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The Basics of Digital PR 

The Basics of Digital PR 

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Examining Digital PR: What it is, its benefits, and how to get started.

What is Digital PR?

Digital PR, short for Digital Public Relations, is an online promotional strategy used by marketing professionals and businesses. It constitutes a measurable and concrete strategy aimed at bolstering brand awareness, website traffic, and organic rankings through valuable backlinks, sales, social media following, and engagement.  

While Digital PR initially emerged from the realm of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), its scope extends far beyond just link building; it now centres on generating content that captivates and incites sharing. 

Crucially, Digital PR is not solely a facet of SEO; it has evolved into a pivotal element of marketing, with an increasing number of brands investing in it, and traditional marketing services are shifting their focus towards it as well. Content marketers harness Digital PR to gain exposure for their content amongst users, while marketers use it to directly reach their target audience with product offerings. Founders employ Digital PR to generate excitement surrounding their launches and establish themselves as authorities in their fields, while video creators employ it to boost views and build credibility. 

This widely employed tactic applies the principles of traditional PR to promote content, stories, brands, and products in the online realm, facilitating a competitive edge and distinctiveness. 

But how does Digital PR differ from traditional public relations? Traditionally, public relations is defined as “a strategic communication process that builds relationships between organisations and the public.” In the digital era, the approach to building relationships has evolved. The focus is now on making people aware of, liking, trusting, and connecting with the brand through shared interests, ultimately leading to recommendations. Digital public relations aligns with this contemporary approach. 

Digital PR centres on building presence, trust, and authority, not only for search engines like Google but also for online users. Through the creation and distribution of compelling content, the goal is for users to become familiar with the brand, agree with its message, trust its credibility, recommend it to others, and ultimately make purchases. 

 

What Does Digital PR involve? 

Digital PR, serves as a subset of Content Marketing encompassing the following elements: 

  • Acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable websites and online publications. 
  • Securing online publicity for the brand or business. 
  • Garnering genuine and favourable customer reviews. 
  • Responsively engaging with journalists’ inquiries and comments. 
 

In contrast, Content Marketing encompasses a broader spectrum, encompassing all digital PR techniques and content creation aspects, such as blog posts, webpage copy, and knowledge bases. 

The essence of Digital PR lies in its ability to connect with the target audience. By featuring a business on the websites they frequent, the podcasts they listen to, and the social media accounts they follow, it facilitates effective outreach. Moreover, it has the potential to yield five-star reviews on platforms like Google and Amazon. Ultimately, Digital PR significantly impacts a website’s search engine visibility and ranking, amplifying its online presence. 

For local businesses, a well-crafted local SEO digital PR strategy revolves around securing features in online publications focusing on the specific local area. This includes local newspaper websites, blogs written by area bloggers, reviews from local customers, and coverage of local events or charitable sponsorships. Such targeted efforts help bolster the business’s presence within the local community and attract relevant audiences. 

The Basics of Digital PR 
The Basics of Digital PR 

What are the Benefits of Digital PR? 

The advantages of implementing a Digital PR strategy are numerous and impactful. These benefits synergistically contribute to business growth and amplify your brand’s online presence: 

  • Secures relevant links from reputable and authoritative sources: When esteemed websites reference your brand, it elevates your credibility as a valuable source of information, both in the eyes of the audience and search engines like Google. 
 
  • Enhances search engine ranking: By naturally gaining backlinks and adhering to ethical practices, your website is rewarded by Google, which favours sites known for disseminating valuable and high-quality content. 
 
  • Earns organic links: Positioning your brand as an industry leader and thought influencer, rather than relying on paid promotions, establishes a positive perception among Google, audiences, and potential customers. 
 
  • Strengthens brand reputation and identity: Just like effective content marketing, investing in digital PR showcases your commitment to research and compelling storytelling, which resonates with audiences and boosts brand image. 
 
  • Increases website traffic: As influential sources with high domain authority link back to your content, your website experiences an upsurge in visitors, driving more traffic to your digital domain. 
 
  • Generates social media shares: Engaging and captivating stories prompt users to share content on social platforms, elevating your brand’s online visibility and further driving traffic.
 
  • Influences purchase decisions: While not the primary objective of digital PR, some content naturally conveys key messages and unique selling propositions (USPs) to potential customers, subtly impacting their purchasing decisions. 
 
  • Inspires brand loyalty: By fostering positive relationships with consumers through valuable content, Digital PR helps build enduring brand loyalty. 
 
  • Provides measurable success metrics: Digital marketing tools like Google Analytics enable you to track various aspects of campaign performance, allowing you to identify effective strategies and refine future campaigns. 
 
  • Offers cost-effectiveness: A well-executed Digital PR campaign doesn’t require exorbitant costs to achieve success. When done right, the returns in terms of web traffic and conversions can more than justify the investment.
 

How do I get Started with Digital PR? 

The first steps to a successful Digital PR campaign is a clear strategy. This involves understanding your audience, what they are interested in, where they are, as well as comprehending how to position yourself within your industry.  

At 21 Degrees Digital we take numerous steps to create a clear strategy for your business that aligns with your audience. We break this down into 8 steps and these are: 

  1. Kick Off Meeting – Before we start a strategy plan, we sit down with you to get a better understanding of what you are trying to achieve, if there are any publications you want to be involved in, if you have any stories under your belt already, how you want to be perceived, etc. This is a great opportunity for open communication and the beginning of a collaborative partnership.  
  2. Client Research – What is the positioning of your brand? How do you communicate tone of voice? Audit of any previous Digital PR work / Audit of current backlinks. 
  3. Competitor Research – Are your competitors doing any Digital PR? If so, what is working for them? What publications are they currently in? Audit of their backlinks. 
  4. Industry Research – Are there any big stories within the industry at the moment? Are there any key dates/events that recur within the industry? (e.g – for an IT company we might look to jump onto ‘National Cyber Security Day’) What are the major publications within the industry? 
  5. Audience Demographics – Once we’ve understood your brand, competitors and industry we can build audience profiles around who we are currently reaching and who we want to reach. From this, we can understand what publications these people are reading, where they like to get their news and if there are any key figures they identify with.  
  6. Set KPI’s – We will create defined and measurable KPI’s (Key Performance Indicator) that we want to achieve throughout the course of our working relationship, these can be adjusted per campaign however we will have overarching KPI’s we are working towards.  
  7. SEO Compatibility – As Digital PR and SEO go hand in hand we will strategise with our SEO team to find ways that Digital PR can support the work of SEO (e.g – if SEO identify a keyword that would be of high value to rank for we will use this when creating ideas to find Digital PR angles around this topic). 
  8. Ideation/Identifying Opportunities – After all the initial research we will brainstorm ideas that we feel are relevant to you and your audience. This will include a range of PR ideas that hit a number of different stories.  
 

After we have developed our strategy, we will begin implementing this to gain coverage and valuable backlinks. If you’re interested in getting started with Digital PR then please get in touch with 21 Degrees Digital.  

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