While quality PR campaigns certainly begin around the conceptualization table, their true pulse is met and measured in real-world metrics. But we get it, this is way easier said than done. Good campaigns require a blend of ideation, impression and analysis in order to reach full fruition. Great campaigns go one step further.
They’re multidimensional, well researched, targeted and always exist in versatile, flexible states. They maintain descriptive key performance indicators, have strategic and realistic goals and never grow stagnant. In other words, they take some serious work – but nothing your PR team and you can’t handle.
Yet how do you navigate from the business room to brand leads? How do you measure and ensure the real-life success, and what are the steps to even get there? Such are the hazy questions left to sift through before each and every campaign. Luckily there’s one secret amid all this: key performance indicators.
KPI’s: What are they really?
From its textbook definition, you know KPIs are PR-friendly tools and measurement factors to evaluate the success of your company’s campaigns and activities. Yet this definition still lies in the abstract and doesn’t necessarily do a lot for the strategically tangible.
What good KPIs provide, are targeted information and data conveyance well beyond traditional levels. They don’t stop at saying you’re making more money post-campaign, they tell you where, why and how that profit has been gleaned.
The list below is a comprehensive look at essential campaign KPIs. Missing or underutilizing even one of these functions could mean a gaping hole in your PR campaigning.
• Incremental sales: Increases in sales often coordinating with increases in expenses.
• Traffic sources: Where your sale traffic comes from, whether direct and indirect hits, organic searches or even client referrals.
• Purchase funnel: Consumer-focused models illustrating the steps leading up to purchasing your product or service.
• SEOs and keyword performance: Increasing your online hits and visibility through embedded brand wording and rank.
• Goal completion/end action rates: Monitoring consumers’ actions and responses after coming into contact with your campaign.
• Social media interactions: The engagement levels of your social media channels.
• Cost per lead: How cost-effective are newly garnered leads in terms of the budget spent to nab ’em?
It can’t be stressed enough how full and encompassing each of these metrics must be. PR campaigns are definitely not a case where less is more. Use KPIs and use them generously.
Why KPIs matter
KPIs are imperative because they are the building blocks for return on investment. It’s no longer enough to see budgets in the green – you need to know what’s working and why. This, in turn, shapes future revenue campaigns while still sustaining the activities working in brand favor.
Strong KPIs are inherently linked to stronger ROI’s. And calculating ROI has never been more accurate than with the KPI data steps outlined above.
See examples for yourself:
• Traffic sources and social media interaction tip you off to where your lead generation originally stems from.
• Goal completion/end action with cost per lead analyzes the opportunity value of each lead. Put simply, you can divide the average value per lead win by the average lead-to-win ration to give your PR team insight on campaign price performance.
• Purchase funnels afford greater means to reach target audiences, increasing the odds of sales.
How to creatively and consciously use KPI’s
Consider implementing a host of the aforementioned KPI strategies along with customary techniques. Are press clippings and online reviews positive? Are banner ads and company websites seeing traffic? Are you conducting market surveys or even asking new customers how they found you?
And while there is no magic formula to guarantee a fairy-tale ending for all PR work, you can rest assured capitalizing on the wealth of KPI resources is the sturdiest vantage point for realizing your next campaign.