How digital PR can help you grow brand awareness and online visibility

Digital PR (DPR) is the lovechild of SEO and PR; it helps brands to build high-authority links to their websites, which improves SEO performance, using PR tactics. However, whilst Digital PR has its roots in SEO, it’s so much more than just a vehicle for generating links to your website. 

From generating spikes in brand search behaviour to helping brands go viral on socials, our Digital PR Director Tori Attwood, shares how the revamped technique can not only work wonders for SEO, it can also grow brand awareness and online visibility and offer tangible and trackable ROI during the process.   

Coverage in online news publications offers exposure to huge readership numbers  

One of the biggest benefits of Digital PR is that it helps businesses generate media coverage online. This is often done with the intention of creating links from high authority websites to the business’ website, which is a gold-star tactic for improving SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). High-authority links are considered a vote of confidence by search engines.

As a result, your website’s rankings can improve, making it easier for potential customers to find your content or products.  

However, media coverage online offers so much more than just a link for SEO.

Online readership from news publications provides a huge platform to showcase your content to a vast and diverse audience. This exposure significantly contributes to brand awareness as your articles, features, or advertisements reach national, international or even global audiences, making your brand more recognisable and memorable. 

The coverage a business secures is often referred to as a ‘media profile’ and there are plenty of tools available that allow business leaders to track their own profile against direct competitors or other businesses of interest, which is incredibly valuable for benchmarking your brand awareness against competitors from a media perspective.  

Great content creates social media engagement, which amplifies your brand awareness 

Exceptional content is content that resonates with your audience, and there’s no better indicator of whether they enjoy your content than if they share and engage with it on social media 

So, a great DPR strategy will integrate social media, as it serves as a powerful tool for expanding your brand’s organic reach, and massively increases brand awareness. This might be through activating stories through social media first, or using customer stories or influencers as part of the news story about your brand. 

News outlets also often have engaged audiences on social media, and great stories that land on news titles are often amplified across socials with users sharing them organically, so the opportunities to reach target customers can extend even further than the coverage itself.  

To leverage social media for Digital PR and brand awareness, it’s essential to first measure the effectiveness of different types of content on socials, so you know which is the best type of content to create. Tools like Brandwatch are great for this, as they provide valuable insights on metrics like shares and engagement to help you understand how your content performs on these channels.

Great Digital PR stories will drive an increase in website traffic

A great measure for increase in brand awareness is an increase in new users to your website – and DPR can do just that. 

New users to your website means new people have discovered your brand, so an increase in the number of people who are aware of your product or service. 

As campaigns are often activated online and are created with the purpose of driving people to your website, DPR can help to generate fresh traffic and potential customers in this way. 

Activation activity can include launching reports or interactive assets on your website that users are encouraged to interact with as part of the campaign. It could be a competition that customers can enter to share their experience of a topic that’s important to them and the brand, a report that offers important insights they need that they can download, or even a game that they can interact with. Ultimately, the campaigns do two things; reinforce the brand message and that the brand ‘gets’ the customer, all while driving traffic to the website. 

Brand-related traffic and ‘search’ is a great measure for brand awareness and trust

 PR’s always struggle to measure brand trust, as naturally it’s hard to pin a metric onto how a customer feels about a brand. 

However, it’s worth exploring any impacts to brand-related clicks and brand traffic during campaign periods, as this can be an indication of increases in brand trust and awareness.  

If your Digital PR campaign is resonating with customers and the media, then this should create an increase in brand traffic and brand search – i.e. people who are searching for your brand online. 

This is often overlooked by marketers but is worth monitoring during peak campaign periods. 

An effective DPR campaign sparks conversations and, most crucially, drives increased searches for your brand on Google. Great DPR campaigns prioritise themes that align with your audience’s interests and resonate with your ideal customers, fostering trust and validity with your target customers. 

Brand-related clicks are clicks from Google search results that mention your brand, so the customer has searched for your brand on Google and then visited your website. 

It’s important to factor in other marketing promotion alongside this analysis, as lots of offline activity can also impact brand search, such as TV advertising, print advertising etc. 

 Google Search Console offers valuable insights by allowing you to monitor and analyse spikes in brand-related searches, helping you measure the impact and effectiveness of your DPR campaigns and inform future strategies. 

For example, you can monitor spikes in brand-related searches and traffic around key campaign launch dates, such as when a campaign went live on socials or when you secured a piece of national coverage.  

To summarise

In summary, Digital PR is a great technique for enhancing SEO, and should absolutely form part of any robust SEO strategy. However, it’s also a crucial part of the wider marketing mix and important for overall brand awareness and customer engagement. Digital PR is so much more than building links for SEO, and it’s only when brands recognise this that they can truly reap the rewards of this type of activity.  

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