Typically a PR (public relations) agency is in charge of the public’s awareness and reception of a company or brand. Agencies would market your company with print ads in newspapers and magazines or shot ads on television. Nowadays, that type of advertising is obsolete.
If you’re wondering what a digital PR agency is, here you’ll find all the information you need to know about this new form of public relations.
What Does a Digital PR Agency Do?
Like a traditional PR agency, a digital PR agency works to promote a brand through advertising in the digital space. However, most people are wary of ads, so the digital PR person needs to work a little under the radar. They need to promote without advertising.
Here are a few ways to accomplish that:
- Publish articles promoting brand
- Promotion by influencer/blogger
- Be seen everywhere
What this all looks like in tandem is essentially a link-building strategy. The more sites that link to your company’s website, the more traffic your site gets and the more the google algorithm will promote your site. Separately these means of promotion can be pretty creative.
Publish Articles Promoting Brand
The first step a digital PR company will take is figuring out its target audience. They will track which news sites, social channels, blogs, etc., your target audience spends most of its time. They can accomplish this by googling your competitors and finding which sites mention them the most.
Once they’ve found the news sites your target audience spends the most time on, they have a few ways of getting your site linked to some articles. One way is publishing an article and sending it to a new site in the hopes of them covering it. Another is by doing some research and publishing the findings, creating a news story.
In both of these strategies, you create links that other sites will publish. The more reputable sites that link to your site, the higher google’s perception of your business is; this will also improve your ranking on Google.
Newsjacking is the inverse of the previous topic and, in some cases, can work hand in hand with article creation. Newsjacking is creating content piggybacking off of macro trends or micro trends in the news.
A macro-trend is something big that’s happening, like Coronavirus. So with that example, say you wrote an article about the ten most-watched shows during the lockdown, which got published by a media news site. They would publish the findings and link to your site as a source. This form of newsjacking is easier to keep up with as macro trends don’t change very quickly.
A micro-trend is just another way of saying something that’s gone viral. Something that may be popular for a day or a week but quickly gets forgotten. As I’m writing this, the big thing everyone is talking about is the Will Smith slap, and by the time you read this, you may have forgotten that that even happened. It’s a meme, making it fun but challenging to keep up with it.
Promotion by Influencer/Blogger
This one is self-explanatory: they find which influencer or blogger your target audience pays attention to the most, and they get them to promote your product. More often than not, this is a paid promotion, so this option will cost you more money than publishing articles.
This is an integral part of the marketing process since influencers can provide exposure to your product across several different platforms to their following on each social medium.
Be Seen Everywhere
Like I said earlier, digital PR is essentially a link-building strategy. You want your product to be everywhere. If your PR agency does its job, everyone in your target audience’s sphere is getting talked about your product or brand.
A large number of links and mentions across several different platforms and sites has raised awareness of your brand and your site’s ranking on Google, putting it at the top of people’s search results.
So now that you know what a digital PR company is, I’ll discuss how they get their work done. Like I said earlier, the first step a PR agency will take is to figure out who your target audience is, even if you think you know. Once they’ve found your audience, they will plan a strategy to best reach your audience on their preferred platforms.
Next, they will create content to send to sites and bloggers to be published. This is contingent upon how successful their pitch is and if they’ve created compelling enough content. Then they will need to reach out to the sites and bloggers to publish their content. Most people have no desire to publish content on brands they haven’t worked with before, so this part is a lot harder for unreputable agencies.
Most of the time, you won’t get a response or a straight-up no, so the next step is the follow-up. Just like most things in life, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Most people who work at news sites are busy and are usually working under deadlines, so a persistent reminder could help; this is also where bad agencies typically falter.
Finally, they need to monitor what’s working, who’s publishing the most, and where the most traffic is coming from. At this point, they may have written a large amount of content, but only a quarter of it is accepted. Well, they’ll need to find what sort of article the publishers want and will produce more like it. They will also cull certain mediums if they are getting the reception they want.
However you may measure success, your digital PR agency will monitor it. The easiest way to measure success is to keep track of site traffic and also how much money you are now bringing in.
The main benefit a PR agency can bring is that it can cast a wide net and create an ecosystem of links for your brand. This is incredibly difficult and time-consuming, so unless you’re well versed in digital PR, and have hours a week to spend on this, I would leave it to the professionals.