Digital PR is a highly effective strategy for boosting brand awareness, building trust with new audiences, and ultimately increasing leads and sales.
If you’ve never worked with a PR company before, this quick beginner’s guide will answer the question, what is digital PR? And give you a peek at our process of creating winning PR campaigns.
What is Digital PR?
Digital PR is a marketing strategy used to boost brand awareness and establish authority in an industry. Through authoritative articles, link-building, press releases, and social media, a winning digital PR strategy can skyrocket your brand, no matter how new it is, and help you reach your business goals.
What is the Difference Between Traditional PR and Digital PR?
Traditional PR uses physical media and in-person marketing, such as newspapers and magazines, billboards, and even stretches into TV and radio ads.
On the other hand, digital PR is an online marketing tool that utilizes high-authority publications, blogging, social media campaigns, and influencers. Digital PR has a significantly wider reach than traditional methods and is often a much more feasible option for SMBs that don’t have the budget for print or TV marketing.
7 Types of Digital PR
There are seven different types of digital PR, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.
1. Press Releases
Press releases are specific pieces of news or information sent out to the public when something noteworthy happens within a company. A company’s PR department usually handles press releases, and they tend to be most effective for large enterprises with already-established audiences. Media outlets monitor press releases and report on them if it’s something relevant to their audience.
2. PR Link Building
Link building is a marketing technique that involves pitching editors and large publications to get editorial links published on their platforms. These links are powerful SEO boosters and can lead to significant spikes in website traffic. Unlike press releases, link building is a great strategy for all-sized businesses and can get excellent results.
3. Social Media PR
A well-crafted social media PR campaign aims to get audiences talking about and sharing your brand. Whether you focus on Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook, social media PR puts your brand in the spotlight and boosts brand awareness. Although going viral isn’t usually a goal of a PR campaign, it can be a welcomed bonus.
4. Reactive PR
Reactive PR is used as damage control if your company goes through a rough patch with a product recall, bad press, or negative rumors. Strategic campaigns are created to react to negative claims and set the record straight. You’ve probably seen this type of PR when celebrities get criticized online for negative comments or opinions.
5. Unlinked Mentions
If a website mentions your name, brand, website, or product but doesn’t link back to you, that’s an unlinked mention. Although they’re great for brand awareness, they are missed opportunities and should always be converted into editorial backlinks.
6. Guest Posts
By writing valuable, engaging content and getting it published on high-authority sites, you’ll boost brand awareness and traffic back to your website. Guest posting is a hugely effective digital PR strategy and is used by companies of all sizes.
7. Thought Leadership Pieces
If you’re an expert in your field, a thought leadership piece can quickly turn into PR gold. By sharing research data, stats, or industry wisdom, you’ll become a leader in your field and easily drum up earned PR (when publications use your content as an expert source).
The 6 Important Benefits of Digital PR
Not sure if investing in digital PR is right for your brand? Here are six important benefits you’ll get from the process.
1. Builds Online Authority
There are likely certain companies and brands you already see as authorities in different niches. For sports, it could be Nike or Under Amour; for business news, it could be Business Insider or Forbes.
High-authority businesses have the trust and attention of their audiences, which means they’re more likely to rank in SERPs.
2. Creates Links Difficult to Replicate by Competitors
A winning PR campaign gets your brand featured in top publications – that’s hard for competitors to replicate. By getting your brand front-and-center of editors, you’ll become the first choice as the expert source in your industry.
3. Forms a Relationship of Trust With Target Audience
Around 81% of consumers report the need to feel trust in a brand to buy from them. If your business doesn’t have that foundation of trust with your target audience, you’ll struggle to convert traffic into paying customers.
4. Grows Brand Awareness
Whether you’re a brand-new start-up or you’ve been in business for years, PR helps grow brand awareness and gets your product or services in front of new audiences. If you’re looking to expand, an effective PR strategy can amplify your marketing and get results much faster than social media marketing strategies.
5. Boosts SEO (Organic Ranking and Traffic)
Building your website’s SEO should be an ongoing process. Getting high-quality backlinks from high-authority publications gives a huge boost to SEO and helps increase your organic ranking and traffic.
