You learned in B-School that PR/AR was the best bang for the buck, but traditional PR/AR has its limitations. There are only so many press and analyst out there in your industry to brief and they only want to hear from you every so often.
So what else can you do and how can you measure goodness? Here are 5 quick tips to increase your exposure with a limited air cover budget and how to measure success. Roll up your shirt sleeves!
1- Bloggers are here with us to stay and some have become industry opinion leaders, be their friends. Use the 80:20 rule and know which bloggers in your industry have the most traffic. Reach out and brief them – ask them what they need to know in order for to write about you. Deliver the information they want in the briefing and close the deal. Also, have subject matter experts (SMEs) contribute comments to bloggers’ blogs. Again concentrate efforts using the 80:20 rule. Make sure SMEs include links to your Website. A little more complex, include common shortened URLs by bit.ly to gain insight into which destinations on your Website are attracting the most interest.
How to measure success – Inbound referral traffic from their blog URL over time. Google Analytics provides this in the Referral Traffic report. Referenceable referral links are the #1 contributor to improved Google Page rankings.
2- Your blog is key to generating traffic to your Website and improving your Google ranking and thus more awareness and traffic to your Website. Google Page rankings rate Websites higher that have frequent updates of valuable content. Hubspot reports that companies that blog 15 or more times per month get 5X more traffic than companies that don't blog at all. And if you're a small business, increasing your blogging frequency can move the needle even more. Small businesses (1-10 employees) tend to see the biggest gains in traffic when they publish more articles and B2C companies see even more of an affect than B2B companies.
How to measure success – traffic landing on your blog whatever the source.
3- Leverage your blog into your LinkedIn and Facebook social media (SM) channels. Make posts to your company LinkedIn and Facebook pages that coincide with your blog posts. Use common shortened URLs from bit.ly. Using common shortened URLs will enable you to track total traffic to a destination page coming from social media. This means you can see which blogs appeal most to your audience or whether your audience was curious enough to click through to your new video. Always good to know what your constituencies consider important. Also, don’t be afraid to include links to good articles, partner sites etc. this is social media and it is not all about you.
How to measure success – Again, inbound links and traffic from them, but LinkedIn and Facebook both supply good analytics tools for free. You will be able to see what your growth patterns are, what the demographics of your visitors are, what your reach is, which posts gained the most traction. Bit.ly provides free analytics that compile the total clicks on your shortened URLs. If you have consistently used these you will have good information on what content on your website is attractive to your constituents. You will also see traffic to external destinations you included in tweets and posts.
4- Tweeting - Leverage your blogs into Tweets. To get more retweets, tweet between 120 and 130 characters. These tend to get retweeted more often than longer and shorter tweets. Placing links about 25% of the way through your tweet will statistically get more click throughs. Slow down your tweeting links, the higher the frequency of tweets the lower the click through rate, no more than one link per hour. Include the words “Via”, “@”, “RT”, “please” and “check”. Statistically they show higher CTR. Use more verb and adverbs and fewer adjectives and nouns. There is a higher CTR when more verbs & adjectives are used. Tweet on the weekend for more click-throughs, tweet in the afternoon rather than the morning for more click-throughs. Use hashtags (tweets with hashtags are 2x more likely to be retweeted). Ask for it (brands get a 23x higher retweet rate by asking for a “retweet”). Use your bit.ly common shortened links to track what destinations interest your followers. Or use the Hootsuite URL shortener ow.ly and they will be tracked in Hootsuite.
How to measure success - Hootsuite is a free tool that provides some analytics about your tweets (also some about your LI & FB channels). You can see your Twitter follower growth. With the unpaid version you will have to do a bit of tallying, but you can see tweets, retweets, mentions and keywords. Use bit.ly to see landing sites if you used bit.ly links or if you used Hootsuites URL shortener ow.ly. Great tool for free (You can also set schedule tweets from Hootsuite).
5- If you have images use them in tweets & posts. Tweets including photos are significantly more likely to be passed along via retweet. Tweets containing pictures uploaded using pic.Twitter.com links are nearly twice as likely to be retweeted than those without the link. Photos embedded with pic.Twitter.com show up directly in the Twitter stream, meaning people only need to open the tweet to view the photo. Using Facebook links are less likely to be passed along, it just is, what does that say about Twitter users?
How to measure it – Do you really want to test this one?