Digital PR is a set of strategic actions used to raise brand awareness with online methods. Of course, it has similarities with traditional PR but it can reach a wider audience, as offline methods sometimes can be limiting.
So, if your goal is to enhance your brand’s image, reputation, and visibility, all you need to do is read this guide made specifically to answer every question of yours. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Digital PR is short for Digital Public Relations and it’s a marketing strategy used by businesses to boost their online presence. In many ways, digital PR helps brands to engage their online identity and visibility, with the help of social media, content marketing, SEO, and more. Digital PR is different from traditional PR, as the first include a broader variety of marketing possibilities, for example, social media growth, interviews by online publications, and online recognition, among other digital marketing opportunities.
Why Is Digital PR Important?
Digital PR is important because it focuses on your online endeavors and increases your google search visibility and online presence. First things first, digital PR increases SEO value and that means driving more organic traffic to your website and improving its authority, especially concerning link acquisition. Of course, authority and visibility are important parts of a brand’s identity building and enhancing its reputation.
Social media and content marketing are the tools you need to take advantage of to boost your brand awareness. Based on Marketing Charts 50% of online users said that it’s possible to make a negative review on social media if they’ve had a bad customer experience, in comparison to the 30% of people whose experience was positive. In a few words, Word of Mouth communication is spreading rapidly and for you to avoid a potential crisis you should focus on online conversations. Digital PR is there to help you expand your audience base, and get more exposure and engagement.
5 Benefits of Digital PR
The key benefits are the following:
- Increased Brand Awareness
A well-shaped brand enhances trust among its audience, which is one of the most important aspects of a digital marketing strategy; using digital PR strategies boosts not only customer trust but of course brand awareness. Positioning your brand as an industry leader is considered highly essential for a brand’s well-being.
- Improved Organic Rankings
Another benefit of digital PR is improving organic rankings on your website. Search engines and SEO play an important part in enhancing your presence in organic search results, as there is a lot of value in high-quality external links that lead back to your website.
- Increased Website Traffic
On that note, SEO and digital PR combined can increase your website traffic with the help of social media coverage. For example, quality links in articles, and shares on social networks make it a lot easier for people to find you online.
- Enhanced Brand Credibility
Maintaining a solid online presence on social media allows you to build your credibility as a brand and improves the quantity as well as the quality of business leads.
- Increased Sales
Increased website traffic and a strong brand reputation indirectly affect your sales. The more your audience trusts you the more you will see the results you want.
Digital PR vs Traditional PR
The objective of both traditional and digital PR is the same; increasing brand awareness. Though, there are some differences between them. To begin with, digital PR is designed in a way that combines public relations with your online strategy, including SEO, lead generation, and inbound marketing. SEO and better search rankings are some areas in which traditional PR can’t assist, while digital PR aims to improve business performance across online profile accounts.
In digital PR the messages a company wants to communicate to its audience are more subtle than in traditional PR. Working alongside influencers and bloggers allows you to create quality content for a specific target group, which will be appreciated by your followers, as content tailored to their needs is always welcome. On the other hand, traditional PR is more direct and sometimes it seems a bit salesy.
Additionally, traditional PR focuses on distributing relevant content through channels such as the press, radio, and TV, while digital PR offers a variety of other channels at its disposal. This includes websites, social media platforms, blogs, influencer marketing campaigns, online news, and video portals. There is also a big difference between the available tools. Digital PR uses tools such as SEO software, marketing automation services, website analysis, google analytics and metrics, social media solutions, and more.
Lastly, traditional PR offers limited interaction, as the recipients of the message cannot retaliate. Let’s take for example a press release; the message of the release will reach the targeted audience but the recipients won’t be able to interact and so the shareability of the content will decrease as well. Whilst, digital PR enables brands to receive feedback and engage with their audience online through social media posts for instance. Allowing your audience to express their voice allows them to interact and share more of your content.
3 Types of Digital PR
Now it’s time to present the 3 main types of digital PR:
- PR Link Building for SEO: Unlinked mentions, outreach, etc.
- Social Media: Crisis management, influencer relations, etc.
- Press Releases: Share company news, get mentions in big publications, etc.
PR Link Building: PR Link Building is all about using techniques based on public relations, for instance, press releases and media pitching to ensure that valuable editorial links lead back to your website.
Social Media: Digital PR includes social media actions, as part of a communication strategy. If a crisis occurs, social media will come to the rescue. Crises are handled by the public relations teams and social media is the tool to handle any misunderstanding. Social media is also a great place to find influencers, establish relationships with them and reach a wider audience.
Press Releases: The digital era has affected the distribution of news. Digital news releases are created in a way that a journalist or blogger gets all the information they need. You can share a variety of information related to your company (contact links, images, video, etc) to optimize your digital news release to maximize web exposure.
Digital PR Strategies
Here are some common digital PR strategies and tactics for you to keep in mind:
- Build relations with journalists and bloggers to acquire high-quality backlinks
- Content syndication
- Conduct original case studies and reach out to relevant publishers
- Create and share unique infographics
- Build relations with influencers and get mentioned in their social media
- Get coverage about your company’s events
These tactics are great for building and managing your brand’s digital reputation, especially if they are your first steps into online PR.
How to Create a Digital PR Campaign in 4 Simple Steps
Let’s see how you can create a PR campaign in 4 easy steps.
Step#1: Set your goal
The first step you need to take is setting the campaign’s goals. So, it’s necessary to determine the objectives and what you want to achieve with this specific campaign. Being aware of what you’re aiming at will give you a better understanding of where you need to focus to succeed.
