Measuring the success of PR engagement
Raise your hand if you read reviews of an item before you purchase it? I’m guessing your hand is raised. In fact, 92 percent of consumers read reviews online before making a purchase. Why do we do it? More times than not, we not only trust the feedback of others and want to make sure they were pleased with the item, but also make sure it’s worth the value of our investment.
This same concept applies to the healthcare industry today. More and more consumers are shopping around for doctors and specialists. We want to make sure the doctor and office staff doesn’t have a long wait time, doesn’t overcharge patients, and has good patient reviews and outcomes. The best doctors are usually found through word of mouth and brand awareness. This is where the role of PR comes into play−building awareness and trust for a brand, product or healthcare provider.
So how does PR help build awareness and in turn, lead to return on investment (ROI)? PR professionals rely on a key few strategies:
- Testimonials and word-of-mouth reviews: About 72 percent of millennials say they take their “friends” opinions into account before making a purchase and 54 percent of millennials look online before choosing a doctor. It’s important for companies and healthcare organizations to gather testimonials and post online where users will see right away. Include testimonials on brochures, flyers or send a survey to patients asking for feedback.
- Steady stream of news: In addition to reviews and testimonials, it’s important for healthcare organizations to provide consumers with current content. This includes press releases on various awards won, new solutions added to platforms, new locations opening, new providers added to staff, etc. as well as thought leadership articles and interviews with local and trade media.
- Social media platforms: Tools such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and now Instagram, allow consumers to actively engage with brands and thought leaders.
Once organizations incorporate these strategies into their PR plan, it’s important to measure success, enabling organizations to know if their programs are driving revenue. Most PR organizations use monitoring tools to gather analytics and insights on their programs. Key metrics to measure include the following:
- Website visitors from owned and earned media: This allows organizations to track the number of website visitors from advertising efforts and media placements. Tracking websites to see which receive the most traffic allows PR teams to adjust plans.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Do your primary keywords appear on the first page of Google? PR organizations should track these keywords on a quarterly basis and incorporate these words into website content and new content development pieces. Search results provide a look into how a prospective company will find (or not find) an organization one the first page of results.
- Lead gen and sales conversions: Lead gen tools such as Pardot helps organizations measure and nurture quality leads. The number of sales conversations is a clear measure of success for organizations.
- Google Analytics: PR professionals should track metrics such as bounce rates, conversation rates, key words leading to content, time users on spending on various website pages and referrals. All results are key to adjusting PR plans and measuring ROI.
How as your company successfully measured PR metrics? What has resonated with your clients?