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Blogs  / September 16, 2021

Metrics that matter to optimize your content strategy

by Melissa Koski, Strategic Account Director

Welcome back to our blog series about earned media strategy and measurement! This week, we’re concluding the series with an overview of how to measure earned media success and optimize your strategy using these data and insights.

The shift toward qualitative vs. quantitative metrics

Recent research shows that communications departments are spending more resources on media measurement and analysis, and using the data to show how their efforts contribute to broader business goals and prove their worth.

While impressions, Share of Voice (SOV) and reach continue to be the standard measures of communications effectiveness, today communicators must get more qualitative than that and dig deeper. 

Even drilling down one extra layer and specifying a target media list that’s important to your brand makes your measurement significantly more meaningful and rich when it comes to demonstrating actionable impact on your business.

For example, one feature article in a target publication is worth much more than ten articles with passing brand mentions in non-relevant publications. 

Using qualitative metrics such as social amplification, sentiment and target media placements can also help you uncover powerful and often unexpected insights about the publications, authors, stories and messages that move the needle for your brand. Based on these data-driven insights, you can further optimize your earned media strategy. 

Onclusive offers a number of innovative metrics that can help you optimize your strategies and showcase your results to your C-suite:

  • Power of Voice™, Onclusive’s proprietary content quality metric, enables the discovery of the most impactful outlets, authors and content. 
  • Social amplification trends allow you to quickly understand which articles are being amplified and engaged with on social media, which is a great measure of how much your content resonates and how many more eyeballs it receives beyond the original publication. 
  • Reader Engagement finally answers the question whether your earned media is actually being consumed, and if so, by who and for how long.
  • Brand Impact helps you understand which stories are likely to influence your audience to take desired actions.
  • PR Attribution™, invented and perfected by Onclusive, empowers you to demonstrate the bottom line of your PR efforts by connecting your content to actual business outcomes, including revenue.
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quote Talia James-Armand Associate Director of PR and Communications, Edmunds
With the Onclusive platform, we are able to track the metrics that matter. Our communications metrics are integrated into our overall marketing performance measurement framework, and we can show our C-Suite executives how earned media KPIs like Power of Voice tie into the company’s business objectives.

One of the benefits of using these more qualitative metrics is providing your C-suite with the information they haven’t seen before and can easily relate to. Demonstrating impact in terms of website sign-ups driven by specific stories or publications resonates with executives quite well.

On the flipside, one of the challenges we see for adoption of these new metrics is that some of them are narrower in scope—for example, website traffic and website actions from your content, measured by PR Attribution, will certainly result in less significant numbers than, say, article views, readership and reach. 

The answer? Use percentage change basis instead of absolute numbers to showcase your success. 

Don’t use metrics simply as your report carduse these data and insights to optimize and shift your earned media and overall communications strategy.

At the end of the day, none of the metrics are right or wrong. The important part is measuring what is meaningful to you, understanding why you’re measuring it, and how you will use these data and insights to improve the performance of your communications strategies. 

In summary, start with your corporate goals, develop your content to align with these goals, distribute it strategically and proactively, and learn and adjust based on objectively measuring your results.

Join us for The Ultimate Guide to Earned Media Measurement & Strategy webinar on September 23 at 1:00 pm EST. In this session, our panelists will share recommendations and best practices around developing an effective earned media strategy and measuring success of your earned media activities in a way that showcases your business impact and return on investment (ROI).