Your goals can be:
- Brand awareness
- Sales of specific products
- Website traffic
- SEO links (backlinks)
- Company news
- Brand reputation
- Partner Engagement
- Brand valuation
You can start brainstorming to discover your goals, the things you need to focus on, the results you’re expecting, and how you’re going to measure them. Objectives, KPIs, and goals are going to help you understand what fits best for you and how your campaign can be successful. On that note, you need to make sure that your team has understood what you’re aiming for, so you can have a well-organized group effort. The more data you collect across multiple channels, the stronger your digital PR campaign will be.
Step#2: Define your target audience
Getting to know your audience is the second step you need to take when it comes to building your campaign. The more you know about your audience, the better results you will generate, especially if your campaign is focused on your brand, use target audience personas, and get to know them. You need to know the basic demographics, and psychographics as well. A detailed picture of their behavior, opinions, preferences, and interests will help you create an irresistible campaign.
If your audience is segmented, you can run targeted campaigns towards individual segments instead of targeting all of them at once. Of course, you need to search for the appropriate guidelines when creating a digital PR persona.
Creating a persona allows you to know your audience on a more personal level, for example knowing about their daily routine. Once you’ve completed this step it will be much easier for you to increase brand awareness, drive engagement, and see the results you’re expecting.
Step#3: Decide which content best suits the campaign
Content is the key to a successful campaign. Thanks to your target audience and personas research you will be able to identify what kind of content your audience is looking for. You can start thinking about what type of content best suits your campaign, such as:
- Articles and guides
- Infographics and data-driven visualizations
- Videos and GIFs
Deciding which content is the best to achieve the preferred goal and reach the target audience is challenging. But whatever path you choose, you should always remember that data is the core of your campaign. A highly important part of digital PR campaigns is driving measurable value through quality, and your content should be the tool to enhance the quality and value of your messages.
Creating content doesn’t concern solely websites, but social media as well, as they are a fundamental part of any digital PR campaign. Posts on social networks are highly recommended for driving engagement about a specific topic, increasing reach, and making sure people read and react to your content.
Step#4: Create your pitch and contact your prospects
This is the part where you create a compelling pitch and reach out to prospects, such as journalists, bloggers, influencers, and more. In this case, digital PR and traditional PR come together, as there would not be media without the media.
Journalists receive hundreds of emails, so you need to make sure that they choose to read yours and that they are interested in what you have to say. So, to ensure that you have the right pitch to contact them you need to:
- Research the most suitable journalists; check their work, what they’ve written in the past, and if your content is relevant to them.
- Make it personal; mention an article of theirs that you liked and your story could be featured in, generally, you have to show them why it is beneficial to cover your story.
- Make sure you grab their attention, this means everything starting from the subject line of your email to the headline of your content should stand out and grab their attention, there is no size to fit all, so try to modify your emails every time you send one to someone.
- Create engaging content, something they can’t say no to; what you’re offering should be so appealing no one can refuse it, when you’re approaching them it needs to be clear that it will be beneficial to include your pitch into their work.
2 Great Digital PR Examples to Inspire You
Here are 2 digital PR examples to get inspiration from.
Example #1: Guinness Clear
Guinness Clear launched a successful campaign in 2019. The great thing about this campaign is that the brand was not trying to promote its product directly and in an obvious way. Instead, the campaign was focused on encouraging Guinness drinkers to remember to hydrate with a reasonable amount of water. This campaign demonstrates that sometimes success comes from caring about your customers and their wellbeing. That way the brand’s audience feels valued and that they matter more than increasing sales, and so customer loyalty will be boosted.
Example #2: Fairmont’s Life Without Bees
The second example highlights the importance of bees in maintaining ecological balance and biodiversity and what would happen if we don’t pay attention to preserving the bees. Fairmont’s campaign also mentions that some of the most vitamin and mineral-rich foods are dependent on insect pollination, so deficiencies in these nutrients can have catastrophic effects on human health, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and more. Due to climate change, Fairmont launched this campaign to point out the impact of the decrease in the bee population on food supply and human health. The campaign is quite interactive and to the point.
Digital PR and Brand Monitoring
Brand monitoring and digital PR are connected; including monitoring tools in digital PR campaigns allows you to monitor the web and social media for brand mentions concerning your campaign. But more precisely the following processes are some of the most important ones.
Tracking your online mentions with a monitoring tool allows you to detect any potential crises and resolve them on time. So, what you have to do is pay attention to your users’ online reviews and everything they have to say about your brand, as by doing so you will understand their sentiment and satisfaction with your PR services and overall performance. On that note, you will be able to prevent any negative sentiment from becoming a misunderstanding and damaging your brand’s reputation.
Market intelligence is being aware of what is happening in the market; information and market segments that can keep your company one step ahead in its industry. Monitoring tools help collect data, interpret and analyze data to make informed business decisions about competition, products, and customer trends, and take advantage of any market opportunities that may come along. With this information, you, other marketers, and digital PR agencies can evaluate your tactics and create new campaigns based on their insights and of course those concerning the entire industry.
The Future of Digital PR
The future of Digital PR is closely related to social media and that includes visual content creation with high quality based on customers’ needs. Today’s digital PR calls for a better understanding of Business Intelligence and measuring business results. The challenge lies in making data-driven decisions before creating a digital PR campaign with the help of data collection and optimization. That way the campaigns will be more efficient and appealing to the audience and that will lead to better PR recommendations and a greater impact.
All in all, digital PR is important as it introduces companies to new audiences, improves SEO rankings, drives traffic to the website, generates leads, improves sales, and builds a strong brand voice.
If you want to check the potential of a monitoring tool in your digital PR campaigns you can always start a free trial with Mentionlytics to explore everything you read above.