Once upon a time, it was enough to get any mention at all of your business in the media. With traditional PR, marketers were looking for mentions in relevant print publications, on television, radio, and anywhere else they could get coverage for their brand.
While that’s still true today, with the advent of the internet, marketers need to add digital PR to their marketing mix.
You need to know what’s being said about your brand online, but more than that, you need to be able to shape what’s said.
Before you can do that, however, you need to have a plan.
1) What are your objectives?
Before you start creating any content, you need to decide on your objectives. You can’t meet your goals unless you know what they are.
With digital PR, you might be aiming to build your brand recognition. You might want to build trust and be seen as an expert in your field. Or your ideal outcome might be lead generation.
Whatever your objectives are, write them down. This will help to keep your plan on track. Every aspect of your plan should be targeted at achieving your objectives. If it doesn’t, it shouldn’t be in there.
2) Know your audience
As well as creating buyer personas and doing customer research, you’ll also need to use social listening. You can use your google calendar or one of your other calendars to set up a schedule to read social posts from your target audience. This must be something that you make yourself do consistently so it’s important to schedule this time.
Dig deep into who your customers are, their demographics, what they want, and what their pain points are. Without clear buyer personas, it’s hard to create the right content that will create the impression you want. And it’s nigh on impossible to reach your objectives.
With social listening, you can not only see who your customers are, but you can listen, practically in real-time, to what they’re saying. You’ll find out about what they like and dislike about your brand, and what they think you should be doing. You’ll hear the negative with the positive, but it’s all good information.
3) Understand your target media
Just as you need to understand your audience, you need to understand where you’re posting content and what they want to see. You can’t ignore submission guidelines, the tone of the publication, and what sort of content they want.
Do a deep dive into every website, podcast, and publication you want to reach, before you approach them.
4) Create a plan for your PR
Take what you’ve learned above and set out a plan for your digital PR. Work out when you’re going to target particular publications, how you’re going to approach them, and what you’re going to say.
Create a content calendar for at least three months ahead so that you’re not starting every day wondering what you’re going to create.
5) Create great content
Go to town on your content and create value for the publications you’re targeting. Of course, it’s about you to an extent, but it’s also about what they want and what their audience wants. You can start a webinar series that is followed up with great blog content that journalists can source. This will increase your chances of getting PR pickup when you pitch writers.
The idea is to create a long-term relationship where you are known for providing expertise and value.
6) Measure your results
Keep returning to your objectives and set KPIs to ensure you’re doing what you set out to do. Don’t get off track and keep measuring and ensuring success.
Finally, keep building on your success. Digital PR isn’t a one-and-done effort. You’ll spend a lot of time building your reputation and your brand.
But all that effort will be worth it when your name’s in lights and your online reputation is rock solid.