3 tactics that are essential for PR success in 2019

Your online efforts are more important than ever as brand managers compete for SEO rankings and protect precarious reputations. Here are some techniques you shouldn’t ignore.

It doesn’t take an expert to see technology has taken over our lives.

When it comes to the world of public relations, one can quickly discover many old school PR tactics have become outdated with the upgrade of technology tools. It’s common for companies to turn to social media influencers to feature their products or services to gain brand awareness and increase conversions. Some of these social stars are acquiring more followers than total circulations for many newspaper outlets and magazines combined.

In 2019, to ensure you’re getting the most out of your PR outreach, make sure you’re making these three tactics a priority:

1. Align digital PR efforts with SEO practices.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is crucial for your organization’s success—and digital PR can help.

To start, it’s essential that all content is fully optimized with high-traffic keywords. This helps Google register that your content is evocative and relevant for the audience you’re targeting.

Be aware of this and make your content searchable!

If you create a tech start-up that builds Android apps but nowhere in any of your blog posts, press releases or whitepapers discusses Android apps, you’re going to have a hard time bringing people searching for Android apps! While this sounds straightforward, many companies hurt themselves by not including relevant keywords in their content.

Additionally, digital PR relies on media outlets. For online media, digital PR adds the advantage of increased mentions, comments and reviews. This also helps to increase backlinks, which helps improve your ability to bring new traffic to your page.

2. Expand your audience with influencers in your field.

Pitching your stories to traditional media journalists is not a dead practice. However, be aware that PR outreach has expanded beyond traditional channels.

Today, there are online versions of all your favorite publications, making it more convenient than ever to get the news and get it quick. However, with the current rise in untrustworthy content, some people are turning to people they “trust,” i.e. bloggers that they choose to follow in their everyday lives.

While these bloggers discuss topics like “the most efficient ways to raise a family while doing x,y, and z,” they’re not messing around; some have over 500,000 followers. While partnering with large influencers (who have a following of at least 250k) may be out of your company’s budget, there are hundreds of micro-influencers (who have a following in the range from 5k-25k), in multiple fields, who are interested in teaming up.

Once you find an influencer who creates quality content and is willing to market your brand to their large followings, it’s crucial to nail down your agreement. Will this person be creating four Instagram posts a week, blogging twice a week and tagging you in his/her Twitter feed? That’s just an example but it’s crucial to get the most bang for your buck from the partnership because odds are, you’re paying a large amount for their efforts.

3. Track digital PR goals.

With all new digital public relations tools and ways to outreach online and through social media, how can you be sure your PR goals are being met? Make sure you’re tracking the following things:

Domain authority (DA)

The first thing to check after executing your PR campaign is your domain authority, to see if extra interactions caused your brand’s relevance to increase. If your efforts were successful, you should be seeing plenty of new backlinks from media outlets, influencers and partners coming your way. Digital PR should always lead to an incline in your DA. If not, you’ll need to adjust your strategies quickly.

When you focus efforts on developing strong relationships with other sites that have a high DA, you can help turn your own DA score around. If your DA is increasing, it’s a sign you’re doing something right.

Media placements

Following up on media placements is essential to make sure you’re getting featured where you thought. A reporter may agree to feature your company or executive and then spike the story at the last minute.

The deal isn’t sealed until your brand mention or linked content is live.

Check Google Analytics “Acquisitions” tab to see where your referral links are coming from. This helps to tie your digital PR placements, brand mentions and links to all the actual referrals you’ve acquired.

In Acquisitions, you can also see if other media outlets are talking about you. From there, you can reach out, form a connection and potentially build a relationship for further content down the road.

Social media

If your digital PR team lands you in an amazing article in a top publication and people are sharing that piece with their personal audiences and saying positive things, it’s safe to say your PR team scored you a win. Any instance where people are sharing your content on social media and engaging with your pages are wins, too.

It’s important to keep PR and social media goals on the same path. Social media channels also give you a chance to share trackable links back to your website. You can include these links in call-to-actions in your organic social content, or in paid ads that can be built specifically to bring incoming traffic to your website.

Ashton Meisner is the media relations and marketing manager at Directive, a search marketing agency.

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