Being successful at digital PR is dependent on a number of factors - you need to be able to handpick topics that are relevant to the brand you are representing whilst still being interesting to their target audience as well as having enough connections needed in order to allow the individuals to see it. To make this process easier, there are a few useful digital PR tools you can add to your belt.
When it comes to digital PR, there is still a lot that people don’t know. From an outside perspective, it may seem like all specialists do is think of catchy hooks, email a few journalists and then relax. In reality, they utilise a number of tools to ensure they are getting the best out of their content, helping to increase visibility for their client or brand, and establish them as industry leaders.
How social media can help
Now, we understand that social media isn’t necessarily classed as a tool but it is a vital resource that digital PR specialists need to be able to use. Depending on the brand itself, a large proportion of their target audience will most likely be spending a lot of their spare time on social media. Knowing how to use it to your advantage is beneficial as it will allow you to keep on top of current trends, see what people are saying about the brand and make valuable connections.
Here are a few effective ways you can use social media in line with your digital PR strategy:
- Easily distribute content - When it comes to getting your content out there, social media is one of the easiest places to do so. If the brand has already completed the hard work of building up a following then distributing infographics, assets or blog posts is quickly done.
- Maintain core message - Whilst distributing this content, you can really control what goes out. Doing so will allow you to keep in line with the brand’s core message and align with the values.
Connect with online influencers - One of the most important aspects of digital PR is having a large catalogue of connections you can call upon to use and link to your brand website. Social media will allow you to communicate with journalists, online influencers and bloggers, building up a rapport as you go.
10 Digital PR Tools to Improve Your Online Performance
Ahrefs and SEMrush
Ahrefs and SEMrush are two incredibly valuable tools as they allow you to keep track of brand mentions, links and your overall SEO strategy. You can create one of the best pieces of content to have ever existed, but it still won’t do as well as you had hoped if it is not optimised for the web.
These tools can help you to carry out competitor research and explore new keywords whilst giving you the information needed to guide you to producing work that will help your company when it comes to search engine rankings. In terms of digital PR, they are also helpful as you can see which sites are linking to yours and what subjects or keywords they’re often referenced with.
When it comes to outreaching, you can spend a lot of time on the admin side of digital PR - manually sending numerous emails, following up and wondering whether they had even been received in the first place. Mix Max helps to clear this process up considerably, giving you the ability to quickly track receipts from your campaigns as well as schedule outgoing emails.
Perhaps the most useful aspect of this tool is their scheduling option for outreach campaigns. By using this, you are ensuring that your emails are going out at the optimal time and increasing the likelihood of it being picked up by major publications.
The key to making your digital PR content look perfect is including relevant images. Shutterstock is a tool you can use to search through reams of pictures to find the right one for your piece. Simply search keywords relating to your study or research and you’ll see there are numerous options to choose from.
It can be quite an expensive tool, but the ease and abundance of images make it worth it if you are regularly sending out emails and don’t always have the assistance of a graphic designer.
Any digital PR strategist will tell you that a large part of their roles is spent sending out follow up emails to publications to ensure they not only saw your email but also remind them of your brand. Forgetting to do this may be the difference between getting your website linked in an article or not.
In order to eradicate this possibility, you can use FollowUpThen on any device, to create and schedule your follow up emails. The recipients won’t have any indication that you are using a scheduling tool and you can ensure that your correspondence is going out exactly when you want it to. As well as this, you could use this tool just to set a reminder for yourself.
Buzzsumo is a very helpful content research tool that allows you to keep track of the latest news stories that are gaining coverage within your niche. It outlines what trends are being established, what topics are being discussed and relevant articles. Not just that, this tool gives you the resources needed to find people of interest (journalists and bloggers) connected to relevant keywords.
This allows you to plan your next move accordingly, whether it is bringing a new side to the conversation or reacting to breaking news. You can then get into contact with online influencers who have an interest in the subject and start a collaboration.
Ever wished for a tool that could manage your connections, publish content and create multimedia press releases? Enter Prezly. It gives you the chance to include high-quality pictures, videos and infographics in your written content and ensures they are ready to be sent out. You don’t need to worry about your contacts receiving poorly sized or low-definition multimedia in your emails as this tool will take care of it.
Although the name suggests differently, digital PR does not solely focus on getting brands mentioned on online publications. Receiving mentions within offline newspapers and magazines means that they are still gaining visibility and reaching some of their target audience. However, it can be difficult to monitor this.
Kantar Media is a tool that notifies you whenever your brand name is mentioned in print and uploads the press clipping. You can then use this information to target other areas of the publication, perhaps they have an online presence too that you can utilise.
Due to the nature of manual press clippings, the tool can take some time in letting you know when you receive the mention, but it is better than missing it entirely.
You won’t ever have to worry about not having the right connections within the industry when you use Gorkana. It has a vast database that is filled to the brim with journalist information that allows you to get in touch with individuals who will be interested in your content. It takes out a number of unnecessary steps and saves you time to get working on your next idea.
Not only this, but you can also use their distribution feature for your press releases, making outreaching to the right people a breeze.
When reading a press release, or even full articles, journalists and readers will either be hooked by the heading or turned off completely. Because of this, making sure your titles are the best they can be is one of the most important aspects of content creation.
CoSchedule is a tool that works to analyse your titles, gives useful tips to improve it and suggestions for any changes. Make sure you take this with a pinch of salt though, if your gut is telling you to go with your initial title then give it a go.
Keeping track of all of the websites and publications that mention your brand name can feel daunting. You can set up Google alerts to notify you, but this doesn’t always let you know every single mention. Luckily, you can use BrandMentions to monitor these instances.
Knowing exactly where a brand is being mentioned is vital as it alerts you to publications where you could potentially get a converted backlink, and even keep an eye on how your competitors are doing.
Using These Digital PR Tools
With the relatively quick flip from traditional PR to digital PR, professionals needed to adapt quickly to the changing landscape of their role. The techniques and tactics they used in the past may not be so useful anymore, and so they will need to replenish their arsenal with tools that will allow them to thrive in this new environment rather than getting left behind.
Alongside specific guidelines for approaching digital PR, specialists will be required to take into account the evolving nature of news itself. The speed in which they are able to react to breaking news stories has more than doubled, leaving the role even more fast-paced than it previously was.
Through using specific digital PR tools to help with this area of the practice, as well as assisting with other parts of the role, professionals will be giving themselves and their brands the best support possible.