6. Increases Leads and Sales
At the very core of any marketing strategy is the goal of more leads and sales. From getting backlinks and media coverage to boosting brand awareness and establishing authority, digital PR can seriously increase the number of warm leads you get, ultimately contributing to your bottom line.
How to Create a Successful Digital PR Campaign in 6 Steps
At Linkifi, we’ve developed a highly effective digital PR strategy that gets measurable results for our clients. It’s an in-depth process, but here’s a quick look at our strategy.
Step #1: Know Your Target Audience and Their Search Intent
No matter how solid your PR campaign is, it’s useless if it’s not highly targeted to the right audience. Start by understanding your ideal client and their search intent, so you know the best places to find them online.
Step #2: Set Your Objectives
What do you want to achieve with PR? Some brands focus on boosting awareness and authority; others want to get featured on the top publications in their niche. It’s important to set achievable, measurable, specific goals so you can assess whether your PR campaign was a success.
Step #3: Decide on the Type of Content and PR Type
Next, think about the type of content you’ll create. We’re huge fans of high-value articles, but you might decide to go for a podcast, video, infographic, or other type of content.
You’ll also need to consider the type of PR you want to focus on. For SMBs, link-building is the most effective strategy, but social media PR can be a good choice for brand awareness.
Step #4: Outline a Pitch and Prepare a List of Contacts
After countless PR campaigns and dozens of pitches, we’ve perfected the art of crafting a winning pitch to send to editors. Your pitch is how you convince them to work with you, so make sure it’s personalized, engaging, and concise.
Create a shortlist of contacts you can pitch for PR opportunities – don’t just go for the huge publications if you run a small business; there are plenty of valuable opportunities for link building and audience expansion on smaller sites, too.
Step #5: Launch Your Campaign and Distribute to Other Channels
If you’ve done the research and spent time creating valuable content, you should get it published. Most high-profile publications have pretty long lead times, so be prepared to wait a few months after you get a yes.
Once your content is posted, distribute it far and wide! Share it on your website and your social channels, and use it as a tool to get further PR opportunities. Once you’re published, it’s much easier to grab the attention of other editors.
Step #6: Measure and Monitor the Results
No PR campaign is effective without a proper tracking system. Start with a baseline of your website traffic, monthly sales, engagement, social media followers, etc., and then measure progress after your campaigns go live.
Fortunately, Linkifi does the tracking for you – we’ll keep you informed about the number of backlinks you get, impressions, and other important metrics so you can see the results of your campaigns.
Key Digital PR Metrics to Monitor For Greater Success
Not sure what you should be measuring to track the success of your digital PR campaigns? Here is a full list:
- Active coverage: which publications are you featured on?
- Impressions/reach: the number of views you’ve got from the publication
- Share of voice: this compares your industry reach and coverage to your top competitors.
- Social engagement: number of followers, impressions, and likes.
- Backlinks: number of editorial links back to your website.
- Geographical coverage: the number of countries or audiences you’re exposed to.
- Earned traffic: the number of visitors to your website.
- Domain authority: the prediction of how well your website ranks in SERPs.
The metrics you choose to cover will depend on the goals you set for your PR campaign, but it’s best to always track at least active coverage, backlinks, and earned traffic as a baseline.
Digital PR Campaign Example
If you’re looking for some much-needed inspiration, here is a client story and the results they got from their PR campaigns with us.
- Campaign duration: 3 months
- Backlinks earned: 26
We created three different PR campaigns for this client, centered around the camping industry, and landed publication on some high-profile media outlets, including Yahoo Life.
By the end of the campaign, Camping Guidance had 26 high-quality links and a 15.9 million audience reach.
Boost Brand Awareness & Become an Industry Leader with Linkifi’s Digital PRs
Hopefully, this quick guide has answered the question of what is digital PR, and you’ve got some key insights into creating an effective, goal-driven campaign.
With a high-value, engaging PR strategy, you can easily increase website traffic, build trust with new audiences, and become an expert source in your industry.
And if you don’t have time to dedicate to PR, we’re here to do it for you. At Linkifi, we’ll handle the entire PR process, from creating engaging content and pitching the best editors in your niche to securing high-value backlinks and tracking your results. Get in touch today to get started.