As an agency specialising in digital PR for e-commerce brands we are often asked what the differences are between working for an online brand compared to a more traditional form of PR?
These days almost every business has a website and for many it has become their most important route to market. But no matter how nifty a website may be, and how much has been invested in its design and creation, it still needs to be visible online - that means it needs to be found in search, which is where PR comes in.
Brands invest huge sums in digital PR because it helps them get found in search. Simply put, Google loves links, especially links from high authority sites. The objective of every digital PR campaign is to win (or more accurately earn) links from high authority media sites which will massively boost SEO and help the brand’s website power up those all important search engine results pages (SERPS). The result being more traffic, more sales, business growth, and happy teams.
For this reason the main difference between a PR campaign for an e-commerce website and a PR campaign for say, a new restaurant opening, is that the former aims to deliver links first and foremost. For the restaurant a link from a media site will be nice to have but it won’t be the objective of the campaign. Most likely they would benefit more from coverage on the local radio and from a carefully planned launch event which will make a buzz in the local town. The e-commerce brand isn’t limited to its locality, it serves customers across the country and perhaps even beyond. It doesn’t need to make a buzz in the town. It wants to be top of search. It needs links. The e-commerce brand lives online and it needs PR to help it be seen there. The term digital PR describes the type of marketing activity which results in media sites linking to the brand’s website. So how is it done?
Every brand has stories to tell. They may be product stories, customer stories or perhaps founder stories. They may take the form of expert comment or a reactive take on the wider news agenda. Media need stories, they need content and comments to fill their pages and inform their audiences. Digital PR tells brand stories, creates content and places them with grateful media - usually in return for a link.
This reciprocal relationship sounds pretty simple and it is. But it’s also easy to get wrong. The most common mistake is failing to understand what kind of content the media need. Brands who offer dull and uninspired content won’t have a great deal of success in earning coverage and links. Most important of all, it is crucial to understand the difference between PR and advertising.
Many brands fall into the trap of confusing PR with advertising. They make the mistake of believing they can send out adverts disguised as stories but media professionals can spot these a mile away and they will most likely go ignored. The relationship between media and PR is a reciprocal one and that means if PR is to get what it needs - coverage and links - then it must give the media what it needs - high quality content.
The good news is that any brand can enjoy success online if they have a talented PR team who understand the mission and work to agreed KPIs and goals. At Motive every client has a MAP (Motive Action Plan) that states the target number of links agreed. We then work to exceed this every month.
By using our news sense and editorial skill we devise and deliver high quality content which links to our clients’ websites and also satisfies the media’s need for a strong story. Our success rate speaks for itself - click here to download our Greatest Hits.
If you’d like some free help on how to PR and win links for an e-commerce brand please do get in touch today.