Joanna Earle, Head of Content & Digital PR at Reflect Digital, has defined digital PR as establishing digital trustworthiness and expertise while building a positive image of a brand’s audience online.
She argued that digital PR is different from traditional PR in the sense that it has the capability to reach a far greater audience, and can also help support other marketing efforts such as SEO or paid media and gain further brand awareness.
Earle made this known in an episode of Brunch and Learn style webinar on YouTube, tailored on how brands can do more in 2024 with proactive planning and relationship building to get noticed in the places that drive the biggest returns.
The webinar also explored the role of behavioural science in PR and how brands can go after more relevant publications with content that is likely to resonate by incorporating motivational principles and psychological nudges.
Earle, while breaking down what Digital PR entails, said: “Digital PR is a tactic used by marketers to increase a brand’s online presence. It essentially helps to drive brand awareness, drive traffic to a website, drive links which boost organic rankings and increase social following and engagements. Digital PR is used to promote content, stories, brands and products online as well as a way to stay ahead of the curve and stand out above competitors.”
She added that, with the right strategy, brands can gain quality coverage and links that actually get clicked on.
Speaking on what digital PR will look like in 2024, she said: “Digital PR doesn’t stay still, it’s always evolving. What was once popular like infographics which are still fine to use are now being replaced with or used alongside surveys. Tik-Tok trends and search trends are also becoming popular.”
Advising on best things to do in 2024 in terms of planning and implementation for brands and marketers, she said, “Plan and implement the right strategy to help keep track of your audience insight and plan around them. Create content that really resonates with those audiences and build quality relationships.”
She added that there is so much noise around strategy but the best approach to strategic planning means developing content that has a unique angle that journalists will be interested in.
“This means you are standing out and fighting other competitors that are trying to be seen. The content could be an expert’s comment, a survey, data or interactive content which publications and audiences are relevant to your brand.”
The PR specialist noted that the reason strategy is so vital is because it helps keep you on track and guide your KPIs, goals and gets results.
“Your digital PR objectives and goals involve having clear goals, increasing traffic on the website, social share and engagement, links and sales. It must also be data-driven to help you maintain and reach new audiences too.
“Gathering data from different sources such as website analytics, social media metrics, market research, customer feedback and maybe your existing PR campaigns that you’ve done before and then analyze all of it to identify trends, pattern, and insights by consumers to create content that resonate with the media publication you wanted to target in order to reach your target audience.”
She advised brands and practitioners to use tools like Majestic, Google News and BuzzStream to look at their competitors’ back-links to understand their online presence, the type of content they have, where they get links from, so they can replicate it or perhaps make it better and formulate a strategy around that.