At CBC, we deliver more than just coverage; we drive measurable business results through our strategic, data-driven approach to public relations (PR). Our Research & Insights team recently conducted original research on correlations between earned media coverage with website KPIs like traffic & conversions. The goal? Quantify the ripple effect of a PR campaign’s success to our clients’ bottom line using proven PR measurement techniques.
How to Measure PR Value
According to Muck Rack’s State of PR 2022 survey, nearly half of PR pros agree that producing measurable results is a key way to increase the value of PR in an organization. At CBC, we track measurable results and long-term benefits of PR through four main techniques. Through implementation of these PR measurement techniques, we’ve found that PR adds a long-lasting value to other marketing initiatives, and we’ve cracked the code on how to measure it.
PR Measurement Techniques
The four main areas for added value are:
- Spike Detection – When a publication includes a backlink to your site, we can directly measure the impact of coverage by the volume of traffic referred to your site. We also track users who come in through organic search or direct traffic after seeing coverage.
- Organic Search Lift – PR raises brand awareness, making users more likely to type your brand name into Google. We look for spikes in organic traffic, as well as the lasting organic search power that comes from authoritative backlinks.
- Engagement/Content Consumption Increase – Users who come in from PR efforts generally consume more content and stay on a website for a longer period of time.
- Revenue – Exceptional PR has a direct impact on revenue. It can be measured through sales partner links, affiliate links, retail sales, or by tracking leads through a CRM.
Spike Detection: Correlating PR Hits with Website Wins
Spike detection is a proven PR measurement technique for tracking user traffic following a PR hit. If you’re lucky enough to get a backlink in your coverage, we can measure direct clickthrough from the article to your site.
Otherwise, we know that PR drives both organic search and direct traffic. Sometimes the reader isn’t ready to take action when they first read coverage, but if they remember your brand name, they will look you up later. More often than not, they turn to Google search or directly type your website URL into their browser to find more info on you. When users actively seek you out, you know your PR coverage was memorable!
Spike detection is a simple but effective way to prove that PR works. Across CBC clients, 70% of all top traffic days correspond with PR coverage.
If your PR team can secure hits in the right publications, reach the right audience, and with the right message, you too can expect to see an increase in web traffic.
Organic Search Lift: Long-Lasting Impact from Earned Media
In some cases, coverage is significant enough to provide lasting organic search power. As PR earns authoritative links that point to your site, your domain authority increases. Domain authority measures the overall quality of your site, and backlinks from trustworthy sites are one of the biggest ranking factors. A higher authority score means search engines view your site as a trustworthy resource and are more likely to rank your website higher in search results, which ultimately translates to increased organic search traffic.
In the case of one CBC client, organic search increased by a factor of 4 when comparing pre- and post- coverage. In April 2020, CBC secured authoritative coverage for a clean skincare brand. The pieces included coverage revolving around hand sanitizer, a highly in-demand product, and was featured in major publications like Allure, NY Mag, and Buzzfeed. The links in these articles generated significant traffic and link equity. As a result of this, organic search increased from an average of 50-100 clicks a day to 200-400 clicks a day. We estimate that the lasting impact of the links drove over $80K in organic revenue.
Engagement and Content Consumption from PR Users
We have seen that users who come in from PR efforts are generally more engaged users. They consume more content and stay on the websites for a longer period of time. In most cases, they are nearly 100% new users, showing that PR is effective at reaching new audiences who don’t already know about your brand.
Across CBC’s PR clients, we’ve seen that PR-referred users view 15-25% more content and stay on the site 25-50% longer than the standard website user. Not only does PR bring a higher volume of traffic to the site, but it also brings high-quality audiences.
The example above shows traffic from users who were referred to a clean beauty brand’s website from earned media coverage. These users viewed 16% more pages per session than the standard website user. CBC sent almost 2,000 users to the website via referral sources.
Show Me the Money: Attributing Revenue with PR Measurement
Marketing is a team sport. At CBC, we believe that PR is, generally, most effective at the top of the funnel, but we can also measure the lower funnel impact of users who were first exposed through PR efforts. Ultimately, it’s about conversion: either sending the user down to the next step in the user journey or generating direct conversions, such as a purchase or scheduling a demo.
