Digital PR is an online marketing strategy used by businesses to increase their online presence. Digital PR agencies network with journalists, bloggers and influencers and send online press releases to gain high quality backlinks, social media mentions and to improve SEO. Let us show you how to use Digital PR to promote your business.
If you’re a business owner despairing that your website isn’t in the coveted top 3 organic positions for your keywords on Google’s search results, Digital PR is the golden ticket you’ve been waiting for.
Here’s a little taster of how we’ve used Digital PR for our clients:
- We improved website traffic by 1340% and bumped revenue up by 14,374% compared to the previous year for an eCommerce site with a Digital PR strategy focusing on backlinks in research-led articles and influencer mentions.
- We increased a SaaS company’s conversions by 5.08X through publishing high-quality articles and getting LinkedIn shares.
- We gained 252 backlinks for an HR software company with a one-off press release.
What is Digital PR?
Digital PR involves gaining high-quality backlinks from websites and online publications and honest (hopefully good) customer reviews. Digital PR helps you reach your target customers by featuring your business on websites they read, podcasts they listen to and on social media accounts they love. It can get you five-star reviews on Google and Amazon. Ultimately, Digital PR positively impacts a website’s search engine visibility and ranking.
For local businesses, a well-planned Digital PR strategy will focus on getting your business featured in online publications that write about your local area. These could be local newspaper websites, local blogs written by bloggers living in the area, reviews from local people who have purchased from you and sponsorship of local events or charities.
Digital PR vs Traditional PR
Traditional PR refers to those publicists that busted their balls networking with journalists over the phone and schmoozing them at dinner to get their clients into newspapers and print publications (Ab-Fab‘s Eddy, Sex in the City‘s Samantha Jones come to mind). PR traditionally focused on print-based publications, TV and radio. But print media isn’t what it used to be and online media is rapidly overtaking traditional print publications and even TV. With the growth of online marketing, the savviest of these PRs have shifted their focus online to Digital PR.
In 2016, the Independent was the first UK newspaper to abandon print and embrace a digital-only future. As this change occurs, we’re increasingly seeing online publications becoming more influential.
Digital PR is an evolved form of PR. Instead of only targeting print publications, Digital PR focuses on online publications and brand awareness. This includes publishing articles online, online press releases, working with bloggers and influencers on product features and reviews, affiliate marketing, nurturing journalist and content writing contacts to secure press hits, using social media to gain exposure and building brand trust through online reviews.
These Digital PR strategies have a positive impact on website Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) when done well. Digital PR requires an understanding of Google’s guidelines and ranking signals to in order to improve a website’s visibility in the search results. This is why many Digital PR campaigns are run by SEOs and Content Marketers who are familiar with the industry.
Without Digital PR, any SEO campaign you’ve been throwing money into isn’t going to get you to number 1 on Google. Part of what good Digital PR agencies and online marketing experts like us refer to as ‘offsite SEO’ includes Digital PR. If you’re working with an online marketing or SEO agency, make sure high-quality Digital PR is part of any offsite SEO.
Types of Digital PR Strategy
Digital PR strategies predominantly focus on publishing articles and securing backlinks from relevant websites and blogs. It also involves nurturing relationships with journalists to get mentioned in the press. However, there are a number of different ways this task can be implemented, different types of links which can be built and other important Digital PR strategies that may also be utilised.
Here are some of the most common types of Digital PR strategy:
- Publishing articles online to gain high-quality backlinks
- Networking with journalists and editors to gain backlinks
- Press releases and syndicating newsworthy content to gain press features
- Blogger outreach to gain backlinks and mentions on relevant blogs
- Influencer marketing to gain mentions on influential social media accounts
- Affiliate programs that pay bloggers who refer customers to your business a commission
- Offline press events or blogger events that aim to gain online coverage
- Sharing and syndicating infographics
How Digital PR Benefits Your Business
Digital PR has many direct and in-direct benefits to businesses. Set goals for your Digital PR campaign before you start, so that you can track how well it performs. Here are the main benefits you’ll want to look out for and set goals around when running a Digital PR campaign:
- Improve SEO and rankings — Publishing on high authority websites and getting links to your website will push you up the rankings for your target keywords. The higher up you place on Google, the more traffic will come to your website.
- Boost website traffic — The more people reading about your business and sharing your content on social media, the more people there will be visiting your website. It’s a wildfire, but you need to light it.
