How to Create a Successful Digital PR Campaign
26th April 2022
Digital PR isn’t just another marketing buzzword, it is a highly effective tactic for promoting your brand online. A successful digital PR strategy can position your business in front of potential customers online, improve brand visibility and help you to reach your business marketing goals.
But without the right execution, you could run the risk of your digital PR campaign going off with a whimper rather than a bang, or even risk reputational damage and negative PR for your business.
Digital PR in marketing circles has often been thought of as the preservation of B2C businesses, but it can be a beneficial business marketing tool for businesses in all industries. No matter what industry you are in, there is a digital PR campaign that’s right for you.
Our digital marketing agency has worked with a multitude of businesses on their digital PR strategy, creating campaigns with tangible impact. Keep reading for our step-by-step guide for creating a winning digital PR campaign.
What is digital PR?
Although digital PR has been around for a few years, the buzz around it as a business marketing strategy has continued to grow since Google’s John Mueller labeled digital PR as ‘more important than technical SEO’.
Digital PR takes many aspects of a traditional public relations strategy, such as pitching stories to journalists to gain coverage for a brand but also goes further, combining digital marketing elements such as SEO, link building and influencer marketing to gain the most traction online. Although you may not use all these elements in a single digital PR campaign, these techniques can be used together to increase your brand’s online presence.
Whilst the impressions of a traditional public relations campaign can be difficult to measure, digital PR can have more tangible benefits than just building brand awareness, such as boosting your website’s search ranking and helping more people to find your business online.
For a more in-depth look at the world of digital PR, take a look at our blog ‘What is Digital PR?’
8 steps to creating a successful digital PR campaign
1. Set clear goals for your digital PR campaign
Before embarking on your digital PR campaign, it’s important to define your KPIs and decide what a successful campaign looks like.
One of the benefits of digital PR versus traditional PR for business is that it can be easier to measure the success of your digital PR campaign. Some examples of goals for your digital PR campaign could be:
- Number of links generated back to your site
- A certain amount of online coverage
- Increased traffic to your site.
2. Understand your audience
With any business marketing activity, you must keep your audience front and centre of your mind. When planning your digital PR campaign, think about what types of media your target audience uses; are there specific social media channels or publications that your target audience may favour over others?
For example, if you are aiming to target a more niche, B2B audience, you might be better off targeting your PR strategy towards websites and publications for people in your industry.
3. Do your research
Start collecting examples of successful digital PR campaigns that you have seen online and ask your team to do the same. A bank of successful digital PR examples will give you a better idea of what does and doesn’t work in a digital PR campaign, as well as provide the necessary inspiration to spark your next campaign.
4. Create a content calendar
A content calendar is essentially a list of all the important dates coming up next year, such as Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, public holidays or global events such as the World Cup or the Olympics. By keeping these dates in mind, you can plan your content creation around them, either creating content aligned to these moments or making sure that you aren’t launching a campaign that might appear insensitive or inappropriate on a certain day.
A content calendar can also help to avoid launching your digital PR campaign on a news day when it is less likely to get traction, such as around a general election. Of course, you can’t always plan the next big event, and it’s important to keep an eye on the news around the time you are planning to launch your campaign, to ensure that your content doesn’t hit the wrong note.
5. Create your concept
Once you’ve got a clear idea of your audience and a good time to launch, now is the time to craft the concept at the heart of your digital PR campaign. The best digital PR campaigns are backed up by strong content marketing and add value to their audiences by creating a campaign that is interesting, useful or even just entertaining.
For any campaign, you will need to ensure that your business has authority on the topic you are speaking about. This doesn’t mean you can’t comment on other sectors or trending topics, you just have to ensure that you’re doing it in a way that is relevant to your business.
6. Use data
If you’ve looked at many digital PR campaigns, you may have noticed that a statistic or a story using data is often at the heart of them. This is because journalists often require a ‘hook’ to deem a press release worthy of featuring on their site. You can gather your data from a range of sources, such as collecting surveys or using your own data from customers, or gather existing data and interpret it in an interesting way.
Some examples of great ‘data driven’ digital PR campaigns include:
Study Inn, a student housing provider, created a digital PR campaign about the ‘most fun’ cities in the UK to be a student.
- WeThrift’s index of the most size-inclusive fashion retailers.
- OKCupid uses data collected from users to predict dating trends and create interesting content.
7. Build an outreach list
Once you’ve decided on your concept and created a press release, it’s time to pitch your story to journalists and websites. Creating a ‘hit list’ of websites that you would like your story to be featured in will help you to structure your outreach strategy and make sure you are targeting the right outlets.
Before you pitch to online websites, make sure that you’ve looked at what stories they have recently featured and ensure that yours will be a good fit. You might want to approach online websites that have featured digital PR campaigns from businesses similar to yours, or cover topics that relate to your story.
8. Learn the art of newsjacking
One of the more challenging aspects of digital PR is that the news cycle is constantly adapting and changing. This is especially the case in our hyper-connected world where new news stories break on Twitter and viral trends set the internet on fire at a moment’s notice. Make sure to monitor keywords related to your industry to ensure that you are aware of any trending topics you may be able to comment on.
When it comes to PR for business, staying reactive is essential to ensure that you don’t miss an opportunity for your brand to gain publicity. Some examples of reactive digital PR include responding to a journalist’s request on Twitter or by ‘newsjacking’, where your brand jumps on trending topics by commenting on a story and creating relevant content.
To learn more about the art of newsjacking, take a look at this article written on the topic by our CEO and founder, Jemima Myers.
Why Work With A Digital Marketing Agency
When it comes to PR for business, a carefully crafted digital PR strategy can help raise your brand’s profile online, drive traffic to your website and boost your broader business marketing efforts. As well as improving SEO and increasing links, the best digital PR strategies can also help you to better communicate with customers, build your reputation as an authority in your industry and show a different side to your brand.
By working with a digital marketing agency, you can trust our team of experts to help you navigate potential pitfalls and reap the benefits of an elevated online presence.
Are you ready to launch your next digital PR campaign and get the internet talking about your business? We are a digital marketing agency with a record of helping our clients achieve transformative results online. Get in touch with our team of digital marketing experts today by emailing us at email@example.com or visit our Contact Us page to fill out an enquiry form.