What is Digital PR and How Can it Increase My Brand Presence?

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However big your brand is and whatever sector it operates in, getting its name out there is sure to be top of your agenda. But if you’re in the habit of relying on traditional PR techniques to do that, then the old school, offline approach is only going to cut it for so long.

Digital PR, on the other hand, gives brands of all stripes a shake at reaching a much broader audience. If your business has a story that’s worth telling, then digital PR can help that tale take shape – spreading news and info about your brand in a much quicker and more cost-effective way than you might be used to.

If creating a dialogue with your target audience and strengthening your rep is something you’ve struggled with, then we’re here to help. Below, we’ll dig into digital PR to show how it can get you popping up in the places that matter most.  

What is digital PR?

Digital PR is a powerful strategy built to improve your brand’s online presence and visibility. Through digital PR, specialised PR agencies and full-service digital marketing agencies with a PR wing (like us!) network with the likes of journalists, bloggers, and influencers to send out online press releases and content.

In doing so, you can gain high-quality backlinks, social media mentions, improved SEO and, crucially, that all-important brand awareness and presence. Done right, digital PR can turn your products and services into a real talking point for your customers, creating a dialogue that others can react to and share.

colleagues brainstorming ideas on post-it notes

What is the difference between traditional PR and digital PR?

The goal of digital PR is pretty much the same as traditional PR: improving brand awareness and reputation to ultimately benefit sales. But the two differ in their strategies.

For the most part, we’re not trying to promote company activities, news, or products to any old audience. Instead, we use research, data, creative ideas, and design to create content embedded with unique and newsworthy ‘hooks’ or ‘angles’.

Once the content has been crafted, we then feed these tasty morsels to carefully selected media audiences, targeting places where we can optimise reach and value. Throwing things at a wall and seeing what sticks just isn’t our style.

What we’re aiming for here is content that adds proper value to the conversations that journalists, bloggers, and influencers are already having with their audiences. We’re not butting in and changing the topic; we’re creating content that adds depth to the existing dialogue on behalf of a brand.

This content can be a straightforward story, a research piece, an infographic or design, a data set, a video or interactive content, or even a mixture of these. What matters most is spinning the content with some sort of juicy story or angle that a journalist can latch onto. After all, that’s what they’re interested in the most.

team brainstorming ideas in meeting room

How can digital PR increase my brand presence?

By creating stories that a broader audience can connect and interact with, digital PR can boost your brand’s presence in the following ways:

More website traffic

When a wider variety of audiences read about you on a frequent basis, it attracts more people to your brand. And when new audiences seek you out, the amount of traffic your website receives increases too.

Improved search engine optimisation

Content that’s published on high-authority sites linking to your website improves the SEO ranking of your targeted keywords. As these keywords shoot to the top of Google’s search rankings, it has the added benefit of increasing website traffic leads and sales generation as well.

Greater social engagement

When your content is posted on social channels by journalists and bloggers, your brand’s presence spreads to an audience that may not be familiar with you. By getting your name broadcast across the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, you’ll be attracting a new audience who can interact with you and your products.

Establish you as an industry authority

Credibility is key, whatever sector you’re in. When your content is published across high-authority websites, it sends a message to audiences that you’re an industry heavyweight. And with that improved rep, people are more likely to trust you as a credible source of information.

More leads and sales

As more people become aware of your brand through targeted digital PR content, you’ll potentially be able to generate more leads, which ultimately translates into more sales.

Increased trust in your brand

When all the above takes place, you’ll see more positive reviews about your products and services. And that positive word of mouth will be too good for your targeted audiences to resist, so the cycle of benefits will continue to grow and grow.

colleagues looking at their laptop

What are some examples of digital PR campaigns?

Although not every digital PR campaign can fit into a specific category, there are still some common formats which crop up time and time again. Here’s a selection of some that we ran for our clients:

Data campaigns

This category involves collecting and analysing freely available data to tell a story.

We used this kind of category in our World’s Most Googled Car Brands piece for Holts, collating online search data from Google to see what folk were searching for online.

This piece, along with other digital PR content we produced for Holts, garnered them over 200 media mentions in 2020, was featured in The Sun, Daily Mail and the Express among others, and drove over 5,000 social media mentions.

Surveys

By designing a survey and then collecting responses, it’s possible to create an opinion, behaviour or knowledge-based story.

Taking this format, we created a survey testing Brits’ knowledge of road signs in this piece for car dealership client Brindley Garages.

Quiz campaign

Creating a quiz to test a targeted audience’s knowledge of a particular topic. The results of this can then be collected and turned into an engaging, light-hearted PR piece.

For instance, for luxury student accommodation client Nido Student, we asked readers whether they could pass the first year of a biology degree for this piece, quizzing the biological knowledge of those from age 17 all the way up to 65 and over.

For this piece, we gained links from top-tier publications including The Daily Mail and Daily Star, netted an estimated 35.9m impressions, and increased organic traffic YoY by 18% in 2019.

Index campaign

A popular format at the minute, index campaigns take blended data to create a story based on multiple points.

We used this approach for Simoniz’s Best Haunted Destinations to Visit by Car campaign, pulling data and information from a range of different articles, sources and customer reviews to create an index of spooky hotel destinations.

Created in time for the run up to Halloween, the article garnered 6.08m monthly news site visitors, landed Simoniz in the likes of The Mirror, The Daily Star and The Liverpool Echo, and referred a host of users back to Simoniz’s site thanks to the coverage. 

Need to give your brand a boost with a powerful, result-grabbing digital PR campaign? See how we can help with that here, or give us a call today on 0345 459 0558 and let’s get talking.

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Oliver Urwin
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