We’ve all seen the articles and social media posts about why now is more important than ever to invest more money in your marketing. Thankfully, this isn’t one of them. It’s about realigning your efforts and time to where you’ll see the most outcome.
Digital PR, just like traditional PR, is about using trusted third parties to raise awareness of a brand and speak to its audience. Never has reputation been more scrutinised, with the bad decisions and poor wording of some companies being circulated for further shaming online. Digital PR is your opportunity to control your own narrative online. There’s a fine line between promoting the good you do, and doing good just to promote it, but by if you treat your employees and customers well, you’ll avoid backlash, and you can use online magazines and news outlets to put your own message out.
Digital PR is also the perfect way to speak to a somewhat captive audience at the moment. Depending on the nature of your business, your audience may not be in a position to make a purchase right now, so channels like PPC in some instances might not be the best use of your money and time, but it’s likely your potential customers are using technology more than ever, spending more time on social media, and reading more online content than ever before.
Now is the perfect time for thought-leadership. Not waffly 400-word blogs that don’t seem to have a clear point or direction, but a piece of content that resonates with the audience and is on a subject you’re passionate about. An article in a well-regarded online magazine, whether it be consumer or trade press, that makes your audience stop and think, mention you to a colleague or friend, or better yet share it, cannot be valued highly enough. This kind of coverage is normally free as well; it’s earned media, which makes it an even more important tool in your armour right now.
Of course, the same is true of traditional PR – earned coverage in the right places in print is still just as valuable, but with many magazines cutting down the frequency of editions, or people out shopping less to pick them up, it’s worth considering your digital options. Not only can the kind of articles that would previously have existed only in print, now be published online, but, crucially, with digital PR they are amplified further through the use of social media and content marketing. Take your glossy new article and make sure the world knows about it – share it on LinkedIn, include it in your email newsletter, update your offsite blogging platforms – the list goes on. It’s the relationship digital PR has with other channels that bring it to life.
In particular, digital pr has a close relationship with SEO, which is perhaps the second biggest reason to be paying it attention at the moment. You want to be in the best position possible when things return to normal (whatever the new “normal” is), but unlike PPC or social ads, it’s not a case of flicking a switch to turn it back on. The minute you take your foot off the pedal with SEO, your positions start to fall. And what’s one of the biggest (if not the biggest) parts of SEO? Link building.
The coverage and links you gain from your digital PR strategy are invaluable for SEO. Not only are you increasing the frequency of your links, you’re doing it naturally, from relevant and authoritative sites.
While Digital PR still relies on the same metrics as traditional PR when it comes to sourcing opportunities, such as circulation and readership, there are also other considerations to take into account, such as domain strength, traffic and social influence – all big ranking factors in the eyes of Google.
So if you aren’t already, now is the time to start thinking about digital PR.