How to use online PR? and seo

How to use online PR? and seo

How to use online PR? and seo 

 welcome to a new and very different  edition of crawling mondays in today's  edition i'm going to talk about  digital pr strategies beyond the typical  ones of limb building i believe that in  seo in the last few years we have  started to learn more about digital pr  but sometimes we think that digital pr  is building that can be a way to gain  links but it's  definitely way  more than that and to cover about what  is actually digital peer and what we can  expect how to leverage it and the  possibilities of digital vpr even be  only building i have invited today a  couple of people who are  experts who can share with us a lot of  insights

and real  life case studies on one hand i have  jasmine grantham she's digital pr team  lead at evolve search hello jasmine how  are you hello good thank you how are you  thanks for coming on the other hand i  have alex hookson digital pure lead at  rise 7. hello alex how are you  hi i'm good thanks thank you very much  for joining today and before starting  the conversation i want to thank holy  monday's today's sponsor content king  content king is the real time as your  crawler is pretty much an alerting tool  that will let you know whenever an  important configuration is changed  on your website so if the canonical tag  is badly conf

igured at some point or a  new release goes live without you being  aware of it which sadly happens a lot of  times  take a look at content king you can see  the link below so you can start testing  it and avoid those seo horror stories  and now we're ready to start our today's  conversation i am very looking forward  for today's episode because i am an seo  who are much more focused on the  technical  strategical  overall  seo process rather than purely focused  only building and i know that in seo  limb builders lately have started to  leverage a lot of digital pr tactics but  digital pr is much more than that so i  want to start our to

day's conversation  with that digital pr how is it different  from  traditional pr and how is it different  from limb building i actually started my  pr career with traditional in-house pr  so for me that's very much protecting  the brand it's thinking about  pushing out any internal messages good  news kind of batting away bad news it's  kind of the yeah the the more  traditional approach for me is very much  about making sure a brand's messaging is  on point i would say the biggest  difference between traditional and  digital is the way we measure success so  whilst  traditional pr's now use digital and  they do look at things like bran

d search  they look at kind of tone and that sort  of thing for us as digital prs whilst we  focus on a lot of different metrics  links are the key indicator of success  and not just volume of links but  relevancy of links as well so for me  that's the key thing but i think there's  quite a lot of differences between the  two and it is something that i'm agency  side so with clients it's something we  have to kind of deal with because a lot  of our clients will have internal prs so  you've got to make sure you're not  stepping on each other's toes yeah i'd  agree i think it it relates back to that  measurability i think the difference for

me between digital and traditional is  that i can if my client or my company is  creating a campaign that's based around  a product for example and it's a product  pr campaign i can attribute a set amount  of revenue that one link we've built has  driven to the site which is something  that usually like traditional pr  techniques if we'd put a billboard out  or even if we'd run a tv ad or something  like that it's a lot harder to measure  in that kind of granular detail and then  to compare it to like i guess what you  consider traditional link building  whilst links are the goal because  getting links in relevant publications  or websi

tes that are relevant to your  brand's audience can help drive things  like traffic and revenue ultimately the  seo benefit from  getting those links in relevant  high-tier publications has that seo  impact as well so i feel like digital  kind of sits  in the middle of link building and  traditional pr really i can definitely  see how from a digital pr perspective  also sometimes beyond seo some of the  goals will be to get even  mentions in certain type of publications  or from certain influencers even and  this type of mentions or visibility  won't have necessarily an seo value or a  real traffic value but a reputational  value or a bra

nding value that is not  necessarily highly connected to an seo  conversion that we can consider valuable  do you think that nowadays the clients  that you work even if they are not  purely seo clients they are always  looking at the link or direct conversion  such as traffic it vastly depends on the  product or service that that brand is  selling obviously for like if you were  using like an e-commerce example it's  very  easy and kind of straightforward to say  that we've managed to get a link to that  product page which is driven by traffic  there people have bought this and we can  actually do x amount of revenue but on  that more sor

t of like softer brand  building side there's clients i've  worked with where like an ongoing  digital pr strategy has meant that  there's certain top-tier publications  which they've been sort of desperate to  get placements in the journalists  working there now regard that brand as  an expert in that topic so a lot of what  i've done over my career is like  financial clients are working in like  the financial pr space so having that  brand sort of viewed as an expert by not  just the publications but obviously the  readership of that publication has a  positive impact on that brand's  positioning in the marketplace and then  kind of tri

