The world of digital PR is always changing, evolving, and adapting to the needs of businesses. As new technologies emerge, so too do new ways for companies to earn publicity from them.
With that being said, it’s never been more important than it is now to have a strong foundation in digital PR strategies and tactics. Without them, your business is practically invisible.
This article will help you develop an effective plan for your business’s online presence. But also show reputation management efforts through the use of social media outreach or SEO-driven content marketing campaigns.
So whenever you’re ready to dive deep into the tool that will raise your brand awareness, keep reading.
What Is Digital PR?
In the realm of online-first businesses, digital PR is the art of generating publicity for a company or product in the digital sphere. The art of creating an online-first business is about more than just advertising. It’s also about public relations (PR).
To generate publicity for a company or product in the digital sphere, PR professionals rely on both traditional tactics as well as newer techniques like social media campaigns. Building out a strong foundation in these skills can lead to greater success!
Digital PR is responsible for creating and managing digital content. This is then used to attract an audience.
The goal of this outreach is to raise the visibility of a brand or product to influence potential new customers. Traditional PR methods such as pitching journalists can be very effective for publicity.
However, social media campaigns are quickly overtaking other traditional techniques for one reason. They generate instant results!
The key to success on any type of public relations campaign starts at building relationships and connections that will serve you well down the line.
Examples Of Digital PR Tactics:
- Creating blog posts about your company’s latest products or services
- Pitching press releases about industry trends relevant to your target market
- Releasing behind-the-scenes content on social media
- Reaching out to influencers in your industry and asking them for a quote or mentioning their work
- Contributing blog posts to blogs where the audience is relevant to your target audience
- Using social media as a sounding board for customer service and feedback, whether you are responding or creating the content
- Creating infographics with industry trends or stats relevant to your sector to share on social media
- Posting original branded videos that feature employees talking about their work in the business world
Now let’s take a look at the differences of the most prominent approaches to PR.
The Differences Between Digital And Traditional PR
When it comes to comparing apples to oranges, the differences are quite vivid. The same goes for digital and traditional PR. The differences between the two are paramount with each approach delivering its own set of benefits.
A Digital PR agency is different from a traditional PR agency. While they share many of the same goals, they are achieved differently.
Digital PR is marketing that uses digital marketing tools such as blogs, social media, and web design to reach target markets.
It utilizes multiple channels to get content out into the world where traditional PR does not have this luxury. Digital PR also has fewer restrictions than its more traditional counterpart.
Traditional PR on the other hand focuses on getting things done offline. This is done via trade shows or journalist relations. But also by building up relationships with industry experts.
All ways in which information cannot exist publicly. Unless there is an announcement made and press releases put out. This style depends on the power of traditional media to get that information out to the public before it can be shared on social media.
Digital PR: The Present & The Future
Furthermore, as digital communications evolve at a rapid pace, so too must organizations invest time and money into adapting their strategies for today’s environment where people no longer consume information in the same way they used to.
This is a great time to be involved with digital PR because your company can seem more accessible and approachable. Primarily through social media channels, video content, and other online platforms. These allow you to share what’s happening at any given moment.
For example, if new products or services are coming out soon then it would make sense for your organization to start sharing early. This is so people have an idea of what’s going on before launch day comes around.
The world is heavily digitized and people are no longer bewildered by it. They have a deeply ingrained belonging to technology. They trust the decisions they make when using tech.
If you can gain at least a part of that trust, you will have the ability to deliver your useful product or service to them without issue.
Digital PR helps you build this relationship without needing to show up face-to-face. You can seamlessly become a part of the customer’s life without disturbing their personal life.
Examples of Traditional and Digital PR
As a means to better illustrate the quantifiable differences, let’s take a look at prevalent examples for both digital and traditional PR. In general, traditional PR consists of:
- Print media
- Broadcast media
- Digital Media
Whereas, digital PR consists of:
- Video & Audio
- Social Media
- Online Ads
Traditional PR is more difficult and expensive to manage than digital. It also has a slower response time on the market, meaning it can take up to three months for traditional media coverage before you see an increase in traffic.
For example, when the New York Times publishes a story about your company this will have a huge impact on your company.
However, digital PR is possible for one person working from their home office and takes a lot less time to see results as well as lower costs.
