The world is a big place, but with every passing year, it feels a little smaller. Thanks to e-commerce, goods can be sold anywhere. Search engines allow people to find you halfway around the world, and a bit of cultural immersion is possible through social media.
Today’s brands must have a strategy in place for communicating their message across different geographies.
Although distributing a press release to international media can expand your reach farther than ever before, the challenge lies in gauging the success of your efforts – especially if you don’t have offices or teams located in all of your key markets.
Knowing whom you are reaching, and why you want to reach them, is essential. Here are five tips on how your brand can use reporting metrics to pin down a global communications strategy.
1. Start with a look at your campaigns’ overall performance.
You must be able to show the overall ROI of your project at a glance. Maybe that means giving a high-level view of your success from project to project, or using metrics to demonstrate the validity of a particular expense.
Being able to quickly share data with your brand’s leaders is crucial to marking your campaigns’ success. Although they may not want to hear about every outlet that ran your content, the top 10 websites with the most visitors per day can give them an idea of the audience (and potential customers) that saw your message. If she’s interested in lead generation, tracking how readers engaged with your content is a helpful indicator of success.
Performance overviews can also be useful in better aligning future content with your business goals. For example, if you see your content is continually ranking high in search results, but clickthroughs, social shares and other engagements are on the lower end, try adjusting your calls to action so that they more clearly prompt your audience to take the action you want.
2. Dive into individual markets/regions.
Although report overviews have their merits, it’s also important to examine how your content did on a micro level. Are there international markets that did (or didn’t do) particularly well? Pay attention not just to which regions are responding to your news, but also how your message is performing in different languages.
Seeing which news organizations viewed your content could help you identify new leads for more personal media followup. Did a journalist at a key outlet view your content? You might have just identified a trade publication that could help build your brand in a new local market.
3. Use benchmarks to gauge personal success and develop content.
Almost every aspect of business has benchmarks, or gold standards, companies aspire to. Reporting is no different.
On the one hand, it’s helpful to know how your campaigns compare against other brands in your industry. However, there are a number of external factors that go into developing these benchmarks.
Many times, your campaigns can be more accurately measured by comparing your success against previous campaigns you did.
For instance, you can learn a lot by taking note of content that prompted a larger-than-usual number of search results. Most likely, you used keywords that were appropriate to your audience and their particular search habits.
The audience you’re writing for isn’t an algorithm; it’s a collection of unique individuals across different geographies. You need to understand how they are searching for content like yours. The successes and failures of your previous content are good places to start.
4. Track engagement success in your known markets.
If you haven’t distributed content internationally before, you’ll want to start in the markets where you already operate or have customers.
When communicating in your known markets, differentiated reporting – which breaks down your results in each geographic region – gives you the ability to compare how your content resonates with audiences in different countries.
For example, did a press release you send to France and Germany perform better in one country over the other?
If you aren’t getting the level of engagement you want in a particular market, consider how to tweak your content. Are your website’s landing pages localized for different regions? Is your white paper available in different languages?
The markets you’re targeting all have different needs. Looking at the reporting for each country will help you ensure your calls to action are clearly defined for them.
5. Don’t forget about identifying new target markets.
Outside of your target markets, there’s a whole world of opportunity. Perhaps a press release you targeted to Western Europe also received a spike in views or clicks from India or Thailand.
It makes me think of David Hasselhoff in Germany – who knew he would become their national treasure? Or when a movie flops in the US – what we don’t hear is that it broke records internationally.
Different markets develop at different speeds and with different capabilities. Just because you haven’t thought of targeting your message to people in the Philippines, doesn’t mean they aren’t searching for companies like yours.
Reporting can help you identify these markets so that you can start to build a cadence of communication there, with their local media and in their language.
Having comprehensive campaign metrics in hand will help you not just prove the value of your current PR efforts, but also inform your next steps.
If you’d like to learn more about using data to produce the right content in the right place at the right time, download the white paper The Modern Marketing Fulcrum: Balancing Content & Big Data to Power PR Results.