What is Digital PR? (and How It Can Improve Your Ranking)
Articles,  Blog

What is Digital PR? (and How It Can Improve Your Ranking)


– Now the thing I’m gonna say here, I’m gonna be really honest with you, this stuff takes time
and it does take work. If you’re a busy marketing manager, struggling to get through
your to do list as it is, and you’re thinkin’, great
let’s do some digital PR, I can probably fit that in. If you’re gonna do half an
hour of digital PR per week that’s not gonna touch the sides. This is something where
you need to dedicate time and energy to it
on a consistent basis. (video whirs) Thinkin’ about doin’ some digital PR, but not really where to start? Wanna get seen everywhere, and talked about everywhere that you go? And I don’t mean like
those horrendous photos from the Christmas party
where you were, ugh. Well stay tuned, because my name’s Tim, I’m from Exposure Ninja, and
we’ve run digital PR campaigns for dozens of businesses,
even ones that were way more boring than yours. And in this video, I’m
gonna be showing you exactly how to do it,
explaining what digital PR is, and how your business can take advantage. (dramatic music) The main difference between traditional PR and digital PR is that traditional PR is usually targeting traditional media, so things like newspapers and magazines. Whereas digital PR is targeting the internet, everyone’s favourite. The bad thing about
newspapers and magazines, aside from the fact that
fewer and few people are spending time reading them, is that they’re made of paper, and that gets stuck in
a dolphin’s blow hole. Digital PR on the other hand, as well as being
generally cheaper, faster, and more accessible for
SMEs, doesn’t rely on paper, which means it’s super
sustainable, and sea life loves it. Because there are loads of different digital publications out there, there’s so many opportunities for SMEs to get coverage using digital PR. So let’s look at some
of the main categories of digital PR that we’ll be
covering in today’s video. There are really three
main types of people that you’re gonna be
targeting in your digital PR. The first type is journalists,
so this is gonna be people that write in newspaper
sites and magazine sites. The second type is bloggers,
so people that run a blog. And the third type is influencers,
who are usually gonna be promoting you on their social channels. Of course, there’s a bit of crossover between each of these groups,
because some journalists are gonna write for other publications and might have their own blogs. Bloggers are gonna have social channels. And these influencers
are also gonna have blogs some of the time as well. But really, those are the
three main categories of person that you’re gonna be going after. Now the exact targeting
that’s best for your business is gonna depend on what you’re selling. So really you wanna look
at which type of person holds the most influence
over your audience. And we’ll talk a little
bit about going after target publications, when
we talk about the process that you’re gonna use to get
digital PR in just a minute. Okay, so let’s look at some examples. And as we go through these examples, I wanna talk about some
of the different benefits that you can get from running
a digital PR campaign. Now the first benefit is introduction. So if your target audience
isn’t aware of you, and you wanna raise that awareness and get some visibility in front of them, digital PR is a great
way of being introduced in the first place. One example of a client
where we’ve used digital PR as a way of getting
introduced to a market, is this business here. So we’re working with them and they’re a children’s toy company. We’ve helped completely
explode their sales in the first few months. And we’ve used digital PR to do this, by targeting bloggers that
have a parent audience. So targeting mommy and
daddy bloggers basically. And what we’ve done is we’ve
sent product out to them. And when you have a look
at some of the blog posts and the social posts that have gone out, you’ll see people commenting things like, wow this looks like a great
product, what a great idea, I’d love to get this
for my son or daughter. And this is people that
weren’t previously aware of the product, who now know it. The best part is though,
rather than just running an ad to those people, we’re actually
appearing in front of them, because we’ve been presented by someone that they already trust. So by going through an
influencer, or through a blogger, who already has credibility
and weight with that audience, it’s a great way of short-cutting straight into their consciousness, because their guard isn’t up
like if we were running an ad. The next benefit is social proof. If your target audience
sees you everywhere, and they become familiar
with seeing you everywhere, there’s a certain weight and credibility that that gives you. Now one of our clients is an expert in HR, and runs a software company
called Clear Review, which is in HR. And we’ve been running
digital PR for them for years. Stuart Hearn is the founder and CEO. And we get lots of coverage for Stuart in all sorts of publications, because this tells the
audience that hey this guy is a real authority. He’s got lots of
credibility in this space. And it’s been really effective for them, both at helping to drive visibility and awareness of Stuart and the business, but also for helping their ranking. The third benefit, which I