This is because the audience for traditional media outlets is limited whereas the online market has many more viewers who could potentially become customers of yours if they read your article.
Digital PR also has disadvantages. For example, you may have to invest in producing additional content before the article is published which can be expensive and time-consuming if your company does not do this regularly.
The Benefits Of Digital PR
Digital PR campaigns help businesses of all sizes. Without digital PR, most businesses will be left to the wolves, fighting for the odd client or two who accidentally find their way to the business lair.
Traditional PR works, but digital PR works even better these days. It can help you with raising website traffic, improving SEO, but also with:
Building Relationships With Influencers
By building relationships with influencers, your business can get featured in their posts and newsletters.
This will help with increasing your company’s exposure as well as the number of followers you have on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Digital PR can also be subject to use to gain more clients by using it for blogging campaigns or partnering with influencers.
As a result, your company’s sales can grow.
Increasing the Number Of Followers On Social Media
Through digital PR, your social media followings grow and become more active. When you have more social followers, your business can get more sales and become a prominent thought or service leader in the industry.
Potential customers trust businesses that have strong social followings. Hence, a greater number of followers equals a greater level of trust. Trust was always one of the most important business factors.
Without trust, your business is a moving truck with nowhere to stop. You don’t belong anywhere unless you fight for your parking spot.
Improving Customer Service And Feedback Through Digital Interaction
By improving the feedback and customer service loop, your business can better understand your customers and their wants.
Your company will know how to cater to them because you’ll have a clear idea of what they want when they interact with your business on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Gaining More Visibility Within Your Industry
By gaining exposure in the industry, you place your business in the eyes of many potential clients. Visibility in business equals opportunity, so this is a huge opportunity for your business.
A successful PR campaign will help you gain new customers and keep the ones you already have by gaining more visibility in your industry.
Generate Direct Sales Leads
If you can generate direct sales leads via digital PR, your business will see a tremendous uptick in revenue and financial KPI. And as we know, more business money usually means more success.
Not to mention, as a business, you need to have more money to keep pushing your product innovations forward and securing your future growth.
Establish A Consistent Brand Image
By using digital PR strategies, your secure your brand image in the digital landscape. Without a strong presence online, your business is likely to get lost in the noise of other companies vying for attention.
By getting your voice out there, you make it more likely that people will hear about what any new products or services are available. If done correctly, positive reviews and mentions can also lead to a successful campaign as well.
Dictate the Course Of Your Brand Message
Finally, via the means of digital PR, you can correct rumors or lies placed upon your business. Digital PR gives you a voice. And with this voice, you get to choose what you want to say.
If you want you can ignore bad reviews, haters, and competing businesses trying to tarnish your reputation. However, it’s only in your favor if you can peacefully resolve the existing social issues about your product or service.
All of this is achieved on a broad scale through digital PR.
Nonetheless, the means of this brand-building approach can get specific. The most common means of digital PR are mentions and press releases. However, they also include guest posts, influencer relations, and directory additions.
Unlinked mentions are not doing you any favors when it comes to organic search engine optimization. If there are no high quality backlinks, your company will suffer from lost traffic. The people who don’t know about the info value might come across a page that doesn’t lead them where they need to go.
Guest posts provide more than one source of visibility for your brand. It also provides an opportunity for increased website links which means higher rankings.
While directory additions give even easier access points if readers want more details about the business listed. Press releases offer yet another avenue for reaching news publications. This is done with announcements such as product updates or client wins.
Influencer marketing could also be an option to explore. Focus on bloggers and social media influencers who have a large following.
The Pillars Of A Digital PR Strategy
When it comes to actually integrate digital PR into your business workflow, you need to first determine what your goals are. Only then do you pick the right tools for achieving those goals? To develop an effective digital PR strategy, you must first consider the following:
- Your goals and objectives
- What are you trying to achieve? (ranking, reach, engagement)
- The frequency of your content or interactions with influencers
Are there certain times of the year when more content is needed or wanted? Is it best for a steady stream of posts during the business day? Or might we be better suited for publishing at specific intervals throughout the week to maximize exposure on social media channels?
Tools to Accomplish Objectives
Tools include traditional PR methods like press releases. These can generate targeted publicity opportunities by listing newsworthy information. It also includes services such as email blasts, blogs/microblogs, videos posted.
