The rapid pace of technological change has altered how people interact with each other, the products they buy, and their services. PR professionals have had to adapt their approach to publicize their company or organization’s message and ensure it reaches audiences in an increasingly fragmented media environment.
You want to see real-time results when implementing a digital PR campaign as a business owner. Measuring the right digital PR metrics becomes vital in ensuring that your success remains consistent with your overall business objectives.
By understanding how to measure the performance of your digital PR campaign, you can tailor future efforts to best suit your company’s needs and target audience.
What Are Digital PR Metrics and Why Are They Important?
Digital PR refers to combined efforts to promote and market your brand, product, or service via digital channels. It’s a broad category that includes:
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- Influencer Marketing
- Content marketing
- Press Releases
PR metrics are a way of measuring how well your digital PR campaigns are performing. When launching a new product or business, you must have some measurement system to see how effective your efforts are and where you need to improve.
These measurements can be used as benchmarks for future campaigns and provide valuable insight into what is working and what isn’t. PR key performance indicators (KPIs) include quantifiable data points that help measure your brand’s exposure.
Each type of campaign has its own unique set of KPIs associated with it, and they should all reflect specific goals outlined in your plan.
5 Key Metrics for Measuring Digital PR Success
Digital PR metrics help quantify online PR efforts and demonstrate return on investment. Here are five critical digital metrics for measuring success.
1. Media Impressions
A media impression is a full or partial viewing of an online media outlet’s content. A web-based media outlet can be anything from a magazine website, or a newspaper, to social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.
The more articles there are written about you and your business online, the more potential for exposure and traffic to your website. People can view your company and brand media coverage as positive, neutral, or negative, depending on how the author presents the information.
The more positive and neutral impressions you have, the better your reputation will be among readers, which can increase brand awareness and sales over time. On the other hand, negative media impressions will hurt and can lead to lost revenue opportunities down the road.
For an excellent PR campaign, nurture great relationships with high-profile bloggers who cover topics related to your niche industry. Press releases offer an easy way for companies and individuals to announce new products, services, or events. Once your release is published online, get it in front of relevant journalists who might be interested in covering it.
Transparency helps build rapport, strengthens your relationship with these influential writers, and builds trust between you and their audience. Once they know that they can rely on you for reliable information, they’ll likely promote your brand in future posts through links, mentions, quotes, or interviews with employees at no cost to you.
2. Brand Mentions
Brand mentions are online references to your brand. They allow you to measure how effective your campaign has been so far and provide insight into ways you can improve results. Digital PR campaigns rely heavily on social media platforms and online communities for feedback.
Mentions can come from both customers and influencers within your industry. Track brand mentions across all digital channels, including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Youtube. An excellent way to do this is by using Google Alerts, which helps you monitor when a new mention of your company comes up on any of these sites.
Tracking brand mentions helps determine what kind of content is resonating with your audience and how well your product or service is being received compared to competitors. It also allows you to identify key influencers that could help spread positive word-of-mouth about your business.
Negative reviews are inevitable, but if handled correctly, they can be an opportunity for positive growth for your business. If a customer has had a bad experience, it’s important to respond well to avoid damaging your reputation. Set up a response team ready to act quickly if necessary
Always be sure to apologize if there was an issue with their order and always offer compensation if applicable. Take time each day to comb through every channel and ensure nothing slips through the cracks.
3. Website Traffic
Your website serves as the base of your digital PR strategy. With a strong web presence, you’ll have more opportunities to reach out and build relationships with journalists.
Website traffic refers to how many web users visit your site over a period. This metric is vital because it shows how many people learn about your company through the primary channels. It also indicates how much visibility you’re gaining in search engines.
A high bounce rate can indicate that something isn’t working with your website’s design or content. It could also mean that visitors are not finding what they’re looking for when they arrive on your page. Ultimately, having a high bounce rate will hurt your SEO efforts.
By analyzing keywords, you can determine what terms prospects use when searching for products and services like yours. After identifying keywords, look at your competitors’ websites to determine where they rank on search results pages (SERPs).
To get more traffic from search engines, optimize your website using these exact keywords and create unique content. Invest in web development and design.
Users value sites that load quickly and are easy to navigate. A fast-loading place increases user satisfaction, but it also helps improve SEO by encouraging higher click-through rates. Additionally, a well-designed website makes you look professional and credible.
Use analytics tools such as Google Analytics to track how often people visit your site and what parts of it they spend time on. Analyzing data helps you identify areas of improvement to focus on improving. The goal is to enhance your digital PR efforts through increased website traffic.
4. Brand Engagement
Interacting with a brand’s website, mobile apps, social media outlets, and other channels is an essential success measure for many digital marketers. The logic behind measuring brand engagement is that if people care enough about a company to invest time in it online, they’re more likely to buy its products.
Of course, there are several different ways you can define engagement, but one well-accepted definition is simply attention. If someone views your content or engages with your account on Facebook or Twitter, they give you their attention.
Social media allows individuals to create profiles where they share information about themselves, including their likes, dislikes, hobbies, and interests.
Consumers also use these sites to interact with friends and family members with similar interests. They can also follow brands on these sites, allowing them access to special promotions or information regarding new product releases. Some of these promotions may be featured directly on a brand’s page, while others appear in news feeds or search results.
In addition to social media, brand engagement can also occur through social news aggregation sites and chat rooms where consumers post comments about their experiences with specific brands. Consider tracking brand engagement across all relevant platforms when attempting to gauge overall consumer sentiment towards a particular brand.
Analyze data collected from each platform separately before combining it into an overall score for any given brand. While not every interaction will lead directly to sales, vital brand engagement metrics point toward future sales opportunities.
5. Leads and Conversions
Before you launch, you’ll want to achieve more sales and leads through PR than it costs to implement your strategy. Sales KPIs will help you measure whether or not your investment in public relations is working.
The biggest challenge with lead generation is getting enough people to convert into paying customers. Evaluate how many people who see your content end up taking action by visiting your website or signing up for information.
The more relevant traffic you get from public relations, social media, and other sources, the higher the chance of success in achieving your business goals.
Track conversions on landing pages and email marketing campaigns. Your sales-qualified leads (SQLs) should increase over time as you build a reputation within your industry.
If you’re struggling with conversions or generating enough SQLs, consider making small changes like adjusting headlines on landing pages or tweaking email subject lines. When sales aren’t meeting expectations, try increasing budgets for paid ads. Ultimately, your digital PR efforts should support all of your company’s business objectives and have a positive return on investment.
Digital PR plays an integral role in any business looking to launch or grow its footprint. This concept requires flexibility to ensure that your message resonates with the right audience and drives traffic to you. Utilize all five digital PR metrics cohesively for your future campaigns for maximum success.