can’t resist talkin’ about being a complete SEO geek,
is that getting coverage in these sorts of publications
can really, really help your website’s ranking. One company that we’ve worked with on an extensive digital PR campaign worked in the PPI space. And we got them coverage, across loads of different
news publications by running studies and surveys, which the news publications
found really interesting. And that’s a great way of
picking up some visibility by conducting your own study. You’ll notice if you read
a newspaper or magazine, so much of the news actually
comes from businesses that have paid a company
like Exposure Ninja, to conduct a study or a survey,
and then that’s the thing that the newspaper covers. So it can be a great way of
getting something newsworthy to actually get some
attention for the business at the same time. So one survey that we ran for this client, it had over 250 different
websites covering the story, which really helped their ranking. We took their lead volume
from around 30 per day to as high as 400 plus leads per day, through improving their ranking using this sort of digital PR. So it can be a fantastic
way of getting mentions and links for your business. Okay Tim, great, we understand digital PR. How does it work? How do we actually start doing this? Well there are five different phases. Phase number one is a little bit boring, it’s the planning phase. No, planning’s not boring, apparently. No, apparently planning’s really fun. The planning phase. The first step is you need to work out which publications you need to be seen in. So this is going back
to your target audience. (bell dings) Six questions to ask, to
understand your target audience. And finding out which websites,
which social channels, which newspaper sites, which blogs, do your audience spend their time on. ‘Cause those are really the
ones that we wanna get seen in. We wanna get seen where your audience is already spending your time. Another great thing that you can do is Google your competitors’ names, and see which sites are mentioning them. Also Google your competitors’ CEOs name and see where they’re
being featured as well, because that can give us
a bit of an indication about any sites that
might be up for running an interview or a feature piece on someone from your business. The next step is to
come up with some ideas for an angle that you can
use in your PR outreach. It’s not enough to just
message people saying, hey we’ve launched a new
website, because nobody cares. It’s not enough to say,
hey we’ve just launched a new product, because nobody cares. You need to give them an angle which is actually gonna be interesting to their target audience. If I’m running a magazine, I’m not gonna be spending
my money printing articles about your new product unless
it is genuinely interesting. So come up with something newsworthy. Imagine that you’re an
editor or a journalist for that publication, or
that you’re a blogger, what would you want to write about? Because if you can pitch them on that, you’re much more likely to get in without them having to do loads of work to kind of figure out an angle for you. Step number next is outreach. Outreach is really important. You’re gonna find the best
person at this publication, or the contact details of the influencer, and you’re gonna reach out
to them with your idea. What’s important here is
to get the right balance between being personal, so
sending them a personal message, and being concise, because these
people are all really busy. They don’t need to read your life story, they don’t care about your
life to be perfectly honest, and they don’t need to read about how you’ve been following
them for 25 years and you think that they walk on water. It doesn’t come across genuine. So instead, include some information about why you like their website, or why you think it would be
a really good fit for you, and then cut straight to
the chase, and tell them, we’ve got this great idea,
we’d love to collaborate and get some content on your site. The deal is that these people are busy and they’re used to getting
these sorts of emails. So you don’t need to beat around the bush, or feel embarrassed that you’re pitching. But at the same time,
you don’t wanna just send some generic template thing
that sounds like its come from Pitch Box or something. It needs to be tailored in
order to actually resonate with that person and not get ignored. The next step is to follow up. You’re not gonna get a yes the first time. (bell dings) You’re almost never gonna
get a yes the first time. You’re gonna need to be
fairly persistent here. Now there’s a difference between persistent and annoying yes. But we need to keep in mind that the people receiving these
emails are extremely busy. They get a lot of this sort of thing. They might be approaching a deadline when you send your first email, so they’re just not really
in that frame of mind. So you need to gently
follow up to remind them and appear at the top of their inbox. I interviewed one our most
prolific digital PR ninjas, Sam, on the Exposure
Ninja podcast recently, link in the description, and asked her about how important the follow up was, and she said it’s everything. You really need to be
chasing these people, because they very rarely give
you a yes the first time. And by the way, this is where most amateur digital PRs fall down. They do bit, they lose interest. Something else comes