Best Strategy Practices
Best practices include building credibility with journalists who cover your sector or area of expertise. This is so they will open emails from you automatically.
They will also be more receptive to pitches without having to do research first. Another best practice is positioning yourself as an authoritative expert in the field through blog posts.
Journalists are typically looking for the most up-to-date information in their field. Make sure your email includes a few recent headlines about your sector or area of expertise that they may not have seen before.
Some digital PR experts prefer using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. This is because they offer real-time updates to people who find interest in what’s trending.
However, it is important to remember that these channels can also be subject to use by competitors to identify potential clients.
So if sensitive materials are shared publicly without careful consideration, you can take a loss. If you’re considering this strategy, take extra steps upfront to protect confidentiality. information.
Quantification of PR Strategy
When you have considered these questions to some quantifiable extent, you can begin to actually put together a plan that can be followed.
An effective digital PR strategy should enable the use of target pages, URLs, and anchor text. It should also include your pitches for media sources, content ideas, and an extensive media list for internal/external use.
These pillars will help you to set up a campaign that is well-rounded and highly effective.
They are the backbone for your analytics, communication, and marketing efforts with the digital PR strategy. Without these tools, you are blowing against the wind and your efforts will remain fruitless.
Now let’s examine the pillars of digital PR.
Networking with the right people is an essential part of any successful career. Link creators, freelance journalists, and content marketing managers are all key players. Specifically in what it takes to be a success story online today.
Do not underestimate the power of personal relationships. Take the time to really get to know people before you ask for their help – whether that is just online or offline too.
It’s also important to remember that these are more than one-way connections.
When you build a relationship with someone else on social media, they will usually try to maintain those ties by following your work.
When I see an interesting story from our network, there’s almost always some “follower bump”. This is where lots of followers suddenly check out what this new account has been up to all this time.
Maintaining good relations as well as nurturing them can be hard work but it is certainly worth it.
Media List Development
A good campaign starts with a media list. The key is to consider Site Credibility, Overlap, and Authority so that you really know what your target market wants for the best results.
One of the most important things you can do is develop a Media List. It should include traditional news sources. But also bloggers who have similar interests with your intended readership or viewers.
A good place to start for developing this list would be by finding people from your industry who have blogs. Then find bloggers with similar interests to yours.
There are also online tools that can help develop a list of potential media outlets. For example, Cision’s Media Database lets users search for information on more than 12 million media sources.
You can also use Google Analytics or Alerts. It sends you an email alert whenever it finds a story that matches your search parameters.
You might not know it, but PR is a world of competition. Within the realm of public relations and marketing, there are four primary ways to garner attention for your campaign:
- promotion within social media networks (like Facebook)
- email campaigns
- internal links on company platforms
- retargeting ads that display advertisements to people who have visited your site before
The process of running an effective marketing campaign starts with getting potential buyers excited about what you’re selling – which can take years if we think back to some iconic brands such as Coca-Cola or Nike.
Strategic use in all these different forms allows businesses large and small alike to succeed at this challenging task!
Monitoring & Analysis
Timing is crucial to your success. Monitoring social mentions, HARO, and unlinked mentions are entry-level strategies that will help you get started with monitoring other people’s opinions about your brand or product on the internet.
Whereas competitor mentions, reverse image searches, misspellings, and Q&A Sites are all advanced techniques for more experienced users who know how to analyze the information they find online to make an informed decision when it comes time to launch their own products into the marketplace.
Timing can be everything if you want a successful business venture.
Monitor common practices like tracking competitor mention rates as well as misspelling counts (to see what type of content makes them most angry) by using tools like Google Trends which also allows reverse image searches through their image search engine.
You can also use tools like Answers Site, which allows you to search for up-to-date questions and discussions around topics relevant to your niche industry.
The difference in what links “count” is important to know. NoFollow links don’t count towards PageRank, but they can still be useful for improving content quality and traffic flow on your site.
Additionally, there are other types of links including Internal Links (which point back from one page to another within the same website), External Links (to pages outside a given domain or network) Broken Link Pages that have broken URL’s that redirects users away from your destination without warning Toxic Anchor Text refers to hyperlinks where all text before the link target keyword has been trimmed.
LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram are amazing platforms to reach a wider audience. Not only is it easier for people on these sites to find you but your posts also have more chances of going viral because they’re constantly being retweeted or liked by the site’s followers.
Facebook too can be great for PR campaigns as not many websites will publish an article without research indicating that their target audience uses both networks.
Similarly, Pinterest offers another way to get the word out about what you’re selling from keeping up with trends in design like minimalism while Slideshare and Scoopit let users post presentations online along with Quora which has expert answers on nearly any topic imaginable making this social media platform one-stop shopping when looking for information!
How to Measure the Outcomes Of Your PR Efforts?
When it comes to any type of new business approach, be it targeted advertising or digital PR, you should learn how to measure the outcomes of your efforts. This is where analytics step in, without them, your business is left to guesswork.
To track your outcomes, you should rely on KPI with a dashboard of your choice and social KPI via Search Console. Furthermore, you need to track your website backlink strength via Domain Rating.
Next, you should keep track of all your open/closed leads and sales made from affected channels. And finally, you must examine your social growth, account trust, and share numbers.
Key Measurement Tactics
Create social media content that is filled with keywords and includes a link back to your site.
Be sure to track the number of shares, likes, comments on any given post or video you upload.
The effectiveness of these efforts can also be subject to measurement using hashtags. For example, if they have more than 500 posts published in their feed about a certain topic while yours only has 30 then it’s clear which one will come up higher when someone does a basic search for this subject matter on Facebook or Twitter (or whichever network you’re targeting).
That means your digital PR strategies should include an aggressive social engagement campaign aimed at getting those numbers as close together as possible. You might want to remove some from less popular networks and concentrate on the big ones.
Integrate your existing tools with KPI dashboards to keep track of how efficiently your social media and SEO efforts are working.
Digital PR & SEO
Oddly enough, digital PR and SEO are closely intertwined. Any effective digital PR efforts will have a direct effect on your SEO positively.
For instance, the more your blog posts are shared on social media, the higher they will come up when someone does a basic search for this subject matter on Facebook or Twitter (or whichever network you’re targeting).
That means your digital PR strategy should include an aggressive social engagement campaign aimed at getting those numbers as close together as possible. You might want to remove some from less popular networks and concentrate on the big ones.
This is also true in reverse: any effective SEO campaign will have a direct effect on digital public relations because it increases traffic – which ultimately leads to more shares via public platforms like Google+, Facebook, Linked In, etc.
In other words, the two are closely related.
Why SEO Matters?
As a business that has an online presence, SEO will have a direct impact on how you are presented on the public landscape that is the internet.
Without optimized SEO, your business is invisible to the vast majority of potential customers. And, if you’re looking for maximum visibility with minimal effort, SEO is critical to your success!
SEO matters because it does. It’s the backbone for internet visibility and backend trust. Without SEO, your business simply does not exist. You might sell here and there, but if you want to see actual results, you need to utilize SEO to the max.
Every blog post you write should be geared toward SEO and digital PR from the start – which means writing a headline that will draw people in (a call to action) but still shareable because of its vital information content. This article is an example of just such a thing: it’s full of solid advice without being too long or boring.
Different Tools, Different Outcomes
There were many different types of public relations available for businesses before social media became popular; however, today there has been a shift towards using these tools to grow your business online with success.
You may want to remove some things less popular networks and concentrate on the big ones like Facebook or Twitter (whichever network you’re targeting). For instance, one is your company’s focus.
However, if your business is more niche, tapping into the smaller networks might be your best bet. If you can find your audience without much competition, you have a bright future in your business segment.
Learn how to develop useful content for your audience, and they will get people to follow and buy from you. Without being useful to the audience, what are you doing anyway? What’s the purpose of your business if not bring some sort of value to the customer?
The best business can provide so much useful content outside of their product or service, that the customer is so intrigued by what else they can learn or get by paying a premium.
Digital PR Services for Your Business
Now that you understand the intricacies of digital PR, you might be willing to take on these efforts on your own. However, it can be daunting to go through this on your own. Not to mention, without an understanding of the digital marketing landscape, you’ll be picking at grapes.
If you think your business can see significant improvement from the implementation of digital PR, get in touch with me and I will happily accommodate your needs.
And even if you’re unsure about digital PR, contact me and I will show you how digital PR has helped my past clients and what they have to say about the power of this digital approach.