Weibo influencer marketing: Calculate ROI of influencers campaign

This is probably the most valuable article I’ve post on this blog.

Today I will talk about how to calculate the ROI of social media influencer marketing on Weibo.

Influencer marketing is not a new thing, but there’s few method on how to correctly tracking and evaluating the campaign performance.

What I’m going to share with you today, is probably the most efficient way of tracking influencer marketing performance. It is possible to calculate across platforms and do not require extra data.

Take out your notebook and pen, let’s go!

Understand the 3 types of media value

Most media campaigns fall into three categories: paid, owned and earned media.

Paid media includes placements that you can buy based on certain metrics like CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and CPE (cost per engagement).

This includes posts on social networks, mobile popups and offline media like TV spots.


Owned media has no placement cost since this is content placed on your own channels. Owned media value is calculated based on the price of buying same amount of traffic on paid media networks.


Earned media can mean many things, it is the sum of media exposure that are not from paid social advertising, nor from one’s own channel. It is the value from organic social media exposure.

Earned media value = How much an influencer post is worth

In influencer marketing, earned media represent the value of influencers’ social media.

Let’s say we are considering to pay half a million USD for one post on Kylie Jenner’s Instagram. How would you determine whether Kylie’s IG worth this much money? How to calculate the ROI for Kylie?

Let’s say the average price of Instagram CPM is 5.68 USD.

When Kylie post to her 96 million followers on instagram, how many can actually see her post?

There are two terms to use here: Impression and reach.

(In this post I will use Impression, simply because it looks better than reach. I’m not going to discuss the difference of Impression and Reach, but let’s assume you, as every self respected social media profession, have a tool that help you calculate the number. Message me if you want to know more about instagram tools).

Let’s assume at least 50 million of Kylie’s followers saw the post, you can easily calculate the EMV of this post as:

EMV = The impression influencer’s post generated * Industry average CPM 

One post on Kylie’s Instagram will get you 5000000*5.68= 28 400 000 USD in media value.

Man, Kylie is hot!

Calculate EMV for Weibo

Now Let’s adopt this equation for Weibo

Step 1. Calculate Impression per post


Unfortunately it is impossible to know the impression on Weibo. Therefore we need to do a detour.

Business Weibo account comes for analytics to show the total impression of post for the past 30 days period.

Thus making it possible to calculate the average impression generated from each post.

                              Impression for the past 30 days                              = Impression per post
                 The total number of posts in the past 30 days        


Step 2. Percentage of followers who saw your post

Weibo feed has 2 Algorithms: Time and relevancy. Unless users manually change the setting to Time, the default feed is show according to users browsing behaviour and history.

Which is to say that only part of your followers can see your posts, similar to Instagram and Facebook.

With impression per post, it is possible to calculate the percentage of your followers that can see your post

Impression per post / Total Followers number = the percentage of Followers that see one post


Step 3. Impression generated by the influencer post

Luckily Influencers’ followers number is public, with the percentage of how many followers can see their posts,  we can easily calculate the impression generated from the post.

Influencer’s total Followers *  Followers who see the post % = Impression influencer’s post


Step 4. EMV

There are so many variables that influence CPM: Different industry, type of content, the time of the year, etc. The best way for you is to use the CPM for past Fensitong campaigns. 

In general, Weibo’s average CPM is 15 RMB, which equals to around 2.3 USD.

EMV = Weibo average CPM * Impression from influencer’s post

Tracking influencers performance

When tracking influencers performance, there are 2 popular ways to to track their conversions: coupon code and Google Analytics

Brands that are big on influencer marketing, like Daniel Wellington, provide all influencers an unique coupon code in order to track which influencers sales how much. This works especially well for products with higher retail price.

When the products happened to be lower value, it maybe smart to incentive customers with limited edition gifting than 15% off.

Another way to track influencers performance is to provide tracked GA URL to each influencer.

Cost and gain from Influencer marketing 

We expect influencers to sale products for us, it is also important to consider the extra value influencers provide, e.g: content creating, social recommendations, etc…

On the cost side, apart from how much the influencer charges, also consider the cost of the product that gifted to the influencer, the postage fee, employee salaries and etc.

Calculate ROI of influencer campaign

Now with everything ready,

This post gives a general idea of how to calculate Weibo influencers EMV, it is by no means accurate, but it is the closet you can get to know how much brand awareness value your influencer strategy is creating for you!

If you have more questions, please feel free to ask me via Twitter , or go to consulting page to drop me a message


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