April 8, 2024 |

A good strategy will set you on a glorious path. 

And that’s not an exaggeration. Digital PR is a powerful marketing force, and when done well it can boost your online presence, search engine rankings and brand authority.

For it to make an impact, each element of your campaign has to be well thought out and researched – and that’s where your digital PR strategy comes in.

What is a Digital PR strategy?

A digital PR strategy is not a set of instructions. 

Imagine it as a gameplan with well thought out plots and tactics preparing you for battle against millions of websites. 

The best digital PR strategy details how you can create relevant and quality content that aligns with your SEO, marketing and business objectives. If your content tells a good story and is newsworthy, online news traffic sites will link to or mention it which will boost your search engine rankings and in time, your domain authority (DA). 

You still get the benefits of brand awareness and credibility, as you would with brand PR and social mentions, but the key difference is your directing traffic back to your website. 

As a top 150 PR Week agency, we reveal our steps to creating the best digital PR strategy with expert insights from our digital PR director.

Creating a Digital PR Strategy – Steps

  1. Understand your audience

    Think about the type of content that will get the biggest pick-up. Whether you’re targeting consumer, national, regional or trade press, get to know the news agenda and the topics that people in the industry and wider public are talking about. You can then subtly link that to your product or service. 

    The people who you’re writing for aren’t necessarily the people who will buy your product or service, especially if you’re in the B2B sector. But getting links and mentions, and raising your ranking for relevant keywords will put you in front of potential customers when they are searching online.

  2. Research

    Research is at the heart of every digital PR campaign. 

    You want to give journalists a reason to link back to your site and content based on original research is very attractive to them. Think of the ways you could get data. If you’re in B2B it could be from your software, you can always use publicly available data from reliable sources like the Office for National Statistics, or put in a freedom of information request. 

    Ask yourself where your expertise lies and how you can add value. Financial services advisor, Almond Financial saw almost 100 pieces of coverage with a campaign we created called the 2024 Pension Breakeven Index in industry-relevant news sites like the Telegraph, Financial Times Adviser, Daily Express and IFA Magazine.

    With digital PR, you also have the freedom to be more creative. Creating interactive tools like a cost of living calculator or a tips piece that leads to a longer blog article is a great way to capture attention, as long as it includes a link. 

    “Try to ensure that your campaign is going to appeal to multiple audiences, where possible. Whether this is an industry, age, lifestyle or regional comparison, having multiple hooks will enable you to get news to journalists that resonates with their audiences. In terms of the hook, if it’s topical, original, and addresses a common challenge it’s likely to appeal to journalists.” 
    Rebecca Peel, digital PR account director

  3. Define your goals

    The good news is that digital PR is very measurable. 

    Metrics like high authority links, share of search, organic traffic, mentions, leads and conversations mean you can easily track the performance of your campaign and make any tweaks if necessary. 

    Ensure your objectives are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound). Do you want the top spots on Google? Do you want to boost your web traffic by 50,000 visitors?

  4. Data collection

    You’ve got your big idea – the next step is to collect the data to support your campaign. 

    When it comes to data-led campaigns, publicly available data is a good starting point. The ONS is a rich source of information but you could also use data from Google, LinkedIn, Reddit, YouGov, RightMove and many more. Digital PR campaigns typically combine at least two data sets to identify trends or create an index. Copying and pasting data from one website won’t get you far.

    You could also put in Freedom of Information requests for other specific data from public bodies, but keep in mind that it can take over 20 days to be released, so plan ahead. 

    “Journalists are becoming hot on poor data sets that don’t weigh up, and many are even starting to analyse their own data for stories, so give them something they can’t easily replicate themselves. Is there any extra data you can find to strengthen it, or an expert to support your findings?”
    Rebecca Peel, digital PR account director

  5. Creating content

    Crafting the content for your campaign is the most critical step because it shares the story, sells the data and positions your brand in the right way. 

    The ultimate goal with digital PR is to drive links back to a page on your website which is usually a blog – you wouldn’t typically find journalists linking to a product page. The blog will display all of your research and commentary, so it’s worth including tables, graphs or graphics like maps or infographics to bring it to life. 

    “Make sure that the story you’re telling is simple. If you can’t easily convey the methodology and the hook to your peer in a sentence, it’s probably too complicated. Go through your methodology with a fine tooth comb to make sure that the data actually tells the story you want it to.”
    Becca Peel, digital PR account director

  6. Create your media list

    A media list contains details of journalists who you will contact to share your campaign.

    To build a good list, have a look at your existing media lists and copy over any journalists who the campaign is relevant to. Do some research online using Google, social media or a tool like Roxhill to find journalists and check if the content is relevant to them. 

    The more information in your media list, the better. Include details like including their name, contact information, role and publication, the best time to contact them or any alternative team members. 

    With digital PR campaigns, we’re often going for wide reach, so think about how the content could be made relevant for different verticals like business, HR or IT.

  7. Outreach

    You’ve done the research, so you know what interests them – put this in your email to grab their attention and show your proactiveness.

    Where journalists receive hundreds of emails a day, it helps to address them directly and make the email conversation to build a good rapport. Include an attention grabbing subject line and display the data in a visual way. You can even include expert commentary to show the quality of the content.

The Importance of a good PR strategy

When done right, digital PR can offer many benefits like generating leads and sales, increased brand authority, and improved SEO. 

When your strategy is based on audience insights, research and strong creative ideas, you can ensure it delivers ROI for your business.

Getting started on your first campaign

Now that you have the steps to create the best digital PR strategy, it’s time to apply them to a real campaign. 

Remember to prioritise your audience’s interests and research your industry, ideas and trending topics before committing. The data you collect has to be trustworthy and current, and use your expertise to add value to the content. The media relationships you make will be critical to getting your campaign seen by the right people, so turn on the charm and present a newsworthy campaign that offers something fresh. 

Find out how Tank can support your digital PR strategy.