Digital PR has disrupted the press release of decades past and is sending ripples throughout the digital marketing world. It is the intersection of traditional public relations, content marketing, SEO, and social media.
In short, digital PR is a tool used by brands to evolve their business and build an online presence. Gone are the days of simply using print media to achieve brand awareness. Now, businesses are utilizing blogs, podcasts, emails, and more to reach potential customers.
The Power of a Single Email
Did you know that a single email has the power to earn top-tier coverage, hundreds of backlinks and thousands of social shares for your content? This is the power of digital PR. It goes beyond the standard press release, combining a brand’s message with powerful storytelling to achieve online coverage on top-tier publishers.
Quality over Quantity
The press release is to 1990 what digital PR is to 2018. A traditional publicist might send long, uninteresting, and one-sided press releases to thousands of journalists a day, in hopes of earning as many media mentions as they can. Yet, there is no guarantee that any of these press releases will ever be seen or shared.
Meanwhile, the key to a successful digital PR strategy is establishing mutually beneficial relationships with digital influencers—often journalists—through deliberate and personal correspondence. These relationships last, and digital PR professionals can continue to work with their contacts to share their message indefinitely. Digital PR also has the added benefit of improving Google search ranking by accumulating press mentions and backlinks on high-authority websites. The lifespan of digital PR is far greater than that of traditional press releases. Digital PR is the easiest and fastest means to earn thousands of views on your content.
Rising Above the Noise
Strong, authoritative link building is the result of high-quality outreach. Journalists are outnumbered by public relations professionals by nearly 128%, meaning there are more than 4 PRs to every journalist. This means they receive a lot of pitches.
Fractl estimates that 57 percent of journalists receive between 50 and 500 pitches per week, meaning it’s harder than ever to rise above the noise. Careful research of your potential contact combined with compelling content will ensure that your pitch gets read when you send it.
Goals of Digital PR + Fractl’s POV on the Role Digital PR can Play in a Growing Business
At Fractl, we believe that Digital PR works hand-in-hand with your SEO strategy to achieve your marketing goals. When digital PR is integrated into your overall content marketing strategy, it can achieve a variety of goals. Fractl’s promotions team leverages relationships with editors, journalists, and influencers to get content published on high-authority sites with large audiences. This tactic can be used to achieve a variety of goals for our clients.
When it comes to building and developing these relationships there are a few key steps to accomplish your goals. The first is to craft a pitch that shows you’ve done your research on who you’re sending it to. Next, personalize your email. This again shows you have done your research and are taking the time to contact them directly. Third, show how your content will be valuable to them. Be straightforward in your email and only share key information that will benefit them. Finally, send a follow-up email. Relationships need to be maintained and following up will help build trust in the relationship.
“When it comes to placements with high-authority publishers, taking the time to personalize each pitch is key to success...This long-term relationship-building strategy fosters name recognition and affinity for individuals on your team as well as your business. Over time, you’ll go from sending individual pitches to seeing top-tier writers reaching out to you for content and quotes.” - Kelsey Libert, VP Marketing, Fractl
Examples of Digital PR
How Digital PR Can Build High-Quality Backlinks and Improve SEO
In a campaign that explored “The Most Instagrammed Locations,” Fractl studied content topics that resonated with its target customer yet also appeals to a wide audience. In the study, the top travel destinations in the U.S. and Canada were explored and the most popular locations for each state were noted. In the end, 19,000 hashtags and more than 11,000 locations were tagged. The breakdown of the promotional efforts are as follows:
- More than 300 pickups, including Yahoo!, AOL, TIME, Business Insider, Today, Fast Company, Bustle, NBC News, PopSugar, and The Daily Mail in less than two weeks
- Extensive regional coverage—including Boston.com, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Houston Chronicle, and the Palm Beach Post—due to the strong, widespread geographic appeal.
- Multiple local television media mentions
- Almost 40,000 social shares
- 40 percent growth in organic U.S. traffic
In addition to the reveal of these location tags, there were positive impacts in SEO including:
- Increased blog traffic
- New partnerships as a result of more brands reaching out to work with the site
- An uptick in hiring
- Brand recognition at large industry events
- Featured as a “best practice” case study at an SEO conference.
How Digital PR Can Increase Customer Acquisition + Leads
Example 1: Sapio User Acquisition Case Study
Digital PR can achieve a variety of goals. In the case study focusing on the dating app, Sapio, researchers saw a 3,072% increase in the number of downloads weekly over a period of 5 weeks. Focusing on timelines was a huge win for Sapio. Knowing Valentine’s Day was on the horizon they maximized coverage and played on the upcoming holiday. They also offered interviews with founder Kristin Tynski. This offered an authoritative voice for media to showcase in their coverage. Third, they personalized pitches to each outlet. Instead of sending along a standard copy, they customized each pitch to fit the tone and perspective of the publishers. These three things all helped Sapio substantially grow their user-base in a matter of week.s
Measuring ROI of Digital PR
You’ve achieved a huge win for your brand, but now what? Once your content campaign is getting widespread coverage, it’s important to start tracking your digital PR efforts.
- How effective is your pitch? You can analyze open rates, subject lines, and response rates in order to measure the effectiveness of your outreach.
- Once you start getting widespread coverage, track textual brand mentions, backlinks, social shares, and impressions to evaluate the overall success of your campaign.
- Don’t forget to evaluate the long-term ROI of your digital PR efforts—what was the impact digital PR had on traffic, page rank, + authority over time
Ultimately, your digital PR efforts will lead you to measure ROI which includes new referral links, increased organic traffic, and new leads or signups. With this information in hand, you can have a straightforward, concrete look at your link building success that you can easily share with your entire team.
See more: Anatomy of a Healthy Backlink Report
Let's Review: What is Digital PR?
Digital PR is shaking up the traditional PR methods in the best possible way. When done correctly, digital PR can be a crucial part of your strategy to help not only build but maintain and develop relationships. It can be a game changer in any marketing strategy and help to bring increase ROI substantially.