Unlike Marketing or Advertising, which have clear, measurable ‘tick-box’ outputs and results, PR is considered by many as ‘fluffy’. A common misconception is that it’s difficult to quantify and thus measure.
Often, people measure the financial equivalent cost of Advertising vs the earned media achieved. However, with the convergence of PR, Marketing and Advertising, there are a multitude of ways to measure the impact of PR.
It’s important to establish your key performance indicators, what tactics and tools you want to implement and the goals you want to achieve. Do you want to be considered as a thought leader or have your brand mentioned in the top ten UK technology oriented magazines and websites?
Demonstrating the success of positive earned media and return on investment can be achieved when you quantify the following:
Track the number of times your press content is used in your target media to gauge success. However, it shouldn’t just be a numbers game. Try and focus your efforts on ensuring the targeted media outlets are read by your target audience.
It is importance to measure reach and brand exposure. A good media database can easily and effectively measure readership and website traffic unique views per month (UVM), which are independently verified. However, you should not take these statistics purely on face value.
Take the time to delve deeper into the engagement rates of online influencers. With the increasing use of bloggers and services such as Instagress, anyone, for a small fee, can easily and quickly ‘buy’ followers. Using these tactics to cheat algorithms and artificially increase followers is very misleading, undermining the influence of others who have built their following organically. Does the influencer have an engaged audience? Are followers actively discussing, sharing and buying the products or services the influencers are promoting?
Read all the press coverage achieved, as it will provide a clear overview of the positive, negative or neutral sentiment of the brand or product. Obviously, the more positive the coverage is, the more successful the PR efforts. If there are spelling mistakes or inaccuracies, don’t be afraid to contact a journalist or influencer to have the content rectified, to ensure it’s not ambiguous.
Calculate the number of click-throughs gained from social media and blog posts. Monitor the website traffic to landing pages and general acquisition through Google Analytics, and delve into spikes in sales and whether they correlate to coverage or scheduled competitions. This will provide great insights and show return on investment. If you have high conversion rates and you know the coverage has increased sales, then the PR efforts have been worthwhile.
There are many social listening tools available which offer in-depth analysis on conversations involving your brand or product. Regardless of your budget, you should at the very least be monitoring brand and product mentions, general conversations, your brand advocates and influencers.
The value in PR is that you have a third party, trusted endorsement, which holds much more weight than a salesy, expensive advert. The reach achieved using PR can go above and beyond traditional marketing channels. However, an integrated combination of all three aspects of PR, Digital Marketing and Advertising will achieve optimum results.
At brookscomm we have over 20 years of PR & marketing expertise and a proven track record of providing an integrated, measurable PR and Digital marketing strategy. We can help you boost your business. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01483 537 890.