You have a website. You’re excited and ready for action. You’re producing quality content that you think everyone needs to read. Yet no one is clicking on your site. Your content is sitting there unread and unloved. You feel disappointed, maybe you feel like giving up.
Digital PR could be the answer to all your problems.
Digital PR was born out of SEO requirements. It still has some overlap with traditional PR, but there are several distinctions that can make a huge difference to your site.
We’re here to teach you how to excel in digital PR and get your site seen by the masses. To simplify the process we’ve compiled a list of five digital PR tactics to guide you through.
Digital PR relies on good content.
Before you start on the work to get your site out there, you need to seriously evaluate the content you have produced. The world is saturated by news articles and think pieces, with a flood of new material arriving every day. You need your content to stand out from the crowd.
Start by reading through what you’ve produced with a critical eye and ask yourself: is this high quality? Does it add something new? Does it have a unique hook? Is it newsworthy?
If the answer to the above questions is yes, then you’re ready to get your content out there. If not, go back to the drawing board and make sure you’re pushing your work as far as you can.
Just like with traditional PR, you need to get in contact with journalists or people in the media who can help you reach a new audience. What you offer the journalists, however, is where digital and traditional PR differ. You need to provide them with extra material that compliments your content. This can include infographics, interactive maps, or indexes. Think of anything that adds value and makes the job of the journalist easier – because then they’re more likely to do it!
Your site will struggle without quality backlinks.
Traditional PR is all about coverage. Whether that’s in newspapers, magazines, TV or radio interviews, the aim is to get what you’re selling out into the big wide world. In the digital space, what you need are connections. Backlinks, or links from another website to yours, are a leg up from established sites and helps to attract traffic to your site.
Search engines register backlinks between sites, so it helps with your SEO. It’s important to note that you don’t want backlinks from anyone and everyone. If you make the right connections with the right people, search engines will begin to consider your site as an authority and place you higher up the search list.
If these backlink connections haven’t happened naturally (and it’s rare that they do for smaller sites), then you need to start getting yourself out there. This is where the PR aspect comes in. Reach out to sites or companies that are experts in your industry and ask them to review your content. Offer them something in exchange for their vote of confidence – guest blog posts, testimonials, links to their site.
Brand guardianship can save you long term trouble.
Crisis management or brand guardianship is an important part of brand management and crucial for your brand’s image. It’s a mix of discipline and creativity and overlaps with traditional PR. If you can nail your brand guardianship, you can avoid serious issues and manage a brand that is strong and sustainable.
Brand guardianship is about the image you put out into the world. This takes into account both the visual aspects – consistent colour palettes, font, logo, image types – and your brand’s ethos.
Consistency with your brand’s ethos is crucial for longevity. Make sure every move you make with your brand is considered and compatible with your brand. Before releasing content asked yourself:
- Is it relevant?
- Does it add value to what you’re trying to do?
- Is it clear?
- Could it be misunderstood or receive backlash?
Brand guardianship is especially important if you are releasing a digital campaign. You want people to identify your content just by its presentation. You also want to attract the right people to your brand – especially if the connection is leading to backlinks.
Avoid being controversial or sensationalist with your content – you don’t want people viewing your content for the wrong reasons. Stick to what you know and do it well.
Reactive media outreach will get your name out there.
Reactive media outreach, also known as newsjacking, is a way to secure links with minimal effort. In essence, reactive outreach is about identifying a news piece or topic that everyone is talking about, and adding your two cents worth. It can be through writing a piece of content for your site, offering a comment on a news piece or information from a brand you’re working with.
In contrast to proactive media outreach – which is definitely something you should be doing too – reactive outreach is a quick and low-cost way of gaining coverage.
Reactive research can have its downsides. You need to be careful with what topics you choose. Make sure the content is relevant to what you do and aligns with your values. If reactive outreach is done poorly, it can come across as insensitive and damage your brand. Think about all the companies and sites that commented on the COVID-19 pandemic and then lived to regret it.
Online marketing is unavoidable.
All PR is about marketing. You want your brand name and content out there, so you need to sell it well. Instead of relying on traditional sources (newspapers, TV, radio etc), be creative and use the web to your advantage.
Some ideas on how to get your name out there are:
- Social media- whether that’s growing your own social media page or connecting with an existing influencer related to your industry, social media is a great way of reaching a large number of people.
- Mail out lists- add a section on your website where people can sign up to a newsletter or something similar. Offer extra content and make sure you regularly keep them up to date with all the interesting things your company is doing.
- Start a blog- according to Neil Patel, blogs are the 5th most trusted online source. Whilst that’s not number one, it’s still really high on the list of news sources. Work hard on your blog and create content that is new and interesting, and compliments your brand/site.
- Participate- in forums, Facebook pages, online events. Get your name out there and show that you care enough to invest your interest in the people who read your content.
- Release an online press release.
Always follow up.
Half the job of traditional PR is follow-up and the same goes for digital PR. You don’t want to spend hours of your time producing great content, only to have it fall by the wayside. Once you’ve contacted journalists or media sources, make sure you follow up. If they haven’t responded to you, try again. Don’t take no for an answer. Diversify the types of people you are contacting too. Research the big names in your industry, see who your competitors have used. Persistence is the best tool for getting your content out into the world.
Digital marketing is the secret to taking your site to the next level. Try all of the above and see what works best for you and your audience.
To find out more about digital PR contact us here.