Like marketing and advertising, the world of public relations (PR) has been transformed by digitalization. Traditionally, PR strategies involved printed coverage in newspapers and magazines as well as broadcasting on TV and radio.
And while these practices are still working today, they are not enough to reach today’s modern audiences that are using digital channels more than traditional ones. Many businesses sticking solely to traditional media are missing out on tremendous opportunities to unlock new revenue streams, attract new customers, and ensure relevancy in an increasingly competitive landscape.
So, let’s dive inside the expansive world of digital PR and explore best practices that can help you raise brand awareness, increase credibility, and maintain an overall good reputation in a digital-first environment.
What makes digital PR different?
As opposed to traditional PR, digital PR can be easily aligned with your search engine optimization (SEO), lead generation, and inbound marketing strategies. For example, traditional PR can’t help you improve your search rankings or increase the value of your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns but digital PR can. Beyond that, digital PR offers you the opportunity to:
Improve and expand your content output to gain quality backlinks from higher authority domains;
Give your audience a voice by enabling content shareability, which makes room for interaction and engagement;
Gain access to new audiences by moving beyond the general press and using channels such as websites, social media platforms, online news, video portals, and more;
Align SEO, marketing automation, web analytics, and social media with your PR strategy;
Measure the success of your PR strategy more easily with metrics such as click-through rates, impressions, social shares, and sales.
Although digital PR and traditional PR share the same goal—which is to consolidate your online presence and increase brand visibility in the digital space—digital PR accomplishes this common goal using digital tools.
This may suggest that brands looking into digital PR require a level of digital maturity, but in the absence of the right tools and expertise, brands can always reach out to digital marketing or PR agencies for help.
The benefits of a digital PR campaign
The main benefit of executing a digital PR campaign is brand exposure and recognition in the online space. But that’s not all. Depending on the goals you are trying to achieve, digital PR can also help you improve your SEO and rankings.
By improving your content output, publishing on high-authority sites, and gaining backlinks, you will rank higher in search engines, which means you will be more visible to your target audience. Ranking higher for your target keywords will also drive more traffic to your website.
Increased traffic means that more people are discovering your website and reading about your brand, so you have a chance to convert these people into customers. And that’s not as difficult as it may sound.
Digital PR is also meant to build brand trust and ensure that your visitors and potential customers discover the best version of your brand. Working with a digital PR team, you can create engaging content that nurtures a positive image and perception of your brand.
Quality SEO content also plays a key role in securing a positive brand image as it signals to search engines that you are a credible source of information. And being a brand of such renown will only encourage influencers and bloggers, even customers, to become your brand advocates. While brand advocates can introduce you to new audiences, digital PR also generates leads by making you relevant to your target audience.
How to set up a digital PR campaign
Your digital PR strategy will be unique to you. However, there are common guidelines you should consider when setting up your campaign.
1. Establish your primary goals
On your mission to increasing brand awareness, exposure, and recognition, you should determine specific objectives you want to achieve through your PR strategy. For example, you may want to drive traffic to your homepage or a product/service page. You may also want to drive traffic to a landing page for a limited-time offering or new product launch.
Or you may want to increase your authority to rank higher on search engines. Whatever your objectives are, make sure you list them down to the smallest detail so that your PR team can implement the necessary practices to achieve those goals.
2. Identify your target audience
Determine who you are trying to reach and why. Once you’ve established that, you can dive deeper into your audience’s pain points, preferences, expectations, and overall behavior to devise and execute an effective SEO content plan.
3. Find target publications
Consider who would be interested in publishing or reporting on your content. Furthermore, you should also consider what audiences those potential publishers or reporters can reach and see if they hit the target or completely miss the mark for you.
4. Devise your strategy
For your strategy to be effective, you want to publish your content, secure backlinks from high-authority domains, and network with influencers or members of the online press. You can also publish press releases and syndicate content to earn features. Likewise, influencer marketing can help you gain even wider exposure. Additionally, you should also consider unlinked mentions, guest posts, and directory inclusions for a more robust strategy.
5. Reach out to potential allies
Make a media list consisting of bloggers, influencers, online reporters, website owners, and publishers to gain coverage. Ensure you craft a good pitch script to help you get your foot through the door and be persistent in your outreach process. It may be difficult to find allies immediately, but you shouldn’t give up.
If you’re having trouble implementing a solid digital PR strategy, we can help. We’re a team of digital marketing experts offering holistic services to brands that want to have a stronger online presence in an increasingly competitive world. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to us—we’re happy to help!