In today’s digitally connected world, brand awareness driven by public relations, content marketing, and social media is more important to businesses than ever before. It’s not enough to simply perform these activities, you also have to set KPIs that reflect your business goals and track the performance with reliable metrics. Otherwise, you have no way of knowing if your efforts are working. Or which efforts aren’t working. But don’t be fooled, measuring these efforts is no easy task.
Brand awareness doesn’t happen in a vacuum — it’s the result of cross-functional collaboration across the marketing organization. Public relations, content marketing, and social media teams must work together to influence brand awareness, and that’s how we measure it.
At the end of every quarter, the content marketing team walks through our goals, metrics, takeaways, and action items for the next quarter. We don’t just look at metrics, we tie our metrics back to our goals for the quarter and discuss what we learned and the next steps to keep the momentum moving forward for the next quarter.
Read the post below to learn how we define brand awareness as well as how we focus our PR, content, and social media efforts to increase it.
What Is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness is how familiar your target audience is with your brand. It is generally thought of as the first and most important step in the buying process — without awareness, consumers will not consider your brand for purchase.
Measure Share of Voice and Media Coverage
We look at total coverage each quarter broken down by feature articles, bylines, mentions, and syndicated coverage. This helps us track the type of coverage we are securing whether it’s a full feature article on Invoca or a byline we placed. We use Sprout Social to track coverage and social shares of every piece of coverage.
2. Share of Voice
Share of voice is one of the most popular metrics in the public relations world. It’s defined as the percentage of coverage and conversations about your brand (news, blogs, and Twitter), relative to your competitors. SOV only measures the amount of coverage, and not the quality of coverage. To address this we look at the share of impressions – the percentage of the total number of people who were exposed to your company’s coverage, relative to your competitors. When you look at the two side by side you can measure the quality of coverage. If your company has a low SOV but high SOI this means you may not be securing as much coverage as your competitors, but you are securing articles in publications with high readership and better quality. We use Onclusive to measure SOV and calculate what they call Power of Voice, which is a metric that combines content relevance, publication authority, social media amplification, and sentiment, in a single measurement. This allows us to measure not just the volume of coverage, but to paint a more accurate picture of the influence of our media coverage.
Mentions include any time Invoca is mentioned in the media or on a blog that isn’t a byline or full article about Invoca. Mentions can include reporters and articles we pitched, or when a reporter includes our company in a broader story. We track the number of mentions over the quarters as a way to track awareness and buzz. Over the quarters our mentions have increased mainly due to relationships we have built with reporters, proprietary data reports we’ve published, and more joint activities with other tech companies.
4. Message Pull-Through
Measuring message pull-through helps give us an idea of the quality of coverage. By landing key company messages in media coverage the company directly and indirectly benefits. If messages are not being picked up, it’s an indicator that either they are not resonating with media, or perhaps these aren’t the types of articles you want to be included in.
Using Blog and Web Traffic to Track Brand Awareness
5. Web Traffic
We use Google Analytics to analyze organic, direct, and referral traffic to our website. This gives us insight into whether or not our PR and social media efforts are driving people to our website. We can see spikes in our referral and organic traffic around the months we’ve had big PR announcements and lots of media hits. For example, we often see spikes from funding announcements, end-of-year announcements, and new product launches. When we look at the referral traffic, we can dig into exactly which articles are driving people to our website and the quality of those visits.
6. Branded Search Volume
Branded search volume is another critical indicator of brand awareness. This metric shows how many people are literally searching for your brand by name. These searchers are some of your most valuable — they remember you and have a high intent to purchase your specific products or services.
7. Blog Traffic
We measure total and organic blog traffic every month and dig into the blog posts, promotions, and social referrals that drove the most traffic. We look at the organic and direct blog referral sources (LinkedIn, Facebook, direct, email, and organic) to discover the best sources driving visits and put more energy into promotion via those places. We also look at unique pageviews vs. pageviews so we can understand how many first-time visitors we’re driving to the site from each channel.
8. Blog Conversions
We look at the top content downloaded from the blog and the sources driving those conversions, whether it’s links within the blog posts or CTAs at the end. This gives us insight into the type of content that was downloaded the most and the best way to promote this content.
In addition, we look at the blogs that are driving our most valuable conversions: demo requests. We can then create similar types of blogs that move web visitors down the funnel and generate interest in our product.
9. Social Shares
Looking at the number of social shares as well as which social media sites the blog posts are being shared on helps us determine the best way to promote posts and get more insight into the more popular post topics. If a topic gets a lot of buzz on social, it’s usually a sign that we need to create more content around it.
Backlinks are a critical piece of brand awareness — they show that other sites are referencing you and your products or services. Strong backlinks not only bring in visitors from other websites, but they’re also a key ranking factor for search engines. More backlinks mean more traffic to your website, both from referrals and organic searches.
A great way to increase your backlinks is by guest posting on other websites and adding anchor text linking back to key webpages on your site.
Social Listening and Metrics for Brand Awareness
Social media listening is different than just monitoring social activity and responding to people engaging with your brand online. According to Sprout Social, social media listening requires that you analyze the conversations and trends happening not just around your brand, but around your industry as a whole, and use those insights to make better marketing decisions.
Social media listening helps you understand not just what people are saying about your brand, but why, where, and how these conversations are happening. This helps you get to the core of what people think of your brand, helping you optimize campaigns, improve content strategy and messaging, and outpace your competition. Here are the metrics you need to look at to inform your social listening strategy.
11. Total Followers
Invoca’s main social media channels are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We look at how many followers increase over time. By comparing this to the activities going on — consistent posts, paid promotion, engaging influencers, and big announcements — we can determine our strategy moving forward for growing Invoca’s audience.
12. Social Engagement
Engagement includes shares, likes, comments, etc. on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We dig into the top-performing posts across all three channels. This helps us determine ways to tailor content for the different social channels and how to continue to increase engagement. We also use Sprout Social to help us measure the engagement our content is driving on social media.
13. Referral Traffic & Quality of Visits
Social media helps with brand awareness and it’s also a good avenue for driving people to your site. We focus on driving referral traffic from our social avenues and driving quality traffic. We dig into the top-performing posts that drive traffic to the Invoca website. We also look at the social platforms that drive the best traffic by looking at average session duration and bounce rate.
A social conversion is when someone clicks on a link that leads them to a landing page for a gated content asset, webinar, or event. We measure the number of conversions, the social platform driving the conversions, and the type of content that is converting.
Don’t just measure your efforts for the sake of measuring — that doesn’t help your brand awareness. Look at your metrics for key takeaways that will help you reach your goals and deliver even better results over time. Use your metrics to communicate how your work directly impacts the bottom line, how you are driving leads and business value.
Getting Insights from the Voice of the Customer
Sometimes the metrics you capture from your marketing channels aren’t enough — you may want more granular data. To get these insights, you can ask your customers directly. This will provide a wealth of new information you can use to inform your marketing strategy.
15. Use Customer Surveys
Unlike the data sources above, surveys require effort on the part of your customers. To secure their participation, it’s best to offer something in return, whether it’s a discount, a coupon, or a chance to win a prize.
When you create your survey, it’s important to only ask questions that fulfill your end goal of measuring brand awareness — when you cut unnecessary questions, you’ll boost completion rates. And don’t forget: rating scales are your friend — they allow customers to quickly choose a response, rather than writing a detailed answer. They’re also easier to compile and aggregate than freeform answers.
To learn more about how you can use conversation intelligence to exceed your marketing goals, register for Invoca Summit 2021.