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  • Claire Judge

Why you REALLY should be using Digital PR for your business or organisation- our TEN POINT GUIDE

It's fair to say that Digital PR has come into its own in recent times. What started as “link building” sitting awkwardly somewhere between SEO and traditional PR has now taken centre stage as a key marketing tool. Digital PR alongside Creative SEO, has seen companies of all kinds clambering to get their digital acts together and adopt this technique for their own brands.

So what is Digital PR? Digital PR is an effective strategy that applies the principles of PR to digital content. For example, by creating content with a unique angle or hook you can outreach to bloggers and journalists in order to get coverage (and therefore links) on relevant websites. It’s essentially where traditional public relations, content marketing, SEO, and social media all meet. Used wisely, it can really help businesses improve their brand awareness and increase their online presence and ultimately generate sales.

Digital PR has been around for consumer brands for years but now all marketers and business owners are starting to see they need to have a Digital PR strategy. Digital PR really isn't just for big name consumer brands. We lay out why ALL businesses and even non profit organisations need to be using Digital PR, as well as some things to consider.

1. Content really is King.

Companies large and small have now all received the memo that they need to create regular content in order to reach new customers and improve their SEO. There has been a burst of creativity across various different sectors in recent years, amplified of course by the pandemic when every business owner saw the benefit of pivoting to digital.

Content marketing tactics that used to be just for the fast paced consumer sector are now being picked up by more traditional business to business services. HR companies are writing blogs. Solicitors are creating podcasts. Logistics companies are sending email newsletters, all to reach the attention of potential new customers. If you don't have a content strategy then all other communication will flounder. If you don't know who you're talking to, if you don't know how to communicate how your business adds value, then how do you expect your potential customers to know why they need you?

2. Digital PR is a key digital channel for ANY business

Many companies invest time in creating good content only to fall short in their channel strategy. You need sound execution of your channel strategy to get your content from your website and in front of the eyeballs of your ideal customers. For most businesses this will mean a mix of channels such as email, paid search, You Tube, affiliate marketing and social media strategies. Digital PR is different in that you are providing useful information, solving a problem and then helping out a relevant journalist who in turn hosts your content on a website with huge domain authority (DA) and audience reach. This means that as long as the content continues to be useful, Digital PR can continue to rank in online searches for much much longer than regular digital marketing tactics and will increase traffic to your website.

3. Digital PR increases brand mentions

Brand mentions happen when your brand is mentioned in a product or service review, blog post, article or news item. Brand mentions do the work of introducing your brand to your target audience and so are an amazing tool to generate sales. However make sure that the brand mention is linked - if it isn’t then reach out to the site to see if they can add a link. This is in essence a trusted source of information introducing you to your very next customer. With this benefit to your organisation, why would any marketer continue to believe that Digital PR is just for BTC marketing?! Using a Digital PR agency such as Join the Dots speeds up the process of creating brand mentions. We use our skills, expertise and paid tools to check for brand mentions for our clients and ensure they’re not missing out on valuable backlinks.

4. Digital PR is all about value

Back in the day a PR executive would write a lengthy and one sided press release to a variety of journalists, regardless of whether the topic was of interest to the journalist or target publication. The growth in content marketing and the need to gain the audience's attention over recent years has meant that we have to be succinct, relevant and compelling these days to even have a chance at coverage. This has in many ways improved the profession. Digital PR is based on establishing mutually beneficial relationships with digital influencers such as journalists and bloggers through targeted niche and specific correspondence- in a nutshell, we need to be specific, add value and not waste the readers time.

5. Google loves Digital PR

As mentioned already, the lifespan of digital PR is far greater than that of traditional press releases. Digital PR improves Google organic search rankings by accumulating press mentions and backlinks on high-authority websites. This means that it’s probably going to be the easiest and fastest way to earn lots more views of your content organically.

6. Digital PR increases brand reputation

Remember how a few years ago BTB Marketers would talk about wanting their businesses to be the “thought leaders” in their chosen sector? Digital PR has made this goal even more desirable as the rewards for being seen as an authority are high. If you invest repeatedly in “thought leadership” or expert content, and continuously engage journalists and influencers from a digital PR perspective, your brand is more likely to be mentioned early on in a news story or subject as a super reliable source of information.

A good example of this is HubSpot. HubSpot has repeatedly provided useful free content to marketers for years. This means that most marketers when looking for email marketing software or a CRM package will know of HubSpot and place them within their purchase consideration. Whether you sell IT equipment, run a non profit or work in the public sector, you undoubtedly want to increase or maintain a good brand awareness and brand reputation.

7. Digital PR is complementary to SEO work.

Getting onto the first page of Google is tough, so you need to make sure if you’ve managed to rank there that your audience clicks through onto your website. If they’ve seen your brand name before, they’re much more likely to do that. Technical SEO certainly mustn't be overlooked; this isn't an either or consideration. Make sure your technical SEO is up to scratch and then build the links to desirable websites using your compelling content and PR strategies. Arguably both elements are equal in importance to boost your website’s rankings. Often marketing teams don't have the in-house expertise to cover both the technical elements of SEO or the creative and tactical elements of Digital PR. This can be where it's useful to work with an agency. Join the Dots will advise you on which journalists to target and with what content. This can then be created by us or by your own team. We can then link this in with relevant websites and ensure your technical SEO is up to scratch too.

8. Digital PR offers long terms benefits

When you combine high-quality content, with a really skilled pitch to writers, then you have a combination that builds top-tier links over time. At Join the Dots, our digital PR team leverages relationships with editors, journalists, and influencers to get quality content published on super high-authority sites with large audiences. Applying a bespoke digital PR strategy to each unique business or organisation helps us to achieve great coverage for our clients. Because it's about creating high quality backlinks, there really isn't another marketing tactic that will continue to provide ROI over such a long period.

9. Digital PR improves your backlink portfolio

So not all backlinks are created equal, and some could even push you further down Google’s rankings. Digital PR, by nature of showing up with newsworthy topics to a variety of journalists and bloggers, means you are much more likely to not have your website reliant on a small number of links. In essence this is what we mean by “Portfolio diversity”. A good Digital PR strategy will ensure that your links come from a variety of authorities in the industry, not just a single source and this will in turn reward you with a healthier search ranking.

10. You've taken time to write it. So use it

This one really is a no brainer. For any marketing activity, the hard miles come from agreeing a content plan, then in researching the topic, then writing and editing copy. Why then leave your hard crafted content to sit on your website or inside an e-newsletter? Factor in the time to conduct Digital PR or accelerate the success of this process by using a Digital PR agency with the contacts and skills to get the best results in the shortest time frame.

If you’d like to hear more about how Digital PR can help your business or organisation, then contact us for a free consultation.

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