Around 40% of the world’s population is connected to the internet today – that’s more than three billion users. Ten years ago that number was just one billion. As we move towards more accessible connection solutions, such as Facebook’s Aquila project and Google’s Project Loon, this number is set to increase exponentially over the next few years. But what does that mean for your business?
Essentially, it means that your audience is much more likely to be using the internet in their daily lives, as opposed to consuming other media such as print and broadcast. For example, circulation figures for the print edition of the Daily Mail are circa 1.49m, yet the website attracts between 73.9 and 100m visitors per month.
Communication channels are continuing to merge and evolve – just look at on-demand TV/radio services and interactive mobile phone apps. Think about the effect that this could have on your existing PR strategy, which may be focused on ‘making headline news’ and if ‘increasing brand exposure’ is one of your core PR objectives, then your business cannot afford to ignore the value of digital PR.
Here are a few common questions about this communications tactic to help you gain a better understanding of what it is and how you can get started:
What is digital PR?
Digital PR is a means of increasing online presence by building relationships with key content writers, journalists and ‘influencers’ (individuals with a large social or online following/aka earned media). A successful digital PR campaign will generate a high amount of online coverage, social media posts and website backlinks – essential for search engine optimisation.
Even more important, however, is that this coverage appears on websites with ‘high domain authority’ – which basically means that the site is already well-known for publishing high quality, popular content. This is the equivalent of getting coverage in a respected publication in your sector, or a newspaper with high circulation.
Who else is using it?
Inevitably, every business with a PR strategy is already involved in digital PR whether they realise it or not. The difference, however, is looking at which ones are actively optimising their outputs to ensure better online PR coverage. For example, Coca Cola’s recent UEFA Euros 2016 sponsorship will see it experiment with suggesting new recipes that people could enjoy with a Coke. While you may not think this would fit into a traditional press office – think about how many times these recipes may be shared online and featured on blogs?!
How do you measure its success?
With digital PR, it’s all about engagement, rather than traditional print media, which focuses on column inches. It’s about penetration and can be measured with a number of metrics such as:
• Site referral traffic
• Site backlinks
• Social engagement and links
• Site conversions
Where do I get started?
The first step is to alter the way you view articles, press releases, case studies or white papers and think about is as a form of ‘content’ – a buzzword for many years now – and to recognise that each piece of content can be adapted for a variety of purposes. For example, ask yourself if your press release can be converted into an infographic, blog post or even a video guide or motion graphic.
May 17, 2016 - This article was written by Jenny Woolley