How Can Digital PR Improve a Brand’s Presence?

Author Clodagh O'Brien
Topic Campaign

Digital PR is a strategy used to increase awareness of your brand using online methods. In many ways, it’s similar to traditional PR, but it offers the opportunity to reach a much broader audience that can’t be reached with only offline methods. To make the most impact, digital PR relies on Internet-based strategies such as search engine optimization, content marketing, influencer outreach and social media.

Digital PR is a powerful strategy which can improve a brand’s online presence and visibility. Static information can be transformed into conversations, and companies can speak directly to their target audience just about any time day or night. By connecting and sharing with the target audience, it’s possible to start a dialogue that clarifies your focus and to spread news and information much more quickly than ever before.

Digital PR Vs. Traditional PR

Traditional PR involves networking with journalists in order to get featured in print publications. At one time, the goal of a publicist who specialized in traditional PR was to get their clients included in newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. Most people who have specialized in traditional PR have shifted their focus to include digital PR - often finding higher readerships or viewership on online content than offline - although some traditional forms of PR may still be used.

With the growth of the internet, there are many more possible avenues to use to promote a business. Digital PR includes a wide variety of marketing possibilities such as being interviewed by online publications, increasing your online presence and using the interactive power of social media for further growth and recognition.

What Does Digital PR Involve?

The possibilities for online promotion are close to endless. Businesses need to look beyond print opportunities and interact with their target audience online. Digital PR agencies combine the best of traditional PR with a focus on new trends in content marketing, social media marketing and more.

A digital PR specialist uses a wide variety of tactics to improve a client’s web presence. Examples include:

  • Preparing online press releases
  • Building relationships with online journalists and bloggers to generate online press coverage
  • Arranging business profiling
  • Organizing online reviews and interviews
  • Ensuring press releases are optimized with relevant links back to your website. This benefits readers with links to more information and gives your search rankings a boost by securing high authority links to your website from high traffic blogs and news sites
  • Influencer marketing and blogger outreach to attain mention on influential social media accounts and blogs
  • Publishing online content to gain a wider reputation and high-quality backlinks

The Goal of Digital PR

Digital PR and traditional PR share one goal in common, which is to help improve a client’s reputation and increase their visibility among members of their target audience. Both are strategies to make a brand more recognizable. The main difference between them is the choice of methods used to accomplish this goal.

Digital PR aims to build brand value while using digital tools. Building a strong brand in the digital age where the sea of competitors is constantly growing can be challenging, but there are a wide variety of  methods that can be used to increase visibility and remain competitive.

Prospects are just about unlimited choices regarding who they will do business with, and it can easily get drowned out by the competition if you don’t use digital PR. A well-defined brand has to be created and communicated in order to separate yourself from your competitors and be visible in the online avenues in which target markets get their information and search for solutions to their pain points.

How Digital PR Can Benefit Your Brand

When you begin a digital PR campaign, you will be striving to improve your brand awareness and online presence. A focused campaign can make a big difference in establishing your online identity and what makes your brand unique.

Here are some of the ways digital PR can benefit your brand:

  • Boost website traffic – As your brand is mentioned online on a more frequent basis and in many different places, more people will start to visit your website.
  • Improve search engine optimization – When your content is published on high authority sites that link to your website, your SEO ranking will improve for your target keywords. As your SEO ranking improves, this will also improve your website traffic and leads or sales.
  • Establish you as an authority in your niche – Publishing high-quality articles on authority sites will improve your reputation as a credible source of information and improve trust in your brand.
  • Generate leads and sales – Using this strategy, your brand is mentioned much more frequently in front of an interested target audience, which will generate leads from some of the people who visit your website, ultimately also leading to more sales.
  • Improve your brand image and increase trust – Your target audience will begin to hear more and more good things about your brand and see an increased number of positive reviews.

Repurpose Your Content

Content marketing is an important part of a digital PR campaign. The more your content is shared and found, the more your reputation and status as an authority begins to grow.

Content you have already written can be transformed into a different form of content and shared or published on a different platform by repurposing. For example, a single blog post can be expanded with new information added and repurposed into several other types of content such as:

  • An infographic
  • A guest blog post
  • An article in the local newspaper
  • An article in a trade publication
  • A LinkedIn news update
  • A short video

In this way, one piece of content can be transformed into information for multiple sources, all of which can be shared to help promote and grow your reputation. It’s not a matter of simply rewriting the content, but also to continue adding value and reinforcing your voice as an authority.

The Power of Social Media

Few tools are more powerful in a digital PR campaign than social media. Through social media, you can connect with customers and influencers, study the strategy of your competitors and continually engage in conversations about your niche.

As you continue to write and publish additional quality content, continue to promote it on social media channels and encourage others to share and promote it as well. Offer value and information that is worth sharing and worth discussing.

Keep in mind that social media gives you the opportunity to converse and communicate with your target audience in a way that never could have been done using traditional PR. On this platform, you have the opportunity to earn the attention of your target audience, to influence and subtly persuade rather than trying to be continually selling. Most of all, it gives you an opportunity to listen to their wants and needs, to learn what information, products or services they haven’t been able to find up to now.

The bulk of internet users are active on social media, which means this is exactly where your brand needs to be in order to be recognized. Interacting and engaging with people where they are most comfortable will naturally build your name and reputation.

What’s the Difference Between Marketing and Digital PR?

There isn’t a clear difference between online marketing and digital PR. In general, marketing is focused specifically on sales while PR is focused on creating a positive impression of your brand.

Digital PR aims to get the word out about what your brand stands for, what makes it unique and particularly what is happening at the moment that is new and exciting. It aims more to increase traffic and awareness, while marketing is typically more focused on conversions.

With marketing, you are directly promoting a product or service. With digital PR, you are promoting the brand or company as a whole. The basic principle behind digital PR is to promote something newsworthy in order to increase brand awareness.

For the most part, it’s necessary to build relationships and reputation before marketing can be effective. Ideally, digital PR and marketing should work together, with each strategy complementing and enriching the other.

Get Started with a Digital PR Campaign

Whether you choose to do your own digital PR or have it done by a digital PR agency, the important thing is to get started. Once you have started to take advantage of the power of the internet to begin building your brand, you can analyze what is working and what isn’t and make changes if necessary.

Having a clear picture of your target audience is one of the most important things you need to do. If you don’t clearly know who is in your audience, it’s time to find out. Use surveys and social media interaction to get to know the people who are interested in your brand and its message.

Determine what your goals are and what strategy is the best approach to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your site. Continue to produce authoritative content and start to build relationships with influencers and top bloggers in your niche.

How much time you have available for digital PR may be a factor in whether you decide to do it yourself or to outsource. You may want to outsource all or part of your digital PR. The more digital PR strategies that you use, the more likely you will improve your brand’s reputation and successfully grow your business.

Clodagh O'Brien
Senior Content Specialist