Online PR Definition and How it Impacts Digital Marketing
When you think about it, every successful brand is good at public relations. From sponsoring events to giving out freebies—big brands do everything possible to build a positive brand image.
In this digital age, businesses are shifting away from traditional PR techniques to embrace online PR.
What is Online PR?
Also known as digital PR, online PR is any practice done to enhance a brand’s reputation through digital methods. It is the opposite of offline PR, which involves building a brand through traditional news media.
Because online PR has the potential to reach a much bigger audience than traditional PR, it’s an efficient marketing strategy for online businesses.
How Does Online PR Work?
Digital PR is a combination of efforts designed to grow your website traffic, build credibility and strengthen your relationship with customers. It involves the following techniques:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Content Marketing
- Social media marketing
- Influencer outreach
- Press Releases
- Networking with journalists
The goal of digital PR is to grow your business as a whole. It does not just focus on one area, say building website traffic. Online PR techniques also involve building brand reputation and managing crises.
Of course, building an established brand takes years. As such, PR is a continuous effort. It does not have to involve expensive campaigns as you will learn below, though. Digital PR can be done free of charge.
Online PR vs Traditional PR: Main Differences
Put simply, digital PR uses new media while traditional PR relies on old media to promote your brand. Traditional PR firms focus on building relationships with print magazines, cable TV journalists, and billboard advertisement companies.
Traditional PR is great and still effective. But it is costly and limited to specific locations. Online PR uses social media, blogging, content creators, and YouTube videos to promote online businesses. It’s cost-efficient and has the potential to build a company’s brand all over the world.
What is Online PR in Digital Marketing?
Public Relations often sound like the same thing as marketing. Are they similar? Are they designed to achieve the same results?
By definition, online PR focuses on building a positive image for a business. On the other hand, online marketing is all about increasing a company’s sales and profits. That’s the difference.
That said, PR has a role in digital marketing and vice versa. For a business to grow successfully, it requires both public relations and marketing. This is why many of the online PR techniques we’ll highlight below can work to achieve a company’s marketing and PR goals.
Online PR in Digital Marketing: Best Practices
Online PR is an excellent growth strategy. Learn the best ways to grow your website through online PR services:
Search Engine Optimization is an excellent online PR strategy for one reason. It works. SEO involves optimizing your website to improve speed, mobile support, content, internal links, and images.
It also involves sourcing backlinks from other websites to help rank higher on Google. By ranking high on Google’s search engine result pages, your business will become visible to a wider audience.
There are several benefits of being the most visible website in your niche. For starters, you get the bulk amount of traffic. The top website on Google scoops up to one-third of all traffic on the search engine.
Then there’s trust. People tend to trust websites that rank on the first page of Google. Additionally, visibility can help you earn more backlinks.
- Create Engagement and Dialogue
Online PR marketing comes in many ways. One of the most popular techniques involves creating regular dialogues with your customers. This way, you can help build a positive reputation. You can build trust and create brand ambassadors for your business.
To create dialogue and keep your customers engaged with your products, conduct surveys and polls regularly. Also, become active on major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Blogging is another great way to stay engaged with your customers. When you publish a piece of content, you can share it on social media and through emails. This way, your audience can read, comment, and also share it.
- Creating Buzz about your Brand
One of the most common goals of public relations is to create buzz about your business. You want people to keep saying great things about you. This not only increases brand awareness but also fosters loyalty and a positive reputation.
What’s the best way to create buzz for your business? Advertising is a great option. When you advertise, you remind your customers about your brand and why they should remain loyal to your business.
Advertising is expensive, though. If you don’t have the budget to pay for online adverts, use cheap alternatives like press releases, creating viral content, and talking big about your company’s plans. Anything that keeps the Internet saying great things about your business needs to be encouraged.
- Crisis Preparedness and Management
Every business must be prepared for the worst. To expound more, you need to be prepared for a potential lawsuit, backlash from customers, or information leakages that could impact your business negatively.
To prepare for a reputation crisis, you need to stay in touch with your customers. Monitor social media and blog comments. Open emails sent by clients to discover what they think about your products and services.
In addition to monitoring complaints, work with PR experts to draft professional responses. Then work on negative complaints you can remedy. Additionally, work with online media organizations to sponsor content that will reinforce your brand’s principles.
How to Create an Online PR Strategy
Below, we’ll take you through a step-by-step process for creating an effective digital PR goal.
- Outline your Goals
Far too many online PR marketing executives dive into new tactics before setting goals that need to be achieved. Determine your ideal clients. Then decide on the message you want to tell them in your PR campaign.
Importantly, know your key performance indicators (KPIs). What do you want to achieve? How will you determine the success or failure of this campaign? Your KPIs could include increasing traffic to the home. Or, the goal might be to achieve a positive response about your products.
- Create a Timeline
Regardless of the online PR tool you use to achieve your goals; have a timeline. Every PR campaign is resource intensive and time-consuming. To make it worth it, you must determine how long it should take before you can review your goals.
- Select the Right Digital PR Techniques
Depending on your goals, you might settle for a different PR tactic. For example, you can focus on SEO if your company’s main goal is to build traffic on your website. By comparison, you could partner with an Instagram influencer to create buzz around your brand.
- Review your Results
After running an online campaign within your specified timeframe, the next step is to review your results. You already know the measures you will use to track performance.
However, keep in mind that tracking the performance of public relations can be difficult. For example, how do you determine whether people trust your business? How do you calculate the ROI of a digital PR effort?
Online describes the process of creating a positive perception of your business. In many ways, PR is an effort to grow your business. This is why popular marketing practices like SEO and social medial marketing are part and parcel of online PR.
Some businesses have PR departments that handle their public relations. But if you’re a small or medium-sized business, your best option is to work with an online PR services provider.
Talk to us to learn about online PR and how you can use it to grow your business. Leave the heavy lifting to us so that you can focus on the core aim of your company.