Moving to Digital PR
All you need to know about Digital PR
If we could describe 2021 in a single word, it would be ‘Wow’ and not entirely in a good way. We know we have barely made it into the second half, but so much has been going on lately that we can hardly keep up! For instance, the digital world. It’s incredible how quickly it is evolving, and with the current lockdown situation, we might even be singing a new song before the end of the year.
So we suppose you are here because you are trying to keep abreast with current trends and need a clearer understanding of what digital PR is, perhaps for your brand. If you are still unsure whether this is a correct decision, we will let you in on a little secret: Digital PR plus exceptional SEO skills equal GAMECHANGER. If that was enough to pique your interest, then, by all means, read on!
Briefly defined, Digital PR is the marriage between traditional PR, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content marketing and social media. Though not a typical marriage setup, it leads to the culmination of a well-executed marketing strategy essential for any business.
What makes Digital PR different from traditional PR is probably the ‘digital’ part of it. Digital PR uses online channels such as websites, blog posts, influencer campaigns, social media platforms, etc., whilst traditional PR uses niche printed media, TV, and radio stations. But that’s all the conventional stuff. The real question is:
Who should use Digital PR?
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Any business in any industry should have a marketing plan. That’s a no-brainer. The strategies, however, are unique to every industry depending on the company's overall goals and values. On the other hand, digital PR strategies are effective when you seek to understand the fundamentals of the business. We are looking at:
1.Your online market
Understanding the different dynamics between different channels, customer profiles, behaviour, competitors, and your best options for marketing communications.
2.The direction you want your business to go in.
Marketing and communication strategies help you create clear goals of what you want for your company, for example, expectations for the next three years. Create the campaign based on the goals.
3. Your customers' needs.
To serve them well with your products or service, you need to understand exactly what they need and how best to offer it.
Why choose digital PR?
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1.To get high recognition within your target audience.
During a global pandemic, it is of utmost importance that companies improve their online presence by working on their brand awareness. Recent SEO statistics sourced out by lauro.media stated that 93% of online interactions start with a search engine. It is definitely not a surprise that Google gets 77,000 searches every second. Now imagine your brand being part of the top percentile and getting significant traffic to your website or social media platforms daily. Remarkable, isn’t it?
2. To enhance your brand's credibility
Have you ever searched for someone’s name, age, history, family history, DNA history and even chromosome type before going on a date? No? You can’t relate? Okay, well, how about a company's reviews, history, social media and ratings before purchasing anything online?
These are safety precautions that one might take before venturing into anything new, which expresses how important a company's credibility is. Positive media coverage or earned media goes a long way in ensuring your brand's online presence. If Beyonce assures me that moving to Mars is safe, then best believe I have packed my bags!
A well-crafted digital PR plan should build your brand’s credibility and trust within your target audience. Third-party endorsements that we call earned media are crucial and are a surefire way of making your customers believe in your brand.
3. To boost social media traffic
One of the gazillion benefits of having good SEO skills is increasing traffic to your website and social media platforms through online media coverage. Potential customers have a higher chance of opening and sharing links through articles and social media platforms, especially about relevant content. From then on, you can track their activity and target visitors for future digital PR campaigns.
What steps should I take to create an effective Digital PR strategy?
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Now that you are becoming more digital savvy, your next steps should include proper planning, execution, research, and of course, content marketing strategies like Digital PR and SEO methods. The following questions will guide you in making an effective digital PR strategy.
1. What are your communication goals?
When you are looking at your communication strategy plan, what is your main objective? At Xavier Mah | Stories Worth Telling, we offer personalised plans of our client's resources and competitors through tried-and-trusted A.I.D. method. We look for appropriate channels and strategies that best work for your brand to generate traffic and increase rankings.
2. Who is your target audience
Your goals are closely tied to your target audience, which is why this should be the second step you take. Who do you want to communicate with and why? Using data research in your digital strategy plan will help you understand the needs of your target customers and, in turn, come up with a strategic solution.
You should always ask yourself if your customers are content. Suppose they are not, then the next step is analysing what is lacking and how you can solve it. This is where communication is critical because you need to learn how to speak your customers’ language.
For example, you are representing a startup company that sells vegan burgers. Whilst researching your target audience, you meet Demie, looking for vegan recipes on social media channels. To understand your customers’ personal needs, you look into what recipes Demie has been searching for, along with the location, product, price, and preference. Based on this information alone, you can create a detailed plan of who you want to sell your burgers to.
3. Editorial content calendar
Editorial content calendars are an integral part of any Digital PR work. When you work in content creation, it is very common to have so many brilliant ideas at the same time but fail to complete at least one of them! Having an editorial content calendar will help in strategic planning, filling in gaps, gathering inspiration, social media scheduling and team management.
4. Create content
With a detailed plan of your goals, target audience and editorial calendar at hand, the next stage is probably the most exciting part: Creating content! The first thing to do is determine what platform is convenient for you and your target audience, such as what's trending and how you can work with that.
Having good content planning will give you the platform to narrate your story in a way that your target audience will find relatable. Relatable content builds trust, which will, in turn, lead to brand loyalty. Promoting your brand is important, but it should not be your only priority.
These days, Tiktok reigns supreme and is easily one of the most interactive ways to engage your target audience. Besides, it costs $Free.99 to set up an account; it’s foolproof (even grandma can use it!) with tons of filters and editing options and generally a fun way to explore your creativity!
5. Report and evaluate
Reporting and evaluating is one of the final and yet most crucial stages of your digital pr campaign. Having quality content or being very active on social platforms will remain irrelevant if your ROI is not improving. A detailed report on your digital PR activity, links, rankings, coverage, traffic and revenue will help determine which digital strategy to follow next time.
How do I measure the successes of digital PR campaigns?
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Because you are running a business, it only makes sense that you are concerned about whether or not it was successful or beneficial to your company. After all, you invested a lot of time, effort and a considerable amount of money into this campaign.
1. Social media reach
A well-planned digital PR campaign should generate traction on social media over time, but you might have to audit your communication plan again if there are no changes. Factors to look into when measuring engagement are; type of content, visuals, time frame, language and digital channels used.
Analysing your social media reach, for example, how many people viewed your post, reacted, or shared it, will help determine the audience growth rate. It can also help you understand the latest social media trend and design a campaign that suits the organisation’s needs.
2. Online brand mentions
An increase in earned media or brand mentions is another clear sign of a well-thought-out digital PR campaign. By monitoring brand mentions, you connect with the most active target audience, increase brand awareness and get honest reviews about your product or service.
If not now, when?
Coming up with innovative ideas for your brand is not enough to gain new customers while retaining the existing ones. So does posting a thousand times a day on a million digital channels. All it does is put a considerable amount of money, effort, and time to waste, which is why we suggest using a well-researched and carefully planned digital PR campaign for your brand.
Let’s be honest. There is no such thing as ‘the perfect time.’ It simply does not exist. What exists is NOW, and now is the right time to turn your business into a success. Now is a perfect time!
This might sound like a lot to take in, and if we are honest, it actually is! Fortunately for you, at Xavier Mah Consultancy, this is what we do best.
We’re confident that our outstanding services and strong industry connections can get you better, if not more exceptional, results.
Should you have any questions, we will be delighted to answer them! Just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.