ckles that down to  sign ups or or whatever it is that kind  of is like the the primary goal really  which kind of i think is more than just  getting the link it's kind of  positioning that client or that brand as  an expert in that space by like an  ongoing strategy the way that we work at  evolve search is that we're very so the  digital pr team is part of the seo team  we're completely integrated so for me  i think it's  the kind of easiest conversations are  the ones where the client is the seo in  that that company and and you can talk  about the impact of links and they  understand it's slightly more  challenging when you're potenti

ally  talking to the owner of the business and  you really have to look at the  measurables and look at it as a as a  bigger picture and that's what we try to  do so writing on your report or going  into a weekly meeting saying right we've  got you 50 links  what what does that mean it doesn't  really mean anything especially if you  don't even as someone who understands  links 50 links could be vastly different  you know 50 high authority relevant  links or 50 spammy pointless links are  very different so for us we try to look  at it as a full big picture so  we're working on technical we're working  on content we're building links and h

ow  do all of these techniques together  impact the business in terms of traffic  conversions etc so we try not to look at  link building as like one siloed effort  but as part of the wider seo strategy  but as alex said a really positive  knock-on effect of that seo work is that  it does improve the way the brand looks  it does improve their visibility and and  as you said alex you sometimes get  journalists coming to you and going oh i  know you work with ex-client they're an  expert in finance you know something's  just been announced by the government  what's their opinion and that's kind of  where you've hit the jackpot when you've

got journalists coming to you and you're  getting links just by being an expert  when you are already established that is  great so i would like to ask you about  that because you just commented on  something that for me is fundamental how  do you measure success and how do you  align your efforts with the things that  decision makers or your boss or the  business owners actually care about and  at the end of the day they will use to  consider the project a success or not  and you mention one of the top mistakes  like the misalignment of what you come  with versus how they assess the actual  success of the project on one hand i can  imagi

ne that you have seen a lot of do's  and don's can you please go through a  few of those don'ts that you see again  and again the same type of mistakes  where they fall into i think the  situation in ukraine is obviously a very  extreme example but i think it all ties  into the often lack of relevancy and  lack of  context and understanding as to why that  brand should be getting involved in that  conversation i think this kind of  from my perspective is where link  building and digital pr are very vastly  becoming two different things if you  said to a client oh we've got you 50  links this week they've all got in top  tier media it's al

l in the say they had  a hit list of publications they wanted  to get in we've managed to get in loads  of these  on the surface that client or brand  might be thinking oh brilliant that's  exactly what we've paid this agency to  do that's exactly what our primary goal  is is x number of links but i think  there's a massive consideration now and  i think a lot of brands are kind of  becoming more intricate in the way they  understand your pr and a big part of  that is well what does that mean for our  brand if we're building links  off the back of something like the  situation in ukraine does that brand  have a right to be involved in tha

t  conversation is it something that they  have an expert opinion on that could  back up what's being said or the  campaign that's being pushed and  obviously like i said that is i guess  more of an extreme example but often  there's brands i see that are commenting  on  things that you would sort of never  expect them to comment on and whilst it  might have got a link in the guardian or  cosmopolitan magazine which from an seo  perspective like cool they might be  really relevant for that brand they  might be really high authority  that relevancy is kind of lost and  whilst they're getting a link there what  i always try and do sort of t

ell my team  is like we want to look for links that  are being clicked on and engaged with by  the audience of that brand so for  example if i was working with a  financial company a sort of b2b  financial company and we've got them on  glamour magazine and l  okay great from the surface that might  seem really good but is that where their  audience is is that who they're trying  to target if they're wanting to convert  or they're wanting like traffic from  their intended audience it's probably  not going to come from there so i think  it's about being wiser about the content  that you're creating and making sure  that it is going to publ

ications or or  websites that the audience is going to  engage with really yeah i completely  agree that's something that i see quite  a lot is that  i'll see a digital pr campaign that has  on the surface done really well it's got  really high authority  links it looks great you know it's it's  telling a message but  i look at the brand and i'm like oh  what on earth are they talking about you  know could be a fashion brand talking  about tech or you know i don't know  scamming or something and i'm like what  where's the connection where's the  relevancy connection and it's i think  it's so important because  whilst i definitely look at

