These days, every business has an online presence. Why? Online is where your customers are hanging out, and you want them to find you even if they don’t yet know who you are or what you do.
Whether through search, social media, a podcast, or mentions on other companies’ websites, you need to get your name in front of potential new customers. You need to build brand awareness. While brand awareness might sound like something only big companies do, even small businesses should take steps to achieve it.
Digital PR is a highly effective tool for getting mentions of your company name, products, or services out on the internet to create new leads and convert new clients. Digital PR outreach is how you ‘reach out’ to other site owners, industry experts, and influencers to get a mention.
If the concept of digital PR outreach is unfamiliar to you, here’s an overview of what it looks like and how to do it.
The Primary Goal Of Digital PR Outreach
The internet is built on links that take readers from one site to another with a simple click of a mouse or tap on a screen. Clicks make the world wide web go round.
The goal of digital PR outreach is to build a network of links from authoritative sites, other sites in your industry, and social media platforms that direct those clicks and taps back to you and your site.
These links serve two primary purposes. One is to lead people to your site. The other is to increase SEO rankings.
Depending on your business, SEO can be vital to attracting new customers. A search engine is typically a potential person’s first internet stop when they need a solution to a problem or information. You want your link to be the one they click to fix their problem or get that information.
Why Digital PR Outreach Is Important
If you think you can simply build a website and customers will come, think again. There is no field of dreams on the internet.
There are now an estimated more than 600 million blogs. While that number is staggering, it does not mean your blog or business is competing with more than 600 million others. However, it does mean that you need to be proactive about finding ways to reach potential customers rather than wait for them to seek you out.
An effective digital PR outreach strategy can help you accomplish this. Here’s a quick look at some of the components of a digital PR outreach strategy.
What Digital PR Outreach Looks Like
Digital PR outreach will look a little different from one company to the next, but a typical small business digital PR outreach strategy may include:
- Finding guest posting opportunities
- Providing quotes for articles both online and in print through HARO
- Reaching out to influencers in your industry or niche to obtain a mention
- Getting interviewed on a podcast
- Taking part in an industry round-up post
- Posting answers to questions on Q&A sites such as Quora or Reddit
- Establishing a solid social media presence and doing social media marketing on the platforms your customers regularly use
Much of digital PR outreach is simple networking and relationship building. But your focus should not be solely on connecting with potential and current customers. You also need to establish relationships with people and sites who can introduce new customers to you.
If this all sounds time-consuming, it can be, and an agency will do it all for you.
However, hiring an agency can be a gamble if you’re a small business. Not everyone claiming to be a digital PR expert has the connections or know-how to get links on authoritative sites. Not all links are created equal, and not all links are good links.
A good agency will more than pay for itself, but you might not yet have the revenue coming in to hire an established, reputable one. Initially, you can do digital PR outreach yourself. The following is an overview of how to put together a strategy.
How To Do Digital PR Outreach
Digital PR outreach can take a lot of time without any tangible results if you don’t have a strategy based on your business goals. Setting goals and tracking results can help make sure your outreach efforts are time well spent.
Set Specific Outreach Goals
Your high-level digital PR goals are to increase website traffic from various sources, improve SEO rankings, build relationships with others in your industry, and generate more leads. But you need to break these big goals down into bite-size pieces and create a PR plan of attack.
Suppose you sell courses that teach dog owners how to train their dogs. You likely have expertise in dog training.
One of your digital PR outreach goals might be to write guest posts for at least five well-ranking sites. To accomplish this, you would need to:
- Compile a list of well-ranked pet sites or sites with pet sections that accept guest posts
- Pitch these sites with a unique and attractive article idea
- Write the guest posts
- Promote the guest posts on your social media channels
A lot of people ask dog training questions online. Part of your digital PR outreach would be to monitor Q&A sites for these questions. Make a list of these sites, join them, and set alerts, so you know when to jump on with a helpful answer to a dog owner’s question. You will establish yourself as an authority and provide a link back to your site.
To determine your outreach goals, list every place your potential customers are hanging out online. Then brainstorm ways to get your business name or expertise in front of them on those sites.
Measure Your Digital PR Efforts
Because digital PR outreach is time-consuming, you want to make sure your efforts count. You won’t know how far you’ve come if you don’t know where you started.
Track metrics such as traffic, conversions, and domain ranking. Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console can provide much of this data for you, but you’ll also want to do some site-specific tracking on whichever social media platforms you are on.
Tracking your data and results will let you know what is working and what isn’t, so you can either increase efforts or switch tactics and try something else.
Make Your Digital PR Outreach Efforts Count
Digital PR outreach takes work, but it can be very effective and is essential for businesses of any size in this digital age.
When it comes to your own digital PR outreach, think like a big company, even if you’re a small business. The goals and strategies are much the same. Keep finding new ways to build links to and get mentions of your business, and you’ll see a steady source of traffic and sales.