Our digital marketing team recently attended Brighton SEO. The hot topic on everyone’s lips was digital PR, and how it’s a game changer for SEO and digital marketing.
Digital PR 101
Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. This is relevant for both on and off-line.
Our lives are almost entirely online. We do everything over the internet, particularly research. Which is where digital PR comes in.
The more mentions of your brand in online media, the more exposure to consumers your brand will receive. Consumers trust journalists and personal recommendations and use these to help make their purchasing decisions.
An effective PR strategy is designed to uplift the public’s awareness of you, position your brand as the leader, but the best and the most desirable outcome is to ultimately drive customers to your site to buy or enquire. There are many ways to do this; product placement, journalist reviews, press release creation, creative campaigns and data insight stories are just a few examples of how PR professionals are finding creative ways to get your brand in the public’s eye.
How digital marketing and digital PR work together
Digital marketing is the same; its purpose is to get your brand found by the right people. This is done through; SEO, PPC, content marketing, social, CRO and email marketing. Digital PR and link building are hugely important when it comes to SEO rankings and this is how they work hand in hand.
For example, once you have secured an article about your business or product in the media, readers are engaged and informed by the information provided. This has achieved coverage and exposure for your brand, increasing its awareness. If the article also includes a hyperlink to your brand’s website, you are providing a path for action, encouraging them to click through and find out more about your brand resulting in a conversion.
The search engines (Google) will recognise that your brand is receiving mentions and hyperlinks from trusted media outlets and therefore will start to identify you as a trusted authority. This in time, will uplift your ranking positions in the search results. This increases your exposure to a larger audience who have found your site through the search engine results, again, resulting in a purchase or enquiry.
Additionally, PR can help promote marketing activities such as web content by seeding it to connections within the media to achieve natural links back from relevant sources. PR professionals will also be able to provide insights on content ideation, by talking with their personal connections to make sure that what is created is useful and can be spun into a news story to achieve maximum impact from the content marketing strategy.
Marketers can use small amounts of budget to amplify PR stories achieved to a key impressionable audience on social media, to again, increase click-through rates back to your site.
In short, PR generates additional content opportunities which marketers can support with a small budget to drive reach across social media channels.
5 simple steps for improving SEO with digital PR
As mentioned the incorporation of digital PR is important to any online strategy so here are 5 simple steps on how to do that:
- Research your competitors
- Create a list of primary and secondary publications
- Build a relationship with the relevant journalists
- Pitch value-adding content ideas or look for forwarding features to get involved with
- Create content
Sounds easy doesn’t it, but there’s a host of time involved in each phase and one cannot be done without the other so make sure when you look to utilise digital PR you have the time or right agency involved.
The moral of the story is that each service equally important. Both are designed to reach the customer, but marketing focuses more on promotional and advertorial activities whereas PR centres around authenticating and building a brands reputation to keep a long term relationship between brand and consumer.
Brands need to ensure they continue to succeed in the digital era by incorporating both PR and digital into their marketing strategy. They need to be innovative to keep up to date with the evolving world of digital promotion, ensuring they explore all channels available.
Those that do swim, those that don’t, sink.