Digital Public Relations skills are highly sought after in this web-savvy generation. The estimated median salary for a full-time, Digital PR Specialist is around $70K. Yet, not everyone is meant to go out and get a 4-year degree in Digital PR to simply build their online business.
Although a degree might not be necessary, in a world where online presence and SEO have the most significant importance in brand building, learning the basic Digital PR skills is genuinely imperative when it comes to maintaining and growing any online brand.
So, before getting to the basic skills needed to earn online PR links and coverage, let’s look at Digital PR as a whole.
What is Digital PR?
Digital Public Relations is a skillful strategy used to build up the authority of a website and establish a presence for a brand. To fully understand what digital PR is, it’s best to break it down. First, Public Relations, by definition, is the professional maintenance of creating and preserving a favorable image.
As for Digital PR, it’s the art of using quality backlinks from an already high Domain Authority website to help build up another website. Also, Digital PR relies on intelligent, impactful content creation to elevate a business or brand.
Digital PR is very similar to traditional PR, to the point that it is all used to generate an audience and sustain a favorable reputation. The major difference in Digital PR is the ability to connect directly with audience members through different outlets.
Using these skills in email, social media, and comments threads on websites can give a customer easy access to brands and vice versa.
Digital PR is a rich resource that can tap into various outlets all while being tweaked to benefit the brand.
The Importance of Understanding Digital PR
Digital PR is what is used to inform and educate consumers, so they can understand more about brands, products, and services. Over 81% of consumers perform internet searches before making a buying decision.
A successful Digital PR campaign is what can help in determining what that consumer might see when completing their online search. With millions of websites available at consumers’ fingertips, making sure to utilize all the proper skills of Digital PR can put one company or brand ahead of another.
Having the Right Tools of the Trade
Learning the right tools to use for Digital PR will help make everything eventually fall into place like a well-crafted puzzle. Having a standard knowledge of Google Analytics is imperative for developing an audience. Signing up for Google alerts will remove a lot of the guesswork and show when the brand is being mentioned.
Speaking of being cited, using a resource like Social Mention or another search platform will highlight whether a brand or product is being discussed throughout social media.
Analytics can take a little bit to fully understand. Plus, it becomes a game of trial and error when it is time to incorporate changes to gain more traffic, so starting with a free online course at Google Analytics Academy might be deemed worthwhile.
The Basic Skills Needed
There are plenty of elements and services involved when it comes to creating a stellar Digital PR campaign that will earn brand links and coverage. The learning, as well as the absorption, the process can seem overwhelming, especially at first.
There are plenty of digital skill levels available out there to study, and remember, that’s on top of an ever-changing field. As technology changes, so do the methods. So, it’s important to know the basics at the very least.
Digital PR and marketing go hand in hand. It’s difficult to determine the difference between the two roles since they are so similar. Imagine a large arena. Each role needs to be aware of the entire spectrum.
However, Marketing will focus on the one side where it is all about gaining and targeting audiences. On the Digital PR side, it is all focused on brand awareness, public opinion, and crisis management.
Both roles will overlap, constantly, and one role will not succeed without the other. However, don’t get too bogged down with the numbers game when focusing on Digital PR.
Knowing the data on a site will allow a business or brand to learn all they can about their audiences and how to proceed in executing brand awareness. Consumers know that they have a vast number of options out there on the Net.
A company must be accurate and articulate its products, as well as address the specific audiences they want to attract. Data will help in this process, as Digital PR skills and marketing skills will allow businesses to create potential audiences and view test results.
Search Engine Optimization
There are a bunch of different search engines available for browsing the Web. Understanding SEO and how it works is the top priority when it comes to being successful at Digital PR.
SEO is what will make one website more visible on a search engine than another. Writing compelling content is vital for capturing the right audiences, but writing accurate content, packed with high-quality keywords for crawling search engine bots to find is just as necessary. It takes writing content that is aimed at humans and bots to correctly rank better and attract audiences.
Using keywords is how audiences narrow down what they are looking for on the Web. The goal is to know how to utilize the right keywords to make a business or product stand out from the others.
Larger companies can hold the market on simple one-word keywords, so using longtail keywords can be more beneficial to moderate or miro sites. Longtail keywords include several words strung together in a short phrase or as a descriptive item. Also, researching pays off. It may seem time-consuming, but researching keywords before implementing them can improve SEO.
Original content is the cornerstone of Digital PR. Creating compelling content in articles, photos, infographics, or videos regularly is a necessary skill. Search engines almost penalize websites for not being consistent.
Content that interests audiences will be the thing that keeps them coming back, but being consistent with content will help SEO ranking, which in turn, helps audiences find the site in the first place.
Original content should also contain popular keywords that will benefit an SEO. If creating content isn’t a strong suit, then don’t hesitate to hire a professional writer or designer to create the content.
Content marketing and writing is a skill, so be willing to pay for quality. Content is what can boost sales, gain audiences and reduce bounce rates on a site.
Social Media and Influence
Social media is a well-known household term like BandAid. Statistics show that some form of social media is being utilized by about 80% of the American population. Digital PR skills for gaining social media traction include gaining an audience, interaction with a potential client base, and getting a message across the platforms.
Making connections with already established social media influencers and bloggers, and setting up collaborations, can catapult a site from ‘unknown’ to an established brand overnight.
Being reliable is also essential when it comes to social media marketing growth. Gaining an audience takes time and patience, and that audience can be lost if the content schedule becomes erratic. Consistency counts.
Digital Media Relations
Digital Media Relations is kind of similar to building social media relationships with influencers, except DMR is all about building that ever-important relationship with a media outlet resource.
Building a trusted relationship with a relatable, reliable source can earn brand links and coverage to other audiences. This relationship is super beneficial for the growth of SEO and social media. Building digital media relationships can determine longstanding Digital PR success.
Measure Digital PR Progress
Several tools can help check the measurement metrics of Digital PR and its progress. If there is a separate marketing team, they can also give insights into this particular information.
Are Subscribers Opening Emails?
Using an email tracking tool will remove the guessing game of if audiences are opening the emails sent to them or if they remain closed. There are tracking tools available to fit most budgets. The options within the tracker tool can vary, so it’s best to research and find what fits personal preference.
Mailtrack, Boomerang, and MailChimp are among the most popular email trackers.
Is the Digital PR Getting Published Elsewhere?
Getting backlinks placed elsewhere across the Web helps audiences grow exponentially potentially. Tracking backlinks and brand exposure are easy when using SEO tools like AHREFs or Buzzsumo. These tools can highlight progress or show you where to place future PR attention.
Once a brand knows who is talking about them, it can research the DA to make sure the Digital PR efforts and coverage reach the right people.
Monitor All Spikes
Be vigilant in monitoring web traffic. Traffic will reflect good Digital PR. Inbound links draw audiences to the brand, and some content topics will have a better draw than others. Knowing what content interests viewers and what topics also work for the brand can equal a win-win.
To sum it up, creative content, SEO, and social media are skills everyone should learn when taking on an active Digital PR role. This skill set will need adjustments as trends change and technology grows, but using these basics will help earn links and gain coverage while developing a brand.