While digital marketing gets all the buzz, digital PR deserves a little more attention. The term has been gaining some traction as of late, but many businesses are unsure how it differs from traditional PR, as well as the benefits it offers.
Traditional PR agencies still work to get their clients coverage through online channels. The difference is, older professionals and firms may struggle to keep up with recent changes in the space.
By contrast, digital public relations is something of a hybrid of an SEO professional and a traditional PR professional. In digital PR, the focus is on building relationships and securing placements with media outlets, as PR pros have always done. The difference is, digital PR has thrown things like link building, SEO tactics, influencer marketing, and social media into the mix.
So, how can digital PR help you boost your online profile?
Digital PR for Blogger Outreach
Part of the digital PR professional’s job is to make long-lasting connections with relevant people in your vertical or niche. Like traditional PR pros, a good digital PR specialist has a long list of blogger and digital outlet contacts within the industry. This means working with a digital service can open up the ability to guest post for a blog with more followers. Or, you may be able to find an influential blogger or Podcast that will mention or review a new product or service.
And because everything happens so fast in the online world, working with a PR service can mean blogs or links can be placed within a few days or weeks.
Successful blogger outreach can help you secure powerful backlinks, or followed links pointing back to your website. The benefit of securing backlinks is twofold; for one, backlinks are one a top-ranking factor in Google's algorithm, so they'll boost your SEO presence. Second, backlinks provide a way to measure the success of your outreach campaign. That said, backlinks aren't your only goal here, rather just one piece of the digital PR pie.
Mentions in the Media
Some things never change. Media mentions refer to any time a media outlet mentions your name, brand, or product in any online capacity. This is especially useful if we're talking major media outlets or even blogs with a large following.
Harness the Influencers
Influencer marketing is another significant way to connect with your target audience. But, it can be hard to reach out to the big name Instagram stars or successful bloggers without much clout standing behind you. A digital PR agency can work to help you gain access to the big leagues. That introduction may place you in front of a massive social media following, increasing your website traffic.
PR professionals use social media to find the influencers in your space. From there, they'll discover the kind of content they publish and pitch partnership opportunities. Additionally, you'll need to build a relationship with these folks. They're hit up with stories and product pitches and fans on the regular.
With that in mind, you and your PR specialist can come up with a plan to stand out. Be succinct, and prove how you can provide value to them. Perhaps that's an exclusive offer, free product, or sharing your unique knowledge with a captive audience.
Finally, SEO is one of the biggest pieces of digital PR. The advantage a PR specialist provides over a dedicated SEO pro is, they have more pull with the relationship-building side of marketing.
In the past, SEO pros have leaned heavily on getting visitors to click on individual websites by focusing on backlinks. Google has gotten wise to the various algorithm exploitation tactics and has begun cracking down on sites that buy backlinks or include irrelevant links from low-quality websites.
Instead, the search engine now rewards websites that get links and mentions honestly.
PR teams work to build relationships with the sites you wish to earn backlinks from, negating any need to trick Google through shady link services. Again, a link from a reputable media outlet or popular blog will generate traffic, but it also shows Google that your site is a legitimate source of information.
Aside from backlinks, social media has become an increasingly important metric in the search ranking algorithm. So, using a service that focuses on putting your best face forward across channels helps solidify your presence on major search engines.
Finally, PR teams boost SEO by sending digital press releases. Services like Newswire can help you connect with journalists as you would with traditional PR channels. But they also mean your release is included on an optimized site picked up by Google.
This easy optimization means well-crafted press releases can boost traffic and generate quality backlinks.
Overall, you'll be looking the following key metrics: the number of backlinks received, page views, unique visitors and the number of likes, retweets, and shares on social platforms.
Pros rely on Google Analytics to see how many people visited your website, which pages they look at, and how long visitors stay on your content.
Additionally, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube all have their own monitoring services, making it easy to see how many views your social media posts are getting.
The firm you select will use several tools designed to track conversion rates, social mentions, backlinks, and other ranking signals.
Time for a New Digital Strategy?
A digital PR strategy is vital these days. Instead of working in the ways of old-school PR, going digital means you're looking at promoting your site through strategies old and new.
Dreamweaver Communications specializes in making sure your voice reaches your target audience. Whether you need digital PR help or something else, give us a call for more info.