Are you worried whether your last press release fell flat, but you’re struggling to tell? Gaining recognition for milestones is an important part of growth for your reputation and customer base. Sometimes, though, unclear whether your press release marketing is effective. To get a better idea of what’s going on, you will want accurate tools to help you track and measure your press release success.
This guide will help you double down on your success or realize you need to switch gears.
If you’re a marketing nerd, you should know that your first step should always be to set goals. Every business is unique in its size, age, customer base, products and services, and more. Marketing and PR will look different for everyone, so you need to sit down and set your own goals.
What are your expectations for this year? If your current sales and reputation stayed as is, where would you be? Try to set the goal higher while keeping it attainable.
Use the SMART goals guidelines to set goals with your team:
Using these parameters, you can set goals to keep yourself motivated. Better yet, it’s easy to see whether you’ve achieved them.
When it comes to PR, your goals should focus on your brand exposure. Try focusing on website traffic, social media mentions, and search engine results.
Now that you know your goals, you can set KPIs (key performance indicators). KPIs act as red flags for failures to reach goals or green lights for continued success in reaching goals.
For example, if your goal is to increase web traffic by 20% due to your press release, your KPI will be your web traffic as monitored on your content management system.
Figure out what your KPIs should be for measuring your goals and set up the tools you need to check on them consistently. Some press release services will offer data that you can watch, but you can also have your team check search engines and social media manually.
Below is a list of the best KPIs for press release success and how to track them.
One of the best ways to tell if your press release was a success is if other websites have picked it up to feature on their site. To find out if this has happened, you’ll need to use search engines.
The most popular search engine is Google. Type your exact press release title into Google’s search engine bar and see what results come up.
You won’t be able to rely on the number of results that pop up because Google will bring up many results that are relevant but not your press release.
If you are receiving too many false results, try typing quotation marks around your title in the search bar. Quotation marks alert Google that your search is for a very specific thing rather than for relevant topics.
Make a note of how often your press release comes up on other sites, and keep checking back to see if it has changed. You should also make a note of how reputable the sites are that are posting your press release. Repostings by popular websites will do a much greater service to your business because those sites enjoy a lot more traffic.
While you’re at it, click on these sites to see how they have presented your press release. Check to see if they’ve provided a link to your site as well, which would drive traffic in your direction.
Of course, you would have posted your press release onto your own site. Hopefully, you’ve indexed this page with Google so that people can find your press release. You might have even shared this page on your social media accounts to alert your followers.
Your content management system should have a dashboard for website traffic. Using this dashboard, you will be able to see what your traffic was before, during, and after the press release.
Many web traffic monitors also tell you where this traffic was coming from. You can get a good view of your audience by seeing what kinds of devices they use, where they’re from, and if they’re coming from social media sites or search engines.
Knowing this information isn’t just good for your press release metrics, but for refining your marketing tactics in the future. You can better understand your audience and retarget your messages.
The best-case scenario is that your press release caused a spike in visitors and your traffic going forward has improved from previous traffic levels. Have your team keep an eye on this indicator to see how it fluctuates. If one of your goals was to improve web traffic, check your improved traffic against your KPI to see if you’ve been successful.
Very successful press releases will gain press coverage. If this happens, it means that your press release caught so much attention that news outlets thought it was noteworthy.
First, check Google News to see Google’s algorithm picked up your press release. Many people use Google alerts to send relevant news to their email inboxes. If your keywords match their alerts, they’ll see your press release in their emails.
You can also try Googling yourself and your company’s name to see if it comes up in any top search results. News outlets and notable websites in your niche may have covered your press release without copying it entirely.
Any coverage, especially from top outlets like CNN and Forbes, is good coverage. Don’t just think about how many outlets have mentioned you, but how many impressions you’ll get from them. If your press release is showing up on the front page of a website that gets thousands of views a day, that means your brand is at least leaving brief impressions on thousands of people a day, even if they never read it.
You can set up Google alerts to notify you any time your name or company name gets mentioned online. A good PR service will give you a report that includes all the outlets that have covered your press release.
Journalism may be for the people, but social media is by the people.
Now, the two often work hand-in-hand. If you’ve been mentioned in multiple news outlets, you’re likely visible on social media. If your brand name is trending on social media, you’ll probably get noticed by journalists.
Social media can be a tricky beast, but a good chunk of your marketing efforts should focus specifically on it. You can extend your brand identity through social media accounts that interact directly with your target audience.
Social media can give your brand a lot of exposure when you use it properly. If you’ve just put out a press release, pay close attention to social media to see how many likes and comments you’re getting.
Having a large number of accounts mentioning your brand name organically is a good sign that you’ve been successful at creating a buzz. It also means that their followers will also see this when they might not have heard about your brand otherwise.
Keep track of how many times your brand gets mentioned and how much engagement is going on in relation to your press release.
You shouldn’t just compare your numbers to your goals, but to your competitor’s numbers. Part of your brand’s mission is to be a leader in your niche, so a press release isn’t successful unless it pushes you ahead.
Check out how often your competitor’s press releases show up on search engines and get coverage from news outlets. See how their brand fares on social media. Use these numbers as a guide, whether it’s a goal to reach and surpass, or numbers to stay ahead of.
A great way to know how your brand is doing is to just ask. Not all consumers will respond, but it doesn’t hurt to get a good sample. Many companies choose to run ads on social media, like Facebook and Twitter, that ask a brief question like “have you ever heard of…?”
You can also run more formal consumer surveys. Some good questions to ask are:
Asking questions like this can give you a good idea of how much exposure your brand has gotten and what its reputation is like.
Taking time to set goals and measure results against your KPIs will keep your efforts focused. eReleases is the #1 press release distribution service for small businesses that can help you get there.
We have a proven track record of reaching major media outlets and a subscriber base of journalists, ensuring press release success. Trusting your press release marketing with eReleases means hyper-targeting of the perfect audience and measured results delivered to you in detailed reports.
Contact us today to get started!