it as link  building and i definitely see myself as  more of an seo than a pr these days  you still have to think about how that  brand is coming across and we still need  to consider  the the end user no matter what so  i think it's important from a business  perspective but i think more importantly  just from an ethical view if you're  trying to engage in conversations that  you've got no authority or voice in and  and as we said with ukraine that's a  really extreme example and there isn't a  digital pr or a pr for any brand  really i would say 97 of us should keep  our mouths shut at the moment because  it's not it's not a situation t

o  monopolize on but even when it comes to  you know international women's days and  i dread these things because i'm just  waiting for these big brands that i've  got full boards of straight white men to  talk about how important women are and  it's just it's transparent it you know  it's inauthentic and so i think from a  from an seo from a link building  perspective it can cause problems  because  if you think from google's point of view  they're seeing all of these as you said  let's say a financial client all these  links from l and cosmo and pop sugar and  google's like what what do you sell what  do you do  so i think it's confusin

g from an seo  point of view it's bad from an ethical  point of view and it can just get you  into a whole world of trouble and and  these kind of events like international  women's day we see people calling brands  out every year it's and they just don't  seem to learn  i imagine that you as a specialist when  you are going through all of the  opportunities that you can leverage for  the brand you go through oh a certain  type of validation basic validation like  is this really connected to not only  what you do but your actual values do  you actually want the talk already right  so are you already implementing all of  this internally be

fore preaching about  it definitely and that's why it's so  important to have these transparent  conversations with the clients you're  working with or with your stakeholders  if you're in-house you know if if you're  if you're talking  publicly about something you need to  make sure your ducks are in a row and  that it it is coming from a good place  it's authentic i think that is a mistake  that a lot of  a lot of brands make because it does  seem like a really easy thing to jump on  all of these events and there are tons  of awareness days there's one every  single day and look if you're a fashion  brand and you want to talk about  int

ernational pizza day go for it you  know no one's gonna be offended by that  you're not gonna do too much damage it  might feel a bit odd but fine you know  do it but when it comes to these uh more  poignant and sensitive days  is it definitely deserves a little bit  more thought and i think for me that  validation process is what's the worst  thing that could happen out of this does  this align with our internal messaging  does it align with  you know the kind of brand we are is it  authentic and if i send this to a  journalist what could be the worst thing  they could send back because you do see  journalists slating these campaigns and

even then you're probably building loads  of links you know i've i've had a  situation where i launched a campaign  where it got i think three four hundred  links but  a good chunk of those were from  the right wing press and it wasn't very  good for the brand and actually  messaging wise and tone wise it was  awful  but it was three four hundred links you  know in any way it's where you look at  the success on that for me that was a  big failure and it was a mistake i made  and something i really learned from and  if i could go back now i would not  launch that campaign but you know it it  was then that was  that was a really light-hea

rted piece  but the press managed to turn it into  something very different and you've just  always got to be ready for that worst  case situation  that's where a lot of the kind of debate  of traditional pr versus link building  versus digital go i think that's where i  think digital pr is literally now a  mixture of all because they're like the  traditional pr skills of of like crisis  comms of understanding the brand  messaging and all that kind of stuff  brand strategy brand identity that  need to be in your everyday like i think  having a really good stringent  onboarding process if you're working in  an agency with the brands that y

ou're  working with is so so important just  because  like jasmine said  there's  countless examples of where journalists  can sort of take maybe something from a  campaign which maybe wasn't the  intention at all and then before you  know it it's been syndicated around with  multiple places and from a link building  perspective like wow 300 links however  what is the knock-on effect of that  brand um and ultimately like your  relationship with the the client and  it's it is understanding those  i guess more like brand communications  in that corner side of it i think which  should definitely definitely never be  undersold i think which a

