Why Don’t Creators Report to Brands at the End of Influencer Marketing Campaigns?
Why The End of Influencer Marketing Campaigns Crumble
Like we’ve talked about before, there are four main phases of an influencer marketing campaign - no matter if you’re the brand or the influencer.
- 1) Discovery - finding & vetting influencers/brands, setting goals and budgets
- 2) Campaign Execution - finalizing content & messaging, approval process
- 3) Reporting and KPIs - real-time, ongoing reporting and end-of-campaign
- 4) Maintaining Relationships - continual process of re-engaging for brand advocacy
While all the phases are critical for a successful influencer marketing campaign, Phase 3: Reporting & KPIs is the toughest to nail for many reasons.
For Brands, Reporting and KPIs Are Critical But Tough Because….
Did you go right or wrong in this campaign?
As a brand, reporting tells you where you went wrong or right. If you went right, you’ll know how to replicate this for future influencer marketing campaigns. And if you went wrong, this information is even more valuable to actually hone in on what didn’t work, so you can improve for next time.
Transparency and Clarity
One of the biggest problems with influencer marketing is that it feels so hard to measure. Different brands have different KPIs. KPIs can be measured in various ways by different companies.
Add in influencer networks that might have their own reporting system, and a lot of times, influencers feel left out of the loop on exactly what they should be reporting to brands.
Sharing Metrics Company-Wide
Oh yeah, speaking of transparency and clarify, reporting influencer successes company-wide is even harder. With industry comprehension ranging from “Wait...we paid YouTubers?” to “Yes, I am 100% a Vlog Squad stan”, it can be difficult to communicate success or failure of team members outside of marketing and PR - or even scarier, hard to illustrate to your CEO why you invested money in YouTubers and bloggers.
End-of-campaign reporting gives brand leadership a peace of mind to why you’re spending all this money on a relatively new marketing avenue. Many stakeholders and leaders might feel skeptical, and reporting is one of the best ways to showcase exactly what your money got you.
It’s absolutely time-consuming. There’s nothing glamorous about combing through Instagram or YouTube, looking at stats, plugging them into Excel, and trying to output something valuable to analyze.
For Influencers, Reporting and KPIs Are Critical But Tough Because….
For many reasons, creators struggle to accurately report end-of-campaign metrics to brands. Why? To start, they didn’t start their platform because they loved marketing (most likely, anyways).
They started their YouTube channel or blog because they loved a topic and wanted to create content and a community around that love.
They didn’t sign up to be a mini marketing firm; but in 2020, that’s definitely a requirement for full-time influencers, especially as brand budgets soar.
To be specific, influencer marketing is expected to be a $XB industry by 2021, even taking into account downturns because of COVID-19.
So why aren’t influencers sending these metrics to brands at the end of their campaign?
- They don’t know what numbers and metrics to send.
- Maybe they’re afraid certain numbers or metrics look bad or aren’t good enough.
- They don’t know how to find all of these individual numbers from different social media platforms.
- They don’t know how to aggregate all of these numbers together into one comprehensive high-level overview.
- They definitely don’t have the time to come through hours of screenshots, put numbers into excel, and then make a beautiful report that’s on brand.
Wow, honestly, that’s an awful lot of roadblocks standing in an influencer’s way of sending important wrap up metrics to brands.
Brands Say “Reporting” is One of Their BIGGEST Priorities
To make this whole situation even more tumultuous, brands say reporting is absolutely one of their biggest priorities when it comes to influence our campaigns.
Amanda Shepherd, Influencer Manager and Owner of Social Media Manager Society, said the below about miscommunications and breakdown of reporting between brands and influencers:
"It's rare I get a report from an influencer. The biggest mistake I see happening on the brand side is not determing metrics of success beforehand. It's imperative to understand what goals you have and how you're going to measure success along with what exact metrics to track.
The biggest problem I see on the influencer side is a lack of transparency - not willing to share metrics and stats upfront about how well posts/blogs perform and what average views, review, and engagement look like."
Guess what? Even as an experienced influencer marketing strategist, reporting feels hard for me as well. It takes tons of time, you need a major grasp on what numbers mean, why they matter, and you need the brain for making it fit inside a brand's overall marketing and PR goals.
The Excuses of 2019 Aren’t Holding Up Anymore..and Influencers Should Crave More Accountability Anyway
As influencer marketing matures and grows, all of the excuses of why influencers don’t report correctly to brands aren’t holding up as well as they used to. Influencers are held to a high standard these days - they are expected to be true marketing partners to a brand and a lot of times, that includes not only having the creative mind but knowing the business side of things as well.
Influencers have power. Full-time careers. Product lines with Nordstrom, Ulta, and more.
A recent report says that after seeing a product with an influencer, consumers…
- 79% searched for more information
- 67% visited the brand’s website
- 47% made a purchase online or offline
- 35% visited the retail store
- 33% followed the brand’s account
Consumers also say Instagram influencers help them with the following…
- Discovering new products (83%)
- Researching new products or services (80%)
- Deciding whether or not to buy a product (81%)
All of this gives influencers major power, and with major power comes major responsibility.
When creators can report correctly to brands at the end of campaigns, this opens up SO many doors for them.
- Gives credibility to charging higher prices and insisting on longer-term collaborations
- Creates easy-to-access case studies that can be used for future negotiations
- Helps brands and agencies see them as a true, go-to partner - an extension of their marketing department
How to Confidentiality Report to Brands as a Creator
Kalypso is here to take the edge off that responsibility – with a few clicks, your entire brand campaign is beautifully reported on in one dashboard. Take all of your metrics from Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram or your blog post and create a comprehensive overview full of metrics that brands actually care about.