So you discover that a blog has made mention of your product or service. Will anyone see it? How can you know? A blog’s visibility can be measured in a great many ways beyond traditional Web metrics such as Unique Visitors per Month. Checking out whether the post has been linked, tagged or cited on a social network or bookmarking utility is a great way to start.
There are even more elemental methods: a general idea of how frequently a blog posts can give you an indication of the breadth of its audience. While it’s always possible that a prolific blogger is just shouting into the void, our analysis of the top 200 blogs by number of unique visitors shows that even in this upper echelon of bloggers, those posting at least three times a day have two and a half times as many visitors as those posting less frequently.
There are many opportunities for public relations professionals to utilize blogs to both promote a product or service and gauge reaction. The key lies in understanding that blogs are less a singular movement or phenomenon than a loosely affiliated group of small communities, each devoted to a narrow set of interests or topics.
Heidi Sullivan, director of electronic media, Cision US, Inc., oversees all research of Internet and broadcast media. Heidi joined Cision, formerly known as Bacon’s Information, in 2004.
Jay Krall, manager of Internet media research, Cision, is responsible for the development and maintenance of the online media segment of Cision’s media database and writes for the CisionBlog. He coordinated the creation of a new Internet media research team for Cision, and has been instrumental in the organization’s social media efforts. Jay previously worked in the financial services industry and was a newspaper reporter. Connect with Jay on LinkedIn and Twitter @jaykrall.
Join Jay along with Heidi Sullivan for their FREE webinar, “Finding the Perfect Social Media and Communication Blend: How to Break Down Walls and Strike a Balance Between All of Your Online Lives” on Tuesday, January 19!
*Cision recently released a free white paper titled Staying Afloat in a Sea of Social Media .
There are several ways to measure results:
1. More posts: Bloggers focused on a specific industry tend to “talk” to each other through their posts. A product mention on one blog sometimes means a post will appear on another blog. Now you have a public “dialogue” about your product. Like Confessions of an Advertising Man, the old principles remain true: press begets press.
2. Natural search ranking: SEO rankings are a good measure of success. The more genuine links you have to your site from other sites, the higher ranking your sight deserves in Google’s eyes. You can’t fake it – there are algorithms to weed out spam posts. In addition, an article in a traditional (online) media outlet that links to your site will usually be given a greater weight than an individual blogger making posts on eBlogger.com – the greater weight will boost your rankings in Google’s natural search.
3. Correlate site traffic: It’s relatively easy to correlate spikes in Web site traffic to the timing of a blog post. Do it and keep track.
4. Ask people: Ask people where they heard about you. My company forces people to register for white papers and materials in which they are interested before we grant access. We ask them – where did you here about us? An e-mail? An article? An analyst? Google? A blog? Really, which one?
– Frank Strong