4 Ways to collect data for digital PR campaigns

Content Creation | Digital PR | Tips
4 Min read

4 Ways to collect data for digital PR campaigns

Written by Rebecca Moss
@bexmoss

4 Ways to collect data for digital PR campaigns

Any successful digital PR campaign requires multiple steps from ideation to reporting. We can in general separate it into 5 steps that lead to backlink success. One of those steps involves the collection of data. In times where the public gains more awareness about fake news, you want to make sure that every statement you make is backed by credible data. Apart from that, data-led campaigns have a good success rate and whilst you are digging a bit deeper into it, you might find some interesting angles for your campaign. Here are 4 ways where to get your data:

Your own database

Everybody who owns a website has data of some kind, may it be visitor data from Google Analytics, purchase data in your Shopify account or scroll behaviour and interactions in Hotjar – to just name a few. High-quality data and data accuracy are an important and integral part of business intelligence. At the end of the day, we all want to know how much we have sold and if we can go home with a profit. This data cannot only be used for reporting on business success, but it often holds a wealth of information that can feed into a marketing campaign. For data-led campaigns within the realm of digital PR, the data you have could provide insights into customer behaviour at a certain time of year or market. Maybe the purchase of a certain item has spiked in a certain year or certain market. Can you tie this spike to any cultural, social, or political events?

If your website has a search box or chat functionality, is there anything that users suddenly ask more often than before? What could this mean?

You might already have what you need, all you must do is look at it from a different angle and turn it into a story for a digital PR campaign.

Person checking a sheet with different graphs and data visualisations

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Somebody else’s data

You might come to the conclusion that the data you already have within your business, does not provide a full picture for a story and that is okay. You have other data sources available. The most popular one amongst marketing professionals is Google Adwords, the good old keyword planner might have been renamed, but it still provides useful insights into your market and consumer interests. You can find out what people are currently interested in and what they are searching for online. You can also draw on sources like Google Trends, Buzzsumo or Reddit to find out what people are currently talking about.

At JBH we have done exactly that in our campaign for money.co.uk: We combined popularity rating in YouGov with Google Trends and Search Volume to find out which brands were the most popular in the UK at that time.

Social media can be used in a similar way to get your data for digital PR. For a campaign for gousto.co.uk, we have looked at Instagram’s hashtags which are always a good indicator of trending topics. We revealed the most popular regional dishes according to the number of hashtags they had received in every continent around the world.

Last year, we published an extensive resource on the JBH blog, which contains 100 Free Data Sources for Content and Digital PR Campaigns. In here you will find a 100 free and credible data sources, ranging from the ONS through to Crime and Policing which you can weave into your digital PR campaigns.

Top Tip: Sign up to receive email notifications and release calendars for your favourite data sources so you can plan ahead and have content ready to go as soon as the latest iteration of the data lands in your inbox.

Person typing on a laptop and looking at data in Google Search Console

Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

Market Research and Surveys

Depending on the idea you have for your campaign, there might be cases where it is better to collect new data instead of relying on existing data. Market research and surveys can be powerful tools to gain insight into consumer behaviour or the minds of the population. It is important that you collect data of a representative sample of the target group. For example, if you are analysing UK-wide trends, the survey participants should be from every corner of the country, not just one region. If you later want to compare the stats for every county, you should ensure early to have a representative sample size for each that will make the numbers comparable. Conducting such market research can become a difficult task and it might be worth considering the help of a professional. There are agencies that can conduct the research upon your requests (e.g. how many participants should be asked in which period of time) and will provide you with a clean dataset afterwards that you can use for your data-led campaign.

Person filling out a survey on a tablet

Photo by Celpax on Unsplash

Extensive Research

The first types of data collection are mainly numbers focused and you will end up with interesting percentages to show in your infographics. For some campaigns though, you might want to provide additional information that is not based on statistics. This is where research comes in and, in some cases, it will remind you of the academic research you spent all those years at university doing. For most campaigns, you will not need to hit the library as the internet often holds the information you are looking for.

Girl hidden behind a pile of books in a library

Photo by Daniel on Unsplash

We have done such research for footy.com with a new approach to rank sport stadiums that is all about the fans. We collected the elements that matter most to fans and ranked them. Those elements covered a wide range from public transport availability to eco-friendliness, each receiving a certain score that led up to the stadium rankings. Each of those elements had to be researched separately.

A similar campaign had been created for essentialliving.co.uk where we assigned a score to subway or metro systems in cities around the world to identify the best. The features we researched were amongst others accessibility, pet-friendliness, Wi-Fi connection, comfort and value for money.

Which approach works for you?

If you are now looking at your campaign idea again, you probably know already what type of data you need and where to get it from. Budget might play a key role in this, as some of the above outlined ways for data collection are more time-intense than others. In some case, a third party is involved that provides a paid service.

If you are still unsure where to get your data from, it might be worth getting back to the ideation. Maybe you are working on a topic that is too abstract or for which it is not possible to gather qualitative, accurate data. Those things happen. You can always change the angle of your campaign depending on the data that is accessible and what is feasible for you. And in any case, JBH can support you along the way.

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Summary
4 Ways to collect data for digital PR campaigns
Article Name
4 Ways to collect data for digital PR campaigns
Description
Between ideation and outreach is one very important step: data collection. JBH presents 4 ways to collect data for your digital PR campaigns. Find out more!
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JBH - The Content Agency
JBH

Post published on Monday August 3, 2020