How to measure brand awareness from PR activity

No matter the size or type of your business, brand awareness is something you should always be aiming for. Getting your brand out there is vital if you want to run a successful business because how can your customers choose your product or service if they don’t know you exist?

Brand awareness refers to the public’s ability to recognise, remember, and relate to your brand in different circumstances. Identifying your brand is not enough; your audience must know what you do, why you do it, and how your values set you apart from the competition.

In the age of social media and instant communications, people’s thoughts and feelings are out there for everyone to see. With reviews just one click away, it’s imperative for brands to create trust and familiarity —and brand awareness does just that. By helping customers discover and bond with your business, you can directly impact their purchase decisions, becoming the first option to pop into their minds when meeting their needs.

Public Relations (PR) campaigns are a great way to create and improve brand awareness. By working closely with a green PR agency, you can implement action-driven strategies that ensure your conscious business is seen and connects with the right people.

However, how do you know if your campaign is succeeding in meeting your goals? An intangible concept such as awareness can seem challenging to benchmark and nail down with exactitude, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve previously discussed brand awareness measurement with Press Gazette to help you gauge where you stand. To shed more light on the matter, in this blog, we’re sharing some KPIs and tools to measure brand awareness from PR activity and adapt your efforts accordingly:

Website Traffic

Website traffic is a great way to track how many people visit your site, the pages they view, and how long they stay. Google Analytics and other web analytics tools can provide detailed reports that give insight into specific data regarding your website traffic, including demographics, audience behaviours, and referral sources. This way, you can evaluate parameters such as how many users are interested, how engaged they are, what drives their engagement, and where they are coming from.

Investigating all kinds of website traffic -direct, referral and branded- can show how well your PR efforts are working. Direct traffic can indicate people are becoming aware of your brand and interested in learning more. In contrast, traffic from third-party links can help you measure the results of your media coverage efforts. Make sure your traffic is increasing, but also make sure it comes from relevant sources.

Brand mentions, searches and clicks

How does your brand measure against competitors within a keyword? How does your branded search evolve?

Tools such as Google Trends, Google Alerts and Analytics help track brand mentions and branded searches. Tracking increases in Google search volume and comparing general search popularity against your competitors helps to analyse how much interest there is around your brand. You can measure awareness by analysing when and how people search for your business - or if they click on your brand when it appears in search results.


You can also track how many users are searching for your brand name directly and monitor increases month-on-month and year-on-year. This is a reliable signal to demonstrate that awareness of your brand is increasing. Higher click-through rates (CTR) can indicate people are searching for your brand specifically, meaning your PR strategies are working, while higher brand mentions may mean your brand is getting more exposure.

Media tracking

Tracking earned media mentions is a great way to keep tabs on who is talking about your brand and what they say. On the other hand, measuring its reach is crucial to evaluate how well it worked if you do a paid media coverage campaign as part of your PR and advertising strategy. Keeping records of online and offline coverage is essential, as all media related to your target audience can potentially help build your brand awareness. Media monitoring, crossed with other measurements such as website traffic or brand searches, can help understand how well your mentions work.

Backlinks

There are two main types of backlinks: organic and those that come from PR, SEO and marketing efforts. Organically successful backlinks show how your content adds value to your audience, positioning your website as a reliable source to refer to and your brand as a valuable authority. When it comes to your PR efforts, tracking backlinks accumulated over time can help measure campaign success.

Backlinks are not only good for SEO; they are helpful to direct relevant traffic your way and increase brand awareness within your target audience.

Social media listening

Social media is one of today’s most important channels. Monitoring reach and engagement gives you clues on how the organic conversation surrounding your brand is unfolding. What are people saying? Are there any influencers talking about it? Are people following and engaging with your brand? Who’s tagging you, mentioning you or using your hashtags? It’s not just if they are talking; it’s what they are saying and the thoughts and sentiment behind it. Though this won’t give you the whole picture, it will provide you with a good idea of where you stand within your target audience.

Using social media tools, you can analyse your reputation and how well your PR campaigns are working.

Surveys

Conducting online and offline customer surveys is a great way to speak to your audience directly and add qualitative context to your quantitative data. It can help you gather different insights, such as what people know about your brand, their thoughts and feelings, how you stand regarding your competitors, and what your audience wants from you.

To make the most of this metric, consider relevant questions, conduct research regularly, and maintain the same target audience. This will allow you to benchmark the results, for instance, before and after launching a PR campaign and see the impacts on brand awareness.

One thing is sure: when it comes to measuring brand awareness from PR efforts, there is no perfect, one-size-fits-all approach. The metrics to use will vary according to the campaign, goals, and target audience.

Online digital activity dominates the current landscape, requiring multifaceted approaches involving qualitative and quantitative metrics and integrating traditional PR tools and online data analysis. Benchmarketing and consistently measuring brand awareness determines how well your campaigns are performing.


If you want to encourage your audience to take these steps and need some help, book a discovery call with us or get in touch at hello@litcommunication.com.