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Influencer marketing has quickly emerged as one of the most powerful forms of promotion online in this digital era. Thanks to social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, influencers have direct access to vast audiences of highly engaged followers via these influencer-centric accounts.

Over 50 million accounts exist just on Instagram alone! Marketers must now pay closer attention and identify how influencers can help meet business goals through influencer content creation.

Influencer marketing has quickly become one of the most effective forms of promotion. It enables brands to take advantage of the authenticity, trust, and expertise built between an influencer and their followers. Successful influencers spend years cultivating engaging, high-quality content that resonates with their followers. Ultimately building an engaged community who look up to them as authorities or tastemakers, giving influencers considerable persuasive power over purchasing decisions of their followers.

Measuring the ROI of Influencer Campaigns

For brands and agencies, the big question is whether influencer marketing drives measurable business results. While engagement rates and reach provide useful directional data, marketers need concrete performance metrics to evaluate campaign success. Here are some of the key metrics used to measure influencer marketing ROI:

Sales lift – the increase in sales that can be attributed to an influencer campaign. This requires effective tracking via promo codes, links or store visits.

Website traffic – spikes in site visitors, especially to product pages or sign-up forms, indicate an influencer’s ability to drive actions.

Brand awareness lift – surveys can measure how much influencer content boosted brand awareness and sentiment.

Content engagement – likes, comments, shares and video views quantify how well audiences received branded influencer content.

Lead generation – click-throughs, form fills, and sign-ups triggered by influencers show their role in acquiring new leads.

Cost per acquisition – calculate campaign cost divided by conversions to determine CPAs. Compared to other channels.

Powerful Business Impacts

Influencer marketing has the potential to make significant business impacts when strategically executed. Here are some of the key benefits well-managed influencer programs can yield:

Increased brand awareness – Partnering with influencers exponentially expands brand exposure to new demographics and loyal follower bases. Even a single video on a top influencer’s channel can reach millions.

Enhanced trust and credibility – Influencer content helps brands appear more authentic and authoritative. Audiences transfer the trust they have in influencers to the brands they endorse.

Higher conversion rates – Followers are much more likely to take action (e.g., purchase, sign-up, install the app) when recommended by an influencer they know and like.

Greater audience engagement – Influencers elicit higher engagement levels with branded content vs. brand-created content. This builds brand affinity.

Lower cost per acquisition – The high conversion rates from influencer content can lower the cost paid to acquire customers compared to other mediums.

Access to target markets – Brands can leverage influencers’ superior understanding of their niche audiences for laser-focused campaigns.

Maximizing the ROI of Influence

Here are a few best practices brands should follow to ensure influencer partnerships yield the highest possible ROI:

Set clear campaign goals and metrics – Tie influencer content to specific business outcomes to make reporting impact easier.

Vet and select the right influencers – Look beyond follower counts; evaluate the relevance of their audience and skill in communicating brand themes.

Maintain creative control – Provide influencers with creative direction while giving them the latitude to inject their unique style.

Leverage influencer content across channels – Repurpose influencer content on brand social channels, ads, website, etc. to maximize value.

Take an always-on approach – An ongoing stream of influencer partnerships provides continual exposure rather than one-off campaigns.

The ROI of any marketing effort ultimately depends on strategy, execution, measurement capabilities and a myriad of other factors. However, brands that integrate influencer campaigns as core components of their digital marketing plans are seeing outstanding returns from the creativity, reach and authority of these powerful online personalities. Tracking performance and optimizing based on data provides the greatest opportunity for influencer marketing to impact the bottom line.