A data-driven approach example
Making a case for data-driven communications would be hypocritical if we didn’t measure the results of our own campaign. Read this post to get a data-driven approach example.
On February 5th, we released an ebook called, “The Data-Driven Mindset.” The report covers research we did last year asking communicators and marketers how they measure their work.
So having released the ebook last month, I will share the results of what we have achieved so far and what we have learned along the way.
Analyze your PR with Mynewsdesk. Check it out!
Together with the marketing team, we did a combination of paid, shared, owned and earned activities. I will take you through each of them now.
1. Earned media – the power of third-party validation
We used the Mynewsdesk newsrooms to get our press release out.
And thanks to the media outreach of the team in Sweden, Norway, and Germany, we managed to get 25 pieces of media coverage.
The release was also published in the UK, Finland, and Denmark where Mynewsdesk has opt-in subscribers to the newsroom, resulting in media coverage even when no personalized media outreach was done.
But first, our PR person Sara Lindström did some research to see what some of the major media outlets we wanted to target were talking about. She then found an angle that resonated: “Only 1 in 5 can explain Artificial Intelligence.”
Monitor what the media is writing about
Before the release of the ebook, Sara set up an alert in our media monitoring tool to track what was being published about AI and data in trade magazines.
A few days before the launch, LinkedIn released its annual Global Talent Trends report that highlighted the growing demand for insights-based business development and artificial intelligence.
As several media outlets cited this report, Sara found that the topic of AI would be a relevant one to pitch. Our own findings would support or contradict LinkedIn’s results, which created an interesting angle for us.
The Swedish press release generated 888 views: 253 came from the web, 470 from email and 165 from alert news subscribers.
Our PR person Sara chose an extremely targeted approach, sending the press release to only 14 contacts, which shows in an excellent opening (71%) and click rate (21%).
The media outreach was done before the official launch, using the send exclusive feature in the Mynewsdesk tool, to selected journalists and outlets.
The send exclusive feature allows you to send a draft of a press release that isn’t live yet. Moreover, you can add a personal note to it and track the open rate and clicks of the journalists you are targeting.
What’s practical with this feature is that you can follow up with a timely phone call to address any questions a journalist may have. Because they are already showing interest in your news, you can reach out to see if they need any additional info.
Learning: Basic stuff–angle your news release to the media outlet’s interest. Send a targeted email to the relevant journalist or journalists. Don’t spam everyone! Also, build your opt-in subscriber lists, as that is a more effective and easier way to engage with your audience.
Gain extra reach thanks to PR
Why even focus on earned media?
Well, the answer is simple: you can take advantage of and reach the audiences that media outlets have built over decades.
According to CoverageBook, the data-driven comms has brought us:
- 5.82M online readership
- 81.2K estimated views
- 18 links from coverage
- 240 social shares
Okay, this might be a vanity metric, but it’s free publicity.
For this project, the external spend was 80,000 SEK. If we look at the cost-per-view, we paid 1.01 SEK per estimated view. More importantly, thanks to the PR efforts, we were able to get 18 backlinks to mynewdesk.com, which will help improve our domain authority and page rank for the long run.
Our goal was to get 15 pieces of media coverage and, wow, we exceed it with 23.
Learning: If you want to increase your domain authority and page rank, try to get links back to your website. Your PR efforts should increasingly focus on supporting your organization’s SEO.
2. Owned channels are there to be leveraged
Regarding owned channels, we created various landing pages for the ebook. We also did some email campaigns. Below you will find the results of each.
Email is still our most powerful channel
Some people may think email is dead, but for Mynewsdesk email is still one of our most powerful outbound channels.
We sent out an email in all markets to introduce our latest ebook to some 58000 people.
When you do email send outs, a best practice is to ensure your delivery rate is above 90%. You do that by making sure people opt-in to receive your communications, as well as providing them with an easy way to unsubscribe.
Our email had an opening rate of 21% and a click-to-open rate of 4%. The main call to action was to download our ebook. The link led to a landing page where people could fill in their details to get the report.
For us, the email had a fairly decent opening rate, but the click-to-open rate could have been improved.
When it comes to email metrics, it’s essential to create your baseline, based on all your email results, and try to ensure that you always strive to improve.
Learning: See how your email compares to similar send outs of its type. Also, ensure that from your email to the landing page the look and feel are consistent. For both, we used the same blue image to reinforce recognition. Your email should also always include some call-to-action, and it’s recommended to have just one and not numerous CTAs for conversion purposes.
Focus on optimizing conversion on your landing page
So from the email, people were directed to our landing page to download the ebook. By looking at Google Analytics data, you should look at the number of visits compared to the number of form submissions.
Below you can see the number of unique visitors to our pages, downloads and conversion rates. According to our conversion expert, anything above 15% is decent. However, she did also mention that conversion rates depend largely on the type of traffic you are sending to a page and via which channel. For example, an email to engaged customers will have a much higher conversion rate than let’s say a display ad.
Overall, though, you should be striving for more quality traffic than quantity because this will result in higher conversions and more qualified leads.
|Country||Unique visitors||Downloads||Conversion rate|
Next, attribute your owned content to some marketing metrics
- 2185 downloads (clicks)
- 482 new names
- 204 marketing qualified leads
- 73 sales accepted leads
- 18 opportunities in the pipeline
- 14% in closed opportunities and marketing generated revenue
This is based on their personal status from the day the campaign was launched until now. By interacting with our comms, they’ve gathered points at each step and have become more engaged.
