Google processes 40,000 search queries every second. That's roughly 3.5 billion searches per day, or 1.2 trillion every year.
While only a small percentage of these searches will be from your target audience, it still makes for a pretty substantial number. The problem is that a lot of small and midsize businesses do not have a data-driven PR strategy to amplify their content strategy, and thus are not reaching as many of their target customers as they could.
A data-driven PR strategy can put your business in front of more potential customers by landing placements on high-traffic news outlets or hyper-focused thought leadership platforms in your niche. For example, once a marketing campaign is in motion, a data-driven PR strategy is what you need in order to hit those growth goals. For example, maybe it's to increase new visitors to your homepage by X percent over 60 days. In case you need convincing, here are five specific reasons why you should use data in your PR strategy.
1. Data informs content.
Do you know the type of content your target audience likes, or the major talking points in your industry right now? Are you able to confirm your assumption based on the data?
Successful marketing comes down to accurate research. To land syncs on the most popular news outlets, first you'll need to publish something unique, because guess what? The biggest news outlets know exactly what their audiences like to read and are always on the lookout for content that hits the most popular themes.
Here is where the previously isolated departments of PR, content marketing and SEO converge today. If you know what your customers are interested in, you can create new content that appeals to these interests, which, in turn, can impact your industry and drive new visitors to your site. The only way to know what content to create is if you understand what the data tells you about the interests of your target audience.
2. Data tells you what is and isn't working.
Let's say you landed a couple of guest posts on important niche platforms. It took a lot of work, and you think it will bring in tons of new traffic. After a couple of months, sales begin to grow, and you want to attribute it to your PR efforts. Specifically, you want to know which guest-posting platform is bringing in the late-stage buyers. But how can you tell?
The only way you will know where your new group of high-value customers is coming from is by monitoring referral traffic in Google Analytics. The free platform will show you, for example, how much traffic came from which third-party (or referral) site, making it clear which sync was most effective and which ones were not worth it. If Google Analytics is new to you, it's a good place to start your foray into the world of digital data and its impact on website performance and business revenue.
The point is that data gives you the knowledge to create a feedback loop in your marketing strategy and accurately measure what works by …
- Building an outreach strategy
- Measuring what works
- Learning how to refine your approach for the next cycle
- Monitoring your referral track
3. Data is a shareable asset.
Data on your product offering is a high-quality linkable asset. Numbers represent hard truths about the world and the effectiveness of your product, so finding ways to incorporate data into your content publishing plan makes sense. It does not need to be a comprehensive survey or a long-term research study like you see in the academic sciences. On the contrary, you can turn a single piece of data into a linkable asset for a PR campaign.
The onus is on you and your marketing or PR team to come up with interesting facts to share with your target audience. If you can find some surprising numbers that convey the value or success of your product, then you are well on your way to showing new audiences what your existing customers already know: You make an awesome product.
Be strategic and you will be great.
In order to reach the thousands of potential customers who search Google every day, you need to meticulously use data to your advantage. PR is one of the most powerful ways to amplify your brand, but it needs to be driven by analytic insight to be effective. The PR industry, as a whole, is adapting in response to big data insights on performance – and this is good news for small and midsize business owners who want to see tangible returns on their PR investment.