Understanding Digital PR and Why Companies Pay For It
Years ago, it was okay to call a press briefing, read a press release and let the mainstream press do their magic. It was also quite common for business owners and managers to call some of the journalists they knew and pass across a juicy titbit that would find its way into mainstream media.
But in today’s modern digital world, it is not enough to submit a press release to journalists and hope for the best. This spray-and-pray method is no longer an effective way to drive attention to your brand.
These days, digital PR has taken over from traditional public relations.
What is Digital PR?
Digital PR is a powerful strategy that can help build brand awareness online. Even though digital PR works with the internet, it is in many ways similar to traditional PR. However, it offers brands the opportunity to reach a vast the audience that cannot be reached via offline methods.
Digital PR companies network with website owners, bloggers, journalists, and social influencers to generate and share powerful online resources targeted at a specific audience. A typical digital PR strategy relies on online marketing techniques such as search engine optimisation (SEO), content marketing, social media, and influencer marketing.
By connecting and sharing quality content with the target audience, it is possible to use this marketing strategy to get your brand’s message out there, build credibility through mentions, start a dialogue, and spread your information quickly and more effectively than ever before.
Digital PR Vs. Traditional PR
Traditional PR typically involves working with journalists to get your brand message featured in mainstream press publications. The goal of a public relations agency is to get their client featured in newspapers, top websites, magazines, radio, and television.
But this form of publicity has been taken over by online media and traditional PR is no longer what it used to be, so much so that even the most diehard of traditional PR-ist has shifted their attention to digital PR, often finding better engagement on their online content that offline.
The growth of the internet brought with it many more effective ways to promote a business, and digital PR includes a wide variety of opportunities for brand awareness and growth.
As an evolved form of PR, digital PR, rather than targeting only print publications also focus on using internet tools to boost brand awareness. This typically involves working with bloggers, publishing articles and sending out press releases over the internet. Digital PR also makes use of opportunities in affiliate marketing, content writing, and social media to gain exposure and build brand trust.
When done well, digital PR can positively impact your SEO efforts, so that your brand begins to enjoy improved search page ranking and high visibility in search engine results (SERPs). This is why digital PR companies are primarily run by SEO agencies and content marketing agencies; people who are familiar with Google guidelines and the SEO industry.
While traditional PR is still useful in its own right, particularly for reaching an older target audience, without an effective digital PR campaign, not only will your marketing be incomplete, you will also find it hard, if not impossible to secure the much envied number one position in Google search results.
What Does Digital PR Involve?
Today’s businesses have a lot of opportunities for online promotion. There are just so many ways to interact with and engage your target audience online.
While digital PR strategies primarily involve publishing articles and networking with authority websites and blogs to gain link mentions, it also involves creating and maintaining relationships with journalists and social influencers. There are different ways to achieve a successful digital PR campaign, and it is the job of the digital PR specialist to use a wide variety of techniques to improve a brand’s online presence.
Some of the popular digital PR strategies are:
● Preparing and publishing online press releases
● Nurturing relationships with bloggers, websites and journalists to ensure effective online press coverage
● Carrying out business profiling
● Organising online reviews and interview systems
● Publishing relevant and high-quality articles to gain quality mentions
● Influencer marketing to gain mentions and generate engagement on social media
● Organising affiliate programmes that pay commissions to bloggers for referrals.
● Publishing content online to gain a boost in brand awareness and generate high-quality menitons.
Digital PR and traditional PR both share the same goal, which is to help boost brand recognition and increase visibility. The main difference is the choice of methods used by campaigns to achieve the same goal.
How Digital PR Can Benefit Your Brand and Why Do People Pay For It
When you invest in digital PR, you can expect a lot of benefits, both direct and indirect. A focused digital PR campaign can make a huge difference in boosting your online identity and selling the uniqueness of your brand. Mentions on website give your content more power to rank. So countless businesses, big and small, invest in digital PR campaigns to complement their existing online and offline marketing efforts.
Improved search engine optimisation
When your content is constantly getting published on high-authority websites that mention your site, your search page ranking will improve.
The higher your website ranks on Google, the more organic traffic that will come to your website. This means that investing in digital PR is a win for SEO.
Boost website traffic
As your brand enjoys more mentions online and on different platforms, people that will be interested in visiting your website.
Digital PR means you are mentioned on good websites, and that gets noticed. When you are then spotted in the search engines you are more likely to be the site that gets clicked.
Build brand trust
Trust and credibility are the most important currencies on the internet. Without trust, web users cannot do business with you.
Creating and publishing high-quality and relevant content on authority sites will help nurture and build your brand image so that over time, people begin to see you as a credible source of information
When you invest in a digital PR campaign, it puts your brand squarely in front of the people that matter to your business.
The more people that engage with your content on these authority websites, the more people will visit your website. This means more quality leads.
Content Marketing in Digital PR
Content marketing has always played an important role in digital PR. When you create content that people find useful it will be shared. Shared content confirms and fortifies your status as an industry authority.
Even if you are just starting out with digital PR, content you have already published online can be repurposed for your digital PR campaign. For example, an already published blog post can be expanded to contain new information or converted into other forms of content such as:
● An infographic
● A guest post on an authority blog
● A useful article in an online newspaper or trade publication
● A LinkedIn article
● A short video
Repurposing already written content makes it possible for your content to appeal to users across a variety of platforms, all of which will grow your brand reputation.
Social Media in Digital PR
Very few tools are as powerful as social media when it comes to running an effective digital PR campaign. Social media makes it easy to connect with your target audience, engage, and influence them in a way that suits your brand goals.
In fact, social media is probably the best place to control the narrative of your brand.
Because the bulk of internet users are on one social media platform or another, it should be an integral part of your digital PR campaign. It doesn’t matter the techniques you plan on using, your campaign will be highly effective when you take it to the place where your target audience are most comfortable.
Sharing 3rd party content containing mentions, and sharing content you produce, will help grow your online presence.
Getting Started with Digital PR
Digital PR should be a part of the online marketing of any brand that wants to dominate its niche, and it is most successful when run alongside a strong SEO campaign.
Whether you choose to hire a digital PR agency or run your own digital PR campaign yourself, the important thing is to get started.
You can harness the power of the internet to build your brand. Analyse your results to determine what is working and what needs changed.
Having a clear understanding of your target audience is also important in digital PR. If you don’t know exactly who you are trying to engage, you will end up making a lot of shots in the dark, few of which will do your brand any good.
That said, the more digital PR strategies you adopt, the better your chances of growing the reputation of your brand, and your business. Build mentions on the internet and your audience will come.