday or Wednesday and stuck to that schedule, I noticed a much bigger impact.”

Create a follow up process

What you do after a campaign has ended can be just as important as the work you put into launching it. By having a follow up process in place, you’ll send across the message that your business is one that goes above and beyond to provide excellent customer support.

Think about the different areas that you can provide additional support after your campaign has been launched. For example, you might want to set aside time to review comments or questions addressed to your influencer on their social media channels, so that you can provide in-depth information about your subscription service/product.

Building a long-term relationship with influencers is key

It takes trust and a personal connection to create influencer collaborations that thrive. As such, it’s key that you invest time and effort in building a long-term relationship with your influencers.

According to Dhar Mann, nurturing positive relationships requires paying attention to the small details. He shares: “We constantly send them thoughtful gifts, fly them to our studio in Los Angeles, interact with them on all their social channels, take them on trips and do whatever it takes to build personal relationships.”

Keep in mind that this isn’t just about providing tangible benefits—rather, it’s about providing perks or opportunities that would create value for your influencers. For instance, beauty subscription service Ipsy fosters a connection with its influencers through giving them access to Ipsy’s beauty studio space, as well as mentoring, networking and publicity opportunities.

Ready to get started?

Developing an influencer marketing strategy can seem daunting, particularly if you’re launching a campaign for the first time. But by understanding the key concepts we’ve explained above, you’ll have a leg up on your competitors, and be better placed to implement a strategy that drives results for your business.

Looking for tips on how to collect your marketing data and use it to optimize your prices? Check out our Price Optimization Guide for a list of experiments you can do right now, categorized by funnel stage and difficulty. You can download it now and get started today:

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