Future of Digital: Numbers-driven PR is the future of PR

Digital PR has become more valuable than a simple link-building tactic.

Digital PR reports have traditionally focused on the number of links and the average Domain Authority. But has quality always outweighed quantity? Why have marketing professionals allowed this to continue for so long?

Even our colleagues and peers must fully understand PR’s value in today’s world.

We should be concerned with more than just the number of links. We should ask how this activity has affected rankings and challenge ourselves to link it to our overall business goals.

Link building is different from what it used to be. It’s much more than just that. For any campaign or activity, you’ll need desk research, content creation, and design.

We’re not just “link builders.” We’re much more.

As PR experts, we need to understand that links are not necessary and instead focus on how Digital PR impacts ROI directly. We also need to consider how Digital PR is incorporated into other channels.

PPC and PR are good examples. This is the first time anyone has ever thought of combining the two. PPC has always been the winner, using an attribution model based on ‘last click.’ Google Analytics lets us see if someone is engaging with PPC because of a public relations article. We can then attribute some of PPC’s success to PR.

We need to focus on the attribution of ROI for Digital PR activities to remain competitive and continue to get a share of the pie.

A survey conducted by Cision revealed that 75% of communicators admitted needing to improve their PR measurement (which is still valid), and 70% claimed they lacked the data to do this (which shouldn’t be).

You can get all the information you need using an analytics tool. You can track top-level onsite metrics like the number of sessions and new users, bounce rate, average time spent on-site, and social metrics.

There’s more to these numbers than you might think. They may not directly affect their business goals, and they may not be as hard-hitting, but it’s still essential.

You can track the user’s journey to see how they entered the website and, more importantly, whether a link from your activity was responsible. To create a PR model, you can then compare this to your AOV (Average order value).

A recent study by PR Week on the importance of PR – “PR in a Post-Pandemic Future” – revealed some interesting findings.

First, COVID-19 showed that 64% of clients had reduced their PR budgets in the past six months. The report also revealed that 77% of clients had reduced agency retainers, and 90% had postponed campaign launches.

These steps, however, were not taken in a panic. They need to be more representative of the PR industry’s direction. With the steps it took during 2020, it is more apparent that PR has value, especially in terms of brands and their return-to-market strategies.

Travel, hospitality, and retail are just three industries that cannot return to their old strategies before COVID-19.

To survive this pandemic, it is essential to overhaul the digital channels. New ways of communication are needed to build trust and confidence with customers. But we see that many brands play it safe by not investing in digital for fear it will fail.

In the end, doing nothing will be our biggest failure. Shortly, PR will be an essential tool.

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