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Professionals in America spend an incredible amount of time online, an average of 22.5 hours per week, according to the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future.
The majority of our consumer base is online. The result? Digital marketing and PR(Public Relations) has never been more important.
Traditional PR is all about working with journalists to have your business featured in newspapers and magazines. Before the dotcom boom, PR specialists and publicists’ goals focused on the number of times their clients were included in newspapers, magazines, radio and television.
And then came the internet. Many newspapers and magazines moved their stories to websites, and the role of traditional PR shifted. Just as publicists used to compete to get their clients in the most widely read newspapers, now they’re competing to get their clients in front of vast online audiences.
Digital PR is not dissimilar to traditional PR, but its focus is online visibility:
Digital PR’s first goal is online visibility. It’s important to show up on the first page of a Google search, and cleverly executed digital PR can achieve this and more.
A well thought out digital strategy will include SEO; link profiles, anchor text distribution, link monitoring, and ranking all play a role in increasing online presence and measuring the efficacy of a marketing campaign.
Press releases are polarizing. A good press release gets across the who, what, when, where, why, and how as quickly (and concisely) as possible. They’re also incredibly easy to write poorly—(many journalists keep “press release fail” compilations on their social media channels). Publicly owned companies must use them to communicate, however, and most niche market publications rely on press releases for their information.
But simply putting company news in a press release and popping that release on a distribution service is unlikely to help your digital strategy.
Much of the value of thought leadership comes from those high-ranking backlinks. Use a tool like the Moz domain authority checker when checking backlink value, and make sure to do your research.
Some journalists do not include backlinks in their articles and will be VERY frustrated if you email to ask for one. It’s always best to pitch to a journalist who has used backlinks before, to get the full digital value of the opportunity.
The rise of social media has dramatically affected the way most businesses think about PR. Where social media was once about content creation, digital PR optimizes social media channels and makes it all about delivery. Whilst content is key, social media for digital PR is all about measurement.
Social media offers a range of insights, ranging from likes and shares to reach and impressions. Use the data to zero in on sales. Are there any correlations between sales and impressions, likes, or shares? This data has the potential to revitalize your business.
According to Edison Research, 144 million Americans listen to podcasts. Odds are, your customers are some of them. Podcasts are a fantastic way to tell your story, because they allow you to use your own words with your own voice. Podcasts are also a good way to engage your audience and have them keep coming back to you for industry intel.
When it comes to return on investment, the answer is clear: today’s most effective PR is digital.
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