What is digital PR?
Digital PR is a marketing technique used to increase brand awareness using online digital methods. In many ways it is similar to traditional public relations, in which an organisation or individual gains exposure to its desired audience using topics of public interest. For it to be successful, you need to dedicate time to building relationships with your target audience to get your brand known.
Digital PR differs as it involves gaining high-quality backlinks from websites and online publications as well as simply increasing brand awareness and visibility. It also helps you reach your target customers by featuring your business on the websites they often visit.
Digital vs traditional PR: what’s the difference?
The aim of both types of PR is the same: to build brand awareness while presenting a positive message to help engage audiences. However, PR has changed dramatically over the last 20 years and if you want to see results that will take you forward in the online modern world, then digital PR is the one for you.
Distribution channels & tools
Traditional PR focuses on channels such as newspapers, niche printed publications, TV and radio, whereas digital PR has a number of alternative channels available. These include websites, social media platforms, blogs, online news and video portals.
Just like the difference in channels available, there is also a large difference between the tools that are required to carry out traditional and digital PR. To successfully adopt the approach of digital PR you need to use tools such as SEMrush, marketing automation services, Google Analytics, social media and many other platforms
Unlike digital PR, to carry out traditional PR you don’t need any of these tools, but you do need to know a large number of journalists and media contacts.
When it comes to traditional PR, it can be hard to find the media contacts you wish to collaborate with and it often comes down to who you know that can help you out. Digital PR opens the door to contact a much larger number of journalists as most digital PR distribution tools come with their own media contact database for you to select the most relevant journalists to you.
With traditional PR, interactions with the audience tend to be a one-way thing. Digital PR, on the other hand, will generally provide more room for feedback and engagement. Website blogs and posts on social media sites are two good examples. By giving your audience a voice, interaction and engagement will increase dramatically.
How can digital PR help your business?
Adopting a digital PR marketing strategy can help your business; from improving SEO to increasing sales, it is certainly something to consider.
1. Improve SEO & rankings
Publishing content relating to your business on high-authority websites and gaining backlinks is one of the biggest benefits of digital PR. Gaining these high-quality backlinks is an important factor in ranking highly in the SERPS as they are a major part of search engine algorithms and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. They are often the deciding factor that pushes a website to the top of the search results over the competition. Obtaining backlinks to your website through digital PR from high-authority sites also increases your credibility and trust, in turn helping you appear higher in the SERPs.
2. Increased website traffic
Another benefit of backlinks is that your referral traffic to your website will also increase. People who click on these links will generally be high-intent customers who are likely to read more of your content, be interested in your brand, or even convert into a sale or enquiry.
Most media outlets that publish press releases share their content on social media platforms and tag the relevant company, too. This makes it another way in which people will find your website, increasing your traffic and referral statistics over time.
3. Brand awareness
Another significant benefit that undertaking digital PR can have on your business is increased brand awareness. The more exposure your business gets through PR, the more your target audience will get to know your brand and the services you offer. Not only this, but digital PR can help your target audience find your site in a more organic way. Seeing brands regularly mentioned in the press helps you get more recognition as well as increasing your credibility and trust. Most importantly, it helps put you on their radar, so when they need of a product or service that you offer, you have a much higher chance of being directly searched for.
Not only does digital PR reinforce the that you are a reputable and reliable brand, but it also encourages them to return to your business. Digital PR can also help your business by attracting new customers and widening your customer base through social shares.
So, why should digital PR be part of your next marketing strategy?
More and more people are reading articles on the internet rather than through traditional means, with 69% of individuals in the UK reading magazines and newspapers online rather than buying a physical copy. You can see that there’s a reason why so many businesses are looking to digital PR. If your business isn’t on board yet, it really is time to reconsider. Make sure you are on the lookout for local PR contacts.
The average webpage in the top search positions has more than 35,000 backlinks, so if you are hoping to compete and rank highly in the SERPS you need to consider adopting digital PR into your marketing plan. It will help increase your backlink profile, and allow you to gain a wider customer base and increase brand awareness. In an increasingly competitive online world, it can often be costly to get yourself in front of new audiences, especially those who are highly targeted, but this is another way in which digital PR can help your business!
If you are looking to start a digital PR campaign, contact a member of our team today!