- Build brand trust — A Digital PR team makes sure your customers only see good things when they type your company’s name into a search engine. Creating engaging content and securing positive, impartial reviews will nurture your brand image over time. Useful, high quality articles that are SEO-friendly will signal to search engines that you’re a credible source of information. Having your products or services reviewed by bloggers will increase trust in your brand.
- Generate leads — A good Digital PR strategy should put your products in front of a relevant and interested audience. The more people reading about your products and clicking through to your website, the more leads you will generate.
- Increase sales — Any Digital PR agency worth their salt knows that businesses have to make sales and see an ROI from their digital marketing investment. A Digital PR campaign should generate leads and good content on your website will channel those leads through a conversion funnel and convert them into paying customers.
An Example of Digital PR for SMB
We started work with a performance management software company who provide software for HR teams in SMEs. They had a simple but effective website already up and wanted to build up their brand name before the official launch of their software. The guy running the business had done his research, he knew the trends and his software was set to blow his competitors out of the water. But his business was new, it was small and no one had heard of them — yet.
We started building up a list of websites, magazines and blogs that were well read by HR professionals and reached out to editors offering articles about new trends in the performance management industry. We successfully placed content with a number of small but still influential websites in the sector. We began pitching to the big boys in the HR industry, looking for publications where our articles would really start to get some traction. We sent editors links to our other published articles to show that this business really knew their stuff and would provide incredibly valuable content to these bigger websites.
One of our articles on new performance management trends in 2016 went up on Minutehack.com, an advice website for small business owners in the UK. The article got over 400 social media shares, mostly on LinkedIn. The snowball had started.
HR professionals began to pick up the article through LinkedIn and enquiries about the software and requests for demos began rolling in. That same month, we spoke to a journalist from The Guardian’s small business sector. They’d seen our client featured in a number of publications talking about effective management strategies and asked him to provide a quote for a feature being written on business success.
Together with the client, we wrote up a killer comment about managing performance and motivating employees. The comment was published in an article on The Guardian’s website, including a link to the client’s website. Months ago, no one had heard of this company or the guy running it, and now he was featured in the UK’s most authoritative online newspaper!
Measuring the Success of Digital PR
Unlike traditional PR, which has limited metrics to work with (usually readership figures and distribution areas), Digital PR is a much more data-driven marketing strategy. Thanks to Google Analytics and other tools, you can track data that shows you how successful your Digital PR work has been. Here are some useful tools for measuring the success of Digital PR:
- Google Analytics can be used to measure referral traffic coming from articles published about your business online or social media links from influencers. You may need to add UTM tracking codes with Google’s URL Builder to links in order to get a clear picture of which organic search traffic has come from your PR content. You can also use Google Analytics to see spikes in referral traffic from press hits and influencer links.
- Moz’s Open Site Explorer or similar tools (Majestic, SEMrush etc) can be used to check your website’s backlinks. A good Digital PR campaign will mean an increase in the number of backlinks to your website and you’ll want to keep track of how many are coming in. You can use Moz OSE to check the domain authority of your own website and website’s linking to you.
- SEMrush and similar tools can be used to see improvements in your keyword visibility. Digital PR articles should contain backlinks which point to important and relevant pages on your website. These links will support improvements in the ranking and visibility of your webpages for key phrases.
- Buzzsumo is our preferred tool for tracking social media shares on articles published about your business, as well as social shares of content on your website.
The core goal of any online marketing campaign should be to generate leads and make money. At Exposure Ninja, we design all of our Digital PR and online marketing campaigns around generating leads and making sales for our clients. No matter whether you employ a Digital PR agency, a freelance Digital PR consultant or run your Digital PR in-house, lead generation and sales should be your key metric for measuring the success of your Digital PR.
How Does Digital PR fit into an Online Marketing Campaign
A Digital PR campaign is a vital component of online marketing for any business that truly wants to dominate in it’s market. To get the best results for your Digital PR campaign, it should be run alongside an SEO campaign. Digital PR and SEO work hand-in-glove to secure business better organic rankings and improve traffic. Many successful Digital PR campaigns also involve elements of influencer marketing.
- Want to DIY your Digital PR? Our How To Plan A Digital PR Campaign Guide should be next on your reading list.
- Want to learn before you invest in Digital PR? We’ve written an Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing and Digital PR book with everything you need to know, detailed in easy-to-read, plain English guides.
- Ready to let the world know about your business? We can help. We’re a Digital PR agency who specialise in combining SEO and Digital PR to get awesome results for our clients. Our team of Digital PR Ninjas are itching to get your brand featured all over the internet. Or read to learn for yourself. Find our more about our Digital PR and Content Marketing services and get your free website review.