Digital PR has become a crucial part of any company's overall marketing strategy. In today's world, where people are always online and constantly bombarded with information, it's essential to cut through the noise and grab people's attention.
It is not enough for your product or service to simply be discoverable online, you must support your trade with digital content that answers queries, highlights your company's USPs, and convinces users that you have authority in your niche. That’s where digital PR comes in.
But what is digital PR, and how can you make it work for your brand? Here are some tips to get you started.
What is Digital PR?
Ultimately, Digital PR is a promotional tactic to increase your online presence. It focuses on creating content that hooks and engages journalists, bloggers, influences, and most importantly, your audience. The goal of your digital PR campaign is to get coverage (such as links) on relevant websites.
Unlike traditional PR, Digital PR is highly measurable. You can track traffic, links, rankings, conversions, and much more, which makes Digital PR an attractive option for businesses.
Digital PR sits at the top of the marketing funnel. Typically, the main objective of this content isn’t to convert sales, it is to engage, inform, or entertain. The content should be appealing to journalists, accessible to audiences new to your brand, and engaging enough to interest returning customers.
So, is Digital PR the same as link building?
Many marketing agencies use link building and Digital PR synonymously, and although they work together closely, Digital PR is so much more than that. A key objective of Digital PR is to gain backlinks to support the SEO strategy, but true PR success is only gained when the content explores subjects that journalists want to cover. This content should include engaging assets and provide editorial value to articles.
In a nutshell, link building aims to impress search engines, whereas Digital PR aims to impress everyone.
Know your audience
Knowing your audience is the first stage in any digital PR plan. Who are they and what are they concerned with? You'll be able to adapt your messaging to them more effectively the more you understand your audience. To learn more about your target market, you can use website analytics, social media analytics, and customer reviews.
Google Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights are great places to start learning about your audience. SEMRush offers some instant audience data with good competitor comparison with its new One2Target premium product, or if you have more to invest, a full Consumer & Demographic Data report from CACI can provide some bespoke insights.
Build relationships with journalists
When it comes to digital PR, journalists can be your best friend. They can expose your brand to a much larger audience than you could reach on your own. Building relationships with journalists, on the other hand, takes time and effort. Begin by researching and becoming acquainted with the journalists who cover your industry. Follow them on social media, interact with their content, and pitch them story ideas tailored to their interests and needs.
If you are finding it hard to connect with journalists, tools like HARO (Help a Reporter Out), PressPlugs or Prowly can be a great way to get started. These tools can send you emails with requests from journalists looking for expert sources on a variety of topics. If you have expertise in a particular area, you can respond to the journalist's request and potentially get your brand mentioned in their story. From there you can try to foster the relationship to get some additional brand exposure a few months down the line.
Create newsworthy content
One of the most difficult aspects of digital PR is producing newsworthy content. Every day, journalists are inundated with hundreds of pitches, so your content must stand out. Consider what's going on in your industry or the world at large and how your brand can provide a unique perspective.
The most successful Digital PR campaigns offer solutions and answer the questions that your audience is already asking about the services you offer. Alternatively, you could conduct a survey or research study, provide expert commentary on a current event, or introduce a new product or service that fills a market gap.
Leverage social media
Social media is an effective digital PR tool. Social media may help you reach out to journalists and influencers, promote your content, and communicate with your audience. Make sure you're active on the social media networks your target audience utilises and that you post regularly. To boost your visibility and encourage people to share your material, use hashtags. You may also use social media to monitor the reputation of your company and respond to customer comments.
Optimize your content for search
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important component of digital public relations, and a proper Digital PR strategy should consider SEO as integrated within the PR planning - rather than kept as independent silos. If your material does not appear in search results, it is unlikely to receive the attention it deserves. Ascertain that your website and content are optimised for the keywords and phrases that your target audience is looking for. Use keyword research tools to find relevant keywords and integrate them into your headlines, meta descriptions, and content. Sites like Google Trends can help you see what search terms are starting to trend so you can adjust your content to have an angle that will appeal to your audience and make it more likely to be picked up by journalists.
Monitor your brand's reputation
Digital PR is not just about getting your brand in the news; it's also about managing your brand's reputation. Monitor your brand's mentions on social media and in the press and respond to any negative feedback in a timely and professional manner. Use tools like Google Alerts or Mention to track brand mentions and respond quickly to any negative comments.
Identify Google searches that highlight any less flattering press that has been received in the past and develop a recovery strategy to first resolve any issues, and then promote fresh content with similar titles to bump older negative stories lower down the page.
Measure your results
Finally, it's important to measure the success of your digital PR efforts. Use analytics tools to track the performance of your content, social media engagement, and website traffic. Look at metrics like page views, time on site, and bounce rate to see how engaged your audience is with your content. Use this data to adjust your strategy and ensure you're getting the most out of your digital PR efforts.
In conclusion, Digital PR is an essential part of any modern marketing strategy and can help businesses to cut through the noise and grab the attention of their target audience, ultimately achieving greater brand awareness and success.