Are you paying too much on press release distribution? This is a bit contentious since some are claiming that distributing releases doesn’t provide effective results and comes at a steep price.
What happens when you pay for distributing your news? You hire a PR professional who will be in charge of your PR activities.
A press release will be written. If you are going to use a press release distribution service, it will be sent to dozens of media outlets, sites, search engines, social media networks, and subscribing journalists.
How do you determine if you’re spending too much in syndicating releases? The answer will depend on what you have achieved at the end of the campaign. Do you have a good return-on-investment (ROI)? Or you lose your investment along the way?
Here are some factors to check if you’re spending too much on your distribution:
#1. Check the results of your campaign based on your goals.
The first thing to know if you are overdoing on distribution is to go back to your business goals. What is your goal?
Your goal must be your inspiration when crafting your content. Do you want to achieve 25 percent more sales, attract more traffic, establish your brand as a thought leader, or boost your email subscribers?
If you are going to use a press release service, choose the one that provides an analytics report. They are going to measure metrics that will tell if your campaign is successful or not. Check their plans that include tracking reports.
The reports show significant metrics like page views, engagement rates, conversion rates, traffic, where your news was published, and so on. This will provide you insights about your release.
At the end of your campaign, it gives you the perception if you reach your goal or not. In a snapshot, it gives you an analysis of your campaign’s strengths and weaknesses.
#2. Did you reach your target media?
When you hire a press release distribution service, you need to ensure that you’re choosing the one that has a connection with your target reporters and publications. They must send your release to reporters who are relevant to your niche.
Right after your campaign, you’ll receive a tracking report that includes you picked up your story or where your news was published. You’ll know if your story was distributed to the media who matter to you.
It’s important to work with a press release service that’s connected to a network of relevant media. Just imagine if you’re getting a service that can’t send your release to your target press. It’s like wasting your investment for nothing.
It’s important that you opt for a service that connects with reporters who are interested in your topic or may have written your story in the past. This way, you’ll get a higher possibility of getting publicity.
#3. Did you reach your target audience?
Are you trying to reach a particular segment of the population like people who are interested in technology for instance? Now after you received the analytics report and learned that you didn’t hit your target, do you think that your campaign is successful?
Here are important metrics that tell if you reached your audience:
- Click-throughs: Although you may have a good number of reads, you need to ensure that your audience is acting on your desired call-to-action (CTA). Whether you need them to download your e-book, sign up for your newsletter, or visit your site. Getting them to act to your CTA is one indication of a successful PR campaign.
- Reads: It is the metric that tells how many people have read your content. This metric gives you insight o which topic gives you the most reads. It is an important metric that tells you which topic you could repeat in the future.
- Conversions: After an audience has seen and has read your content, now what did they do after reaching your site? What actions did they take? Or they didn’t take any actions at all and just left? Conversions are great indications on the behavior of your audience. It provides you insights where your audience is coming from, where they are going once they reached your site, or how much percentage of your visitors has converted.
#4. Did your sales improve?
Of course, all businesses launch PR campaigns to eventually earn more sales. This is certainly true for B2C or product-based brands.
Even though distributing releases may not give you an immediate boost in sales, it can impact in one way or another. If it doesn’t, you better review your PR strategies.
In assessing sales, you need to review these metrics that clearly impact sales:
- Age group. You need to consider this is you’re targeting a certain age group. It gives you insights on whether you reached your target audience or not.
- Territory or location. By calculating the sales volume per territory, you’ll be able to locate new opportunities for sales. You’ll also identify the areas where you need to focus on or improve your sales tactics.
- Kind of sales channels. You need to identify the most preferred sales channels in your audience. Get the data that gives you insights if your audience prefers buying online or in a traditional retail store.
- Time frame. You need to measure how much sales were generated for a particular period. Breakdown your sales each day, week, and month. Identify the factors that affect your sales, especially those that hinder you from achieving your target.
#5. Do you have successful social media reach?
Today, measuring the impact of social media is important for PR campaigns. Building your social media presence is inevitable. If your business is thriving online, you need to make sure that you prioritize this metric.
There is stiff competition among businesses. If you have a low social media reach, you need to reassess your strategies.
You need to know how much audience is reading your release or post on social media. One way to measure this is by looking at the number of followers. More social media followers is an indication that they like reading your valuable content and they want to read more.
Measuring your social media reach is significant because it indicates how far your content has circulated on the internet. It measures the growth rate of the audience. Furthermore, it helps to understand the latest social media algorithm in order to craft the most effective release in the future.
The most effective and easiest method to calculate this is by getting the numbers of your followers before and after your PR campaign. Do this for each social media network, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Luckily most of these social media platforms already have inbuilt programs that measure this metric.
#6. Did you earn brand mentions?
Another important thing that you need to look when weighing the effectiveness of PR is brand mentions. If your campaign is well- executed, it can result in several brand mentions.
Monitoring brand mention is important for your business. You need to know how your brand was mentioned. Is it good or bad publicity?
As we all know, not all mentions are good publicity. Negative reviews or feedback are negative publicity that you must address and not ignored.
When you monitor mentions, you can track negative things said about you and act at once. You can immediately issue a release to answer the issue.
When you know the conversations, you can identify who is talking about you. It’s an important opportunity to connect with your biggest fans and followers.
It gives you insights on who to target on your next campaign. The information is an important indication for you to improve your future campaigns.
If you earned brand mentions, spending on distribution is worth the money. It can land you media coverage, improve traffic, sales, and improve brand awareness.
#7. Did you improve your website traffic?
Some marketers want to improve their site traffic that’s why they used a wire service to syndicate their release. Increasing the number of your site’s visitors is one indication of the success of your PR campaign.
If you want to determine if it’s worth spending on distribution, achieving high traffic is one metric that you want to check. An increase in site traffic indicates that the distribution service you hired is reaching your target audience.
But before you questioned the service, you need to check first the quality of your release. Well-Written and engaging content can very well drive more traffic to a site.
Google Analytics provides a way to measure your traffic. The analytics report also provides this data at the end of your campaign.
If your answer to all these questions is “yes,” then your campaign is indeed successful. Spending for distribution of your release is all worth it if you’re going to track the results and get the outcome that you want.
Getting a good ROI is one indication. However, other metrics mentioned are also important.
Before you join the bandwagon that says that PR campaigns are just a waste of money, check the results first. You need to weigh how each metric differs and changes in your campaign.