Words: Rachel Johnson
Communications professionals are under an increasing pressure to show the tangible results of public relations activity. When planning a PR campaign, or a schedule of work, building in measurement and evaluation is vital. Your reporting should demonstrate how PR activity supports objectives, as well as driving valuable business growth – delivering not just output, but outcomes, too.
The days of measuring PR campaigns by measuring column inches are long gone. We now have an array of tools at our disposal to aid measurement and evaluation, and that help to justify your budgets and emphasise the importance of agency partnerships.
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To help you get started, here are our six essential PR metrics that you should be tracking:
- Website Visitors
Website visitors should be top of your metrics list. We can break these down into:
Owned content – from areas of your website
Earned content – from outside sites where you post your original content or have been mentioned
Social content – from posts to your social media networks
These can show you the number of visitors as a result of earned coverage and link placement. These can also pinpoint what sites, social networks and channels are most effective for your brand, allowing you to focus your resources on what is proven to work.
- Overall Media Presence
This is the combination of share of voice and sentiment. This gives us a quick picture of where your business lies in its competitive landscape. Digging deep into this data can reveal what types of activity gain positive coverage. As a result, giving you successful strategies to emulate. A popular platform to monitor this is Talkwalker, a listening and analytics software used by more than 2000 companies worldwide.
- Bounce Rate
Once on your website, how long are visitors staying there? Bounce Rate measures not only the number of visitors, but how long they remain and whether they click through to view further content. This allows us to test out variations to the site, and see how the bounce rate is affected.
- Qualified Leads
These are prospective customers that are legitimate and may eventually make a purchase. Really, only a small amount of your email addresses will actually end up buying – knowing where these qualified leads are coming from can help you narrow down where key customers look for information.
- Sales Conversions
For an accurate measurement, you must track your customer from lead to sale. It’s important to track these customers and find out as much as you can about them. What was the piece of content or offer that turned them from a lead in to a buyer?
Social media can boost brand awareness and credibility. Social content can be liked, shared and responded to, and this tells us what people are really paying attention to. By analysing your top performing posts across channels, you can begin to tailor content for each channel, as well as identify ways to increase engagement (such as different types of content, best times to post, audience specific data).
If you need advice on how to best track your PR activity, Contact The Henley Group to get started.
Read more like this: 5 Top Tips for Social Media Success