Coming up with incredible products and services people can’t live without is only part of the equation for making a success of your business.
The rest is all about building strong, mutually beneficial relationships with both existing and potential customers.
That’s where a good PR (public relations) strategy comes in. But traditional PR is no longer enough to succeed here in the digital age.
You need an effective search engine optimization (SEO) campaign to boost your discoverability online, and digital PR is an essential part of that.
Here’s a closer look at what digital PR is all about and how you can use it to take your company’s SEO strategy to the next level.
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What Is Digital PR?
Although there’s no exact formula for truly excellent PR, the most successful campaigns do have certain objectives in common.
These include (but aren’t necessarily limited to):
- Identifying your target demographic and figuring out who your ideal customer is.
- Setting goals that strike a good balance between realistic and ambitious.
- Developing a strategic message that will appeal to your existing and potential customers.
- Understanding who your competition is and coming up with ways your company can successfully fill gaps in the industry.
- Maintaining and boosting relevancy by understanding trends, being present where the people are, and so forth.
Digital PR is about all of these same objectives, but with the specific aim of building a more effective backlink catalog and generating an irresistible buzz about your brand.
That means coming up with genuinely useful content — content so incredible, it can’t help but get people talking about it and wanting to link back to it.
How Does Digital PR Differ from Traditional PR?
Although it may feel as if everything essential has migrated online in recent years, it’s important to realize many people do still consume traditional media.
For example, they listen to the radio during their morning commute and attend in-person events. Quite a few people still read physical newspapers and magazines or turn on the television in the evening to see what’s on the news, as well.
Traditional PR involves getting a company’s message in front of keen eyes using tactics like the above.
However, since there’s no one reliable way to track how many people you’re genuinely reaching via these methods, placement and focus are vital considerations.
Messages that can nail precisely the right tone have the best chance at commanding attention and getting through to the right people.
Digital PR is similar to its traditional counterpart in that building good relationships with journalists and other media professionals is crucial.
It’s also essential to frame your message in a way that appeals to your target demographic.
However, digital PR takes things several steps further by leveraging the incredible reach the internet brings to the table.
Here’s a closer look at how digital PR differs from traditional PR:
- In addition to utilizing digital versions of traditional media — like online magazines, digital news sources, and popular video platforms — digital PR also brings modern staples like social media, blogs, and influencer culture into the mix.
- Good digital PR embraces a more subtle approach, while traditional PR is generally much more direct.
- Digital PR leaves more room for creativity, while traditional PR requires marketing professionals to stick to tried-and-true methods.
- With traditional PR, engagement only flows one way — from business to customer. But with digital PR, it’s a more personal, two-way street.
It’s also much easier to track and verify the success of each individual effort with digital PR.
With traditional methods, you can never be 100 percent certain you’ve gotten through to your target demographic in exactly the way you’d hoped.
What Are the SEO Benefits of Digital PR?
Did you know that a whopping 84 percent of the coveted millennial demographic either dislike or don’t trust traditional marketing?
They prefer and expect to have an ongoing conversation with the brands they buy from, and many other demographics are following their lead.
Modern consumers want to feel included in marketing efforts instead of being sold to.
Digital PR helps address all of these issues. It’s also a critical factor in ensuring your ongoing SEO campaign is as successful as it should be.
Check out some of the benefits:
You’ll earn higher-quality backlinks
These days, creating plenty of content is no longer enough to guarantee a robust backlink catalog.
Your content not only needs to be good but genuinely engaging, the type of material journalists, bloggers, influencers, and consumers alike want to share with their audiences.
Great digital PR results in engaging, newsworthy content that readers and publishers alike can appreciate.
It also means pitches made to quality publications are more successful, resulting in better backlinks and more of them.
Digital PR makes it easier to create a backlink catalog that’s more diverse, as well.
You’ll build better brand awareness
While it’s terrific if people are sharing your content and linking back to your websites, you want them really talking about your brand, as well.
With or without accompanying links, brand mentions help get your company’s name out there and make sure people know who you are.
And the more people are out there talking about your brand, your products, and your message, the better the boost to your SEO.
There’s much evidence out there to suggest frequent brand mentions significantly boost your company’s authority quotient with Google.
And other major search engines (like Bing, to name just one example) have actually confirmed that they track brand mentions and use them as ranking signals.
You build long-term authority
Digital PR comes attached to valuable long-term benefits, as well. For instance, you’ll build your company’s authority over the long term.
The better your content and the more successful your efforts, the higher your position as a trusted authority in your industry or niche.
Every link share, social media mention, and conversation gets you closer to that goal.
Over time, you become the person your buyer persona most wants to hear from when it comes to topics you know a lot about.
Planning and Executing a Successful Digital PR Strategy
Great digital PR is about successfully applying the proven techniques associated with traditional PR to the current digital landscape.
Here’s a look at some of the best strategies to consider when planning your own campaign.
Newsworthy, well-executed press releases are still an essential part of any comprehensive PR campaign, as they encourage journalists and major media outlets to cover what’s new with your brand.
Boost SEO by also optimizing yours for the right keywords to ensure they come up in relevant search queries.
The higher the authority level of the sites linking back to your content, the better the benefit for your company.
Research the top authority sites in your industry or niche, and generate link-worthy material that meets their needs as well as yours.
Think infographics, case studies, original research, and terrific long-form content.
It’s not just the quality of your content that counts when approaching website owners and peers about possible backlinking opportunities.
The way you pitch it matters, too.
Show target sites how sharing your content will benefit them. What makes your content original, valuable, or especially engaging to their audiences?
Modern consumers want more than just products and services they can trust.
They want to be involved in conversations with and about the brands they buy from, as well.
Cross-promote your best content across your business’s social media channels. Interact with people who share or comment on what you post.
Spark additional conversation and inspire shares by making sure your content is especially informative, interesting, witty, or entertaining.
Building ongoing solid relationships with people who can help you get your message in front of your target demographic is a crucial part of digital PR.
Yes, part of that means networking with editors, journalists, and media professionals from noteworthy online publications.
But you’ll want to reach out to popular bloggers and social media influencers, as well.
Leverage the trust they’ve built with their own loyal, longstanding audiences to boost confidence in your brand.
In the digital age, great PR is still all about getting the right people talking about your brand and building people’s sense of trust in what you have to offer.
By expanding your efforts to fully embrace PR’s digital component, as well, you’ll boost your reach exponentially and better reach valuable demographics to keep your company growing.
Wrap Up: Outstanding Digital PR and SEO Go Hand in Hand
Success in the digital age is all about building authority and boosting visibility.
A solid, socially astute digital PR strategy is half of that equation. A thorough, well-managed SEO campaign is the other half.
Each supports the other to help you grow your company and better meet your business goals.
Now that you know how digital PR can benefit your company, are you ready to learn more about SEO and discover how to make the most of your campaign?
Download our handy authority guide on how to put together a winning SEO strategy!
Learn how to launch a new campaign, develop an understanding of technical SEO, uncover the difference between on-page and off-page SEO, and more!