Picture this: you’ve just finished sending out your latest campaign to your entire outreach list, your cortisol levels start to decrease, and you head off to reward yourself of a job well done with a cup of tea. Ten minutes go by and you refresh your media monitoring platform of choice and head to Google News but see nothing. Time passes and you start to see a few pieces of coverage pop up but nothing you want to shout home about. Well before you go back to the drawing board to see if you can reposition the campaign, or give up on outreach altogether (which I wouldn’t recommend) it’s worth looking at more than just press coverage and links. Yes I really said that. It’s time to look at the bigger picture.
So what should you be measuring when it comes to campaigns?
Social mentions and shares
The first place you go to when a big news happens or you’re watching GBBO? Twitter. So why would you ignore Twitter when it comes to your content or PR campaigns? If you haven’t already Tweeted or branded up your other social channels, do it now! If you have the budget, and you think it’s worth it, put some targetted spend behind it to amplify the story among your audience and potential audience.
You’ll soon see Comments, Shares, Likes, and Follows come flooding in. Before you know it, it could end up in a journalist’s feed and voila, you have a mention on a website.
Referrals on Analytics
Google Analytics can be under utilised tool in the world of PR and content; many of us (me included) get a little too hung up on measuring the outward impact of campaigns that we forget to look internally. But GA gives you one of the best insights into the success of your campaigns when it comes to driving traffic. It can also be great for picking up coverage you missed elsewhere.
Natural traffic and searches
Remember when PR was all about AVE and reach? Well before digital PR became what it is today, AVE and reach were two of the only ways you could directly report on the effectiveness of PR to boards and clients; they didn’t often care about natural referrals and brand reach in the moment – they were focussed on the there and then of what they were getting for their money and liked attributing a cost directly to that.
But natural referrals and brand reach has always been important to outreach, PR and content marketers as it shows a much bigger picture of what we’re doing – and why.
If you don’t measure broadcast, you’re doing it wrong. TV and radio mentions still get me excited, despite having got brands on a handful of the main channels and stations. Getting coverage on huge news sites and securing followed links on high DA sites is great and all, but hearing someone talk about your campaign on morning TV is something else.
Forums are similar to social media in the sense they’re the place people go to when they want to talk about something. So don’t be surprised if you find your name in threads and your campaign popping up.