In today’s digital world cultivating a strong Public Relations (PR)  strategy is no longer just a print-based project. While newspapers and magazines can be helpful PR tools, utilizing digital marketing is an easy, efficient and effective way for any company to build their brand. PR is all about expanding your consumer audience and increasing name recognition. With today’s digital-first consumer it is easier than ever for PR practitioners to generate powerful publicity with only a few clicks. 

Still not convinced? Here are three reasons why digital marketing could take your PR strategy to the next level.  

Man typing surrounded by colored pencils.

Creating Content and Conversation 

Gone are the days of one-way marketing campaigns. Instead of publishing advertisements consumers may stumble upon in magazines or on TV, digital marketing creates campaigns that people want to engage with. Whether it’s videos, Instagram stories, or infographics, generating product-centered content on social media platforms is one of the most exciting aspects of digital marketing. Creative online content draws the consumers in with visual appeal while also allowing them to interact with posts through likes, comments, and shares. This increased interaction leads to a higher conversion of site visitors into leads and grows your company’s online platform. 

The popularity of creating interesting content for consumers has a lot to do with a new understanding of the growing “Impulse Generation” online. At Boston Digital, we believe that the way people use the internet has less to do with demographic breakdowns and more to do with intent - what they are looking to accomplish.  Traits we see in the Impulse Generation include fast decision-making, a drive for connectedness, and a short attention span. For the Impulse Generation, consumers are driven to content that helps give them the information and tools they need to complete their goal. Video content seems to be the most successful when it comes to popularity with the Impulse Generation, since 51% of marketers worldwide say that video content has the best ROI for marketing campaigns. Video content, as well as any other digital content created for your PR strategy, must be  exciting and agile enough to remain relevant to consumers. As the Impulse Generation develops a shorter and shorter attention span, creative content and digital marketing can help your PR strategy stand out.

Analytics examples on a screen.

Utilizing Digital Analytics to Drive Leads 

Digital analytics are an important part of digital marketing. In traditional PR, it’s hard to tell the exact success of a published article or a written product feature. In comparison, digital analytics show many people have seen your posts and how successful your marketing campaign actually is- down to the specifics of clicks, site views and even where viewers are geographically located. Digital analytics can help you see what your marketing campaign is doing right and what it’s doing wrong. When used successfully, analytics provide detailed insight into your consumer base and encourage innovation in your marketing strategy. 

Once you know what kind of posts and articles are succeeding on your social media, digital marketing can also be used to ensure that your company is compiling valuable backlinks that generate leads. Promoting your company’s content in an eye-catching and consistent way will garner the attention of more high-profile websites that are able to link and reference your work in their own popular articles. Backlinks help drive viewers to your website and also have a huge impact on SEO, since the top 3 results on search engines such as Google tend to have 3.8 times the amount of backlinks than those lower on the page. Whether it’s promoting your own gated research content or publishing a relevant blog post, utilizing digital analytics and backlinks are two ways to drive traffic to your company site. 

Influencer using camera.

Collaborating with Online Influencers 

Lastly, digital marketing can help establish relationships between your company and high-profile online influencers. Everyone knows the PR power of a celebrity endorsement for a product or service. Digital marketing creates exciting opportunities to gain these endorsements from “traditional” celebrities and less famous (but still very popular) bloggers and digital content creators. Research has even found that 92% of consumers trust influencers more than traditional ads or endorsements. Whether it’s through paid promotional posts or even just a comment on a viral video, interacting with influencers helps amplify your brand’s social media presence. With fan bases ranging from the hundreds to the millions, when even one influencer posts about your product, it can make a big difference in your popularity.   The trust and relationships influencers build with their followers make their endorsements even more effective Plus, with a creative promotional campaign and a strong product, starting a relationship with online influencers can be as easy as a quick DM or tweet sent their way.  

Another powerful side of influencer marketing is Business to Business (B2B) Influencer Marketing. Unlike “traditional” influencers such as makeup gurus or food bloggers, B2B influencers are business industry experts and opinion leaders who customers trust. In growing markets like Tech, for example, these B2B influencers are able to interact with both companies and consumers through activities such as reviews and webinars. They help give information to interested potential buyers, as well as provide credibility and reach for companies and products. Their success has been well-noted and B2B influencing seems to be a growing trend in digital marketing, with 21% of marketers planning to make influencer content the main focus of their social media strategy. Depending on your specific strategy, both traditional influencers and B2B influencers can provide a PR rollout with a wide fan-base and a guarantee of authenticity. 

The B2B influencer is especially important in one key sector: healthcare.  “Influencer” is a newer term, but the need and value of the influencer has long been a major pillar in pharmaceutical and medical device marketing under a different name, the Key Opinion Leader (KOL).  Where and how KOLs play a role has changed significantly with digital marketing, but their influence remains essential to delivering an authoritative, evidence-based point of view on a product.  In today’s world, KOLs can influence broad and narrow spheres, but both are critical.  From the broad influencer on a platform like Twitter to that narrow person-to-person influence in a closed group on GroupMe, WhatsApp, or Facebook Groups it is imperative for companies to court and nurture the influencers in the market.

Building a PR Machine for the Digital Age 

Whether you use digital analytics or create promotional content for online influencers, digital marketing allows for your company to maximize its impact on the internet. Digital marketing is not only efficient, but it also encourages the creation of campaigns that are interactive and user-driven. Even though digital marketing is a shift away from traditional advertising, it’s been a major modern tool for every successful business. The popularity of digital marketing proves that it’s time for your business to stop relying on traditional PR strategy and start using the internet to your advantage.

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