Benjamin Atkinson manages PR accounts and the reputation of a number of high-profile clients at online reputation management specialist Igniyte.
Digital PR is, in several ways, similar to standard PR but for a much wider online audience.
Using digital PR strategies and digital marketing it’s possible to drive brand awareness in a way that reaches far more people than traditional methods that used to rely on offline editorial coverage only.
What comprises effective digital PR campaigns?
A digital PR campaign should include various Internet-based strategies including content marketing, influencer marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO).
Combined, these elements form a powerful digital PR strategy that can vastly improve the visibility of a brand or business online. Unlike traditional PR, online marketing isn’t restricted by having to use embargoed press releases and hard copy deadlines.
Instead, digital PR techniques will transform static information into conversations. Companies and brands can enter into these conversations with their target demographic 24/7 in order to start the kind of dialogue that spreads focused news further and faster than has ever been possible before.
Digital PR strategy versus traditional
Pre-Internet, PR strategies would include reaching target audiences by networking with journalists to get coverage in print publications and on TV and radio.
Today, services often include some traditional focus, but with a much-widened scope to account for all of the online marketing avenues available.
Digital PR focuses on Internet-based promotion and, given the sheer variety of channels, this means its possibilities are alms endless.
What kind of tactics does a digital PR agency or expert use?
A digital marketing strategy could use lots of different digital PR tactics to achieve its aim, including the following examples.
- Writing online press releases.
- Build relationships with online bloggers and journalists to generate content.
- Business profiling in target publications.
- Disseminating a press release in the most effective way to hit as many digital channels as possible.
- Facilitating online interviews and online reviews.
- Ensuring every press release is optimised with an appropriate subject line and relevant links.
- Link building through the publication of well-written articles and online content to build brand awareness and reputation.
- Ensuring every blog post includes target keywords and content creation.
What’s the end goal of a campaign?
Ultimately, digital PR specialists are looking to achieve the same as traditional PR strategists – that is to boost their client’s reputation and visibility. This will then reach target audiences and increase conversion rates.
The major difference is that digital PR benefits from the number of channels and the scope for creative content campaigns.
Businesses have to find ways to separate themselves from the noisy sea of competitors out there and by ignoring a good digital PR campaign they simply won’t be able to compete effectively.
Ways that digital PR helps businesses to generate leads
A brand can benefit from digital PR in lots of ways, including generating leads, finding more potential customers in a cost-effective way, hitting key metrics, fulfilling public relations strategies and improving brand image.
SEO success, high-quality articles, effective keyword research, the ability to gain backlinks, a thorough understanding of search engines and how to get mentioned online, video content and so much more shows just how much the digital revolution can increase brand awareness.
Digital public relations can do the following for your business or brand (this is not an exhaustive list!).
- Increase referral traffic to your website
When a brand is mentioned more and more on social media, as part of an SEO strategy or through creating quality content, organic search traffic will push the visibility up. It becomes a virtuous cycle of website traffic with Google analytics picking up on your brand and people finding it more often across various digital platforms and online publications.
- Boost search rankings
When your content ideas hit the mark and attract the same journalists as traditional PR, your brand will feature on high-authority websites. These become credible sources and automatically improve your SEO ranking. As online press features you more, your brand name will come up in more search results and your website will have more hits.
- Position yourself as a thought leader with authority
Content marketers should be able to establish you and your brand as a thought leader in your industry sector. High-quality backlinks to and from relevant websites also form an important part of online PR to establish you as an authority in your sector.
- Improve the image of your brand and build trust with customers
This is where digital PR plays an important role in a wider online reputation management strategy. As your target audience sees more about you online and begins to read more and more stuff about your business, they will come to trust your services.
- Generate sales and leads
This is the main driver for many businesses – to convert website traffic to sales.
The bottom line
Properly utilised, a digital PR strategy can totally transform a company’s brand visibility. Experts in digital marketing and PR know just how to balance the different strands available, from judicious use of social media channels to grow organic reach to creating targeted content.
All of this provides a huge opportunity to reach and communicate with customers in ways that old-fashioned PR could only dream of. If you get the right specialists on board and take a creative approach, digital PR opens up an enormous world of possibilities for you and your brand.