Every business leader understands the necessity of public relations, also known as PR, and the importance of building a positive reputation for your brand.
However, in today’s digital marketplace, where, in 2019 $365.2 billion US dollars was spent online in America, and just under 4.57 billion people are active internet users, traditional PR just isn’t cutting it anymore.
Today, there’s a new kid on the PR block: digital PR. For some companies, digital PR and traditional PR are interchangeable, or you just don’t know what digital PR means.
If you’re new to all of this PR talk, then read on, and I’ll explain what digital PR is and why it’s so crucial for the success of your business.
What Is Digital PR?
Digital PR is the process of promoting your brand online and reaching your target audience. It encompasses a range of strategies, including content marketing, social media promotion and reputation management.
Basically, any mention of your brand online needs to be monitored, and you need to keep promoting your business and getting its name on a variety of digital platforms.
How Is It Different From Normal PR?
Traditional PR revolves around earning exposure from media such as radio, TV outlets, and newspapers. It involves trying to achieve coverage in these outlets and can involve practices such as sending press releases to showcase the latest developments in the business or the altruistic activities that it is engaged in.
Digital PR has the same aim; to build brand recognition and grow your business’s reputation. However, digital PR, as the name suggests, focuses on the full spectrum of digital platforms, and aims to get your business noticed across the internet.
As such, while sending press releases to journalists and working with online news platforms, which might be considered elements of traditional PR, are a part of digital PR, there’s more to it than that.
Digital PR also involves using tactics such as working with influencers, creating various forms of content, hosting digital stunts like challenges and giveaways, and more to get your brand noticed across a range of platforms.
The technique requires an in-depth understanding of SEO, and how you can get your brand and website noticed by search engines and readers on the internet.
In short, traditional PR is the overall public relations strategy for your business; digital PR is the section of that strategy that deals with boosting your online presence.
Both are essential for any business in 2020 and will be even more vital as the world progresses, and the focus continues to shift towards the online marketplace.
Why Your Business Should Be Embracing Digital PR
Digital PR doesn’t have to replace your traditional PR and marketing plan, but it does need to fit into your strategy.
The Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns it caused, combined with the increased prevalence and affordability of technology, have both driven even more individuals online than ever before.
The virus led to an increase in online sales, as well as boosting the digital marketing, online entertainment, digital education and online dating sectors. Think about it; when you were stuck in your house, did you just sit about staring at the walls?
The chances are that you spent most of the pandemic on the internet, whether it was wasting money on stuff you didn’t need, binge-watching Netflix or doing an online course.
Even as the world slowly reopens and starts to let people meet up again, these habits won’t disappear, and it’s likely that consumers will be spending more time on the internet going forward.
Additionally, the availability of computer technology and fast Wi-fi has helped more people to get online. It’s not just a desktop that will allow you to surf the web; today, you can buy a laptop, tablet, smartphone or even a smartwatch, and instantly connect to the internet.
More than 3 billion people worldwide use smartphones, and that number is constantly growing. As a result, if you’re not reaching people online, then you’re missing out on an enormous, potentially lucrative audience.
If you’re not using digital PR to promote your company online, then you’ll find it hard to make the most out of your firm’s website and digital presence.
Starting a digital PR campaign and adding it to your PR strategy can seem daunting, which is why many companies choose to outsource the task.
If you want to begin small and get things started in-house, then your first port of call should be your business’s blog. If you’ve not got one, then create one and populate it with quality, insightful content.
As you add more content, you can use your network to grow your blog and get it noticed. Then, you can start to engage with more users and consider small campaigns such as giveaways, competitions or collaborations with other influential blogs in your niche.
The more digital PR techniques you explore, the more you’ll find, and the more possibilities you’ll encounter. Set goals and explore the tactics that will help you to achieve them, so that you can grow your business in a sustainable way.
This approach might seem like a lot of effort, and if you want to focus all of your attention on your business, then you can outsource your digital PR campaigns to save yourself time and still grow your firm’s online reach and brand authority.
As this article shows, digital PR is very different from traditional PR, but in today’s connected market, it’s essential for any business looking to grow its reputation and brand authority.
I hope this article helps you to understand the difference between traditional PR and digital PR, and to learn about how you can get started if you haven’t already incorporated digital PR into your marketing strategy.