The Importance of Data Analysis and Analytics in PR

For numerous years, marketers used PR campaigns as their number one strategy to drive engagement, spread awareness, and create communities surrounding their brand. In the past, businesses would struggle to determine how effective their campaigns were; however, in the modern digital age we live in, there are plenty of intelligent tools and software that companies can use to track their data and understand their target audience better.

While data analysis and analytics sound very alike, they serve completely different functions. Data analysis refers to the process of gathering and evaluating data to present, which helps businesses make wiser decisions. Data analytics, however, involves using specialist tools and techniques to achieve company objectives and goals. If you’re about to launch a PR campaign, here are a few ways to measure the success and effectiveness of the whole proceeding.

Track Leads
When launching a PR campaign, tracking leads can provide you with tons of useful information. While the sole aim of a PR campaign is to attract media coverage and exposure, as a company, you should consider examining your data analytics to establish how much referral traffic has been received from the article. There are several reasons why you should track leads, such as:

• Better organization
• Increased efficiency
• Creating customized sales pitches
• More accurate reporting
• Higher customer retention levels

If you aren’t sure where to start, using Google Analytics to set up goals for referral traffic is advised. The data that you receive from setting up traffic will provide your business with a clearer indication on how many people are interacting with your content. There are several actionable outcomes that can be achieved by consumers, including:

• Signing up for your newsletter
• Filling out your contact form
• Leaving their email address

Social Media Shares
There are various tools on the market which can be used to identify how many social media shares your PR content gets. BuzzSumo is one example. Using this tool gives you the opportunity to research the topics that have received traction beforehand. Doing this can help maximize the value of your PR campaign, helping you to pinpoint which topics fared better than others.
Once you have identified your data, your next step should be to create content that is more relevant and niche to your target audience.

Brand Mentions and Links
When creating a PR campaign, businesses need to understand where they rank in their field. Most importantly, they need to be aware of how they’re viewed in the online domain. To increase the name recognition of your business, it’s crucial that you use brand mentions. There are key benefits that brand mentions can bring, such as:

• Creates more visibility and awareness
• Gives your brand a personality
• Fortifies your reputation
• Provides new opportunities for your link campaign
There are several tools that you can use to measure your brand mentions, such as SocialMention which aims to:
• Help businesses look for all mentions of their brand online with ease
• Support monitoring over 100 social media properties
• Help businesses keep track of their online passion for their brand
• Offer third-party API support
• Help businesses monitor social media properties in real-time

Brand mentions can also have a positive impact on your SEO ranking, helping to boost your ranking in search engine results. To turn brand mentions into links, there are several steps that you need to take, such as:

• Defining your metrics
• Finding brand mentions by using powerful tools
• Choosing the right search queries
• Filtering your results

Tracking Results
Once your PR campaign has gone live and been picked up by major media outlets, it’s crucial that you measure its reach from the start. Tracking and seeing the influence your campaign has had can help you identify who is interested in your business, as well as how to run future PR campaigns. While the main purpose of a marketing campaign is to drive referral traffic, PR campaigns differ in the sense that they want to ensure wide-spread media coverage.

Tracking conversions gives your company a clearer understanding of gaps in the market, as well as potential areas that you can concentrate on in relation to conversion rates. Once you have found how many sales you have gained from a particular PR campaign, you will have the opportunity to calculate your ROI (return on investment), giving you the tools needed to plan, optimize and replicate campaigns going forward.

Creating a Successful PR Campaign
Now you have a better understanding of the importance of data analysis and analytics in a PR campaign, you will have the tools and knowledge needed to create an effective campaign. There are several tips that can implement into your strategy to ensure your PR campaign is effective and reaches the right people, including:

• Setting objectives and goals
• Measuring metric of success
• Knowing your audience
• Choosing the right platform
• Link building

Skills and Attributes
For your PR campaign to go according to plan, it’s vital that you have the right skills and attributes behind you. If you are interested in a career in PR, some of the top skills that employers seek in candidates include:

• Knowledge and research
• Attention to detail
• Multitasking
• Relationship-building skills
• Honesty
• Strategic thinking
• Social media savvy

In addition to the skills listed above, it’s crucial that you can work as part of a team and know how to communicate effectively when creating PR campaigns. Emerson College Online can give you more information on the key skills every modern marketer must possess. Emerson College Online has relevant courses, such as a master’s in digital marketing and data analytics, which can expand your skillset and knowledge when delivering PR campaigns.

Before launching a PR campaign, gathering huge amounts of data and using the correct tools can be highly beneficial. Understanding the behavior of consumers can be achieved by using data analysis and analytics, giving you a better indication of the reach your PR campaign has, and what methods to use in the future to attract more interest and awareness for your business.

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