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8 min read | March 23, 2023

Maximizing ROI in Influencer Marketing: How to Calculate Engagement Rate and Use It To Optimize Your Campaigns

Without engagement, you are unlikely to generate any results from your influencer campaigns. But before you can optimize your campaigns to boost engagement, you need to understand how to calculate engagement rates. Otherwise, you have no benchmark to work towards and no way to measure the impact of your optimization strategies.

This post is a comprehensive guide to engagement. We will explain why it’s so important, how to calculate engagement rates, and how you can boost engagement in order to optimize your influencer marketing campaigns and maximize ROI.

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Why Is Engagement Rate So Important?

Your engagement rate reflects the number of interactions your content is eliciting from your target audience. The more engaged online users are, the more likely they are to buy into your brand and convert into paying customers

Engagement also has a direct impact on your reach as each time someone likes, comments, or shares one of your posts, your content gets displayed to their connections, so you are able to communicate to an even larger audience. 

Ultimately, the higher your engagement is, the more likely that your audience cares about what you are posting on social media. Plus, if they care enough to take an interest and react, then it is much easier to elicit an emotional response from them and increase brand trust and credibility in their eyes. 

The same applies when you work with an influencer. An influencer’s engagement rate is far more important than the size of their audience. After all, there’s no point in collaborating with someone with 500,000 followers if their audience doesn’t interact with their posts. That’s why it’s so important to understand how to calculate engagement rates, both your own and those of influencers that you are considering collaborating with. With the right approach, you can then leverage this data to optimize your campaigns.

How to Calculate Engagement Rate

Before we explore how you can leverage this data to optimize your campaigns, let’s take a quick look at how to calculate engagement rates in influencer marketing.

Engagement can mean a few things. 

However, generally speaking, when we speak about engagement we are referring to the following interactions:

  • Likes
  • Reactions
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Clicks
  • Votes
  • Brand mentions

There are a couple of ways to calculate engagement, depending on what your primary focus is with your campaigns. Some people divide the number of interactions on a post by the total number of impressions. Others prefer to divide the number of interactions by their total number of followers

Either calculation works so it’s up to you which formula you prefer to include in your influencer analytics strategy. What matters most is that you are consistent and track the same metric over time. That way you can quickly identify any changes in your engagement rate from one day to the next and determine whether your content is having a positive or negative impact on your campaign ROI.

How to Boost Engagement and Optimize Your Campaign ROI: Tips & Examples

Here are a few tips and examples to help you boost engagement and optimize the performance of your influencer campaigns:

  • Engagement is all about forming meaningful connections with your audience. Make sure that the content you share invokes positive emotions and helps followers feel good about your brand.
  • Provide value. Instead of pushing the hard sell with every post, make sure your audience is getting some form of value from your content. Content should either entertain, inspire, educate, or persuade.
  • Include gamification in your content strategy. Games are a great way to entertain and capture the attention of your audience, especially if you offer prizes to winners. 
  • Build a community and interact with them regularly. Make sure you target relevant online users with your content. The only way to generate true engagement is to appeal to people with a genuine interest in your brand. Moreover, if someone engages with your content, respond as soon as possible. This will help your followers feel valued and heard. For example, “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams”, an artisan ice cream company based in Ohio, prides itself on its excellent response time. As a result, it has built a community of engaged, loyal followers. 
  • Work with nano and micro-influencers. They often have much higher engagement levels as their audience size is much easier to manage. For example, Dunkin Donuts contracted a team of nano-influencers to help it increase brand engagement. The campaigns were very simple, but using the right niche influencers helped Dunkin Donuts generate a 5% engagement rate increase on Instagram. In fact, the best campaigns are usually the simplest ones. 

Ultimately, the key to success is understanding how to calculate engagement rates and use this data to identify opportunities in the market and optimize the ROI of your campaigns.

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