“The Times They Are a-Changin”: A digital outlook for PR

As Bob Dylan once famously sang “The Times They Are a-Changin”. It is a mantra that can be applied to many aspects of communications, but perhaps one most pertinent to the ever-evolving world of public relations (PR). The latest developments in digital PR are testament to that.

As the lines between online and offline continue to blur, and PR and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategies become more closely aligned, the value of digital media coverage in B2B marketing doesn’t show signs of slowing.

Digital PR involves gaining high quality backlinks from websites and online publications, in turn, improving SEO rankings and organic search visibility. A link building strategy, delivered through digital PR, helps you reach your target customers by featuring your business on the websites they read the social media platforms they browse. It gives you the opportunity to reach a much broader audience than ever before. Ultimately, digital PR can positively impact a website’s search engine visibility and ranking.

The growth of the internet and the subsequent shift by traditional media outlets, from printed newspapers and magazines to digital platforms, has increased readership figures. That’s not to say that there’s no place for traditional PR, rather it’s about knowing your audiences and creating an online and offline PR strategy for your business.

Whilst, traditionally, much of the focus of SEO strategies is centred on highly technical and quantitative data driven approaches, as Google algorithms continue to shift, the value of link
building has grown. As a result, the benefits that can be derived from digital PR have become far greater, especially when it comes to building an online presence.

Of course, with digital PR there is no ‘one size fits all’ strategy, but there are a number of tactics that can become part of a wider plan.

• Publishing articles and press releases online to gain quality backlinks
• Building relationships with journalists, editors and reaching out to influencers and bloggers
• Publishing product specific features or reviews through your website or social media
• Offline events that aim to gain online coverage
• Posting and sharing creative infographics, videos or podcasts

As previously mentioned, SEO is closely aligned to digital PR, especially when setting your goals and evaluating your strategy performance. Some performance tracking considerations include:

• SEO rankings – The more relevant and engaging your content is, the higher up the search engine rankings you will be and the more traffic there will be directed back to your website.
• Brand trust – Customers should only see positiveness when they search your business. Positive, impartial reviews and interesting content secured in key publications or websites can establish your business as a leading authority for your sector.
• ROI – Well thought out, and well placed content can generate more leads which can in turn be nurtured using more tailored content.

The flexibility of digital PR has meant marketeers now have a greater range of tools and through the combination of existing traditional PR with infographics, short videos, podcasts and guest blogs, they can transform the amount of interest received from wider audiences.

Digital PR strategies can create positive results, when executed correctly, which starts constructive dialogue that clarifies focus and spreads the news and information of your brand more quickly than ever before.

Google Analytics can be used to measure the effectiveness of SEO and digital PR campaigns. By calculating the number of website visitors split by the channel you can get an indication of the improvement in search engine visibility. Referral traffic (traffic from externals sources), can also be measured and can indicate the volume of traffic from articles published in the wider media.

B2B budgets are rarely in the same ball park as B2C, but the same expertise and dedication is needed to achieve the same results. This is where choosing a company that can offer value for money is essential.

With nearly 20 years’ experience and expertise developing and implementing successful digital and traditional PR campaigns for B2B clients in various sectors in particular, technology – including sustainable technologies – services, manufacturing, logistics and construction amongst others, we are well versed at producing informative content for our established media contacts, in turn delivering tangible return on investment (ROI) for our clients.

Since being established, we have secured editorial coverage in over 20 countries, in thousands of B2B digital and print journals on behalf of our clients. To learn more about how an integrated B2B PR and content campaign can help your business, why not give us a call on 01422 363424 or email us info@shrewdd.com.

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