Today, we're taking PR measurement to a new level with PR Attribution. This is new technology we’ve developed in-house, that allows PR professionals to see all visitors coming to their website from PR articles - regardless of there being a backlink in the article or not.
"Our Hershey communications team values continuous learning and improvement to develop audience-first content that enables deeper engagement with our story and business priorities. TrendKite’s new PR Attribution feature is helping us determine key content and publications that are driving traffic to our front door – our company website, helping us improve on how we welcome our guests and invite them to stay for a while." -- Sarah Dull, Reputation Manager,
This is a tremendous leap forward for PR measurement, helping PR get closer to that elusive ROI calculation. Most importantly though, it arms PR with the data-driven insights they need to strategically shape their approach so they can play in the ranks of performance-based marketing.
The Pioneering Story of Measuring PR’s Digital Impact
Two years ago, TrendKite was the first PR software to create any kind of tie between PR coverage and website traffic, when we launched the first-ever integration to Google Analytics. We later integrated with Adobe Analytics as well. This meant, for the first time ever, PR professionals could begin to understand their digital impact, by understanding when readers were clicking through links in articles to visit their site.
While Google Analytics is the talk of every PR conference these days, back then, no one had thought to do this before as the technology behind the integration is very difficult tech to build. Put simply, we’re matching the sites that brand where website visitors come from to article URLs we have in our system. That’s millions and millions of matches being made every second! Not to mention, the ability to weed out spam and duplicate content.
We know we're on the right path, because over the last two years, competitors have attempted to replicate what we’ve built. Last year Cision released a Google Analytics integration (that they later had to recall due to data challenges).Only in the last few months are legacy platforms like Cision and Meltwater cautiously re-releasing light-weight Google Analytics integrations. But it's not that easy. What we're building over here isn't simple; but we're meticulous, intentional, and thoughtful about the customer perspective.
Since the day we launched our Google Analytics integration, we’ve always believed the greater goal for measuring PR’s digital impact is being able to measure all traffic being driven by PR - regardless of there being a backlink or not. This is the holy grail, but orders of magnitude are more challenging to engineer than a website analytics integration.
After extensive behind-the-scenes research and development, and many strategic data partnerships, we’re proud to announce that we’ve finally reached our goal! Today TrendKite is the only PR platform capable of telling you all the people coming to your site - link or not, for over 4 million publications!
How PR Attribution Works in TrendKite
Data is only as valuable as it is usable, so here are a few ways we’ve made this data actionable within TrendKite.
Understand a Publication’s Influence over Your Audience
With TrendKite’s new PR Attribution capability, we have widgets like Top Publishers by Website Visitors, which shows you the top publications driving readers back to your site. This is a clear directive on which publications are worth the pitching and relationship energy.
It’s very important to have access to PR Attribution data for all publications, because you never know what insights might drive a new PR strategy going forward.
By way of example, Tesla’s top traffic driving publications are not top tier publications. In fact, Forbes and Business Insider are ranked 4 and 5, behind niche green energy pub, Electrek, and financial pub, Seeking Alpha. Electrek drove nearly 8x the traffic of Forbes! Who would have thought?!
Rank Coverage by Total Traffic
Using TrendKite, you can easily rank all of your coverage by total traffic, to see which articles, topics, and journalists are driving the greatest number of readers back to your website. This gives you a richer understanding of what to focus future content around, and which avenues to push it through.
Gauge Article Performance Over Time
Get a sense of an article’s “shelf life”, by seeing the total number of visitors it continues to drive to your website over time. If you find an article continues to perform for you, you might consider working with your advertising team to promote it on Facebook or syndicate it with other content!
Traffic from Articles Without Brand Mentions
Influential articles get readers in an action-taking mindset, and may cause them to visit your site even if the article isn’t about you. For example, an article about self-driving cars may encourage a reader to visit Tesla.com. Use TrendKite to discover industry or topical articles that are cause people to engage with your brand, and consider making these themes of future integrated marketing campaigns.
A True Technological Feat : How PR Attribution Works
Put simply, PR Attribution enables TrendKite to track a consumer’s journey around the web, and known whether they read a PR article that influenced them to visit a brand’s website.
We’re able to do this by partnering with a network of global data providers, who use various methods for tracking consumer clickstreams, or the sites consumers visit when browsing the web.
As you can imagine, this is a MASSIVE volume of data, so you need TrendKite to process it all for you, to show you the journey you care about: someone reading a PR article and later visiting your site, regardless of whether they went there directly from a link or not.
In developing this capability, it was our goal to get PR Pros to the most complete possible picture of total PR traffic, which is why we leverage multiple partners and state-of-the-art tracking approaches.
Because of this, we can report total traffic for over 4 million publications - from top tier pubs, to trade pubs, to influential niche blogs.
We’ve also overcome the challenges of established tracking technologies like cookies, and can effectively tracks readers using mobile devices and desktop, and distinguishes a bot from a human when they visit your site.
The Revolution is Here
While we’ve worked on this capability for a long time, today marks the first day of open availability. We owe special thanks to early-access customers like Hershey and Reddit who helped test, give feedback, and collaborate on this product’s roadmap. We are incredibly excited for the rolling thunder of features to come this year, that will continue to build on this capability. Stay tuned for more exciting updates!