PR isn’t a new concept to the business world – but, like most of the marketing, advertising and promotional sector, it has evolved massively over the last few years.
Fundamentally, both traditional and digital PR agencies have the same objective; to build brand awareness, convey positive messages, engage with new customer audiences, enhance credibility, and carve out a niche for your business.
However, the contrast is that digital PR is a pivotal aspect of a broader marketing strategy and can achieve the above goals while simultaneously boosting lead gen, inbound marketing and SEO performance.
Differences Between a PR Agency and Digital PR Professionals
Conventional PR has limited exposure. The difference isn’t what each type of PR sets out to achieve but how the agency approaches the task and the scope of the potential outcomes.
- PR channels: digital PR opens up access to thousands of communication channels, from media placement to website guest posts, influencer pages and online features that provide real-time publicity to audiences worldwide.
- Engagement: traditional PR is a conversation that flows one way. You only know whether your message has made a mark when you start to see results (or not!). Digital PR is designed for consumption, establishing a dialogue, and boosting brand interaction.
- Exposure: whether you have a finely tuned customer persona, or wish to reach a large demographic, digital PR can provide exposure offline and online. Content is positioned to meet the customer where they are, whether through social media, influencer partnerships or digital e-letters and magazines.
Digital PR agencies blend digital marketing with PR to ensure that your brand strategy is comprehensive, tapping into all the available channels and communication opportunities.
Advantages of Digital PR Over a Traditional Agency
Next, we’ll look at the advantages of hiring a digital PR agency and the services we offer that contrast with or complement the results you might expect to gain from a traditional PR media placement.
Efficient Cost Savings
Even an ambitious marketing strategy needs to conform to a budget! Traditional PR typically means buying advertising space through the general press, including TV ads, radio features, magazine publications, newspapers or mentions at live events.
None of those are negative, but the cost can be astronomical, particularly if you want to invest in a full-page ad, full-colour graphics, or a prominent feature in a well-known magazine or newspaper.
- Most press advertising requires a minimum spend of £2,000, with a full-page ad in a newspaper such as the Daily Mail costing £30,000 for a one-day feature.
- TV advertising spots vary between channels, with ad spaces sold for £10,000 to £30,000 per feature during prime time
- A short radio ad costs around £500 weekly for a local station, £2,500 for a regional station, and £10,000 and above for a national outlet.
Digital PR recognises that today’s consumers receive and absorb information from countless other mediums, and are more likely to pay attention to content that invites a response.
The cost savings present a substantial efficiency, with the ability to cross-post a well-crafted press release throughout social media platforms, online news portals, video newsletters, influencer campaigns, blogs and websites.
User communities like to be asked for an opinion or to participate in content selected for them, so you can create attractive press placements for a fraction of the cost of print media, replicate that content multiple times, and achieve a far better return on investment.
Guaranteed Feature Placements
In the traditional print media world, the publication is king. You might spend a lot of time creating an excellent press release or piece of content but find that none of the major outlets decides to run with it.
Securing coverage is important to position your brand in front of your desired readership, but limited promotional space means that there is heavy competition.
Digital PR agencies guarantee your placements. That means you don’t risk investing resources into content that never makes it past the finish line and eliminates the potential for sunk costs.
The uplift is huge, not only because you have 100% assurance that your marketing content will be published, but because most online media coverage has no cost barrier. Hence, readership is higher, and engagement is greater.
Faster Returns and Publications
If you have breaking news to share, you’ll likely want that information out there as quickly as possible!
One of the challenges with traditional PR is that these things take time, and often a great deal more of it than you’d like.
- A newspaper or print magazine may require press releases to be submitted for consideration at least a month before the possible publication date.
- Journalists, reporters and writers may collate content or media for their audience six months in advance.
- On average, a 15-second radio ad takes three to six months to have an impact.
In contrast, social media posts can be live in seconds, digital publications offer 24-hour turnarounds, and you could publish a range of content across major news websites and stations within days.
Digital PR is an excellent tool if you need to move fast, get your news out there, and engage with audiences at the right moment. You can schedule posts to coincide with specific events or activities, avoiding lag or publishing content too late to have an effect.
You get the recognition of being featured in a respected publication, can include cross-links between websites, have ‘as featured in’ logos in your marketing materials, and build brand credibility as you go.
Quality SEO Backlinks
Although SEO isn’t the primary goal of a digital PR campaign, it is a beneficial side effect that can be as impactful as the PR itself!
Backlinks are not a standard in traditional PR or any form of printed media, which means that regardless of the outcome, the impact will be short-lived.
Quality backlinks are a reliable element of a digital PR strategy and one of the big differences between working with a traditional or a digital PR agency.
Interesting, relevant and unique articles linked to your landing pages can generate traffic from qualified audiences, improving your search page rankings and associating your brand with editors, influencers and journalists your audience relates to.
Link building from authoritative websites works wonders for your organic SEO metrics, enhancing your domain authority as a beneficial exercise part and parcel of next-gen digital PR.
Evergreen and Long-Life Online Content
Traditional PR activities are limited in reach and coverage – your campaign might be visible for a day or a few hours and become irrelevant before you have had any time to see returns.
For example, if you invest in a magazine feature, your intended readers might see your content for one day, or one week, before a new issue replaces it.
Digital PR allows you the freedom to create evergreen content, which might relate to your back story, brand ethos, values or innovation – attracting web traffic for months or even years past the original publication date.
Interested in harnessing the benefits of digital PR for your brand?
Contact Brand News today, or review our online packages to scroll through fixed pricing and guaranteed publication sites or take advantage of our wealth of resources, including a handy Press Release Template to help you get started.