Digital marketing guru or not, you’re probably familiar with traditional PR (public relations), in some form or another but probably not digital PR designed for the information age.
Whether you’re a savvy consumer familiar with the PR tactics you see on a regular basis or just a fan of the erudite, flowery prose that PR often employs, you’ve likely caught on to the gist of it.
You might be wondering what is digital PR, what does it entail and how does it compare to conventional PR.
If you’re not entirely sure what digital PR is and which tactics fall under this strategy, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
What is Digital PR?
Digital PR is a strategy that is used to help develop brand awareness and recognition through a strong online presence. Digital PR combines strategies from traditional PR with social media, SEO (search engine optimization) and content marketing to help develop this presence.
Acquiring high-quality backlinks, positive online customer reviews and content about your business that is created by bloggers, journalists and influencers are just a few of the goals of digital PR.
By looking beyond print, the typical medium for conventional PR, and using these digital outlets to share their message, PR strategists can reach a much wider audience and interact directly with a target market.
Digital PR vs Traditional PR Strategy
While digital PR focuses on building an online presence with the help of digital mediums such as social media and online news sources, traditional PR typically focused on print publications, TV and radio.
The premise is the same – create newsworthy content and share your story and brand voice with journalists and other content creators in hopes that they will provide coverage of your business.
Traditional PR required publicists to network and personally interact with journalists, writers and publishers in order to be featured in newspapers, magazines, radio and television.
Today, the job isn’t quite so personal. Digital PR allows marketers to reach out to influencers, bloggers, journalists and other content creators with their message quickly and easily through digital forms of media.
Building a relationship with these content creators, as well as customers and clients, is still necessary in order to have a positive online presence however, this can now be done without having to take a journalist out for drinks and dinner.
How Does Digital PR Benefit a Business?
PR, and digital PR specifically, can have many benefits for your business – a strong, positive online presence and increased brand awareness and recognition being the ultimate outcomes of developing and implementing a digital PR strategy.
The key benefits of a successful digital PR strategy include:
1. Increased customer outreach
Digital PR can help you reach your target audience on the digital platforms they engage with the most. More exposure means more interested consumers seeing your products and services which, in turn, results in an increase in leads and ultimately sales for your business.
2. Positive online reviews
A successful digital PR strategy will help you gain positive attention from your consumers, resulting in positive content being created about your business, products and services. Five-star reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp and Amazon, for example, can be very helpful in building a strong brand image and trust with consumers, as well as gaining new customers.
3. Increased website traffic
The creation of digital content on other sites that link back to yours will ultimately drive traffic to your website. In addition, content posted on social media and shared by users will help drive traffic to your site.
4. Building brand trust
Positive consumer reviews and other high-quality content regarding your products and services will help build trust with your consumers, as well as search engines. When consumers read about others’ positive experiences with your brand, they are more likely to trust that they will have a positive experience as well.
In addition, high-quality digital content relating to your business, products or services helps signify to search engines that your company is a legitimate and trustworthy source of information in your industry.
5. Increased sales
The content created and shared as part of a successful digital PR strategy will capture the attention of interested consumers.
Positive content will result in more attention, more website traffic and ultimately more leads. If done well, this increase in traffic and exposure will be converted into increased sales with the help of your sales funnel – improving your bottom line.
When developing and implementing a digital PR strategy, make sure to set goals and establish how you will measure success. Tracking performance can help you review your plan, identify the things that you are currently doing well and help you make adjustments for further success.
Types of Digital PR Strategies
While there’s no hard and fast rule about what strategies you should use to create a successful digital PR strategy, there are several common tactics used by digital marketing and PR professionals today.
These common and successful digital PR strategies include:
Writing and publishing quality content on your website and social platforms, you can gain high-quality backlinks from other relevant websites. Evergreen content is a great way to continually earn a return on your initial content investment while increasing your SEO and SERP rankings.
Reaching out to bloggers who create articles for sites related to your industry, you can gain mentions, backlinks and content relating to your business, products and services. Building relationships with journalists and other content creators can promote your business in and potentially gain backlinks from the websites affiliated with these content creators.
Working with social media influencers helps gain mentions and attention for your business on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as any other social sites that your target market frequents. Social media influencers are seen as highly credible by consumers and can help you gain trust with your target audience by publishing positive content about your business.
Social Media PR
By creating and publishing share-worthy content designed for particular social platforms, you can encourage the sharing of your content and perpetuate your message online. You can also utilize crisis marketing to further signal your business or brand’s involvement in current events.
Guest posts and appearances
Guest posts and appearances – creating guest posts on popular websites that are relevant to your business can help you gain valuable backlinks. Guest hosting on podcasts, YouTube channels and other visual mediums can also help you gain attention and share your message, as well as highlight your knowledge and expertise in your industry.
Creating and publishing valuable and educational information relating to your industry will help you develop your position as a leader in your niche and build trust with your target audience.
Creating press releases and having them published on trustworthy sites will help you gain attention for your business. Buzz-worthy online content like this promotes sharing and further content development. This tactic is similar to a traditional PR strategy however, in the case of digital PR, your press release will be published digitally rather than in print. You can also utilize a change in corporate social responsibility to better appeal to your audience and the general public.
Want to White Papers are a great way to not only create buzzworthy content, they can also show off your authority and expertise in the industry. Learn more in “ White Paper – How to Write One to Amplify Your Business”
Don’t forget – the best way to measure the success of each of these digital PR strategies is to have measurables set up. This way you can determine which strategies are working best for your brand.
For example, develop a landing page specifically for your influencer marketing strategy. Provide influencers with custom links and record the click-through rates and conversions resulting from the content they publish about your business.
This will tell you whether viewers are coming to your site as a result of seeing you mentioned on an influencer’s page. Setting up a lead capture form on the landing page will also help you identify whether the users that are coming to your site are, in fact, interested in your product or service.
With this information, you can make adjustments to your strategy in order to improve the results and maximize your ROI.
Key Takeaways On Digital PR
Digital PR is similar to traditional PR in many ways – digital marketing professionals create and share valuable content and work towards getting content developed and published by influential people in the media. The main difference – digital PR involves new forms of media such as social media, websites, blogs, podcasts and online directories, rather than more traditional forms of media like print and television.
Developing and implementing a digital PR strategy can offer your business many benefits, the most important being increased search engine rankings and traffic, increased brand awareness and recognition and ultimately improved sales.
There are various strategies that can be used as part of a digital PR campaign. Many PR professionals focus on creating newsworthy press releases and quality content, as well as building relationships with journalists, bloggers and social media influencers, as a way to build backlinks and establish share-worthy content online.
Offline events, such as new product releases, and guest posts and appearances on podcasts and YouTube channels, are also often used as a way to gain backlinks and attention online.
Most importantly, a successful digital PR strategy employs measurables in order to establish how well a strategy is performing. This way the strategy can be tweaked to help make improvements in the future.
Now that you’re familiar with digital PR and some strategies for developing a successful PR campaign, it’s time to get creative! Start sharing your brand voice online, creating intriguing, quality content and reaching out to influencers in your industry.