As the digital world evolves, so does the need for businesses to stay ahead of the curve in their digital PR strategies. However, building and implementing an effective digital PR strategy is easier said than done. According to a survey, 52% of the respondents found it challenging to even get a response from journalists for PR outreach.
Although the challenges are countless, a digital PR strategy is the need of the hour for all brands and businesses. However, the process can become a lot less intimidating if you have the correct information and tips. This is why we have compiled this comprehensive guide to help you create an effective online PR strategy in 2023.
A digital PR strategy is a plan of action that uses digital media to improve a brand’s online reach, visibility, and perception. Brands can achieve this through various digital channels such as online news websites, social media, blogs, etc.
Digital PR strategies are designed to increase brand awareness, build customer relationships, and generate leads. They also involve crisis management to protect a company’s online image.
Online reputation is undeniably integral to success in today’s digital era. It enables you to have goals in mind and track your progress as you move to achieve those goals. Here’s a breakdown of some reasons that make an online PR strategy a must-have for brands and individuals:
When your or your brand’s name appears in top-tier publications, people start trusting you more. Consider this example: you see an article about a brand on Forbes and one of its rivals in some local publication with low domain authority. Which of these brands will seem more credible to you? It’s undoubtedly going to be the one that appeared on Forbes.
Today, most customers interact with brands online. Moreover, around 85% of consumers research online before purchasing something. Digital PR lets you increase your online visibility and interact with these potential customers.
A digital PR strategy capitalizes on SEO through quality content, guest posting, and online profile building. Additionally, it also gives you backlinks. All these contribute to making your website or online profile noticeable to search engines, improving your SEO score. This can help you rank high on search engine results, making you more visible to your target audience.
Publishing your story in top-tier publications is not easy. Most journalists reject 95% of the pitches they receive. This means that your pitch and story need to be exceptional to get published.
Thus, digital PR can establish you as an industry leader by spreading the word about your work on high-authority outlets. This can bring the attention of investors and other like-minded leaders, boosting your professional network.
Marketing and digital PR go hand-in-hand. Digital PR spreads information about your products and services through digital outlets. This helps with lead nurturing as the audience that visits your websites through backlinks from the major publications will already know about you or your company.
Crises can come in any shape or form. A bad interaction with a customer or a cyber-attack can lead to a crisis. A digital PR strategist will foresee any such dangers to your online reputation and plan accordingly. They will consider all the possible dangers and evaluate them to build a recovery plan for effective crisis management.
There are three major types of media coverage:
- Owned: Owned media means publishing content about your brand on your own platforms. Since you have the rights to your platform and don’t need to meet others’ styling formats or editorial guidelines, this is the most accessible form of media coverage. Examples include blog posts and articles.
- Earned: As the name suggests, earned media refers to the media placement you have earned through your excellent work. For instance, unpaid press features, reviews, and recommendations from others are all earned media.
- Sponsored Press: This type of media coverage is the press you pay for. For instance, if you pay a publication to publish an article about your brand, it is sponsored press.
Now that you know what a digital PR strategy is and why it is essential, here’s how to create one:
The first step in developing a digital PR strategy is to define your goals. List down what you want to achieve through the PR campaign. You can list goals like increasing the number of inbound links, website traffic, online presence, leads, etc. Mapping the goals will help create a plan for building the actual strategy to reach them.
Next, you will need to define your target audience. A clear picture of the target persona will help you select the publications you should pitch your stories to. Suppose you sell sports goods. This means your primary target audience will be athletes, sports enthusiasts, and youngsters.
Once you define this audience, you’ll know that you should be pitching your story to top sports publications like Sports Illustrated, as they have a vast readership within your target group.
Choosing the right brand voice is essential for a successful PR campaign. It should reflect your brand’s mission, values, and overall identity. Research the market trends, go through some successful campaigns, and consider the type of message you want to communicate.
Next, you can brainstorm ideas to create a unique voice that will resonate with your target audience. Finally, it is essential to consider the tone and language used when crafting the message.
Content remains at the core of any digital PR campaign. To ensure you are pushing out content timely, you should create an editorial calendar as the next step. This calendar must list down all the content you plan to publish within the year, along with the precise dates.
Digital PR revolves around your brand’s online image and presence. Hence, it should also include a crisis management plan. Whether it’s a product recall, a security threat, or an environmental problem, have clearly defined steps to assess the damage and respond through positive media coverage.
Once the editorial calendar and the other steps are in place, it’s time to generate content. Ensure that each piece of content you push out reflects your brand’s voice.
As stated before, the content you push out can be in any form — owned, earned, or paid. Therefore, you need to start pitching your stories to top publications and journalists, besides publishing content on your own platforms. Pick the right publications based on the industry you serve and your target audience.
The last step in an ideal digital PR strategy is to measure the campaign’s success. You will never know what you have done right or wrong unless you measure the KPIs for success. This will also let you adapt to the positives and eliminate the negatives from the strategy for future use.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to creating an ideal digital PR strategy. Every business has different needs and goals. Hence, you need to test and try out different things. But this can be costly and time-consuming, and you also need to have a dedicated team to build an effective digital PR plan. Therefore, it is best to outsource your requirement to a professional digital PR agency.
As the preferred media relations agency of hundreds of brands and public figures, Digital Nod has crafted and implemented countless digital PR strategies successfully. If you want to scale your business to the next level in 2023 with digital PR and get featured in top publications, contact us today!