That’s a big scary word that most people try to avoid at all costs. Unfortunately (for some), it’s the most important part of any marketing campaign. Analytics tell you how well your marketing campaign is performing in real data.
For an online press release, there are a few key data points you should be looking at. But let’s back up for a moment. I sent my first press release on April 25th.
You can read it in all of it’s marketing glory here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/04/prweb14274460.htm
My First Press Release
If you cannot tell from the headline, the purpose of this press release was to announce officially to the online media world that our publishing imprint is a real, live company: Evening Satellite Publishing. If there is enough interest, I can cover the key elements of a press release in a later post.
For now, all you need to know is that we announced the launch of our publishing imprint along with a teaser of our first upcoming publication (my novel, The Warden of Everfeld: Memento).
Our release was distributed to a network of online media outlets; blogs, news sites, and content hosts who want to share newsworthy content with their audiences.
Now, we can go back and see how our press release actually performed and gauge whether or not it was a success (and worth the investment of time and money). For this, we can look at a few key data points in our press release analytics.
Key Data Points for Any Press Release
This is how many media outlets actually receive your release. Most press release distribution services have a specific network of media outlets that they partner with to send releases to. You can often tailor your distribution to specific industries or even regions to be sure that you are reaching the right audience.
3,958. That’s how many media outlets received our release. You can also see (kind of) a snippet of the outlets themselves.
A headline impression is any time a user sees your release headline on a webpage, usually with a link to open the full article. Most press releases are first seen in this manner, so your headline must be enticing enough for a user to actually click on it and read the full release, like this:
This is what our release looks like on PRWeb’s News Center. So any time a user sees that box on a webpage, it counts as a headline impression.
Below, you can actually see our release’s headline impressions as of 5/8.
Notice how these numbers are broken down:
Impressions from news aggregators indicates any impression from a website outside of PRWeb.com. 117,140 people on websites besides PRWeb.com saw our release! That’s a huge audience. To put that in perspective, RedStringPaperCuts.com has less than 15,000 views all-time. Already, we can see that our press release put our brand name in front of many times more pairs of eyes than ever before.
The other noteworthy number is impressions from PRWeb.com. Don’t forget that each press release service has their own readership. 8,025 people is still a lot, but we want that number to be comparatively low. The more impressions we get outside of the press release host site, the better. It just helps you reach a broader audience.
This is by far the most important data point for any press release. I saved it for last to illustrate the overall purpose of a press release.
182 media outlets found our news interesting enough to actually publish it on their own websites. Without these pickups, those 117,000 impressions from news aggregators do not exist. That number equates 182 more chances for a random reader to stumble upon our news, check out our website, and maybe buy a book.
Managing Press Release Expectations
Understanding what not to expect from one press release is just as important as knowing what to expect. Because my inbox is not bursting with inquiries from reporters. Our website saw a blip of an increase in online traffic last week.
What this release does is give us a fighting chance at getting noticed. Future releases will increase that chance. Check it out:
Now, that’s our release picked up by an external media outlet, appearing on page 3 of Google search results for the keyword “new fantasy sci fi novels”. But out of 6.5 million results, our news is #24, even two weeks after the fact. I call that a win.
Feel free to comment or email with any questions. I’ll do another post later about how I put together this specific release.
Disclosure: I work for a marketing firm, but I am running these marketing efforts myself. Any data shared in this series is taken from my personal experience in marketing my novels. My results do not guarantee anyone else’s results.