Digital PR evolves over the past years given that many businesses have seen its positive benefits towards their brands — making it easy for marketers and entrepreneurs to quickly jump into the bandwagon.
Whether you’re working in-house or doing it for clients in a digital marketing agency (or in a specialized agency like a link building agency), there are execution initiatives that have worked effectively for most digital PR campaigns.
With that, here are 5 digital PR tips to help you land on some pretty good placements from authority websites this 2021.
1. Make an inventory of stories and tips
What differentiates successful digital PR campaigns from mediocre ones is angles and hooks in stories.
When pitching journalists and high-tier publishers for digital coverage, it is a must that your stories have unique angles and could add real value to their readers.
Given that they receive hundreds, if not thousands of email pitches every week, it’s easy for them to dismiss emails that have no upfront direct value (even just seeing the emails’ subject lines).
For startups, it is best to go through your brand’s history — from its inception to growth. Ask yourself or your founder, “Are there any unique stories that are interesting to cover that will inspire new entrepreneurs or practitioners in your industry?”.
Enterprise brands have a longer history timeline. So you could easily come up with stories after stories based on their recent product launches or their founders’ new announcements for organizational changes — as examples.
It takes a matter of effort to make an inventory of stories and tips of your brand. Especially, if you’re looking for something interesting and useful for a specific audience group.
2. Find angles when pitching content
As I’ve said earlier, the angle is the key to getting your pitch to penetrate the inbox of your target journalists.
One of the biggest mistakes marketers make when pitching digital PR is sharing the link of the content without describing how it would help the target site’s audience.
If you create a content asset and think it’s worth referencing and covering by top-tier publishers, it is best to develop different angles that describe the content.
It could be in the form of giving questions, rendering some data, or showing numbers.
You can also check any hooks you’ve made from the content piece — and repurpose it as part of your email pitch.
When finding angles, you can utilize one method by checking other similar stories from other brands. Look at their past and current PR stories. Understand how journalists cover their stories — check the titles of articles and see from what angle they look at to make the story more appealing to their audience.
3. Determine the right timing for email pitches
Timing is everything. This is especially true when pitching journalists.
If you come off too early, your stories won’t be perceived as exclusive, which can be seen as somewhat commoditized and low-value.
If you come too late when pitching, your stories might have the traction it needs and loses some opportunities from other journalists who haven’t covered the story yet.
Proper timing in digital PR also refers to what day and time you’ll be pitching journalists. There are peak times when they receive emails, and if you pitch at those times, your email won’t get noticed.
It takes several campaigns before you have a good understanding and strategy for the right timing for email pitching. So it is a must to start right now, then improve through tweaks with your execution later.
4. Develop key relationships with journalists
Relationship building is essential in growing your list of journalists.
One in particular that relationship building can help is building trust and, therefore, increases the chances that these journalists will refer new contacts to you.
This is an advantage as you don’t have to prospect for new publishing sites and pitch new emails. In addition, by introducing you to their contacts, you benefit from initial trust — which is essential when pitching content for publishers. This helps increase the chances of more link placements and mentions about your brand.
If you deepen your relationships with journalists, you’ll create new opportunities from the publishing site — this results in more story features and new links and mentions.
5. Prospect using free tools
There are many SEO, digital PR, and outreach tools available in the market today. Some of which can help you become more efficient in prospecting for email addresses and pitching using emails.
However, you can’t ignore the idea that it requires good processes to execute things properly.
Tools can help speed up repetitive activities, but it takes thinking and strategy to increase the campaign’s effectiveness — particularly the results you gained from digital PR, such as story features and tangible results like links, brand mentions, and direct traffic.
If you’re starting, it is best to use free tools for finding email addresses and pitching publishers. Not only that you’ll save enough money for other digital marketing activities, but you won’t rely too much on tools to get results.
The first type of tool that is needed in digital PR is email finding and email tracking tools. Web tools such as Hunter can help you quickly discover the email addresses of journalists either from their LinkedIn profiles or from the sites they’re writing for.
The second type of tool is an email outreach platform like Buzzstream or Pitchbox. These tools can help organize your prospects and label contacts based on the relationships and the campaign’s status. You can also understand how your campaign works by seeing the results — percentages of responses and story covers.
Invest in Digital PR
Do not leave your brand behind with the advantages of using digital PR as part of your digital marketing initiatives.
You’ll invest resources, for sure, and that includes effort, money, time, energy, and other resources needed to pull off a campaign — but the returns such as story features, additional social proof, backlinks, brand mentions, referral, and direct traffic, and new potential customers — these are all worth it from investing in digital PR.