Just as traditional PR, digital PR is intended to increase the awareness of your brand, product, or service. Digital PR, however, as the name suggests, is done in a digital-only environment. With 5.4 billion Google searches conducted daily, smart business owners are pivoting their marketing strategies in an effort to achieve more online visibility.
But, what exactly is digital PR, how can digital PR help your business, and how can you construct the right strategy for you?
What is Digital PR? A Brief Overview
Digital PR is a marketing strategy that is designed to boost a business’s online presence. Digital PR may involve partnering with bloggers, influencers, podcasts, vloggers, or reputable online publications.
Crucial to an overall SEO strategy, digital PR can garner backlinks. How this works is when one of these outlets publishes your content, ideally, you get a high-quality link back to your website, social media profiles, or other online asset you are trying to promote. This signals to Google and other search giants that your content is worthwhile and relevant to users.
Digital PR vs Traditional PR: What’s the Difference?
Let’s compare the reach of digital PR and more traditional PR strategies:
Traditional PR focuses on offline channels such as newspapers and other printed publications, television, and radio. While these outlets can still earn your business attention, your reach is limited to an audience in a specific locale — and limited to people who still read print publications, watch standard TV, and listen to terrestrial radio.
Digital PR is a far more advanced approach, and the amount of eyes on your content is virtually limitless. With a digital PR campaign, your content is featured on social media platforms, video portals, blogs, websites, influencer campaigns, which can be accessed at any time of day, weeks, months, and even years down the line.
How Digital PR Helps Your Business
The benefits of digital PR expand far beyond just brand recognition. There are complexities behind this type of PR strategy that benefit your already existing marketing efforts, your position in your industry, and your search engine optimization.
Maximized Brand Exposure
The exposure that comes from digital PR is astronomical when done correctly. The best digital PR strategies involve researching only the most relevant, reputable platforms with significant traffic and an engaged audience. It is important to only associate your name with publications that make sense for your long-game efforts and generate the right type of attention for your brand.
Digital PR Creates Thought Leadership Opportunities
One of the most significant benefits of digital PR is the perception it creates around your position in your industry. Becoming a thought leader shows an audience that there is passion, drive, and innovation behind the brand and helps forge trust between a brand and audience.
What is Thought Leadership?
Thought leadership is a type of content marketing that provides immeasurable value to an audience in the form of information from an inside perspective. Thought leadership content taps into your mind as a business owner or provides a unique perspective on your industry.
Thought leadership answers your audience’s most pressing questions in both an in-depth and actionable manner.
Can Anyone be a Thought Leader?
Thought leadership is not something that is achieved with a single featured article. Being a thought leader falls under the category of influencers. Establishing yourself as a leader in your industry takes effort; you must really hone in on your expertise, discover what it is your target audience truly wants, and how your unique viewpoints can add value to their lives — and then reaching the widest possible audiences.
How Does Digital PR Help With Thought Leadership Marketing?
Each time your content is posted on these high-authority websites, you have the opportunity to position yourself as a thought leader. Lots of traffic means lots of eyes on what you have to say. Consistently showing up in industry-relevant spaces solidifies you as a thought leader in your niche.
How Social Proof Positions You as a Thought Leader
Social proof is the concept that people rely on the opinions of their peers before making decisions. Social proof is one of the most powerful marketing tools in existence. People want to invest their time and money into brands that they trust will deliver results, and there is no better marketing than the recommendation of someone who already trusts you. Digital PR is your online word of mouth.
When your content is placed on high-traffic, reputable websites, this signals to that platform’s audience that you are an authority in your industry. Because popular websites spend years building their own authority and their brand, it only makes sense that the content that they allow on their platform be of the highest quality.
Digital PR Bolsters Your SEO Efforts
The effect that digital PR has on your SEO is measurable — and significant. In fact, many people launch digital PR campaigns for the sole purpose of boosting their search engine visibility, and only later discover the additional benefits.
Digital PR is an intentional link building strategy, ensuring that your backlinks are coming from domains with higher DA than your own, and that search engines view as reputable sites.
What is a Backlink?
A back link is just what it sounds like — a link back to your site. Backlinks signal to search engines that the content on your site is important enough to be cited on an external site, and therefore begins to rank your content higher in search.
Does it Matter Where Your Backlinks Come From?
Absolutely. While many unscrupulous companies offer backlink packages, meaning that they offer you a certain number of backlinks for a set amount of money, simply linking back to your site doesn’t equate to results.
For the best results in the smallest time frame, your backlinks need to come from high Domain Authority (DA) sites. Domain Authority, in a simple explanation, is how relevant a website is to its dedicated industry. Domain authority is ranked between 1-100, the higher the number, the better. Getting links back from higher authority sites than your own shows search engines that a reputable site views your site as equally reputable.
When you write a Thought Leadership piece on a high DA you can often specifically choose where you will send links. This means directing traffic back to your website, most often a blog post with additional information or even a download pertinent to your content.
What are the Types of Digital PR?
Digital PR spans a wide range of mediums. Depending on your objectives, you can plan your digital PR strategy so that you are gaining visibility in the areas that matter to you most.
Thought Leadership & Contributorship
The most popular type of digital PR is Thought Leadership and Contributorship articles. As mentioned above, this allows you to go in-depth on a specific topic related to your industry, and is more likely to show up in search results pages. This is also one of the best ways to generate links back to your assets.