up and then they forget to do any follow up and the whole thing is a complete waste of time. The final step is to monitor and track. When we’re doing a digital
PR campaign for a client, we keep track of everyone
that we’ve done outreach to, we keep track of everyone
that we’ve spoken to, and we keep track of everyone that’s published the content at the end. The reason that we do this, firstly we wanna look at the commonalities between who’s posting stuff,
’cause that can help shape our outreach in future. And the second thing is, we
wanna keep the relationships with those people, because we might wanna go back to them in future. Obviously, we have an
advantage being an agency in that we’ve done this
across hundreds of clients over years, so we’ve got
a good base of contacts, and we’ve got a good base of publications that we’ve worked with. But even if you’re just starting out, it’s a really good idea to start
building your contact list, so that you can talk to them in future. Just because someone says no this time, doesn’t mean that next
time you go out to them with a different article
idea, they might say yes. How do you measure digital PR success? Well there’s a few
different ways of doing it, and your measurement will
really depend on your goals. But assuming that your
goals are more sales, that’s really one of the
best things to measure. How many sales are you getting? Now sales can come from lotsa
different places don’t forget. So we’ll give people a tracking link, when we get some article
published on their website, and that means that we can
track all of the traffic that comes through that link,
inside Google analytics. And we have a little
UTM code, which shows us that it’s come from that outreach. You can of course measure
the referral traffic that’s coming through Google analytics to see how many people are
clicking through the links in the articles. You can of course measure
your inbound links through Link Explorer. And then the final thing
to track would be ranking. Now a lot of PR companies
will use things like impressions, or potential
reach, or things like this. Now to me these are
essentially bs metrics, because if you get an
article published on Yahoo, they’ll tell you that
that article has like a potential reach of 200 million,
because 200 million people use Yahoo every year, or
whatever the number is now. Actually that’s kind of a vanity metric. The reality is that number of
people didn’t see the article and there’s not really any way
of tracking how many people saw the article. So we like to measure things
that are actually relating to your website. So how much traffic are you getting? How many sales are you getting? And what’s happening with
your ranking over time? Those are things that you
can really take to the bank. Okay and finally, how
does digital PR fit in with your overall marketing strategy. Now the thing I’m gonna say here, I’m gonna be really honest with you, this stuff takes time,
and it does take work. If you’re a busy marketing manager, struggling to get through
your to do list as it is, and you’re thinkin’, great
let’s do some digital PR, I can probably fit that it. It’s really important to
be honest with yourself. If you’re gonna do half an
hour of digital PR per week, that’s not gonna touch the sides. This is something where
you need to dedicate time and energy to on a consistent basis. To give you a frame of reference, the very smallest campaigns
that we’ll run digital PR on, are like 40 hours a month. We have larger clients on
160 hours plus, per month. So this is something where there’s a lot of time and energy going in from experienced digital PR professionals, into getting this sort of visibility. Now I don’t wanna put
you off from doing this on a DIY basis, you absolutely
can, I’ve done it myself. You really can get
results for your business. But it’s important to be
completely honest with yourself about how much time you’re
gonna need to invest to do this, and also to be realistic. Once you get your first
couple of articles, your business isn’t gonna explode like the volcano in Pompeii. It’s gonna be something where you’re gonna build up momentum, particularly for things
like improving ranking. You’re gonna consistently
see your ranking improve, as you get more visibility. So I hope you found this useful, and hope that that’s whetted your appetite for a bit of good old digital PR, or good new digital PR. If you need help with your digital PR, then don’t forget
Exposure Ninja has a large and experienced team of digital PR experts ready to help you. The first thing that you need to do is go to exposureninja.com and request a free website
and marketing review. Just tell us a bit about your goals and we’ll put together a
plan with some suggestions on how to achieve them, and they may well include digital PR. So go and do that, it’s
a fantastic resource and pretty much is the best
thing in the entire world and you should definitely do it right now. I hope you enjoyed this video though. Don’t forget to give it a like. Smash that subscribe button until you’re down to your elbows, and they’re just bloody stumps. And I’ll look forward to
seeing you in the next video.

2 Comments

  • Slacker Stuff

    It's tough because one would think that just something inherently good will spread naturally but on the other hand, it feels like there's a "secret" one needs to implement in order to get the best exposure. Thanks for these tips!

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