How to Create a Digital PR Campaign
Want to hit the headlines for the right reasons? It’s easy to put a foot wrong and end up the talk of social media with a poorly timed blunder. But a properly crafted Digital PR campaign that boosts your brand’s presence, gets you seen by more people, and brings all sorts of benefits your way? That’s a little harder.
If you aren’t sure how to create a Digital PR campaign, we’re here to help. Below, we’ll take a look at it in more detail, including why it’s so beneficial, how to get the ideas flowing, and some digital PR examples for extra inspiration.
Digital PR is a discipline that involves PR or digital marketing agencies teaming up with journalists, bloggers, and influencers to create and broadcast content in the form of blog posts, press releases, social media posts and more.
And they do this so that businesses and brands can increase their brand presence in ways that get customers talking and puts them in front of fresh audiences that might not have heard of them before. We’ll go into the benefits a bit more below.
- It builds brand awareness
From creative campaign assets that capture the public’s imagination to a juicy regional comparison, there’s real power to an effective digital PR campaign, one that can be strong enough to reach new audiences.
- It increases trust and credibility
Consumer trust is as important as it’s ever been. By creating accurate, informed, and high-quality content, which is then shared across authoritative websites, it informs both Google and people that you really know your stuff.
- It improves SEO and organic performance
Speaking of high-authority sites, getting your content published across forever-respected sites will improve your own site’s Domain Authority (a prediction of your site’s ability to rank within its competition), boost keyword rankings and earn you quality backlinks. All of which improve your organic performance – and increase trust in your brand once more.
- It drives website traffic
As a cost-effective way of getting more people to visit your site, Digital PR has some serious potential. Alongside improved search visibility, its ability to drive traffic might help your PPC team in their activity too; while reading an article is unlikely to create a conversion, a targeted social ad could after the fact could well do so.
If you’re unfamiliar with Digital PR, coming up with amazing ideas for your campaigns might seem like a bit of a daunting process. Use the tips below to get that inspiration going…
- Know your target audience
If your campaign has little in the way of relevancy to your audience, then it’s going to struggle to perform. Fully understanding the ins and outs of your audience is therefore essential, so make sure you’re thinking about campaign ideas with your audience personas in mind.
Through these, you’ll know more about their online behaviour, what they’re interested in, and what they’re looking for – things you can begin to craft your campaign around.
- Understand your brand messaging and values
What are the things that your brand or client holds dear? Their overarching mission has a huge role to play in forming ideas, so don’t forget to filter your ideas, however small they might start off as, through the reasons they exist in the first place.
- What relates to your brand and audience?
With all the info you’ve gathered together, it’s time to start generating ideas themselves. One of the best ways you can start with this is by creating a mind map of different topics that your audience and brand relate to.
It’s difficult to find a campaign that’s appealing and on-brand, and it’s even harder to come up with something that hasn’t been done already – so don’t be afraid to write down anything that comes to mind at this stage. There are no bad ideas!
- Carry out an ideation session
Holding an ideation session with your fellow PRs is a great way to bounce ideas off each other. It’s also an effective means of unlocking or developing ideas you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.
There are all sorts of approaches you can take during these sessions too. Is there anything timely coming up you can use to your advantage? Maybe there’s a new Netflix season people are excited about? Or is a new video game on the verge of release? Does the time of year have anything instore you can capitalise on?
Think about whether your ideas are valid, and you have the authority to comment on them in the first place? As a general rule of thumb, you’ll probably want to steer clear of anything political or risqué to avoid alienating audiences, too.
Be as thorough as possible, so you’ve squeezed every last drop out of an idea. Not only do you need to appeal to your audience, but you also need to appeal to the media too. And they’ll have seen their fair share of pitches and ideas, so what you come up with needs to be something that’s as fresh and creative as possible.
There are all sorts of different styles of campaigns you can broadcast your idea with. Here are some of our favourites…
- Data campaign: With so much freely available data found on the internet, data campaigns put such figures to great use. And with so much out there, turning this data into shareable stories on just about anything means there’s real potential to make an impact, however niche the numbers are.
- Visual campaign: They aren’t suited to everyone, but product-driven brands in sectors such as food & drink, soap, homeware, and insurance can create fun, impactful campaigns that emphasise visual elements – usually in an unexpected way – that connect to the audience’s preferences in a big way.[X] item in the style of [Y], for lack of a better term, is a visual campaign framework that can really grab an audience’s attention.
- Surveys: Gathering responses from a specific amount of people for their opinions on a particular topic is another effective framework. Why? Well, everyone has an opinion – and they’re easy to carry out, too. And the potential to create stories from your findings by sorting them into specific demographics means you can easily target segments of your audience.
- Quizzes: Anything that an audience can interact with is always a good idea. Try engaging them by creating quizzes, gamifying elements of your findings or letting them interact with data in some way.
- PR stunts: PR stunts don’t have to have massive amounts of money funnelled into them, although things like fake product launches, pop-up events and celebrity endorsements will all benefit from large budgets. But sometimes a creative idea is all it takes to hijack the headlines.
Still in need of more inspiration? Take a look at our pick of some of the best Digital PR campaigns and see what other brands have come up recently…
- Green Flag Digital’s Will These be the Most Populated US Cities in 2100?
- Ken Bromley Art Supplies’ The Most Googled Artist in Every Country
- Pass Me Fast’s What are the Most Distracting Driving Songs?
- Buffalo 7’s Triggered: What Is Zoom Anxiety, and What Can We Do About It?
- Home Advisor’s If Wes Anderson Designed the Interiors of The Simpsons
You’ve created the attention-grabbing content that’s going to be impossible to resist clicking and now you’re ready and raring to go. But first, you’ll need to outreach that Digital PR campaign to the right people – and to maximise your chances of success, there’s more to it than just firing off a quick email. Let’s take a look…
- Find the hook
Remember, your campaign has to appeal to the journalist just as much as for your audience, so you’ll need to create an angle to do some of the heavy lifting for you. And if you’re approaching different segments of the media, do you have a relevant angle for each of them? Whatever angle, hook, or story you opt for, include the top-like findings and a few visuals to really catch their eye.
- Tailor the language and layout
Just like your angles, one email won’t suit every journalist you approach. If you’re getting in touch with a serious journalist to ask them to run with your niche B2B story, then it’s best to leave the slang, gifs, and bright colours out of your email.
- Get the subject line right
The first thing they’ll see is the subject line, so make sure you’re going for something that’s intriguing and catches the eye. Stick to the shorter side too; anything above 41 characters will likely be cut off, especially on mobile devices. Avoid anything too clickbait-y too; journalists have seen it all before and probably won’t even bother opening your pitch, unfortunately.
- Include extra information
In your email, be sure to include extra information and insights that’ll help make their job easier. This includes a link to the full article, along with journalist-facing documents or folders crammed with assets and data they can use when they choose to run with your story.
For more digital PR-related goodness, head over to our blog on managing and tracking your marketing campaigns (with a handy template too!) right here.
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Need help shaping a powerful digital PR strategy? Good news! We know just how to do that – and more. To get started on a success story of your own, head to our homepage or get in touch on 0345 459 0558.