When it comes to measuring the value of any PR campaign, guesswork and ambiguity are a thing of the past. The digital age has ushered in an era of new tools and technologies that facilitate the sharing of information and ideas and have the capability to track and report on useful data beyond circulation.
As an integrated communications agency, it is important we embrace holistic approaches and the shift from traditional to digital mediums and incorporate strategies that get our clients’ news into the most appropriate feeds, inboxes, apps, and websites. That said, every program we recommend has a digital component so we can use our tools and methodologies to accurately measure the impact of our campaigns.
Here are a few ways we measure the impact of our PR campaigns:
- Online Listening Tools
- Web Traffic via Google Analytics
- Analytics from Social Media Platforms
- SEO Activities
- Integration with Sales Teams and Platforms
Online Listening Software and Tools
Leveraging online listening software and tools to monitor real-time conversations online and on social media platforms is essential when developing and reporting on PR campaigns. As mentioned, the digital age has produced a plethora of software and tools – both free and for purchase – to help agencies and businesses alike benchmark current efforts and measure the success of campaigns.
At March, we leverage Talkwalker in order to connect our clients’ social and PR efforts to real business results. Talkwalker covers a vast array of online and social networks including influencers to give a 360 view on earned and owned efforts. Using a tool like Talkwalker, agencies are able to track what’s working and what’s not so you can tackle campaign objectives.
Web Traffic via Google Analytics
One of the most important ways to measure overall ROI from campaign efforts is to monitor and report on blog or web traffic. If agencies can show traffic to a website, landing page, or blog has increased since working with a client or on a specific campaign then that’s a success.
Another metric to track within Google Analytics is referral traffic. A “referral” is any link that sends people to a website. Referrals are key to revealing the success of PR coverage, especially if there are links back to the client’s website contained in the article, because it will show exactly how many people are being driven back to the client’s site from the article.
Analytics from Social Media Platforms
Social media serves as a way to deliver content and coverage resulting from PR campaigns to existing and targeted audiences. By leveraging the built-in analytics of each platform, PR agencies are able to report on a variety of important metrics including impressions, reach, reactions, shares, link clicks and leads. By tracking these metrics, especially when it comes to coverage, PR agencies are able to demonstrate the impact of their campaigns and thus the value of their work.
Advertising on social platforms and leveraging certain targeting features is another way to increase measurement options when it comes to PR campaigns. Not only will you be able to gain valuable insights about your audience and their behavior, but you will also be able to employ a variety of formats (video, single images, and carousels) aimed at specific objectives (driving traffic, gaining followers, raising brand awareness, and generating leads to name a few). Social media, particularly platform advertising, is another way to tie and measure PR goals to actionable business objectives.
Link Building for SEO & Measurement Efforts
When it comes to integrated PR strategies, SEO tactics specifically, link building is a must. As mentioned when discussing Google Analytics, the process of link building or backlinking builds credibility for your website and will impact your Google ranking – another metric to be used to measure a successful PR campaign. Including these trackable links within high-quality content is a great way to understand how, when and where your content is shared among journalists, bloggers, and influencers. In addition to link building, it is important to use the right keywords and track their performance within the content.