Influencer marketing drives sales—ROI studies from major brands have proven this again and again. When you engage real people to advocate for your brand, however, the straight line from brand discovery to purchase can become fuzzy, jumping across social channels, search engines, and online and offline brand-owned properties.

At the top of the funnel, reach, potential impressions, and engagements are all perfect indicators of consumer awareness and interest. But further down the funnel, brands can struggle to assess the sales impact of each campaign, as old models of measurement break down with influencer programs. However, there are new ways to figure out the impact on your bottom line.

Here are three methods to assess the impact of your influencer campaign on consumer purchase intent:

1. Track and Categorize Consumer Actions

Some actions show audiences are closer to the top of the funnel, and others demonstrate that audiences are closer to the point of purchase. For instance, liking a post indicates interest. Sharing a hashtag or following the brand on social shows brand desire. Clicks to product pages or store locators represent purchase intentShoppable content closes the gap between product discovery and purchase, and provides a crucial data point to connect influencer and sales. Track interactions on shoppable content, clicks to store locators, and coupon redemptions to see consumers who were immediately inspired to make a purchase through your influencer content.

2. Look at Google Trends Data

Direct clicks are the most obvious, but not the only indicator that consumers are headed toward a purchase. Look at Google Trends data before, during, and after your influencer program timeframe. Audiences don’t always click directly through influencers’ posts. Some of your audiences will click away, search for your product or website to learn more later, and then make a purchase. Whether they are looking for additional influencer reviews, your website, or another online retailer, the search patterns will extend beyond the traffic on your owned web properties. It’s critical to look at search trends around the timeframe of your influencer campaign to round out the story of how you are impacting purchase intent.

3. Analyze Social Conversation: Quantity and Quality

Consumers are on social talking about your brand, and influencer campaigns can increase the conversation volume. But it’s not just the volume that can change: the way consumers are talking about your brand provides deep insight into purchase intent. When social posts and comments start featuring keywords like “buy,” “take my money,” or “must have,” you know that those audience members are moving rapidly toward a purchase. Look at the keywords featured in organic social conversation before, during, and after your influencer campaigns to assess the percentage increase in purchase intent.

 

There is more than one way to connect your influencer marketing campaign to the bottom line. By combining these powerful insights, you can begin to assess which campaigns had the biggest impact on purchase intent, and optimize to drive consumers down the purchase funnel faster.

This content was originally posted on the Curalate blog.