There’s no doubt that strategic paid marketing warrants instant results for the bottom line—some things money can’t necessarily buy, though: trust, credibility, authenticity. As we live more and more online, the messages become blurred, and the brands vying for our pockets become overwhelming. There are so many options and such a range of content, so gaining consumer trust is increasingly important. How does a business break through the noise and stand out?
The role of digital PR in brand development
Digital PR takes the ropes of traditional PR methods and brings them online. The strategy entails building relationships with customers, creating links with online media, working with influencers and publishing content across the Internet. This may take many forms: social media posts, product reviews and trials, business features and profiles, news, expert advice, press releases, interviews and more.
Digital PR is crucial in developing a brand. Consider these roles:
- Reputation management and brand credibility: As consumers, we seek brands with a good reputation; we want to purchase from those we trust. Engaging in a digital PR strategy helps build this credibility online, particularly through backlinks and references on other highly-valued platforms. Brand affirmation from respected outlets, journalists and thought leaders builds this, while strategic placement ensures a brand is respected.
- Greater brand awareness amongst target audiences: With more references and chatter around the brand online – whether across social media or news platforms – the reach and awareness garnered are undeniable. Engage with the audience where they gather. Where do they live online? Digital PR offers a way to better reach the audience through targeted pitching and placement and bolster the brand via these connections.
- Stronger brand referencing: According to SiriusDecisions, 70% of a buyer’s journey is complete before reaching out to sales, making this step vital. For a brand to succeed in this cluttered space, it must gain the top spot in the consumer’s mind. With valuable content, strategic placement and branding across multiple touchpoints online, the audience is unlikely to forget the brand when the time to purchase comes.
Audiences are more discerning and savvy than ever, so digital PR, hand-in-hand with SEO marketing and other paid approaches, achieves a more robust presence online and enhances validity. Ultimately, the intrinsic qualities achieved through a digital PR strategy benefit the bottom line and increase conversions, customer retention and promote community.
Other benefits of digital PR in online marketing
- Improved SEO rankings: There is no denying the importance of SEO rankings. Google feeds our every query and purchasing decision. Partnered with a paid campaign, digital PR further boosts SEO rankings. Backlinks and references from the quality and credible online sources, generated through the PR process, welcome a rise in rankings.
- Increased traffic and lead generation: These additional backlinks and references also benefit through increased web traffic: more readers, greater awareness, extra clicks. Whether positioned in a feature article or short news mention, notice more click-throughs as readers opt to learn more and begin the purchasing journey. As an added benefit, consider the increased likelihood of clicks from a Google search when the brand name is already recognisable and trusted.
- Become a thought leader: To further enhance credibility, a business or spokesperson may follow the path to become a thought leader in their given field. Positioned as an expert with particular insight, interview and quote requests come knocking at the door. Use this incredible knowledge as a sharing tool, which inevitably bolsters the opinions of target audiences, generates further press and reaches a larger audience.
Digital PR requires thought and careful planning to form a strategic approach. Content and branding must be new and noteworthy, informative and unique, as it is a value exchange of sorts. Education, entertainment and interest are rewarded with audience clicks, improved rankings and credibility. Success doesn’t always happen overnight, but with a digital PR strategy quietly bubbling away, the long-term benefits are irrefutable.