Influencer marketing is crying out for transparency and greater professionalism, according to an industry figure who has come up with key benchmarks for marketers to consider.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, Farhad Divecha, founder and managing director of Accuracast, details the digital marketing agency’s study into in-house, micro- and mega influencers to determine which provide the best return on investment.

The primary aim of the research, he explains, was to determine if the level of influencer engagement on social media is directly impacted by the number of followers that an individual has, a task it approached by aggregating all metrics per 1,000 followers on each platform considered – YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram – in order to examine engagement rates more accurately.

A random selection process gathered almost 60 million data points, including the number of likes and comments for 1,200 influencer posts – covering in-house, micro- and mega-influencers – within a varied time-frame. (For more, read the full article: Exerting your influence: Benchmarking influencer marketing.)

Among the principal findings to emerge were that:

  • the number of followers is inversely proportional to engagement rates on all platforms except YouTube;
  • YouTube receives the best on-platform engagement, but often delivers the lowest website click-through rates;
  • mega-influencers on Instagram don’t represent the best choice when looking for strong engagement;
  • Twitter has the lowest engagement rates, irrespective of the size of an influencer's following;
  • micro-influencers on LinkedIn typically receive far better engagement rates than influencers with many followers.
But engagement is only one metric and measurement in this space is evolving fast. Earlier this week, Buzzoole, an influencer marketing agency, announced that its collaboration with analytics firm Nielsen has resulted in the development of a tool, based on proprietary algorithms, it says can provide more precise assessments of the success of influencer marketing actions..

Specifically, Buzzoole offers ‘True Reach’, which claims to indicate the number of people reached by the content produced by an influencer marketing campaign across the different social media used; while ‘Ad Recall’ estimates the percentage of people reached by a campaign and who remember seeing it.

Innovations such as these, it adds, make it possible to measure the effectiveness of influencer marketing campaigns beyond social metrics and possible to compare them with advertising campaigns using other media.

This issue of Admap - Influencer marketing: beyond the hype - features a selection of articles by thought leaders from across the globe. WARC subscribers can access a deck which summarises the expert advice and key recommendations from all the authors.

Sourced from Admap, Buzzoole; additional content by WARC staff