Digital PR: Our Step-By-Step Process (Case Study Included)


In SEO, digital PR is all about getting your brand placements in higher authority, mainstream media outlets. And as you may know backlinks from third party websites are one of the primary factors which improve your rankings within search engines.

So you can get links from these really high authority mainstream media outlets which are technically quite hard to get placements in then your brand’s really gonna be flying in search engines.

In the video above, we show you a real life case study for a client we are currently doing some low-cost digital PR outreach for and how we managed to get some of their placements and the benefit its had on their rankings in search engines, so stay tuned.

Step 1: Research

The first step in any digital PR strategy is all about research. This is when you go out there and look at what people within big publications are writing about – what the journalists are writing about? What are the main themes of publications? And you can do this by simply doing a Google search looking at some of the big publications in your industry and seeing if you can notice any themes within the space.

For example, you can go to Huffington Post, Forbes, the Times, the Mail Online dependant on the industry you’re working in and actually look at different ways or different angles which people are pitching in content and which angles that people are writing about in the moment.

Do they enjoy writing about primary research? We always find that primary research does really well with digital PR because it’s new to world. Alternatively is there anything in the news you can capitalise on are there any big events that you can be quite reactive to?

Are there things like Glastonbury, Pride in London? Is there anything that people are writing about in the news which could really capture their imagination in a timely pitch or a bit of research could do really well within the space at the moment?

It’s all about going out there and seeing what generally people are interested in writing about and fulfilling that need.

Alternatively you can take a more software-based approach where you can go online and use a tool like Ahrefs. You can type in a seed keyword and it will show you exactly what the most shared and the most linked to articles across the web. This can help inform a long-term strategy.

Step 2: Pre-Outreach

So once you’ve found the topic that you wanna write about, before you go and start creating a piece of content or creating an asset which we’re talking about in a sec is you wanna go and do some pre-outreach.

Now pre-outreach is simply when you take the angle of your story and do a little test sample. For example, you can email between 10 and 20 journalists or top tier publications that you want to get your article or feature placed on or your data placed on, outreaching those people saying we’re thinking about doing a study, we’re gonna interview x, y, z on x, y, z, would you be interested in the findings?

And if you email those 20 people and no one responds then it’s probably not gonna be the best idea in the world so maybe try a different angle, and pitch that again.

What you’ll find with good ideas is you’ll get one or two responses, you never get that many responses but you get one or two saying, yes, I’d be interested in finding the outcome of this study, so once you’ve done the research please send it back. Or even better in its pre-outreach phase people say, no, I wouldn’t be interested in that but I would be interested in x, y, z. So that means you can go away, refine your idea and that actually gives you some great insight before you’ve started your campaign. Too many times we see it when people just create a campaign in what they think people are gonna wanna see and they put so much blunt force behind outreaching something which has no traction and no interest within the market so pre-outreach is a key thing that you need to do at this stage of a digital PR campaign.

Step 3: Asset Creation

Now in traditional link building, people create guest posts which they outreach to industry publications or other people in their space, company blogs or whatnot. But in this situation we’re trying to get links from the top 1% of websites out there. These top websites in the world that gain most of the world’s traffic so we need to create an asset which is better than the 99% of all the other stuff out there.

What we like to do is we like to create things like microsites or custom graphics. In the video created a nice custom drawn graphic for an example company. And this graphic is a timeline which shows the evolution of eyelashes through the ages. Now going back to our research idea what we did is we found that there were all sorts of timely events coming up like Glastonbury so we did things like the LED eyelash, Kim Kardashian is an always reoccurring theme so it’s like an evergreen piece of content which we can use time and time again cause press love covering her and different things. So we got an artist, one of our designers to mock up the first ever impression of what the early eyelashes looked like.

Now to the main daily consumer of the news, this may not be that interesting but to people that actually cover this stuff, fashion people especially and the beauty and eyes and eyelash and makeup space it can be quite interesting and that’s what we found.

Step 4: Outreach

Step four was all about outreach. And when you do outreach you need to have a process to make sure you can customise all of your outreach to these relevant people like these publications you’re trying to get placed in.

We devise a wishlist of the 50 publications we’d love to get in and we create personalised emails, look for all of their previous work, make sure that we can reference what their interested in, why we think it’d be suited to that publication in general. And once we’ve done that and we start going down to the more tier two publications. That’s when we use software like BuzzStream, journalist databases like Cision and we create not templated outreaches but outreach which is easier to scale. And what we found out is it allows to get a lot more volume within the tier two then anyone that responds we can be able then to get back to them and offer them a unique angle even if they come back and they say not really that interested, at least they’ve responded so then we can go and put more personalization into the response back to them which we found leads to quite high success rates. How did this campaign do? And that’s the most important thing of everything. Now I think we got three or four digital PR links that we called them which are really high authority which come back to the site and we’ve done a couple of link building campaigns before of relatively low cost for this site and we got quite a few links back to the site that some movements but nothing real. After these four links dropped we got links from the likes of Virgin Media TV, we got links from Irish Examiner, we got links from Allure Magazine. I’ll upload the B-roll, I’ll show you the link to the publications we got. But we got some really strong publications linked to us. And within most of these publications linked back to the asset or the home page. So therefore the authority from these really powerful, relevant links was spreading across the whole site therefore the rankings for a lot of the keywords we were going for just shot up overnight. As you can see here we went from position 26 to position 1 for not a massive volume keyword but a keyword which is driving good sales none the less. And the fact that we jumped here from this is over 6,000 searches a month we’ve jumped up significantly and this is all of the back of these links landing and then Google’s database picking them up and just seeing us as much more of an authority. So if you can get links in these really high tier publications which other people find it really hard to get then you’re gonna be better than 99% of your competition. If you go after the same blogs, they accept guest posts then Google’s gonna be a bit me too, who’s gonna rank first? Google will decide on the day but instead if you can get these really high quality links by creating assets, you’re really gonna be in great stead to get some amazing links from some amazing websites which really do boost your authority and help your site in the long run rank for some seriously competitive keywords which in turn drive sales and that’s why we’re all in the game of SEO. So hope you found this video useful and I’ll see you next time, cheers.

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