Some of the most common linkable assets include:
- Web Tools
- Interesting Posts
A Q&A or 1-1 interview for an online news outlet is a great way to both achieve online visibility as well as establish authority in your industry. When a publication agrees to do a written interview with you, this benefits you in a multitude of ways:
- You get a deeper understanding of the questions your audience has
- Being interviewed by a publication creates the perception that you are sought-after in your industry
- You have ample time to construct your responses in a way that most benefits your brand (especially helpful if you aren’t a great speaker or don’t like being put ‘on the spot’)
Undoubtedly, video has taken over the internet. Both long and short form videos can be part of your digital PR strategy. Whether you reach out to influencers for a short promotional video to be posted on their social media channels, or you are looking for a longer form video feature such as an expose or an live interview, video is an often overlooked component of digital PR.
Having seen a boom in popularity over the past few years, podcasts are a great way to gain recognition in a digital space. There are podcasts on virtually every imaginable subject, and many podcasts generate thousands upon thousands of listens with every new episode. A full-court digital PR strategy includes podcasting as part of an overall visibility campaign.
How Do I Create a Digital PR Strategy?
Creating a digital PR strategy is something that takes a significant amount of time and effort if you want your campaigns to be maximally effective. Some things to take into consideration when mapping out your digital PR strategy are:
- Your overall objectives. What do you hope to achieve? What are your short term and long term goals? How best will digital PR fit into these goals?
- Do you have the experience, and expertise? Do you have ideas for Thought Leadership pieces? Are you familiar enough with your industry and business to conduct interviews? Do you have something to offer your industry that your competition does not?
- Are your online assets at their best? Is your website able to handle higher traffic? Are the offerings on your website ready to go? Are your lead magnets, sales funnels, and other assets in place? Sending traffic to your website is great, but if there’s nothing there to retain their interest, there’s no point in sending users to your website.
- Do you have a comprehensive understanding of how PR works? Do you know who to reach out to? How to do it? What to include, not include, and what to offer? Oftentimes, you get one shot with larger publications. You need to know how to do it right before you shoot your shot.
Integrating Digital PR With Your Your SEO and Content Strategy
Before launching any kind of digital PR strategy, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of your search engine optimization. Digital PR, as you now know, is an extremely effective way to boost SEO, but only if done in the right ways. Understanding anchor text, keyword research, proper formatting, keyword density, and where and how to place your links is only the basics of SEO.
When jumping into the world of digital PR for SEO, you need to be confident in your skills and abilities or you won’t see the results you’re looking for.
How Do I Know My Digital PR Strategy is Working?
The success of your digital PR can be measured in several ways, all of which are dependent on your objectives. If your objective was brand awareness and you’re seeing a significant increase in followers on your social media, discovery calls, or additional publications reaching out to you for Thought Leadership pieces, interviews, or podcast appearances, you can definitely call that a win. But — digital PR has trackable results.
Some measurable signs your digital PR is strategy is working include:
- Boost in website traffic. If your analytics show more traffic on your website (especially traffic directed from the publications where you are featured) your digital PR is working!
- Improvement in SERPs. Your SERPs (where you’re ranked on search engines) show an improvement, meaning you’re more visible on search engines.
- Higher DA rating. When this number increases, this means Google and other search authorities have concluded that your page is becoming more reputable.
The results of digital PR are compounding. You’ll see the effects of a great digital PR strategy make a dent in nearly every aspect of your online presence.
What Are Some Examples of Digital PR?
Want to see some digital PR in action? Let’s take a look at some of the strategies implemented by ZUPO.
Sparkhouse is an Orange County based video production agency that has a strong presence in its local county. Zupo amplified this to build by creating a strong Thought Leadership strategy which has resulted in Sparkhouse’s founder being featured in major publications.
This strategy also led to amazing SEO results, tripling web based leads in just two years.
ZUPO’s efforts earned Sparkhouse placement in:
- Hubspot (won Silver American Advertising Award)
- Social Media Examiner (won Bronze American Advertising Award)
Zutobi is a Swedish based startup that expanded globally to create better and modernized driving education across the globe. Although they were gaining traction, the company wanted to expand their footprint with SEO and Digital PR.
By partnering with Zupo, the company has accelerated their notoriety with features in many strong publications, including:
Amplihigher Copywriting Agency came to Zupo for Digital PR services to help build it’s thought leadership and link building portfolio. In only a matter of months, ZUPO helped secure multiple publications which ultimately led to spikes of SEO value for Amplihigher.
Amplihigher’s founder has been featured in online publications such as:
Choosing a Digital PR Company
Creating and implementing a strong digital PR strategy can be time consuming and tedious. More often than not, businesses choose to partner with a digital PR company to streamline their efforts.
When hiring a digital PR firm, there are several things to look for, including:
- Track record: Does the company have experience in the digital PR space? This type of marketing is an investment. Invest wisely.
- Reviews: Read the company’s user-generated reviews on Yelp, Facebook, and Google reviews to ensure that your potential partner has exceeded their previous clients’ expectations.
- SEO knowledge: Digital PR is tightly integrated with search engine optimization. A reputable digital PR firm will have a solid background in SEO.
- Reputation: Customer reviews aren’t the only reviews you need to focus on when hiring a digital PR firm. The company should have an excellent reputation with publications – be careful who you associate with your brand!
Digital PR: Worth the Effort?
Without a doubt, we give this a resounding YES. Digital PR is one of the best ways to boost your online presence, improve your reputation, establish yourself as a Thought Leader in your industry, and increase your search engine ranking.
While digital PR is a newer form of public relations, it is absolutely where the future of PR is going. If you want your business to compete in an ever changing, increasingly competitive digital marketplace, implementing an effective digital PR plan is imperative to your success.