I'll answer this question in two ways. The most important KPI for the vast majority of brands is going to be, did it move the needle? Did it sell anything? Now, that is the most difficult KPI to chase as well. I think it's not entirely realistically-- Jesus, I don't think it's entirely realistic. I've been on Instagram since day one. As I've said many times, every purchase decision I've made is heavily influenced by the platform, but I never buy things directly from the platform. Tracking sales through Instagram is always going to be a trailing indicator of what's actually happening, not a leading one.
When we talk to brands, we-- It's important I think for influencers to understand how to talk to brands about this. When executing a campaign, they certainly are going to want you to report them some KPIs. It's important to make sure that the KPI matches the campaigns. What we do is, when we talk to brands, we tell them that they have to pick a keystone KPI, so what is the thing that they're going to look at, the most important KPI. We make sure that that keystone KPI corresponds with the point of the campaign.
Meaning, if it's a brand awareness campaign that is meant to create beautiful content and getting more people to know who the brand is, then sales is a pretty terrible KPI for that because you don't find out about a brand and purchase-- become a customer of it in the same interaction. For brand awareness campaign, the right KPI would probably be engagement and reach. Whereas on a bottom of the funnel campaign, something for a brand everyone knows about, and maybe you're introducing a sale, or a special edition, then the KPI might be clicks on your Insta story or blog and whatever the potential sales are from that as well.
Important to know what's the campaign's point and make sure the KPI that you're choosing corresponds. If a brand was trying to drive interest in a new product, the KPI for that might be the conversation that's happening in your comments, people asking product's questions, the DMs that you're getting about it. As an influencer, you should be able to take the data that's coming in from a post and help to tell a story. It is important, I think, in the brand work that you do to ask them before it starts, what's the KPIs that you're tracking? What's your keystone KPI, what's the main thing that you absolutely need to happen for this campaign to be successful? If you don't understand how they are quantifying success on a campaign, then how could you possibly hope to be successful in that campaign?
I think a lot of companies say that, "We want brand awareness, we want sales, we want click-throughs, we want great content, and we want all of these things." All of that is possible across multiple posts. All of that is not possible in a single. It's why we ask for the keystone KPI, the main KPI above all others so that we know, "Yes, we will try and touch as many points as possible and speak to the KPIs that are important to you, but we know the one that is make or break, ride or die, this thing absolutely has to happen," so that we can brief and create content that meets that challenge.
- Understanding What Brands Want, Fake Sponsored Posts, Opening Up