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How to Harness the Wind and Channel it Into Traffic and Revenue

How to Harness the WindI just read this great article about measuring PR efforts:  Can Measurement Be the Light at the End of the PR Tunnel? and participated in a brief conversation about it in my LI group. I suspect the reason the LI discussion was so brief – 5 comments including mine, compared to discussions that last for weeks – is because PR pros are so new or have an aversion to measuring the results of PR efforts.

I’ve said this in all of the previous articles in this series: PR and marketing have converged and small clients in particular are looking for more value from their PR spend.   And for small clients, value translates into the ability to drive traffic and generate revenue; they need their PR people to be a one-stop shop.

The Not-So-Obvious Value of Measurement and Analytics

In the last article, I suggested that the key to driving traffic is to know your audience.   Here I want to discuss tweaking your content until it resonates or, put another way: using measurement and analytics to figure out how well you know your audience and how much tweaking you need to do.

Measuring your results tells you:

1. if your messaging was effective enough to drive people to your site
2. which pages people found most intriguing
3. what finally compelled them to become a customer
4. which messages brought people over from which outside site

I think Naida makes a great argument for measuring your efforts; what she doesn’t say is this:

Getting mentioned or quoted in the press doesn’t automatically turn into traffic – properly merchandising your publicity using email and social media is what turns publicity into traffic.

And now that I’ve said it, I can get back to the point I was building up to:

It takes courage to measure your results… 
because what if you find out your messaging isn’t working?

 

When I first started writing ‘content that sells’, I worked in quiet desperation toward the day when my client’s site would be ready for traffic and the moment of truth would come: either this will work or it won’t.

For weeks I toiled away on my long list of Must Do’s, constantly rubbing the back of my neck, repeatedly checking my phone for messages and blowing out short breaths trying to get a grip on what was about to happen…or not happen.

Then that fateful day came: the soft launch. We started inviting his newsletter subscribers to the new site and networking and posting messages on twitter and LinkedIn. And by the end of the week, people started clicking over. Then they started calling my client and he started emailing me, then calling with delightful stories – like the 80-year-old guy who found him on twitter. An 80-year old…on twitter? SMH. After the second such phone call, I distinctly remember flopping back in my chair thinking “hmph, this sh*t actually works!”

And each week, we can check our report and see who’s coming from where and why. A few of our messaging campaigns have been duds but we knew by week’s end that we needed to tweak the messaging based on the amount of traffic we got and how often the phone rang.

So the biggest lesson I learned from having the guts to measure our efforts was that whether you’re sure or unsure about your messaging (or anything else for that matter) step out and do it anyway – do it quickly, measure the results and heed what they tell you.   Otherwise, by the time you finish analyzing whether or not you should do it – or doing it wrong, the winds have changed directions and the opportunity now looks different or has blown away altogether.

 

 

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What do you think of the points the article made?  Was it helpful info?  What are your thoughts on executing a 6 month campaign – easy, not as easy as it sounds, something to think about?  Please enter your comments below.

 

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