Digital PR in many ways, is similar to traditional PR – with goals such as increasing brand awareness and maintaining a positive brand reputation. But, this strategy offers the opportunity to reach a much wider audience, that you might find difficult to do with offline methods.
Most people who are used to more traditional PR, have shifted their focus to include digital – often finding higher readerships or viewership with online content than offline. Although that doesn’t mean to say offline coverage such as newspapers, radio and TV are any less valuable.
To make the most impact, digital PR focuses on internet-based strategies such as search engine optimisation, content marketing, influencer outreach and social media.
The right digital PR strategy can produce great results for your brand’s presence – here’s now.
What does digital PR involve?
Digital PR essentially combines the best of the usual PR tactics with a focus on content marketing, social media marketing and more, in order to get coverage (and therefore links) on relevant websites.
Some of the things you might consider doing include drafting and issuing press releases for online publications, building relationships with online journalists and bloggers to generate online press coverage, have a social media strategy or organise online reviews and interviews.
How digital PR can benefit your brand
The basis of your digital PR campaign will come from your objectives, for example to improve your brand awareness and online presence. A focused campaign can make a big difference in establishing your online identity and what makes your brand unique.
Here are some of the ways digital PR can benefit your brand:
Improve brand awareness
Whether you’re issuing a press release or pitching for a blog, if the story gets picked up by multiple media (and this is likely to happen) then the reach of a brand mention can go far.
As well as your target audience, digital PR can put your brand in front of a new audience of readers and potential customers. When those publications include a link back to your website too, this can also significantly boost website traffic and potentially influence sales/leads figures too.
When your content is written with the right key words, contains links and is published on high authority sites, Google automatically chooses you over other websites.
The more times this happens, the more search engines will consider you a reliable source of information within your industry. As a result, your brand will rank higher in the search engine result pages and your brand will get more recognition.
As your SEO ranking improves, this will also improve your website traffic and leads or sales.
Having a great profile of backlinks is down to good digital PR – writing press releases and sending them out to national news publications gives you the ability to gain links from these websites in a more authentic and natural way.
Boost website traffic
As we’ve mentioned above, SEO ties in with your website traffic. If your brand is mentioned online on a more frequent basis and in many different places, more people will start to visit your website.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘backlinks’ and unsure why any given website linking to another website is particularly important. Website links are seen as a ‘vote of confidence’ by search engines like Google, who recognise that if other people are citing pages on your site, it’s probably because they include something worth reading.
It goes without saying that the more content is shared and found, the more your brand reputation can grow.
But did you know you can reuse it? Content you have already written doesn’t have to be forgotten about, it can be easily transformed and published on a different platform. This is a great way to keep costs down when doing digital PR as, for example, a single blog post can be tweaked with new information added and repurposed into other types of content such as: a guest blog post, press release, social media post or short video.
In this way, one piece of content can be altered for multiple sources, all of which can be shared to help promote and grow your brand’s reputation.
Improve brand reputation and trust
With any type of PR, part of what you’re gaining when you secure coverage is an increase in brand awareness.
But having interesting and authentic content often builds brand reputation and genuine trust with the media, their readers, and key customers. In this case people will be reading, engaging, and supporting the content.
You may often see coverage do the rounds on social media, generating engagement from communities who care and are interested in a brand. When your content is seen and shared, your audience will begin to hear more and more good things about your brand.
Help generate leads and sales
In short, digital PR helps you to create a good brand image in front of your target audience, and when you are established as a trusted brand, people are more likely to go to you for your services or products.
Using a digital PR strategy, your brand will (hopefully) be mentioned much more frequently in front of an interested target audience, which will generate leads from some of the people who visit your website.
Get started with a digital PR strategy
Having a clear picture of your target audience is one of the most important things you need to do in order to develop a digital publications relations strategy. You need to get to know the people who are interested in your brand and its message.
The next step is to have a clear idea of what your goals are and what tactics are best used to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. As a start, aim to produce quality content and start to build relationships with influencers and journalists in your industry.
How much expertise and time you have may be a factor in whether you decide to take on a digital PR strategy yourself or to outsource to a PR agency. At the end of the day, businesses that include digital PR as part of their communications strategy will get ahead of the game when it comes to improving brand awareness and online presence.