re the criteria  which are the building blocks the  minimum steps that you think any sound  digital pr  process should follow  i think starting out kind of going back  to what we were talking about before is  i think if you are agency-sized like a  really good onboarding process without  brand or if you are in-house like really  understanding the fundamental reasons of  why why are we choosing to do digital pr  i think if it is solely  very like seo goal focus and links is  kind of the main goal then that doesn't  mean it kind of has to stop there i  think i think if you can understand the  goals say if obviously links are won and  drivin

g traffic and maybe maybe getting  a new demographic of audience that other  marketing channels have potentially  struggled with i think understanding  that is crucial and then the second bit  would actually to  understand the audience maybe that the  brand already has or the audience that  you say wants to target and want to  acquire i think having those in the  beginning ultimately  makes it easier to maintain that  relevancy through  the different types of campaigns you do  whether they're huge you know like  content marketing interactive stuff or  it is like a fast reactive pr strategy i  think it's really really important to do  that

because kind of again going back to  what jasmine was saying  if you don't have that you might  pick a topic that is relevant to that  brand it kind of makes sense for them to  be talking about it and it might get 300  links from  loads of uk and us national papers for  example but if you're actually hoping to  see some conversions out of it and see  an increase in revenue for example if  it's like a product focus  that's not happening but if you actually  understood your audience aren't reading  those publications  five well-targeted links could drive you  tens of thousands of dollars or  something like that so i think it's  definitely

understanding your primary  and secondary goals whether it is very  seo focused or it's you know traffic  revenue brand building like share a  voice in the market or whatever and then  also like really understanding or  striving to understand  the audience you want to target as well  to start off with  i think the why is the really key thing  digital pr  has you know increased in interest a lot  over the last few years and that's great  for us because we get you know lots of  opportunities coming in and we get to  work with really amazing brands but  sometimes it feels as though they want  to build links they want to do digital  pr becaus

e their competitor or their  competitor is or or they've heard about  it or they've they've seen someone at a  conference talk about it but  realistically i think the biggest thing  to do is to educate on why we're doing  it and and that why as you say alex can  be different from one client to another  so it's really important to establish  their own personal goals and you know  normally we're going to be working  towards making companies more money  that's usually the end goal but you know  to what degree do you do you need that  so for me it's that as you said that  onboarding is so important and then the  next stage for me would be a c

ompetitor  analysis  you know what are their strategies where  are they getting backlinks do a gap  analysis and see  is volume important right now or can we  really hone in and think about the  relevant links what are their goals and  publications because they're going to  have a really good idea of the kind of  publications especially if they're a  niche company and then build out a  strategy based for me based on a mixture  of proactive and reactive work depending  on the client of course but for me a  strategy that brings in those top tier  links and and that's different for  everyone but nationals lifestyle as well  as really been ab

le to build niche  specific links and you know potentially  international depending on what their  goals are  all of that is like a step-by-step  process and there's so much work that  happens before you even launch anything  because then the ideation phase that you  go into to come up with the ideas for me  should be  at least a two-stage  kind of phase two and as we said before  that validation there is so so important  of is it relevant to the brand what kind  of publications could we target with  this is the data solid is it ethical you  know has it been done before because  journalist isn't going to cover  something that they've cove

red two three  months previously so there's quite a lot  of things to consider before you even  get to  some of the other potential problems  that you can face in terms of actually  making something succeed  which are the top  digital pr strategies that you have seen  from your experience that tend to work  really well especially when there is  also an seo aspect connected to the  campaign or goal connected to the  campaign i think everyone kind of has a  different favorite technique but for me  working a variation of techniques into  one strategy for a client is the ideal  and that might be that it's one content  marketing piece that's y

ou know fit for  email and social and everything else per  quarter but then you've got four or five  reactive pieces in a month or proactive  so the type of content that i think  really works from an seo perspective is  you can  re-amplify an old blog or something that  already sits on the site for a lower  budget client or if you're just testing  this out that's absolutely perfect  because you're basically there's no risk  you're taking something that is already  staying it might be tip based it's  helpful for the end user and because it  is going to be based on what's already  on your site it's going to be relevant  so sending that to a

couple of  journalists within that space you've got  quite a safe bet of building some links  there and you're not really  i guess risking too much i love a  reactive style so  again you've got to be really careful  what you're reacting to but if you're  an authoritative voice within a space  you know there's nothing better for me  than the feeling of when a story breaks  and you know that you've got space to  talk on that so an example is the brick  and i work with a diamond brand and  adele had a huge rock on her finger and  it was nine o'clock at night and i don't  you know it's not i'm not big for  working in the evenings or hustle

