If you want to utilise public relations (PR) in your content marketing mix, you are going to need to understand how to measure your activity to improve your future business. That means getting to grips with the data that PR people traditionally look for: new audiences, getting attention, building trust, and raising awareness.
But what does this look like online? And how do these PR metrics sync up with your content marketing data?
Fortunately, you don’t need to look too far. Google Analytics already is one of your best bet tools for understanding how your PR is doing in building up that awareness and trust in your brand online.
New Audiences = New Unique Visitors
One of the hallmark goals of a solid PR strategy is to build new audiences for the brand, and online this equates to the number of New Unique Visitors you have to your website.
This stat in Google Analytics measures the number of people who have never before visited your website. They may have arrived from any number of sources, but for now you want to look closely at the data and the nice graph provided in your dashboard.
Are you seeing spikes? Do they correspond to PR efforts? Then your PR efforts are paying off.
Is the number of new visitors low, flat-lined or falling? Then you’ll need to step up the campaigns and start getting an audience to your website.
Building Trust = Returning Visitors
Of course, it’s not just the new visitors that are important in content marketing and PR. You will need to build trust with those visitors if you’re going to convert them (remember most sales are NOT made on the first visit).
Once you’ve got them, keep them coming back.
Of course, your PR/content marketing mix here is the perfect recipe for building that trust and confidence in your brand and business because it tells your visitors that if they come back, you’ll likely have even more interesting and useful information for them.
With Returning Visitors and New Unique Visitors in the picture, you now understand what mix your audience is for your website. Are you offering them the content they are seeking?
Attention & Awareness = Social Network Referrals
Part of the PR role is working within social networks, generating the all important awareness and attention that you need. PR people will call any share of your content ‘earned media’ which means that your content is promoted on its own merit (it earned it) rather than through paying for media. That is good for your brand and it’s the goal for good PR campaigns.
Google Analytics, again, has the built-in tools you need to see how your efforts are paying off. Social Network Referrals allows you to see (and measure) the social media traffic coming to your website – and how much this accounts for New Visitors and Returning Visitors.
Using the data in this tool, you can see which social networks are most effective for you right now. You will be able to match your time spent on the network with the amount of traffic it is generating. That means it will help you decide if you are spending too much or too little time on a particular network at the expense of another that is converting to visitors much better.