Digital PR is short for Digital Public Relations. Digital PR, or Online Public Relations (E-PR), is a set of marketing strategies to raise brand awareness and online presence.
It functions as the web relationship influence among cyber citizens, and it aims to make desirable comments about an organization, its products and services, and news viewed by its target audiences and lessen its undesirable remarks to a large degree. Online public relations show differences from traditional public relations. One of these is associated with its platforms. Compared with conventional public relations channels (such as TV, radio, and printed media), the network systems used for online public relations vary from search to social platforms.
Digital PR aims to help brands enhance their online identity and visibility. Higher social mentions, backlinks, and referral traffic are some of the main goals of digital PR. Although it all started with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), digital PR is more than visible and authoritative to Google. Social media marketing is another massive pillar of it.
Digital PR helps you stand out among your competitors in the online world. Also, professionals in this marketing field follow some standard practices, such as Media monitoring and PR press clipping. In a nutshell, digital PR combines the strands of traditional PR with the more technical aspect of SEO, all built on data, resulting in measurable and impactful campaigns.
Digital PR covers a wide range of different types of activities and marketing objectives, including:
If you want your business to grow, earn a reputation for being an expert in your field, and generally improve your marketing efforts, you need digital PR. And in fact, you may be using it already if you work with a digital marketing agency. Many marketing strategists will use digital PR techniques to build an online presence creatively, encouraging customers to buy from them. For example, digital PR often involves:
If you’re determined to catapult your Brand into the spotlight, generate leads, convert, or influence sales, or maybe get big news outlets talking about your business or product, digital PR could be what your business is missing.
There are plenty of tactical ways to drive results for your Brand, but none of them are even half as effective in achieving your goals and KPIs as a data-driven, search-first, digital PR strategy.
Digital PR can have several objectives, and no two campaigns are the same. Still, an excellent digital PR campaign produces the maximum benefit for the Brand across as many digital channels as possible, giving a great return on investment. Here are some of the reasons why you should give digital PR extra attention:
Digital PR focuses on your online endeavors and increases your Google search visibility and online presence. First, digital PR increases SEO value, which means driving more organic traffic to your website through different methods such as blog posts, backlinking, etc. So, improving website authority and domain ranking, especially concerning link acquisition, are benefits of this approach. Of course, management and visibility are essential to identity-building and enhancing the Brand’s reputation.
Based on Marketing charts, 50% of online users said it’s possible to leave a negative review on social media if they’ve had a bad customer experience—30% of people whose experience was positive.
As a part of your PR strategy, analyzing social media sentiment toward your Brand is one of the most vital tasks. Word-of-mouth communication is spreading rapidly, and for you to avoid a potential business crisis, you should focus on online conversations. Digital PR is there to help you increase brand awareness using social media, which leads to expanding your audience base and getting more exposure and engagement.
Now it’s time to present the three main types of digital PR:
1. PR Link Building for SEO: Unlinked Mentions, Outreach, etc. PR Link Building is all about using techniques based on public relations. For instance, press releases and media pitches ensure that valuable editorial links lead back to your website.
2. Social media PR: Crisis management, influencer relations, etc. This type includes social media actions as part of a communication strategy. If a crisis occurs, social media will come to the rescue. The public relations teams handle problems, and social media is the tool to manage any misunderstanding. Social media is also a great place to find influencers—master influencer marketing to establish relationships with them and reach a wider audience.
3. Press Releases: Share company news, get mentions in major publications, etc. The digital era has affected the distribution of news. Digital news releases are created so a journalist or blogger gets all the necessary information. You can share various pieces of information related to your company (contact links, images, videos, etc.) to optimize your digital news release and maximize web exposure.
The key benefits are the following:
Digital PR differs from traditional PR, in that the former includes various marketing possibilities. For example, social media growth, interviews by online publications, and online recognition are among other digital marketing opportunities. The objective of both is the same: increasing brand awareness. Though there are some differences between them.
To begin with, digital PR is designed in a way that combines public relations with your online strategy, including SEO, lead generation, and inbound marketing. SEO and better search rankings are some areas in which traditional PR can’t assist, while its digital type aims to improve business performance across online profile accounts.
In digital PR, the messages a company wants to communicate to its audience are more subtle than in traditional PR. Working with influencers and bloggers enables you to produce high-quality content for a particular target audience, which your followers will appreciate because content catered to their needs is always welcome. On the other hand, traditional PR is more direct, and sometimes it seems a bit salty.
Additionally, traditional methods focus on distributing relevant content through channels such as the press, radio, and TV, while digital PR offers a variety of other tracks at its disposal. This includes websites, social media platforms, blog posts or any online content, influencer marketing campaigns, online news, and video portals. There is also a big difference between the available tools. Digital PR uses tools such as SEO software, media monitoring tools, marketing automation services, website analysis, Google Analytics and metrics, social media solutions, and more.
Lastly, traditional PR offers limited interaction, as the message’s recipients cannot retaliate. Let’s take, for example, a press release. The announcement of the release will reach the targeted audience, but the recipients won’t be able to interact, so the content’s shareability will decrease as well. While digital PR enables brands to receive feedback and engage with their audience online through social media posts, for instance, allowing your audience to express their voice allows them to interact and share more of your content.
