So... You've had a banner year! Congratulations! Do you know what actions led to your success? Can you pinpoint some key factors in your B2B PR campaign that made you stand out among your competitors? And why is that important?
The answer is key to your success.
If you don't know where you've been, how do you know where you're going? What if your success was a fluke? Conversely, if your year didn't turn out as successful as you envisioned it, how do you know what to fix?
Yes, we're talking about measuring the results of your PR.
The PR Soup
Public relations today is an enormous melange of ingredients. From event planning, to press conferences, to social media, PR is a full course meal. Where do you begin to figure out what's working and what's not?
Much like cooking a literal soup, effective PR begins with measured ingredients. Sure, you can throw in a bit of this and a bit of that, and it might taste amazing. But without a calculated recipe you will be hard pressed to yield the same tasty results the next time. You won't even know which ingredients worked and which didn't.
Why leave your public relations to chance when you can use real data to find out what works and what doesn't? For instance, getting 40,000 press clippings might sound impressive. However, if you yield no leads from those 40,000 people, why include that in your recipe of PR ingredients?
On the other hand, reaching out to 150 people and yielding 20 leads is like adding truffle salt to your soup - strong results from a pinch of effort.
So, how can you know for sure where to direct your B2B PR?
Social Media and PR Measurement
Public relations is increasingly being played out in social media outlets. This bodes well since it allows you to more specifically measure your PR results. What can be measured this way?
Companies who blog even a few times a month generate up to 70% more leads than those that don't. However, the results must be measured. You may be passionate about the topic you are writing about, but that doesn't mean your potential customer or your fan base is.
Learn what motivates your readers by including a call-to-action (you'll see a real live example at the end of this post) and noting how many clicks you receive on your CTA. For instance, if you use a service like Hubspot, you will quickly be able to track which posts received the most views, which CTAs receive clicks, and track your success from month to month. You can do the same thing using Google analytics but it requires some extra steps.
(Click here to learn how else you can energize your content marketing strategy.)
Twitter is currently a bigwig in the ruling class over the social media kingdom. Programs such as Tweetreach offer in-depth reports on the metrics of your tweets. Find out if they are effective, or if they're kind of like the bay leaf in your PR soup - adding good flavor, but ultimately getting tossed aside.
Email marketing can be an extremely effective and non-invasive way to remind your fans that you are a leader in your industry. However, most of us are inundated with emails from mailing lists that we signed up for at one time or another and chances are, you don't even open half of them.
You don't want yours to be among the emails that get sent to the trash. Your subject line must be brief and attention-getting. Then you want to follow through with a compelling CTA. Here are some good tips on how to do that.
After you've assembled all the proper ingredients for a great email, you can then use tools such as Hubspot, mentioned earlier, or MailChimp to track open rates, click rates, and see who has unsubscribed.
Other Tools to Measure Results
If you're ready to go whole-hog in measuring results, the right tools are necessary.
Google Analytics measures results across multiple platforms. It allows you to track results from videos, social media, websites, and apps. You're able to see how people are reaching you and thus where to place your time and effort in marketing.
Other solutions include Marketo, a full-throttle marketing automation software program leading the way in email and campaign measurement, lead management, and online marketing tools.
The bottom line is you've got to follow the recipe to succeed! Finding out which ingredients are effective is as simple as plotting their progress.
(To learn how your content strategy affects your overall ROI, click here.)
Next step? Goals. If you want a 3% click through rate on your emails, make it happen! With measurable results you'll be able to cook up a five-star public relations course for 2015!
If you'd like to drive the best possible results from your next campaign, download our handy toolkit for launching and measuring a remarkable campaign!