PR pros have embraced storytelling more than ever before.
Though media relations and other PR strategies have always contained elements of storytelling, the rise of content marketing and brand journalism means communicators must craft tales that their audiences want to read if they want to stay relevant and gain public favor.
However, like many traditional PR strategies, measuring the impact and success of storytelling campaigns can seem an insurmountable task.
Use these five measurement tools to help prove your worth to executives and clients:
PR pros often use storytelling as a way to get reporters to pick up their content—or bypass news outlets altogether in favor or brand journalism.
Whether you pitch your stories to journalists or publish it yourself on your organization’s website and social media profiles, it’s still a worthy goal to have reporters share your content online.
With Muck Rack’s “Who Shared My Link,” PR pros can plug in the URL of an article or other piece of content and see how many social media shares it has, along with a list of reporters and bloggers who posted it.
The tool is straightforward and free to use.
PR pros have struggled with measuring the impact of media relations and other communications efforts, but AirPR offers a missing piece to the puzzle.
The tool tracks traffic, search, engagement and sales actions that result from press releases and other branded content, so PR pros can see stories and news items that are driving interaction and boosting a brand’s image with its audience. You can also track your competitors’ activity to help identify missed opportunities.
AirPR isn’t for those with a small PR budget; brand managers who spend $10,000 or more on PR each month can request a demo and get more information.
“Increasingly, your customers are communicating in pictures not words,” a page on the tool’s website reads. “Curalate gives you the power to unlock these visual conversations and market with images at social scale.”
Curalate uses image-recognition algorithms to analyze and measure content on Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook. It then provides measurement on your own online content, as well as insights to your content that social media users are sharing.
Prices for Curalate’s visual analytics services vary, but PR pros hesitant about shelling out the cash should remember that the tool is the only visual analytics provider in Pinterest’s Business Insights API initiative.
Curalate is also part of Tumblr’s “A-List” program, as well as an Instagram platform developer, meaning the tool will continue to work with these social media websites even after other companies are locked out.
Google Analytics is a vital tool for measuring storytelling efforts. Google Tag Manager can give you even more detailed insights.
The tool helps PR pros and an organization’s IT team set up snippets of HTML code on a website, which will fire “tags” every time a visitor completes a specified action, such as downloading a white paper, signing up for a webinar or sharing an article online through one of your social media share buttons.
PR pros can then access additional Google Analytics data showing them how many social media shares or conversions came directly from a brand’s website—not from other sources such as Google AdWord campaigns or other social media sharing.
Google Tag Manager is free to use, but setting it up may seem daunting. Cision has a detailed postabout its features and use.
Many PR and marketing pros have turned to bloggers as well as consumers with large, engaged social media followings to boost storytelling efforts.
However, a person’s reach and influence can be hard to see at first glance.
Niche is a network of online creators, gathering information from each user’s connected social media profiles so that brand managers can see the influence on each online platform.
PR pros can look at a person’s overall online influence as well as which platforms have the most interaction and then select brand ambassadors who fit your criteria. Selecting ambassadors, running an “influencer” marketing campaign and measuring each campaign’s success are all run through Niche’s website.
Online creators and social media rock stars can join Niche for free, but the price for brands varies.