Here are some common digital PR strategies and tactics for you to keep in mind:
Here are three essential digital PR platforms and tools: Read our article about 18 must-have PR Tools to learn more.
As mentioned before, SEO is an essential part of digital PR. If you wish to run SEO campaigns, Ahrefs should be on your must-have list.
Using Ahrefs, you can learn what your audience is talking about, the market trends, and how you are performing versus your competitors.
Regarding digital PR and social media, Mentionlytics can come in handy. It offers you a comprehensive set of tools and features, including but not limited to:
This tool will help you quickly publish and distribute press releases. Business Wire includes media monitoring reports and the company’s News Trak audience analytics. One bonus of this tool is that it supports multiple languages.
Let's see how you can create a killer online PR campaign in just four steps:
The first step you need to take is setting the campaign’s goals. So, it’s necessary to determine your objectives and what to achieve with this specific campaign. Knowing what you’re aiming for will give you a better understanding of where you need to focus to succeed. Your goals can be:
You can start brainstorming to discover your goals, what you need to focus on, what results you expect, and how you will measure them. Objectives, PR KPIs, and plans will help you understand what works best for you and how your campaign can be successful. Also, you must ensure that your team understands what you’re aiming for, so you can have a well-organized group effort. The more data you collect across multiple channels, the stronger your digital PR campaign will be.
Getting to know your audience is the second step you need to take when it comes to building your campaign. The more you know about your audience, the better results you will generate, primarily if your campaign is focused on your Brand. Use target audience personas and get to know them. You need to know the basic demographics and psychographics as well.
A detailed picture of their behavior, opinions, preferences, and interests will help you create an irresistible campaign. If your audience is segmented, you can run targeted campaigns toward individual segments instead of targeting all of them at once. Of course, you need to search for the appropriate guidelines when creating a digital PR persona. Creating a persona allows you to know your audience more personally, for example, by learning about their daily routine.
Once you’ve completed this step, it will be much easier to increase brand awareness, drive engagement, and see the expected results.
Content is the key to a successful campaign. Thanks to your target audience and persona research, you can identify the content your audience is looking for. You can start thinking about what type of content best suits your campaign, such as:
Deciding which content is best to achieve the preferred goal and reach the target audience is challenging. But whatever path you choose, you should remember that data is the core of your campaign. An essential part of digital PR campaigns is driving measurable value through quality, and your content should be the tool to enhance the quality and value of your messages.
Creating content doesn’t concern solely websites but social media as well, as they are a fundamental part of any digital PR campaign. Posts on social networks are highly recommended for driving engagement about a specific topic, increasing reach, and making sure people read and react to your content.
This is where you create a compelling pitch and reach out to prospects, such as journalists, bloggers, influencers, and more. In this case, digital PR and traditional PR come together, as there would only be media without the media. Journalists receive hundreds of emails, so you need to make sure they choose to read yours and are interested in what you have to say. So, to ensure that you have the right pitch to contact them, you need to:
The great thing about this campaign is that the Brand was not trying to promote its product directly and in an obvious way. Instead, the campaign was focused on encouraging Guinness drinkers to remember to hydrate with a reasonable amount of water. This campaign demonstrates that sometimes success comes from caring about your customers and their well-being. That way, the Brand’s audience feels valued and that they matter more than increasing sales, so customer loyalty will be boosted.
The second example highlights the importance of bees in maintaining ecological balance and biodiversity and what would happen if we ignored preserving bees. Fairmont’s campaign, Life without Bees, mentions that some of the most vitamin- and mineral-rich foods depend on insect pollination.
So, deficiencies in these nutrients can have catastrophic effects on human health, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and more. Due to climate change, Fairmont launched this campaign to highlight the impact of the decrease in the bee population on food supply and human health. The campaign is entirely interactive and to the point.
Brand monitoring and digital PR are connected; including monitoring tools in digital PR campaigns allows you to monitor the web and social media for brand mentions concerning your campaign. But more precisely, the following processes are some of the most important ones:
Tracking your online mentions with a monitoring tool allows you to detect and resolve any potential crises on time. So, you must pay attention to your users’ online reviews and everything they have to say about your Brand, as by doing so, you will understand their sentiment and satisfaction with your PR services and overall performance. On that note, you can prevent any negative sentiment from becoming a misunderstanding and damaging your Brand’s reputation.
Market intelligence is awareness of what is happening in the market, including information and market segments that can keep your company one step ahead in its industry. Monitoring tools help collect, interpret, and analyze data to make informed business decisions by analyzing competitors, products, and customer trends. This way, you can take advantage of any market opportunities that may come along. With this information, you, other marketers, and digital PR agencies can evaluate your tactics and create new campaigns based on their insights and those concerning the entire industry.
The future of Digital PR is closely related to social media, including high-quality visual content creation based on customers needs. Today’s digital PR calls for a better understanding of Business Intelligence and measuring business results.
The challenge lies in making data-driven decisions before creating a digital PR campaign with the help of data collection and optimization. That way, the campaigns will be more efficient and appealing to the audience, leading to better PR recommendations and a more significant impact.
Digital PR is important as it introduces companies to new audiences, improves SEO rankings, drives traffic to the website, generates leads, improves sales, and builds a strong brand voice. If you want to check the potential of a monitoring tool in your digital PR campaigns, you can start a free trial with Mentionlytics to explore everything you read above.
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