What is Cohort Analysis and How Can it Boost your Influencer Marketing Strategy

Influencer marketing is a pretty big deal. It’s when you leverage an influencer’s audience to grow new customers — and thus your business. This means that the audience already exists; all you really need to do is identify potential influencers and build a relationship with them.

The problem is that, if your digital marketing team isn’t using data to measure your campaigns, you won’t know how a group of users feel towards your posts or who your top performers are.

And even if you are using big data, you’re missing a massive trick if you’re not carrying out cohort analysis.

Cohort analysis is an oft-overlooked tactic that can boost your influencer marketing strategy. In many ways, it could be the secret weapon that neither you or your competitors are using. In this article, we’ll take a look at what it is and what it can do for you.

What is Cohort?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of defining cohort analysis, let’s first take a look at what a cohort is.

  • A cohort is a group of people who share a common characteristic.
  • A group of people who all have the same political views could be called a cohort.
  • In marketing terms, a group of influencers in your niche can be defined as a cohort.

What is Cohort Analysis?

Each time you analyze your different cohorts, you’re carrying out what we call a cohort analysis.

Essentially, you break down groups of people so that you can identify patterns of behavior that will boost your marketing campaign. For example, you can use cohort analysis to track the impact specific influencers have on your conversions.

On the surface, the process is simple enough: you look at the user behavior data, analyze it and then act on it.

How Cohort Analysis Works for Influencer Marketing

Why is cohort analysis needed for influencer marketing?

One of the problems we have with influencer marketing is we don’t always know:

  1. A) How engaged an influencer’s follows are
  2. B) How relevant their audience is to your brand

Cohort analysis allows you to dig a bit deeper so that you discover how suitable an influencer is for your brand, and by how much (if at all) they’re boosting your conversion and retention rates.

Here are a few cohorts you could create and analyze:

Cohorts Who Have Engaged With Content

What you ultimately want from your influencer campaign is revenue.

Before revenue, however, comes engagement. If your influencer has few engaged followers, you need to pass on them.

There are all kinds of cohorts you could create here — from a group of users who liked your posts to people who partook in a contest.

However, it’s a much better idea to divide your engaged cohorts according to each influencer. For example, divide those who engaged with content delivered by Influencer A into one cohort and those who engaged with content delivered by Influencer B into another cohort.

Then, you can better determine which influencers are reaping a higher ROI. If engagement delivered by Influencer A is way down on that delivered by Influencer B, you can then take a closer look at why. What does Influencer A have that Influencer B doesn’t have?

If the answer is simply that Influencer B has lots of followers but very few engaged followers, you need to abandon them.

Of course, you can also run contests with your influencer to see how cohorts who engaged in your contest compare behaviourally with those who missed the contest. This can give your marketing team better insights into how effective a contest was, as well as how engaged your influencers’ followers are. If they’re not even engaging with a contest, it should tell you that they’re not super engaged.

Cohorts Who Clicked on Affiliate Links

One of the goals of influencer marketing is to build relationships with other brands. But the end goal is always revenue.

As such, what you’ll want to do is add an affiliate link to each piece of content that your influencer shares. These links take a prospective customer to your product and increase conversions, but you can also use the link in another way.

For example, you can compare people who engaged with the content shared by Influencer A with the content shared by Influencer B to see which group is clicking on your affiliate links more (converting).

With this information, you can then work out a better overall campaign that boosts your conversion rates from all your influencers.

Cohorts Who Took Advantage of Promotions

A great tool that allows you to track your cohorts who have clicked on an affiliate link and purchased from is a point of sales card reader. This card reader stores customer data so that you can better track them and understand user  behavior.

For example, you could run a promotional campaign and group together those who clicked on your affiliate link and made a purchase from you. With your card reader, you can then monitor what they did next — how much they went on to spend — to compare their total revenue vs those who missed the promotional campaign.

These analytics help to show you how effective an influencer is, and how engaged their audience is with you and your brand.

Cohorts By Social Media Channel

Influencers are everywhere, but not all of them are active on each social media channel. Some are more active and engaged on Instagram, while others are more dominant on Facebook.

It’s the same for their followers — and for yours.

To find out where most of your engagement and revenue is coming from, you can create cohorts based on people who interacted with different channels. If your influencer’s audience engages with you far more on Instagram than on Facebook, you can then work out a campaign intended to reap more rewards on Instagram.


All in all, cohort analysis can help to boost your influencer marketing campaign. Of course, it has to work side by side with great content, but it’s cohort analysis that shows you how well your content is performing, as well as what influencers you should be focused on.


Michelle Deery is a writer who produces copy for Heroic Search, a SEO agency based in Tulsa. Her content has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine. She specializes in writing content about marketing and her copy helps companies boost their revenues.

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