Some PR agencies claim it’s impossible to quantify the impact of PR for startups, instead relying on vanity metrics and vague criteria, such as ad value equivalency and media impressions. At Walker Sands, we know these numbers only serve to dilute and muffle the real impact of PR.
Quantifying the ROI of PR for Startups
While it’s true that some of the benefits of PR are inherently difficult to quantify, including awareness and visibility, there are more sophisticated and accurate ways to determine the business impact of a PR program or campaign for your startup.
The key is an integrated, data-driven approach that incorporates media relations, digital and thought leadership content, and influencer relations. There are a variety of digital tools and metrics to track and monitor the performance of these programs over time.
- Website Traffic: Customers conduct significant research online before selecting a service partner or technology product. Companies must be present across the wide array of channels and outlets where prospects are researching, and PR can be a great tool for increasing visibility online. Strong PR placements in media outlets and influential blogs generate backlinks to your website and content that positions you as an expert to search engines and your target audience. You can gain insight into the online impact of PR for startups by measuring sales or conversions from referral Web traffic, qualified inbound leads through contact forms, Web traffic to target landing pages and growth in email database.
- Social Media Conversations and Perceptions: Social media conversions can help startups understand industry trends, client pain points and customer sentiment. For many startups, social media channels and referrals are a primary source of sales and buzz. Based on your goals, industry and customer base, social media metrics around conversation volume and sentiment over time can provide valuable information and customer data.
- Media Market Share: Media coverage, product and technology reviews, expert commentary and contributed articles give your startup third-party validation. This increases customer confidence and excitement, ultimately driving more sales and awareness for your startup. You can measure your amount of media share compared with direct competitors and similar companies in your industry to see how you stack up in terms of PR performance and media coverage.
These are only a few of the metrics that can you can track to understand how PR impacts your startup and business results. By setting clear goals and success indicators, startups can take an analytical and data-driven approach to PR programs.
PR for Startups Expertise
When it comes to effective marketing and PR for startups, measurement must be a top priority. If your current PR partner only shares vanity metrics and vague performance indicators, it’s time for a change.
At Walker Sands, we help our startup clients hone the power of PR to drive meaningful business results. We are entrepreneurial in nature and love supporting fast-growing startups in a range of B2B and tech industries. Learn more about results-driven startup PR programs by calling us at (312) 235-6173 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.