An essential part of digital marketing is getting people to talk about you and be interested in your brand as well as the products and/or services that you offer. Generating content for your own website and social media platforms is a big part of how you generate a buzz about you. However, this isn’t enough. You have to get people – who represent well-known publications in your niche – to want to produce content about you so that you can show the audience that you are a thought leader in your particular area. How do you do this? Through public relations.
Any digital marketing processes that you engage in with respect to your business need to be planned well. You need to know where you’re going and you need a roadmap of how to get to where you’re going. PR – or public relations – is no different. You need a solid PR strategy to direct your efforts and to help you achieve your outcomes.
What does the term ‘public relations’ mean?
Very simply put, ‘public relations’ is all about developing a relationship with the public. You do this by developing a relationship with various media outlets – such as television and radio producers as well as editors of publications in your niche – so that you can connect with their audiences and – in so doing – broaden your audience.
Why is public relations important?
Besides broadening your audience, having a rock-solid public relations strategy helps to develop your reputation as an expert and specialist in a particular field. Think about it. If you are a medical doctor specialising in stress management, if you contributed regularly to a publication that deals with this topic, people reading the article would see you as an expert because you are speaking authoritatively on the subject. As such, they would be more inclined to choose you – when looking for stress management solutions – you have already displayed their expertise in the subject.
In digital marketing, one of the main ways that you can climb up the Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is by having a high page rank. One of the best ways of developing this is by getting credible sites linking back to you. As online publications have an exceptional reputation in the industry and online, their sites will have a good reputation so when they link back to you, this will improve your own site’s page ranking. This makes PR an essential cog in your digital marketing strategy.
So once you have your strategy in place, where to from here?
Find the outlets that would be best suited for your message
Once you’ve figured out what the messaging for your company is going to be, find the publications that are aligned with your brand and whose audiences will be receptive to what you’re trying to get across.
Be careful of choosing the right outlets for your messaging as choosing the wrong ones could be detrimental to what you’re trying to do. Do thorough research before sending your material to a publication because if you send a PR pitch to the wrong publication – owing to the fact that you’ve misunderstood their purpose – you could end up alienating their editors for life. As the journalistic community is very small, and editors regularly network, this could have the knock-on effect of alienating the publications that you want to target as you’ll have developed a reputation of spamming people.
When you pitch article ideas to editors, don’t just take one press release and spam your list of journalists. Tailor make your article pitches to the specific publication and emphasise why you feel that this will add value to their readership.
Editors get hundreds of article pitches each and every single day. Thus, to stand out from the crowd, and to get yourself noticed, bring something special to the table. Make sure that your headline packs a punch and that you grab the editor within the first couple of lines of your email. Make them so interested in your article idea that they feel that they have not choice but to feature your article.
Measure, measure, measure
After a particular PR campaign is finished, always measure the results that it achieved. With a digital PR campaign, this is easy to do with links that are strategically inserted into the article that are directed towards the client’s site. The more successful that an article is the more traffic the client’s site will get from these particular links.
If you can see that a particular publication’s audience is extremely receptive to the content that you’re providing, why not try other digital marketing formats on that particular platform so as to increase the leverage that your message can get from this particular area. For example, if the publication offers it you may choose to go for a press office. This paid-for medium allows you the guaranteed opportunities for your articles to be published and get top-of-mind exposure at the pinnacle points of the publication.
If you see that a particular publication isn’t performing – for your purposes – as you want it to, change your strategy up a bit and try something new and different. Remember that there isn’t an exact science for PR. Sometimes you’ve got to mix it up a bit and see what works.
The Digital School of Marketing’s Digital Public Relations Course is the perfect way for you to get to know how to perform PR for your business or other clients to the best of you’re ability. It’s one of the essential parts of your digital marketing strategy. For more information about this course and our other online digital marketing courses, follow this link.