Many brands tend to spend time on a public relations campaign when they’re launching a new product or service or reaching a business goal, but what happens in between? Public relations is essential and should be an integral part of your ongoing digital marketing strategy to continue building industry presence and further your audience reach. When properly executed, public relations can help a company secure earned media placements or editorials (media placements you did not pay for) that assist in constructing brand identity and lead to an increase in awareness and sales.
Public relations differs from other direct marketing tactics such as social media or online advertising in that rather than being promotional, it is focused on generating positive media coverage to bolster the brand identity, based on the reinforcement of the brand message.
So, how can public relations support your digital marketing efforts?
Amplify Your Message
Public relations is your source for amplifying your brand message with press coverage. Securing a media placement by a media outlet or an influencer solidifies your message as one a potential customer can trust because it has been endorsed by a credible third party in their eyes.
When pitching your press release or announcement, it is not only necessary to ensure that the journalist you’re pitching to covers that beat or topic, but that you provide assets that best represent your brand. As newsrooms continue to shrink, providing professional images, video, statistics, and relevant quotes from a trusted industry leader will help the journalist draft a story, and will put your brand or company at the forefront of the competition next time they are working on a similar story.
Increase Brand Recognition
Public relations is not just a tactic for promoting your business. It is about creating strong awareness of your brand, product, or service as effectively as possible. Why should a consumer choose you over your competitor? Well, the more socially relevant your brand is, the greater chance it will be chosen by the consumer. Additionally, if a consumer encounters strong, cohesive branding across all customer touchpoints, including recent media coverage, it will improve the memorability of your brand and help you stand out.
Nothing will elevate your company’s profile quicker than being quoted, mentioned, or featured in a major publication while speaking on a timely, relevant, trending topic. Sharing expert advice on a respected publication secures your brand heightened visibility among consumers, as they adopt the mindset that your brand is pretty much a big deal.
Boost Your Website Traffic
Many businesses are not aware that combining their public relations efforts will give them strong backlinks to rank higher on Google, drive referral traffic to their site, and establish a positive reputation with their target audience. Ideally, you’d want your business positioned at the top of the results page. So, how can you leverage your public relations efforts to boost your ranking?
One of the ways PR does this is by securing backlinks to your website. Backlinks from high-ranking sites build domain authority. You can do this by becoming a contributor to a major publication, writing articles for an outlet that reaches your consumers, being a source to a journalist writing about your specific topic or niche, producing educational or thought leader content for others to embed on their sites such as infographics, and more.
When your brand is mentioned in a trustworthy publication, your profile is immediately raised to prospective customers. Just ask Nathan Tankus. Unlike sponsoring a post on social media or taking out an ad on the paper, securing a media placement on a publication earns the trust of your audience. Consumers are more likely to trust an article mentioning or featuring your brand as opposed to an ad about and paid by you.
Is your start-up looking for investors or non-profit for donors? Landing a feature in a relevant, prominent publication can be attractive to whatever audience you’re trying to reach. Organic media coverage demonstrates your brand’s capability to invest in its image and shows an understanding and a commitment to long-term growth.
Your ultimate goal should be to resonate with the readers of the specific publication through editorial coverage and positioning your product or service as a solution to their problem. This will result in an authentic and compelling story, which will pique reader interest in your brand, and equal more conversions.
Public relations can be a cost-effective, powerful weapon in your arsenal and play an important role in your brand’s digital marketing success. And while it may take weeks or even months to secure a media placement, just know that one feature can begin opening many doors and increase visibility for your brand. And if you just don’t have the time, let us help you land that coveted feature.