3 Data-Driven Communications Proof Points

We talk a lot about data-driven PR, but what does it really mean? It’s easy to learn how to use tools like Moz or Google Analytics, but how does it tie into the larger mission?

Like with any program, how we use it depends on the brand’s goals. While we have an entire series to help you understand, it’s probably easier to envision how campaigns can come to life with real examples.

Here’s how we used data-driven insights to help a number of clients drive site traffic, explore new topics and beat their competition.

Driving website engagement

All brands pine for the New York Times and Wall Street Journals of the world, and while those are great to raise awareness, it might not drive a ton of traffic to your site.

That was a goal with one of my retail tech clients. In addition to boosting their brand awareness, we needed to secure earned placements that increase website engagement.

We kept this in mind and monitored Google Analytics closely to gauge which placements garnered the most web visits. Interestingly enough, while a placement in Fortune was a major win, retail trades like Glossy became the breadwinners. As such, we revised our strategy to include more similar publications (think WWD and Footwear News). Those stories not only drove traffic, it also kept those readers on the website longer.

There is a caveat to this: clients need to set up their Google Analytics completely and properly–this includes the goals section. It can be difficult to outline or assign a dollar amount to something like webpage visits, so we encourage your marketing teams to work closely with the business and sales departments to define these goals.

Exploring new topics

While it’s easy to coast on tried-and-true topics clients are comfortable with, it’s also important for brands to stretch beyond their core messaging. One of my fintech clients wanted to do just that. But with new messaging comes new challenges.

Is this the right direction? What topics should we be commenting on?

To answer those questions, we started with the client’s most basic (and important) goal: reaching industry professionals. We took a look at three conferences that attracted their target audiences. Using proprietary tools developed by our marketing tech team, we ran an audit and pulled a list of the most-engaged keywords throughout each event. Not only did we discover hot topics that garnered the most attention, we also found influencers with whom we should engage.

This became the evidence we needed to hone our new messaging and develop a targeted influencer program.

Beating the competition

Every company wants to know how it stacks up against others. For my other retail tech client, this was especially important as they wanted to lead the conversation about a space rarely spoken about: e-commerce photography.

Before we began compiling our PR Plan, we measured the company’s current standing against two major competitors in the space using our proprietary REFLEX framework. The report, which looks at the entire digital share of voice across earned, owned, paid, social and search, showed that our client ranked last against its competitors in all categories.

Using the information at hand, we developed a three-pronged approach to drive awareness, educate audiences and position them as authority figures in the space. After nine months, we re-evaluated our progress and program with a second REFLEX report.

The strategy paid off. Because of our phased strategies and successful media placements, our client pulled ahead of its competitors and ranked first place.

This is what being data-driven means. For too long, PR has been measured by media impressions and circulation numbers. With new technology, we assigned real value to our PR efforts and backed up our strategic recommendations with data-based trends and insights.

If you want to know more about each of these, feel free to reach out. We’re always happy to talk!

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