Over the past ten years, SEO and PR professionals have found themselves trying to meet two client requests: wanting more and wanting it now. But is that the best option for all campaigns?
Not always. An excess of links no longer makes an innately successful campaign; and as PR and SEO roles are beginning to align more and more, we have to find new ways to define success. So how do you convince clients that more isn’t always better? Here are three tips for bridging the demand and reality gap below.
Defining what top tier means
In PR, we often refer to our best placement options as top tier. Clients may see top tier as the Forbes Magazines and New York Times of the world; but in reality, it refers to the places online their target audiences are having conversations. Of course, these media outlets can include Forbes, but it doesn’t mean that Forbes is a client’s best option for earned media.
When planning a PR or marketing campaign, pinpointing a particular topic can help you understand how to approach the conversation. Some top tier or best-in-show promotion opportunities may be on industry niche blogs, not large news outlets. These publications offer an opportunity to contribute to the conversation where audience members are having it. So, show clients the types of articles that resonate with their audience on the site and reassure them that home run promotions will look different for each campaign.
Understanding goals upfront
PR measurement has been a hotly debated topic over the years and continues to evolve with each passing day. With that in mind, clients often have no idea how to define success in a PR campaign. Help them understand what success looks like by defining goals with them upfront. Talk with them about what they are hoping to accomplish with the campaign. Are they looking for traffic, links or a download? Each of those goals will look very different in execution and should be understood before executing a campaign.
Links and a high amount of coverage may be a metric they are used to using in the past. But if the goal of the campaign is to drive more traffic to a landing page or to the site itself, quantity isn’t everything. Getting in front of the right audience can minimize the need for tons of coverage. Several placements are great, but if it’s not reaching the right audience and viewers aren’t clicking through, what’s the point? Defining goals upfront with clients will help them understand that quality media coverage will do more for their success than tons of placement.
Reporting on conversions
After defining goals, make sure to report to the client on the successes of the campaigns. Did a piece drive a high amount of traffic to the site? Were there several downloads of a gated piece of content as a result of a promotion? Showing the client successes throughout the campaign gives them confidence in the campaign, but also proves the theory that the right coverage will always outperform several irrelevant promotion opportunities.
Helping clients understand the success of a campaign goes far beyond the numbers. The success of future campaigns relies heavily on proving where their audience is most engaged and figuring out how to get them there. Once clients understand the places they need to be, it’s easier to help drive a campaign in that direction.
Defining goals and then reporting on the successes of the goals will show clients that quality will win over quantity every time. When you show them hard data that points to success, you ensure they will be thinking in these new terms for future campaigns.