Digital PR, much like digital marketing, has moved a previously offline activity into the online world. It’s the job digital PR agencies to build the exposure of businesses with their target audiences and grow their digital footprints.
With this in mind, we’ve put together this guide on all things digital PR. We’ll cover:
Without further ado, let’s get on with the guide.
Digital PR is when you use online platforms to manage and grow the reputation, awareness and understanding of your business.
You achieve this through building relationships with online journalists, bloggers, and influencers relevant to your business. The end goal of this tactic is to win earned media exposure across a range of online platforms, including:
It enables companies to create super-targeted campaigns across a wide range of online mediums, with the aim of reaching and influencing their target audience.
When done properly, digital public relations can be a vital tool in improving your reputation, growing your exposure and improving your SEO.
You may be wondering what’s the difference between traditional PR and Digital PR, and which is better for your business? Well, here’s a summary of the key differences.
Traditional PR was designed, quite literally, in a different era. The primary objective of this form of PR is to influence the traditional news cycle by winning positive media coverage.
Although traditional PR has moved with the times and winning earned media from online outlets now forms a large part of its output, it’s largely unsuited to the needs of small businesses and startups. This is because the industry was built to serve the requirements of big corporates.
Traditional PR favors product updates and announcements. However, startups may only have one or two truly newsworthy announcements to make each year. Therefore, it can be a struggle to gain media coverage using traditional PR.
And then there’s the thorny issue of cost; some agencies can charge upwards of $10k a month and require lengthy retainers. This puts their services out of reach for many startups.
Fortunately, Digital PR finds other ways to win media coverage besides updates and announcements, at a fraction of the cost.
As a digital PR agency, we’re well-positioned to answer this question. Here are some of the main outputs of a digital PR agency:
However, the list doesn’t stop there. A digital PR agency should also have a clear understanding of your industry and a passion for your business. These are the areas of expertise and expectations you should be asking your next agency.
Digital PR can provide enormous benefits to your business. A well planned and executed strategy can:
Digital PR strategies focus on winning earned media and securing backlinks across a range online media outlets.
Here are some of the most common types of Digital PR strategies:
SEO and Digital PR are very closely linked. To succeed with SEO you need great quality content and high authority backlinks. And two of the main outputs of digital PR are great quality content and backlinks from high authority websites.
It’s vital that your digital PR agency joins up your SEO, PR and content marketing strategies, in order to deliver the most benefit. The below infographic shows the relationship between these different elements.
As you can see, the process starts with your owned media strategy. You need to develop content that’s optimized to capture target keywords, such as blog posts and product landing pages.
Once this strategy is in place and you’re producing quality content, this then informs your PR output. This could be in the form of pitching guest posts that discuss similar topics to some of your blog posts, or sending out press releases announcing original research that you’ve published on your site.
The earned media wins you generate from this activity will then often contain backlinks to your owned media content. For example, backlinks within your guest posts to supporting blog content.
The below 3-step process to uncover keywords shows you how to begin putting together a combined SEO and digital PR strategy. For a complete walkthrough read our guide to PR and SEO.
Online insurance comparison website AardvarkCompare approached us as they wanted a digital PR company to help build their online footprint, exposure, and backlinks.
In order to build their digital footprint and link profile, we had to target earned media wins in high-ranking publications.
We leveraged the founder’s long and detailed backstory to create some chin-scratching intrigue and build up the authority of his personal brand. This helped him get accepted as a guest contributor for well-respected publications, such as Entrepreneur.
We also used our in-house SEO knowledge to inform our research into trends within the travel insurance market. By media monitoring, we were able to jump on stories relevant to AardvarkCompare’s target audience and offer expert insight and opinion. This resulted in media mentions across a range of industry-specific publications.
The founder, Jonathan Breeze, had this to say about our digital PR strategies:
“PR today is, arguably, more important to a start-up company than it ever has been. The ability to share a message with a wider audience, whilst building critical backlinks, is of fundamental importance.
The world has changed – no longer should we wait until our product is ready for launch to tell the world. We need to communicate immediately. Publicize ‘gets’ the new world of Digital PR. Any founder who thinks that Domain Authority will be important in the life of their company would be well advised to talk with Publicize today. Had I known then what I know now, I would have begun work with Publicize in 2015 when we began building AardvarkCompare, rather than waiting until 2018. Lesson learned!”
If you’re a startup who’s taking its first steps on the PR ladder, digital PR could well be a lot more beneficial to you than traditional PR.
When planned and executed as part of a broader business strategy, digital PR helps to build your authority, increase your awareness, build your digital footprint and improve your SEO. Standing at the center point between content marketing and SEO, it can add enormous value to any business.
And if you’re considering taking on a digital PR agency to do the work for you, use this guide to inform what type of questions you should ask and to assess which firm is the right one for you.