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ANA Standards for Organic Influencer Measurement (at Long Last)

How do you measure the impact of organic influencer marketing? Tracking paid influencer campaigns isn’t much different from any paid media. But a lack of consistent definitions and transparency made tracking organic efforts much more difficult. New guidelines developed by the Association of National Advertisers (with major agencies, brands, and social media platforms) may change that.

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 Aired: July 22, 2022

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Hello everybody, Robert Rose here with the news. It’s what’s new – and, more importantly, what’s important in the world of content marketing. It’s the news you need to lead in the practice of content marketing and strategy. For best in best practices, you can always go to

One item in the news this week is about measurement –specifically influencer marketing measurement.

This week the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) launched its Influencer Marketing Measurement Guidelines.  It’s a very interesting effort to set some measurement standards in this new content-oriented practice. And, I have to say, it’s long overdue.

The ANA says the aim of this new effort is to supplement their already established guidelines on paid advertising and paid influencer marketing with a set of measurement standards for organic influencer marketing.

It’s a very interesting expansion for the ANA, which has mostly focused on paid media (you know, the advertising part of their name) for so long. The association acknowledges that, historically, guidelines and standards for paid influencer marketing are often the same – or recommended to be the same as for advertising.

The problem, says the ANA, is that the same level of data an advertiser gets from a paid influencer campaign across social media just isn’t there for organic influencer or content programs. The platforms just don’t make that data available at the same depth. Additionally, no external software or tool can deduplicate impressions across organic posts.

This is exactly why they are creating this new set of guidelines – to bring a standard and clarity and consistency to organic influencer marketing.

The 12-page report goes into some pretty good depth on providing definitions for awareness metrics such as:

  • Total reach
  • Impressions
  • Video views

They define engagement (thankfully) and even standardize things like cost per engagement, engagement rates, and conversion metrics. They also provide definitions and examples across some of the most popular platforms like Meta, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Related: Influencer Marketing Experts Pick Their Favorite Tools To Manage Their Programs

Our take: First of all, thank you to the volunteer team of brand practitioners from companies like Adobe, Bayer, Hilton, Nationwide, Procter & Gamble, Puma, Reckitt, and Sephora for putting this together. This is great work.

And the acknowledgment that organic content and influencer measurement differs from paid is a welcome enhancement to the measurement suite.

There’s a ton of value here for content marketers and influencer marketing professionals to begin to look at new frameworks for measuring the organic goals of content and influencer marketing.

There are (no doubt) quibbles to be had with the definition of some of the metrics, but they’re just quibbles. The fact that the team didn’t equivocate on these and set a point of view was no small task.

When you get 20 marketers in a room and ask about defining measurement standards, you’re likely to get 25 or more opinions on the topic.

Related: 23 Measurement Definitions Every Content Marketer Should Know

So, as I always advise clients, take these standards and make them suitable for your goals, your context, and your strategy. But this is a great start. Big shoutout to the ANA for acknowledging there’s a world beyond paid advertising.

And that’s five minutes of the news you need to lead in content marketing. I’m Robert Rose. Remember, it’s your story. Tell it well. I’ll see you next week.

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