In the B2B space, we have tracked leads directly from coverage to lead generation forms. We can also track sales by monitoring activities within a CRM. For example, one of our B2B clients was able to connect the dots from a user who came to their site via a press release, filled out a lead capture form, and ultimately signed on for a $70K project. The lifetime value of that single lead will likely even be higher, as the team builds a strong customer relationship and foundation for future projects.
Our B2B PR team has also secured earned coverage for a pharma marketing and medical affairs agency in key industry publications like FiercePharma. From data in their CRM, we have been able to directly attribute new business inquiries to the FiercePharma piece, with leads requesting demos of the service featured in the article. This shows that the coverage was in the right target publication and brought in qualified marketing leads that were ready to be handed off to the sales team.
On the consumer side, we know that coverage generates traffic to e-commerce sites, which in turn creates revenue. We track PR-attributable revenue in the same way that we track coverage, using methods like spike detection and measurement of organic search lift. Not all consumer brands are DTC, so we also leverage affiliate links and affiliate content to drive revenue through multiple sources, including Amazon, Target, Walgreens, etc.
The Bottom Line: PR Works & We Can Prove It
Securing fantastic coverage has always been a priority at CBC for our clients, and we don’t stop at traditional PR metrics to measure our success. We’ve proven that PR can truly provide business value that your CFO can’t argue with.
We also know that coverage is just one piece of the puzzle – building relationships with media is another crucial element of a successful PR program. At CBC’s award-winning experiential House programs, we connect brands with top-tier media through immersive brand activations. PR pros from all over the country come to us for this invaluable opportunity to build relationships.
Reach out to CBC for a PR audit! If our clients’ success stories piqued your interest, let us dig into your PR data and assess the value you’re getting from your current PR program. We believe in the power of PR, so if you’re not yet seeing the business results you need, our expert media relations team can help.
Social media is full of noise. There are millions of brands every day attempting to make themselves heard and leave a message that resonates with their audience – it’s important that your brand can break through the babble. Stopping the scroll relies on strong creative and compelling copy; If you have aspirations of attracting a large and loyal brand following, enhancing your team’s copywriting skills should be a top priority.
At CerconeBrownCompany, we’ve helped brands of all industries and sizes enhance their social presence and pull off trendsetting campaigns that have not only grown their online following but have strengthened their relationships with customers as well (aka more sales!) Below, we’ve shared our top tips for ensuring that your social media copy will grab the attention of users quickly and easily.
1. Create FOMO
Have you ever been scrolling through Instagram and stopped to look at a group of people on a beach vacation and thought, “I would do anything to be there right now?”
FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is a psychological phenomenon that can be described as the worry that you are missing out on an amazing experience or product. According to TrustPulse, 60% of people make purchases because of FOMO, mostly within 24 hours.
To infuse FOMO into your social media copy, quite simply show your audience what they are missing out on! An easy way to do this is by collecting testimonials about other customers’ experiences, but you can also do so by creating a sense of urgency with words and phrases like “for a limited time”, “save your spot”, or “time is running out!”
Take the below post from clothing brand Anthropologie for example – they create a sense of urgency by emphasizing that time is running out to make holiday orders, while also highlighting that there is something for everyone at their site. This makes readers realize they are missing out on some amazing gifts for their loved ones…so time to act fast!
Whether you choose to elicit FOMO through peer experiences, exclusive offers, or something else, the key is to make a user feel like your product or service will solve a problem better than any other company can.
2. Simplicity is KEY
You don’t want your audience to struggle trying to understand your copy. In fact, if your copy is too long, uses too much jargon, or doesn’t communicate the value right away – they won’t try. They’ll keep scrolling!
According to Boomerang, messages that are written at a third-grade reading level receive 36% more responses. Social media is something that encourages instant gratification and understanding, so most users don’t have the attention span to read long or wordy social posts. The fewer words you use, the better!
Need help writing more concisely? One exercise social media marketers can practice when faced with long-winded social copy is to delete parts of your post and ask yourself: does it still make sense? Does it still capture the essence of your message? If so, leave it out!
If that exercise doesn’t help you cut down on words, work with your creative team. Remember that you can also use your creative – whether it be a photo, video, GIF, or other type of imagery – help illustrate your message. In fact, your copy and creative should always work together.
Check out the above example from Hismile, a company that sells a variety of teeth whitening products.
This copy is simple and straight to the point – the image shows somebody who is very happy with the Hismile product, and the accompanying copy explains how being like her is easy, it can happen in just ten minutes! It quickly gets to the point and persuades readers to learn more.
