Everyone knows how important PR is for building your brand reputation and attracting new customers.
But traditional PR can be time-consuming, expensive, and limited in its reach. Digital PR offers several advantages for the businesses of today, but brand managers often overlook its effectiveness.
The good news is that anyone can get started with digital PR. You don’t necessarily have to spend thousands with an agency or have significant connections and experience.
Additionally, you can build a PR strategy into your existing content marketing strategy without needing more time and resources than you’re already committing.
- Digital PR is cheaper, easier, and more effective than traditional PR.
- Using your content for digital PR not only raises your brand profile, but also increases links to your site and boosts SEO.
- While creating great content is of course essential for digital PR, it’s also vital to build relationships and be active in online communities.
What is Digital PR?
Digital PR involves harnessing online platforms to raise awareness of your brand and build your brand reputation.
A digital PR campaign normally includes a combination of social media marketing, content marketing, and media exposure on news websites.
Traditional PR harnesses on forming relationships with journalists and reporters to achieve brand mentions in newspapers, magazines, television, and radio. The main method of doing this is via press releases, but interviews and features can also be used for PR purposes.
Digital PR, on the other hand, uses online media such as blogs, news sites, social media networks, podcasts, and digital events to raise brand awareness.
Journalists may still be involved but digital PR campaigns often also involve working with bloggers, influencers, and industry experts with their own online platforms.
The Benefits of Digital PR
One of the main advantages of digital PR over traditional PR is that it’s a much better way to reach a wider audience all over the world.
As there are so many possible channels via which to publish content online, the reach of digital PR is potentially much wider than traditional PR. The latter option would be restricted to the readers of a particular publication or the audience of a TV or radio show.
Digital PR takes less time than traditional PR. Building relationships with journalists, attending meetings, and arranging press-worthy events are all very time-consuming activities.
It’s also harder to achieve a mention in a physical publication. While you can send a single press release to several publications and journalists, it might only be selected or even read by a couple.
Most businesses don’t have more than a couple of truly newsworthy announcements to make each year, so potential press exposure is always going to be limited. But there’s a lot more flexibility when it comes to online content – you don’t have to be launching a new product or making a big announcement to create content that people are interested in reading.
With digital PR you have more power, as you’re not always relying on a third party to publish your content. For one thing, it’s more likely that a digital news site will publish your story, as they will not have the limit on space that there is in traditional printed media. You can also self-publish content on your own blog and social media, or to content syndication sites like Medium.
In addition to building brand awareness and reputation, digital PR also helps to boost SEO by building links. A single piece of content may be linked to from several hundred or thousands of sites, bringing in direct traffic and helping your content to rank higher in search engine results.
It’s also easier to measure the effectiveness of digital PR and calculate the ROI of your efforts. Today’s online technology means that you can track the source of each visit to your site. You can even find out which pieces of content they read and interact with before visiting your site or converting to a sale.
Having greater insight into the value you’re generating with your content not only means you can justify the resources and budget expenditure if necessary. It also helps you to optimize your strategy by spending more time on the activities that are generating revenue and eliminating those that are less effective.
How to Earn Digital PR with Your Content
Great content is the cornerstone of effective digital PR, so you have to start by thinking up some ideas for content that a number of different sites and platforms might be interested in publishing or sharing with their audience.
PR-focused content may come in any format. It could be an article, an infographic, a white paper, or a video. But for it to be something worthy of the attention of others, you should try to create something that stands out.
Content that compiles data from original research and presents it in an easy-to-digest format always does well. Infographics are one of the most popular types of content to share on social media and are an easy way to generate digital PR for your brand.
White papers and state of the industry reports take significantly more time to put together but the results will be worth it. This type of content is frequently cited and linked to from industry blogs, social media, and any other media outlet with an audience that may find the information valuable.
Once you’ve created great content, the next step is to get the word out. Build an outreach list of industry experts, bloggers, and traditional reporters and journalists working in your industry. You can also use tools such as Buzzsumo and Socialbakers to find influencers in your niche.
You can also respond directly to media requests on sites such as HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and offer your expert opinion and commentary on news and issues in your industry.
Remember that building relationships is also a vital part of PR, both online and offline. It pays to make connections on social media, be active in online conversations, comment on other blogs, and answer questions on forums and sites like Quora.
This not only increases mentions of your brand and links to your content but also helps to establish your position as an industry expert, thought leader, and authority source of information in your field.
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