Tech PR Metrics That Matter: Measuring Success in 2024

Tech PR Metrics That Matter: Measuring Success in 2024

By Peggy Tierney Galvin, Force4 Technology Communications  

Today, every company is a technology company. Leadership expects high ROI transparency from each technology purchase so the company can have visibility into what tools are generating results and how they support the overall goals of the business.  

While PR KPIs historically haven’t had the same level of direct translation to ROI (unless a new account tells a salesperson they read about the company in an article), business leaders today have higher expectations since more marketing functions are done digitally, and with greater integration with sales and CRM technology tools.   

PR and marketing leaders, therefore, need to be crystal clear on which key performance indicators (KPIs) they should be tracking and demonstrate how their efforts support the goals of the business, so they can tie their efforts directly to sales KPIs and ROI.  

Evolving industry, evolving PR 

Because of this shift, PR is more tightly tied to the marketing and sales operations than ever before. This means that, in an ideal world, PR KPIs could be tied to marketing and sales KPIs in a direct if-this-then-that flow. These include KPIs like organic traffic back to the website based on clicks in links from earned content or social media posts.  

Another KPI is conversions, such as when a social media post with a CTA link to a webinar or gated white paper download on the website results in a lead registering with his or her contact information and other details. 

Brand sentiment another important KPI. Here at Force4, we use a variety of tools to analyze the words used in association with a brand in a piece of coverage and conclude whether the piece is “on message,” whether the sentiment was positive or negative, and to what degree. This enables PR teams to add another layer of insight into its reporting to demonstrate whether the coverage is positive and on-message. 

Move past the usual suspects to find what really matters 

Metrics like engagement, shares, clicks and likes are familiar to every marketer today. These are as important as ever, but what’s surprisingly rarer are metrics that show an understanding of who your audiences are, and what their care-abouts are, in a way that allows the exceptionally tight messaging and targeting that contributes to downstream campaign success.  

Ask these questions to understand your audience better: 

  • Who are the purchase influencer job roles for your solution?  
  • What type and size of company do they work for?  
  • What publications do they read?  

Being able to precisely identify these qualities vastly improves the ability of the PR and marketing teams to tailor and deliver the message, resulting in more robust KPIs than the team is already tracking to. The key is to track metrics that showcase direct support of business growth AND provide insight into consumer care-abouts – which metric can do that best? 

Conversions, conversions, conversions 

The crème de la crèmeof KPIs is conversions, but what does it look like now for the evolving tech sector? Well, it depends. 

Identifying conversion metrics requires very tight integration with the rest of the marketing team, and a unified strategy for how PR coverage should be used for downstream sales efforts. It will require a centralized strategy from leadership to make KPIs from the company’s CRM available across the marketing and sales function to see which content assets, coverage and marketing collateral are being used to support which campaigns, and at which stage of the funnel in the buyer’s journey. 

Use your content to full effect. PR teams should aim to include at least one link in every piece of externally placed content, ideally a link that is campaign-specific, to measure traffic back to the client website as a direct result of that earned placement. 

This gives the PR team – and the overall company – insights into which messages are most successful with which audiences and which publications are good targets for paid subscriber/registrant list rentals for more granular marketing activities like webinars. 

Make your metrics matter 

The tech sector is constantly changing and evolving, and so too must how you measure success. That means marketing must work with sales to connect the “so what” of its KPIs to the bottom line. Then, you must analyze the results to fine-tune your approach for constant improvement. Always connect your KPIs to the goals of the business to demonstrate the importance of the marketing effort. These best practices will empower you to measure, adapt and propel your marketing strategies in 2024.  

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