3. Be Conversational
Your audience wants to feel like you are talking to them, not at them. When you are writing social media copy, try to use a conversational tone. To do so, avoid using too much jargon but feel free to add in emojis, pop culture references, and other expressions that you’d use in conversation with a friend.
Of course, if your brand’s tone of voice is more serious or if your social media posts require regulatory approval, as if often the case for B2B brands, then you may have to work to find a compromise. However, that doesn’t stop you from creating conversations by asking your audience questions or engaging with them in the comments.
A great example of this is the above Instagram post by beauty brand Glossier. With the introduction of their fourth moisturizer, they knew that some customers would have questions as to which would work best for them. They created an easy-to-understand graphic and addressed in their copy the confusion that can come from their wide array of products.
4. Nail Down Your CTA
Arguably, the CTA, or call to action, is the most important part of your social media copy. A CTA is a brief phrase – written or visual – that asks your audience to perform a specific action.
Nailing down your CTA is essential because attention spans are short – you want to make it obvious to users what you want them to do.
The value of a CTA can be statistically proven – according to SocialPilot, adding a CTA can increase conversion rates by 83%. In general, the most effective way to convert your readers into customers is to simply ask. Like many things in life, “if you don’t ask, the answer is always no!”
Keep in mind, you’ll need to motivate consumers to oblige to your call to action. For example, a tweet that reads “Go to our website to buy our new product” directs user to a next step, but it doesn’t present the value in following through. When drafting calls to actions, ask yourself: “what’s in it for them?”
Take the below example from Fenty Beauty – offering a discount or deal isn’t always necessary, but it is a great example of motivating your users to take the next step. In both their graphic and caption, Fenty Beauty is offering customers 30% off of their mini foundation with the CTA “Throw it in ya bag!” – simple, easy, and direct.
To learn more about writing CTAs that convert, check out our blog.
Differences and Examples for each Social Channel
Something important to note is that your social media copywriting shouldn’t take a “one size fits all” approach; each social platform has unique quirks that call for different practices. Below we share our expertise and tips for optimizing your copy for each platform:
- Make sure your copy directs users to share. Facebook prioritizes content from friends and family over brands; an easy way to increase your reach is to have users share your post to their personal profile. Be inspiring or entertaining in your copy and be sure to include “share” in your CTA.
- Focus on people. Facebook is a place for connecting with friends and family, so posts featuring other people and your community will perform well. We’re not just talking about the photos you collect – incorporate testimonials and use brand ambassadors to help your post stand out.
- Instagram users love a story – incorporate storytelling into your copy to grab their interest. It’s OK to share a longer post on Instagram….as long as your story is a good one!
- On that note, if you’re going to write a long Instagram caption, begin with a strong hook before beginning a long paragraph. Only the first few words of your caption will appear in a user’s feed – think through what will intrigue a user to learn more!
- Include hashtags – they’ll help get more eyes on your post. BUT don’t go overboard. Choose hashtags that are relevant to your post but aren’t so oversaturated with content that yours gets lost in the mix. We recommend looking at hashtags with less than half a million posts.
- Make sure your tone is professional – but not too While LinkedIn is a thought leadership and business-centered platform, we’ve seen a shift in the last few years and, today, LinkedIn’s viral content is conversational, authentic, and inspires dialogue. Find the right balance for your brand!
- Incorporate numbers or statistics – these stand out in a body of text and can quickly grab a reader’s attention.
- The most important aspect of Twitter to keep in mind is the short character count – you only have 280 characters to get your point across.
- Twitter is primarily a platform to find news, so think of your tweet as a news headline or billboard! Get your main point across first in a few words.
- Keep it short! TikTok is a video platform, so your audience isn’t going to be reading a long caption, they’re going to be watching the video. The character limit for TikTok is 300 characters, so make sure you only include any important supplementary information.
- TikTok captions are a great place to instruct viewers to do anything that you didn’t mention in the video (this could be something like “watch until the end” or “click the link in our bio to learn more”).
Social media offers brands a great opportunity to connect with their audience and share updates in real-time – but it’s what you make of it. By implementing these tips for your next social media post, you’re sure to see more reach, engagement, and conversions with your content.
Looking for a partner that can help you nail down your copywriting strategy? We’d love to chat.