Do You Know What Your PR Is Worth?
In business, the perfect balance of efficiency, hard data, and quantifiable ROI is what drives success. Obtaining each element of this trifecta, however, has been difficult for PR experts. Our projects are often full of red tape and middlemen, our data is usually more qualitative than quantitative, and you may recall a blank stare or two if you’ve ever mentioned ROI and PR in the same sentence around the office.
So what if a technology existed that could condense many of your major PR necessities from days to minutes? What if you could eliminate the middleman and actually track the impact of your projects on your organization’s bottom line?
The answer? Influitive.
Overcoming the challenge of PR efficiency
Influitive has been a game-changer for me at Aerohive. It has greatly improved the effectiveness and efficiency of my customer reference program by bringing our most excited customers together in one fun, collaborative place. Because all of these customers are in one place, it’s easy to reach out, engage, and build advocacy campaigns with timely, quality content.
Before Influitive, I had to do a lot of hunting and wrangling for the resources I needed. Tracking down the appropriate approved content from our customers for each request that came up was extremely time consuming. For example, if I needed a quote for a press release or a customer testimonial for a case study, I would have to track down the right sales person first with the right contacts, who would often be busy with their own workload. This could sometimes take days to hear back from maybe one or two reps, or I might not even get a response.
Because it was so time-consuming to reach out to new customers, I would often work with the same customers over and over again. While those customers were my heroes, we knew we needed to expand our base. But to do that, we needed to improve our PR efficiency.
At Aerohive, we’re all about creating efficient networks that are easy to set up, deploy, and manage. We help our customers transform the connected experience through information, applications, and insights in order to fuel business intelligence that can drive actionable outcomes. We call our access points “hives” because they are like bees that all work together for one common goal. The great thing about Influitive is that it has allowed us to create a “hive” for our customers! Keeping with this idea, we named our Influitive AdvocateHub “The Swarm”—a centralized network of our most excited customers.
Influitive is a place where we can invite all of our customers to come together, learn more about their Aerohive network, and join the Hive family. They can feed off each other’s enthusiasm to get excited about Aerohive, and we can reach out to them with technical tips, new product launches, upcoming events, and more. Influitive allows us to grow and strengthen our community of happy customers, making them feel closer to us and wanting more. And the best part? That community is there for me any time I need it.
Advocacy on demand
Thanks to Influitive, advocacy and customer marketing are on demand. Day or night, I can go into the platform and get exactly what I need. If I want to do a press release, I can post a “challenge” (aka an ask) in Influitive and easily find a participant to rave about a particular product. Before, it would take days to find the right client. With Influitive, I can get a response in a matter of hours if not minutes!
Beyond boosting PR efficiency, Influitive has helped us reach a broader audience base and deepen our customer engagement. We can tap into our clients’ social media activity and find fun ways to get them talking about us. Plus, we can better gauge the information that prospective clients are looking for and actually get our “hive” to provide the answers.
For instance, we once noticed an editor reach out on Twitter, asking for recommendations on a wireless LAN access point. He wanted to know people’s thoughts on the best access point ever made. So we moved quickly to create a challenge in Influitive, asking our clients to respond by tweeting their favorite Aerohive wireless access point. Within minutes, our customers were mobilized, seemingly coming out of the woodwork and raving about their favorite Aerohive access point.
Engagement on demand
At Aerohive, content marketing has risen to new heights within our thought-leadership information hub, Boundless. Through blog posts, podcasts, case studies, and expert advice, we’re able to offer value not only to existing customers, but also illustrate our expertise to potential customers long before they ever contact sales.
Influitive gives us the tools to find out what content will have the biggest impact for our customers before we ever put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). This allows us to be strategic in our content creation, ensuring every piece we publish is optimized to provide maximum value for our readers. Talk about efficiency.
In addition, as a PR professional it’s easy to keep going back to the same willing customers again and again for various asks. After all, we only have so many hours in a day, and when we have our short list of clients we know are willing or who have helped us out in the past, it can become easy to overlook those who are less top of mind, especially when you have 1,000+ customers in your community.
That’s a huge base to pull from, way bigger than any one (or two or three people) could manage without a tool like Influitive. Once we started posting challenges for case studies, we quickly saw responses from clients we would have never even thought of before. If I tried to find those clients without Influitive, I would have had to go down a faceless list of client names on a spreadsheet, not quite sure of who would be willing to help us out. Now the clients who want to participate in projects are engaging with me, and we’re seeing real results.
Obtaining the business trifecta
Thanks to improved PR efficiency with Influitive, our team has been able to shift our efforts to prospecting referrals and actually bring in new business. That’s a big deal. In the past, not many people in the business world considered PR as a revenue-generating source. There was no PR ROI calculation. However, in just over a year, the Aerohive PR team has generated 31 referrals from our customers without much asking. My team is now able to show value beyond just buzz. Without the improved engagement with our client base that we’ve been able to achieve with Influitive, I’m not sure that would have been possible.
That’s the real value of an enterprise customer advocacy platform. Not only are you able to quickly and easily discover clients who want to engage with your brand, but you can actually track the impact your PR campaigns are having on your company’s bottom line. It’s no longer a question of how we source data from our customers—it’s how we put it all to good use. That’s the impact of efficiency. That’s the impact of Influitive.