Does PR generate revenue? PR, like SEO, reaches people in two customer journey phases. The first is the “Oh! I didn’t know I needed that!” also known as awareness, and it also reaches people in the research phase, also known as consideration. So, PR for revenue is most effective in three phases: initial awareness phase, where you need people to be aware of your product; when you have a great product, and you know that if more people knew about it, they would buy it, or you need to edge out a competitor. PR, unlike advertising, doesn’t provide a straight line of trackbacks, on the other hand, unlike advertising PR has a longer shelf life – it’s very unusual for an article to be taken down. And unlike digital advertising, you don’t need to worry about click inflation. While we would never position PR vs. advertising as an either-or scenario, because both are important, PR positively impacts the entire business across silos; here are ways to track revenue increases from PR.
Time to Purchase Decreases
PR lands high on the trust scale for B2B and B2C buyers, so a well-thought-out PR campaign shortens the sales cycle. What does this look like, exactly?
For consumer brands, this can take many forms. The first is reducing the length of the customer journey. Well, let’s say people generally visit your website 2-3 times before purchasing, but you notice they’re visiting 1-2 times before purchasing, this is a positive signal that the brand is more trusted, and people don’t feel the need to do as much research before they buy. Another way PR increases revenue is by actually saving money because you may also see your purchase rates on advertisements increase because people are more familiar with your brand, and your retargeting is even more dialed in. Consumer brands who use earned media in their PR report those ads over perform.
Reducing the sales cycle is an especially valuable metric for B2B PR, where decreasing sales cycles by even a month can add millions to an annual bottom line. A visible leader is especially effective in B2B PR, but visible leaders can be very effective with consumer products as well. Sales people appreciate using positive media during various phases in their sales cycle. A library of earned media, be it CEO contributions or product coverage, can impress buyers and give them additional confidence in purchasing your product.
Everyone knows organic search is powerful, and there’s nothing more impressive than pulling up a brand and seeing a series of positive mentions. Ask any SEO expert, and they will tell you many signals create an effective SEO campaign, but one of them is still links back to your website from a highly trusted and/or relevant website. Does traffic always equate to PR revenue increases? No, but if you’re website is up to the task, the correlation is usually very noticeable.
So, when undertaking a PR campaign, watch your organic visits closely. You’re likely to see an increase in organic visits to your website simply because your brand is visible in more places and your search results are more independent and trusted. And the cool news about this organic uptick? It builds and builds as you earn more media coverage. You are receiving more inbound links while at the same time increasing awareness and search results. Sometimes companies get frustrated by the fact that this is a correlation, and they can’t directly track the most effective pieces of earned media. Believe me, PR agencies wish this was more obvious too, but the goal is to increase revenue, and when you see results that are undeniable, you know you’re on the right track.
As a digitally savvy PR firm, we do our own keyword research alongside your Google Console while researching media coverage to look for ways your SEO and PR can work together. We also support our clients with content strategies that boost organic traffic. A solid understanding of the PR ecosystem is essential for today’s media environment and for tracking revenue to PR campaigns.
PR: Increasing Customer Loyalty
There is nothing more costly than customer churn. But why do customers leave? While there can be many reasons unassociated with PR, the way PR impacts churn is by deepening the relationship with your customers. Customers like to see brands they support covered positively. It also allows them to share the content with their friends with the “this is the ____ I told you about.”
There’s another way to reinforce loyalty, and that’s through purpose-driven PR or social impact PR programs. Customers expect businesses to be more socially engaged than ever, but it’s a tricky proposition for brands, so solid PR and messaging are more vital than ever. And done well, this kind of messaging creates extraordinary customer loyalty because customers know you understand them.
PR is an important tool for emerging industries and ambitious brands, and while it is transformative, but it isn’t a magic bullet. Plan on working closely with your PR agency to get the best results. Before hiring a PR firm, establish the KPIs important to your company. The more open you are with your PR firm about your goals, including your long-term goals, the more your firm can build a custom PR program that helps you through all phases of your company’s growth. Remember, there are very few household name that ignore the revenue increases from PR.