“Huzzah!” Shouted the PR executive. “We’ve got a great piece of coverage in a leading national newspaper reaching one million readers!”
“Excellent news! Now what?” Replied the technology company.
Now what indeed. Insights have been collected, the campaign has been planned and you’ve delivered the coverage. The next piece of the puzzle is optimisation. It’s all well and good celebrating a great piece of coverage, but if you’re not going to do anything with it then you’re not able to maximise those results and get as much ROI from PR as you deserve. Optimising your coverage means more people will see it, letting your coverage live on beyond the initial post.
Many businesses aren’t utilising what they produce to help them deliver business results, and are even missing out on some of the basics. Taking your content and coverage further should be part and parcel of any campaign being delivered.
The PESO model – which stands for paid, earned, shared and owned media – is a great methodology to follow when it comes to optimising results. Although you’ll need to switch it around a bit, starting with owned media, shared media and then considering some paid methods.
By using OSP (Owned, Shared and Paid), we offer three tips for optimising your PR results.
If you do achieve a great piece in an influential publication, the easiest way to make the most out of the credibility is posting it on your company website/blog. Posting coverage content to your site allows you to optimise the page for Google, meaning you can use the credibility of appearing in a publication to make your company more findable on Google. However, remember that Google does penalise content duplication, so make sure you use a short intro that says something like “In the most recent issue of The Times, we were featured in an article on XYZ”, before going into detail. You don’t want to get into a copyright spat with the publication!
Everything you do on your channels, particularly your website and your blog, should be done with SEO in mind. Use keywords in a way that doesn’t look like keyword stuffing e.g. ‘Shop for coffee and learn how Starbucks UK can help you get more out of your coffee. Visit a coffeehouse near you.’ Web pages should include keywords, but it needs to sound natural. It’s important to make the most of this content to support your SEO presence online. Google encourages the publication of fresh and relevant content, and great coverage is exactly that.
You should be looking to make the most of every piece of content you produce, increasing ‘bang for buck’. Any byline can be posted to LinkedIn and attributed to the company executive’s profile who it was written by, just remember to include that all important trackable link to your website and say ‘Originally published in XYZ’. It’s also best practice to wait a week to republish content on LinkedIn, perhaps with a change to the top and tail of the article. To amplify further, target and share your LinkedIn piece with an update in relevant industry forums on LinkedIn but no more than two or three, otherwise it will look like spam.
The best resource available to you when it comes to shared media is your workforce. One easy way to encourage workforce sharing is to create an internal newsletter with content that can easily be shared at the click of a button, sending out a pre-written tweet and update. Another good tool to use is Everyone Social, where admins can collate content for employees, who can then choose what to post and can also personalise it for their network.
Whether you’ve done the above or not, it’s always worth considering paid options. If, for example, you’ve posted the piece to the company social pages, posted it on LinkedIn, and got your spokesperson and employees to post about it and seed it with groups, it could be worth doing some additional paid social media spend. Each social media platform offers a varying degree of customisation to adverts.
For example, on LinkedIn, you could put some paid social spend behind your post. Using your company profile, you can set up sponsored content to target a specific group of people, perhaps marketing managers and marketing directors at retail companies. You can then cap the amount of money you want to spend by day and by campaign, and then execute it, watching the clicks roll in and the shares and likes on your post increase. With a trackable link on your article, you can monitor how many people click through to the website and what they do once they’re there.
Don’t let PR end after Earned
Sometimes companies will spend lots of time on content creation, but don’t invest enough time into content distribution. This just gives you a ‘create once, use once’ scenario, when it should really be ‘create once, use many times’.
The above tips can be used together or in isolation to ensure that PR doesn’t just stop after you’ve earned coverage, but takes results further by providing measurable ROI on your PR spend. By following the PESO methodology, you can level-up earned coverage by working through owned, shared and paid to help maximise the results. It’s not wise to do this for EVERY single piece of coverage you get, but it should be top of mind for those flagship pieces of earned media for your brand.
If you’d like to learn more about optimisation, Firefly has a downloadable piece of content available that details a range of paid, shared and owned tactics to use to amplify PR content and coverage. It’s available for download in full here.
When you create a great piece of PR content and place it with press, you shouldn’t just stop there. To make the most of your marketing dollar (pound, euro or more!) you need to optimise and amplify your earned coverage following the PESO model – paid, earned, shared and owned. One of the easiest ways to amplify coverage is using your paid media – the channels that require cash to extend your influence beyond your owned and shared networks.
Whether you’ve amplified content already with owned and shared methods, it’s always worth considering paid options. For example, if you’ve posted a piece of content on LinkedIn to your company page, the author has posted it too and it’s been shared by employees and in groups, it may also be worth doing some additional paid social media spend.
So on LinkedIn, you could put paid spend behind the company post about a byline. LinkedIn allows you to set up sponsored content for existing posts (or you can make a brand new one) and target a specific group of people, perhaps marketing managers and marketing directors at retail companies. You can cap the amount of money by day and by campaign to limit your spending. Once done, execute your campaign and watch the clicks, shares and likes on your post roll in. Make sure you use a trackable link to measure impact on the website and see what people do once they land there.
When you have a chunky piece of content like a whitepaper or a research study, it may be worth investing some money into paid search advertising against certain keywords relevant to that piece of content. Google AdWords has a tool called Keyword Planner, which can be used to see which keywords have a high search volume (over last 12 months), the suggested cost-per-click price and how competitive they are, i.e. are other people bidding on those terms. Once you have your keywords planned and your budget set, you can start placing display adverts in search results that generate traffic to the landing page for your content.
Another paid option is content discovery platforms, like Outbrain, which places content at the bottom of media sites to direct readers to articles they may also be interested in reading. Companies like Madison Logic can also help to generate leads through a publisher network. This is particularly valuable for any high-quality content, such as a whitepaper. By working with publishers, Madison Logic tracks the behaviour and content consumption of users. The technology collects ‘intent’ data from the past 90 days, which enables the identification of the right targets.
Over the past four weeks, Firefly has been detailing how brands can use the PESO model – paid, earned, shared and owned – to amplify content and coverage. Sometimes companies will spend lots of time on content creation, but don’t invest enough time into content distribution. This just gives you a ‘create once, use once’ scenario, when it should really be ‘create once, use many times’. But by following this
Tune in next week to download our full report that’ll have all our tips in one place, so you can use PESO tactics to ensure PR doesn’t stop after earned, and you can your results further to provide measurable ROI on your PR spend.
Usually our tool of the month is something that you might not have come across before, but this month we want to look at some of the new – or hidden – functionality that you might not have come across in the professional social network, LinkedIn.
If you have the LinkedIn app on your phone and have granted permission for it to access your contacts, you might not have noticed that it will automatically suggest connecting with anyone listed as a contact on your phone. In some instances – meeting a colleague at a conference and only having their phone number but not their company name – this will be helpful, but in others – friends, family, neighbours, former lovers, it may verge on slightly creepy.
Secondly, LinkedIn recently launched its Website Demographics tool, which allows site owners to see the demographics of their web visitors. LinkedIn’s audience segmentation is almost without rival when it comes to B2B marketing, so being able to see the seniority, industry and company size of your site visitors is incredibly useful. The tool will appear as part of LinkedIn campaign manager and is gradually going live over the summer period.
These two tools go hand in hand with LinkedIn’s ‘matched audience’ functionality – essentially identical to Facebook’s lookalike targeting. It’s taken a little while for LinkedIn to offer marketers a sophisticated martech experience, but we’re excited by this evolution and looking forward to whatever the network has planned for the future.
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