Demand for PR is at an all-time high – but siled thinking persists in the industry.
By failing to align marketing strategies such as SEO and social media, PR campaigns are seriously missing out on better results, says David White, director of content marketing at connective3.
Over the past two years, demand for PR and digital PR services has exploded, with recent statistics from the Content Marketing Institute indicating that 46% of businesses want to increase their content creation spend in 2022.
As someone who has successfully built a global PR team over the past couple of years, I can say with certainty that the demand for PR services – especially digital PR and link building for SEO – is at an all-time high.
This could be the case for many reasons, but I would venture to assume that the pandemic (and subsequent increase in online business investment) is driving this trend.
The challenge companies face today isn’t whether or not to manage public relations — it’s how to make the public relations they manage work harder and produce more results.
As an industry, we often treat PR and digital PR as a separate entity, having it work in a silo away from other disciplines such as paid media, social media, content, and SEO.
This lack of collaboration with other marketing disciplines causes most PR campaigns to miss opportunities.
In a world that is now more connected than ever, we as marketers need to ensure that the content we produce for PR can work harder and deliver more results on more platforms.
But the question is how? How do we get our PR content to work across more channels? How do we get our PR content to reach a wider audience? And finally, how do we ensure that our PR content produces better results?
There are common missed opportunities I can see when analyzing PR campaigns on the web – with collaboration, they can easily be tweaked to deliver results.
A recent experiment at connective3 found that starting the customer journey with PR content rather than sales messaging dramatically increased the performance of subsequent sales ads.
By creating an audience pool in Google Analytics on the PR campaign page, it is possible to retarget anyone who has interacted with PR content with native ads.
In our experience, this reduced the cost per acquisition by 33%, representing a huge opportunity for marketers looking to turn PR content into leads and sales, all through collaboration.
The data that can be captured from social media via social listening can not only make the difference between a campaign’s success and failure, but can also ensure that it works across editorial, on-site and online media. social media to put you in front of the right people and the right time!
Social Listening lets you enter a brand, topic, or social identifier to see how people interact with that term or profile on social media. It opens up a wealth of data such as similar topics an audience engages with, influencers they follow, where they “hang out” online, and their likes and dislikes.
This data can be used to create a relevant PR campaign that places a brand directly in the feeds of the people it targets. This data also allows you to create social assets for relevant social channels to improve your social media metrics while providing off-site PR.
Digital PR is the acquisition of backlinks obtained from external sites pointing to your own domain. It’s one of the biggest off-site ranking factors that search engines use to determine where to rank a brand for their search keywords.
When performing PR, always try to include a linking strategy. Create an onsite campaign page that journalists can connect to. Make sure the press release you write covers campaign information while helping readers learn more through your onsite copy.
Many PR campaigns that have huge potential miss out by simply not having a linking strategy. Those who include it in their campaign planning can support their website’s visibility, and therefore the traffic it generates.
On the other hand, those who have already considered a linking strategy need to ensure that the resulting link equity benefits their main product or service pages. SEO landscape checks show which areas of a site may need more attention from a link building perspective – and tools like Sistrix, Ahrefs and search metrics are a great place to start.
The on-site content strategy implemented by many brands can also be used as a digital PR asset.
This is a proactive PR tactic that can ensure content produced for a blog can work harder and drive backlinks, traffic, and SEO performance.
I’ve seen hundreds of brands create content that I know could easily be picked up by the media if it was just turned into a press release.
Make sure you have a PR professional in the room when analyzing your on-site performance. A brand that does this will be able to take existing assets and make them work even harder to deliver results.
When this tactic is complemented with other PR activities, it not only means brands get more media coverage, but they also generate more relevant links to their domain.
These examples are just that. In fact, there are hundreds of ways PR and digital PR campaigns can work together with other marketing disciplines to drive better performance.
As marketers we now need to make sure the content we produce for PR works harder than ever, those who don’t will be left behind as the competition and agencies that support these brands become more smart in the way they work.
By connecting marketing disciplines, brands will see real growth across multiple platforms and numbers that will directly impact their bottom line.