culture or anything like that but that  was an opportunity that i just had to  jump on so me and the team kind of  rallied around we spoke to the client  got their expert view on what the ring  could be worth and a little bit of  detail about the the cut all of this  information that journalists are going  to want so then firing that out to a few  journalists who are starting to cover it  or who are very likely to cover the  story that's a really great way to get  your clients back links and again helps  their brand authority as well because  you're making them experts in a space  but yeah i mean  the way that we do brainstorms we  brains

torm for a few bigger ideas the  kind of content marketing pieces that we  can use elsewhere or hero campaigns  depends on on what you call it but then  we also look at smaller campaigns that  again might be based on some tips might  be based on some advice that you can use  you can kind of hook onto international  days or awareness days but are also  evergreen and you can kind of keep  building links all year round i think  for me a combination of the bigger  glossier campaigns and those quicker  turnaround ones is what means that  you've got consistent links because it's  all well and good having the budget for  three big campaigns a ye

ar and getting a  hundred links three times a year you  know every couple of quarters but  i prefer to be consistently building  links over a period of time across the  full year i think the beauty of most  reactive strategies as well is that  there's elements that you can plan so  for example if if you work for a fashion  client and it's just been like london  fashion week you know that there'll be  things that you potentially could  comment on and react to within that  certain time period but the nature of  when i think it works the best is  literally when you  are well prepared for it at speed and  usually that's low budget because all

you're providing is maybe a quick  comment some internal data from the  client or something like that you're not  producing anything necessarily  content-wise but it can be sent out  quickly but i think  to kind of add on to what jasmine said  as well a massive focus in like a hill  that i will die on like through and  through is basically just making sure  that campaigns that you push  lead or date alert as well even the big  creative ideas if if we're in an  ideation session and someone has an  amazing creative idea that's really high  budget or student or something like that  it can be amazing but i'll always try  and get them to thi

nk about okay well is  there any data we can put behind this is  there more of a story that we can tell  based on research or based on insight  because ultimately i think the way that  you get content and campaigns to be  successful and kind of develop naturally  and i hate using the phrase go viral  because i think people latch on to that  but i think in order to create that  almost virility around them you need to  evoke an emotion with what you're  pushing out and that's why people want  to share it and want to engage with it  and often by having research or data  that might be funny it could be survey  data that's really light-hearted

and  it's just something funny or it could  actually be something really shocking so  we did a campaign that was data-like  that did really well which looked at  basically the information that the most  popular apps are tracking on you for  example and it's something that really  resonated with most people because most  people use them every day and it was  actually quite shocking data that was  verified backed up and quite new at the  time so whatever emotion it is and it  can be like on the entire spectrum i  think if you can manage to  kind of tap into an emotion that you  want to revoke it has some decent data  behind it and if it do

es have a bigger  glossier creative hook then that kind of  adds additional to it but i'd always  just  steer away from a strategy that maybe is  just one on its own because if that  doesn't work and there'll be countless  examples where it won't you don't really  have anything else to fall back on or  re-angle it with so i'd always try and  have multiple angles and multiple  strategies for the one client or one  brand that you can use in conjunction  together that is a great idea as a user  myself i have seen like the same type of  story being covered in different ways  and i have gone through a certain story  and i have said okay it's i

nteresting  whatever and then a few weeks later that  story going like mental over twitter  because another publication had  published it but highlighting a crazy  stat sometimes the crazy stat was not  necessarily 100 accurate  unfortunately which is i would say  another of the mistakes or dones that i  see many times amazing well thank you  thank you both very much you have shared  so much my  mind is blowing with  many ideas already of things that i can  definitely leverage with my own projects  and also clients thank you for sharing  so many insights i really appreciate it  and of course if you have liked today's  episode  follow jasm

ine follow alex as you can  see they are quite quite quite savvy  about digital pr and of course  like the video subscribe to the channel  so you don't miss any other crawling  monday's editions and thank you again  jasmine and alex hopefully i will be  able to see you speak again soon and  continue learning more about digital pr  opportunities

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