Every year, digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) experts seek to predict the future and work out what techniques will help their clients rank for target keywords and get noticed online.
While some tactics and trends are passing fancies that become obsolete almost as quickly as they arrive, others are here to stay.
One term that’s been mentioned for many years is digital public relations (PR) and the process of creating quality online content that sparks conversations and earns organic coverage. Over the years, digital PR has become closely entwined with traditional public relations services. While a digital approach hasn’t eclipsed traditional PR, it is now a vital part of any PR firm’s service offering. As we look to the future, it’s clear that digital PR is set to do something similar to the online marketing landscape.
After all, digital marketing experts are always exploring new ways to earn and capitalize on organic coverage. Digital PR centers around this strategy, so it makes sense to combine the two practices.
If you’re not convinced, here are some of the reasons why we think that digital PR is the future of online marketing.
What Is Digital PR?
First, if you’re unsure about the term digital PR and what it refers to, here’s a quick introduction for you.
Digital PR is the close cousin of traditional PR, but with a focus on the online world. While traditional PR techniques revolve around print media, digital PR focuses on building a brand’s reputation in the online world. While some of this work involves crisis management and coping with negative publicity, it predominantly focuses on trying to earn coveted organic backlinks and mentions on high-profile digital platforms.
Digital PR experts achieve this aim by creating high-quality, insightful and original content. Often, this involves finding unique data or information or creating an innovative product or service and then sharing the details.
If this information is topical and of interest, then news outlets, such as digital media sites, blogs and social media influencers, will pick up this information and share it. As part of the sharing process, they will reference the source of the information, usually by providing a backlink to the site, it is placed on, or even just by mentioning the company name. These mentions and backlinks help improve brand recognition and show search engines that your brand is a trusted source of insight on topics relevant to your niche.
Since it offers so many benefits, digital PR also provides a range of ways to earn a return on your investment. These include improved brand recognition, lead generation, increased click-through rates (CTRs), improved engagement on social media and many more.
With all these benefits and great ways to maximize return on investment (ROI), it’s clear that digital PR has a lot to offer the business world. Here are some of the other reasons why this technique will soon become the future of digital marketing and form the basis of any successful strategy over the years ahead.
Digital PR Builds Truly Organic Backlinks
As mentioned above, the main purpose of digital PR is to earn online attention, which often leads to backlinks.
Backlinks are a crucial part of SEO, but they can be difficult to earn organically. However, Google and other search engines have become skilled at identifying earned links and those that were purchased. So, companies need to explore ways to earn organic backlinks, which is why digital PR is such a valuable approach. While some techniques, such as link exchanges, aren’t necessarily paid-for link building, they aren’t truly organic either.
The best way to earn genuinely organic backlinks is to create content that will resonate and promote it across multiple channels. By creating a digital PR strategy by working with expert digital PR agencies, your organization can devise valuable content and get it noticed by high-quality, relevant websites. This approach will improve your chances of earning truly organic backlinks, which help you rise up your target search engine results pages (SERPs). It is similar to traditional commentary, where individuals use content to share their opinions, but it takes this strategy one step further by commercializing it.
Another reason for resisting the move over to digital PR is the apparent lack of ROI tracking in the sector. Most traditional PR agencies and many digital PR agencies still haven’t grasped the importance of measuring SEO value and coverage. However, this is something advanced digital PR agencies cover with their bespoke metrics: Q-Flux (link quality measurement) and ReachScore (quality of the coverage gained). By working with a company with measurable digital PR services, you can get the best possible ROI and maximize digital PR to drive your business forward.
Google Prefers Earned Links
As mentioned above, earned links are important to companies, including Google, the biggest search engine in the world.
Throughout the history of the search engine and its many updates, Google has focused on promoting earned backlinks and pushing web admins towards this approach. Its algorithm has been fine-tuned to help it identify and overlook unnatural backlinks and to focus on the relevance and quality of the content as well as the website on which it is placed.
So as we move forward, it’s likely that Google will remain committed to promoting organic link building. As such, digital PR techniques will remain the key to earning and retaining a high position on competitive search pages.
Traditional Digital Marketing Techniques Are Becoming Less Effective
Tried-and-tested digital marketing techniques that used to be highly effective, such as the broken backlink method, no longer work as effectively.
Some other tactics, such as adding target keywords and emulating trending content on your site, remain effective and important. Still, they’re no longer enough for anyone who wants to target competitive keywords.
With almost every business and many individuals now promoting themselves online, and with many traditional digital marketing techniques well-known, website managers need to be exploring new and innovative methods to reach their targets. Digital PR offers a cutting-edge approach to digital promotion and link building and is an innovative solution that proactive business leaders should explore.
Starting To Use Digital PR Isn’t As Much of a Transition As You Might Think
If your company or agency is heavily invested in traditional SEO and digital marketing practices, you might be concerned that digital PR will be a major departure for you.
On the contrary, many digital PR strategies complement and enhance existing digital marketing campaigns, meaning that these tactics can be used in conjunction with your existing processes. For example, newsjacking is a common technique used in digital PR, where companies take a trending news story and use it to boost sales and turn attention to their brand. This approach is similar to traditional commentary, where individuals use content to share their opinions, but it takes this strategy one step further by commercializing it. As this example demonstrates, there’s not as much of a leap between digital PR and traditional digital marketing techniques. They all work towards the same goal: increased brand recognition and profitable lead generation online.
So, if your business has already invested in learning and implementing a robust digital marketing strategy, it won’t take as much time or effort as you might think to pivot towards a more organic and digital PR-focused approach.
Ultimately, with the internet now a well-established platform for business promotion and more and more marketers and leaders seeking to achieve success on it, there’s a clear need for evolution.
Traditional marketing techniques were inventive, but now the focus is firmly on putting effort into earning backlinks and providing valuable resources for sites to link back to.
That’s why, as this article highlights, digital PR is going to be central to success in the online marketing landscape over the coming months and years.
Luckily, it’s easier than ever before to start using digital PR techniques and devising a strategy thanks to experienced agencies and online resources, such as the ones on SEOblog. Use this article as a starting point to launch your successful digital PR plan today.