Our goal is to achieve 4,000 downloads within three months; it might be a bit hard for us to reach it, but we are trying our best.
Something for us to do is to include a hard call-to-action (CTAs) about our product within the ebook. It might lead to a few clicking it and therefore contribute to them going faster down the funnel.
Another thing is to get all new names to enter some nurture program.
Lastly, we only did one email send out, and it might be worth doing 1-2 follow-up emails to all those that did not open the first email. Many of us are busy, so a reminder email is always a good thing.
Learning: Don’t be shy to include some hard CTAs in your content. You never know when and if somebody is ready to want to know more about your product or services. Follow up with a few reminders to non-openers and change the subject line if you didn’t attract their attention the first time.
Partner webinars provide added value
Next, we wanted to further promote the findings from our survey and the content we created for the ebook in a partner webinar. We lined up experts from SEMrush, Quintly, and Klipfolio to critique the results from the Data-Driven Mindset ebook.
Mention organized the webinar and asked each partner to promote it.
According to GotoWebinar, we got 600 registrants, 85 attended and 150 people viewed the on-demand webinar.
Our attendance level for the webinar was disappointing, but we looked into it and the timing of the event was wrong–having a webinar at 5 p.m is not a suitable time for our audiences in the Nordic and DACH region, of course.
Landing page performance:
- 1468 visitors to the signup page (incl. replays visitors)
- 606 Registrants + (50% conversion rate)
- 102 Replays
- 504 New contacts
- Social Media = 15 registrants (13 new names) mainly from Linkedin
- Email Marketing = 161 registrants (4 new names), one from the newsletter
- Website slider = 50 registrants (47 new names)
- Partners efforts = 397 registrants (369 new names)
- 81 attendees
- 14% attendance rate (our average is closer to 25%)
Learning: With webinars, like emails, also create a baseline performance. What are the average numbers of registrants and attendees you get and how does it compare to your current one? For us, we’ve done webinars that have performed better. We did a follow-up survey and discovered that the time wasn’t optimal for participants.
3. Paid promotion gets you new names
We’ve done some Facebook promotion and used the Facebook lead-gen form.
So far, we have gotten some 396 sign-ups. According to my PPC expert here, e-books like this one are converting but to a higher cost-per-conversion than, for example, content templates.
|Country||Sign ups||Conversion rate|
As you can see, the Facebook forms have almost twice as high conversion rates than the landing pages. This could be due to many reasons but a few possible reasons are:
- The form is hosted on Facebook, which gives a clear red thread from ad to form
- The ads are targeting a very specific and relevant audience
- The loading time on the form is very short
Learning: Facebook lead-gen forms are more effective than sending a person over to a landing page to convert. As our PPC expert, Josefin Haglund has discovered, Facebook forms lead to double the number of conversions. Make sure you are constantly optimizing your paid promotion activities to lower the cost-per-conversion.
4. Sharing is caring
Social Media is a channel mainly focusing on brand awareness. However, we’ve managed to find a way to both give value and generate business, and we’ll tell you how.
According to Amanda Lundin, our social media manager, LinkedIn is a channel for business related stuff. “Linkedin wants you to be better at your job. At least according to Linkedin themselves. And being data-driven is a way of being better at your job, right? Because no matter what you work with, you will always have metrics that you will be measured against.”
We shared the ebook both on Linkedin and on Facebook. The Facebook posts didn’t fly at all. The reach was low and the conversion even lower. Not that surprising if you think about the fact that Facebook doesn’t favor posts from companies.
However, the LinkedIn post performed better, and we can thank our employees for that. They shared and liked it, and that affected the reach. We also made an infographic and linked the post to the landing page.
We reached more than 3,000 people with this post, and we had over 50 link clicks.
Thanks to Mention we could also track and see every time someone talks about us online. We could see that people outside our company had shared the post and we saw that other blogs referred to our ebook.
In summary: We created 3 posts on Linkedin, 3 on Facebook and 1 on Instagram. We had an overall reach of 9000 a total engagement (likes, comments, shares) of 200 and over 250 link clicks. Of that 250 link clicks, we generated 15 new names.
In conclusion – How are we doing?
Our goal for this project was to achieve the following within three months: 4000 ebook downloads, 2000 webinar registrants and 15 press hits. What are these goals based on? Our previous performance, but with of course some stretch to it. As a communicator, one should always strive to do better.
Well, we’ve exceeded our media coverage target, which is fantastic. Our PR person Sara had a great approach in trying to find out what the media outlets were talking about and then angling our news based on that.
Unfortunately, we were way off on the number of registrants for the webinar. Why?
Maybe the topic of being data-driven isn’t so sexy. Or we didn’t do enough outbound promotion. One thing we know for sure is that we were wrong on the timing. Nevertheless, we’ve created an evergreen piece of content that people can still watch, so I expect more new names to trickle in overtime for that piece. Content marketing, after all, is a long-term game.
Finally, remember to:
- Create goals for yourself
- Use all channels to get your communications out (paid, earned, shared and owned)
- Check in regularly to see how you are doing
- Force yourself to see in which areas you can improve because you can always do better
Now, good luck with being more data-driven.
Measure results and ROI continuously with Mynewsdesk. Try Analyze!
|The post was written by:
Christopher Van Mossevelde