In today’s socially 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 track the performance with 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.
Recently I’ve had more friends in the public relations industry reach out asking how we measure our PR program here at Invoca. Managing the PR program at a heavily metrics-driven company means I have to look at PR and measure our activities in a more analytical way. Over the past year, I’ve built out a robust and unique way of measuring PR. However, PR isn’t just working on its own. PR, content marketing, and social media work together and influence each other, and that’s how we measure it at Invoca.
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.
Take a look at how we focus our PR, content, and social media efforts to drive brand awareness:
Measure Share of Voice and Media Coverage
1. 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. SOV & SOI: 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 not the quality of coverage. To address this we look at share of impressions – the percentage of the total number of people who might have had the opportunity to be 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 us measure not just volume of coverage, but to paint a more accurate picture of the influence of our media coverage.
3. Mentions: 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/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 have 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 it’s not the right type 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 big media hits. For example, we will see a big spike from funding announcements, end-of-year announcements, and new product launches. Looking at the referral traffic we can dig into exactly which articles are driving people to our website and the quality of those visits.
6. 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.
7. 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 CTA’s at the end. This gives us insight into the type of content that downloaded the most and the best way to promote this content.
8. Social Shares: Looking at how many social shares and what social media 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. We also look at the backlinks driving people to our blog and link to our blog in bylines we write for publications.
Social Listening and Metrics for Brand Awareness
Social media listening is different that 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 using 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.
9. 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 are able to determine our strategy moving forward for growing Invoca’s audience. Our favorite tool to measure social media performance is Sprout Social.
10. 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.
11. Referral Traffic & Quality of Visits: Social media helps with brand awareness but is also a good avenue for driving people to your site. We really focus on driving referral traffic from our social avenues and driving quality traffic. We dig into the top performing post that drive traffic to the Invoca website and the social platform that drives the best traffic looking at average session duration and bounce rate.
12. Conversions: 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.
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