Digital PR is a highly effective approach to link-building. In the article, we'll blend the finesse of public relations with the brute force of link-building.
Our guide provides a snapshot of:
PR link building is an SEO strategy aimed at securing backlinks from media outlets.
The process involves creating newsworthy content and pitching it to journalists, who link back to it to add editorial value to their content.
Irina Maltseva, the Founder at ONSAAS and Growth Lead at Aura, outlines two main ways digital PR campaigns can benefit your company.
First, it generates high-quality backlinks from reputable sources by distributing engaging and newsworthy content
Media outlets, like Forbes or The Times, have high-authority domains. That means high link equity and a bigger impact on your SERP performance.
Want to know the best part? Such links are very difficult to replicate by your competitors.
PR efforts revolve around topical events, unique research, or company achievements that aren’t easily cloned.
This makes it difficult for competitors to gain similar links unless they have comparable, newsworthy content or stories of their own.
It doesn’t stop there. A single link in an article published by a major news outlet can generate significant referral traffic and additional links.
Here’s an example that Emilia Korczynska, the Head of Marketing at Userpilot provided:
When TechCrunch reported on Userpilot securing $4.6 million in seed funding, it triggered a snowball effect. Soon other journalists covered the story, which led to a surge in referral traffic and earned Userpilot a bunch of backlinks.
Well, what about the second main benefit?
⭕ Second, it builds valuable industry relationships, leading to organic link opportunities and enhanced brand credibility, which can significantly improve rankings.
What PR strategies can you leverage for your link-building campaign? We’ll tell you about a few most common ones.
Data campaigns are a PR tactic that involves leveraging data-driven content to attract media attention, earn coverage, and generate backlinks to your website. They are based on the idea that data-driven insights and statistics can make your content more newsworthy and appealing to journalists looking for quality sources.
How does the strategy work?
In a nutshell, you identify a relevant topic in your niche that can be explored or presented through data.
Next, you gather the data, either through original research or by analyzing industry reports and mining existing data sets. The key is to extract new and valuable insights.
Once you have the data, create compelling content around it, for example, a report, and a press release highlighting the key findings.
According to Evaldas Mockus, the VP of Growth at Omnisend, this is the key part of the process:
⭕ PR link-building campaigns should begin by showcasing unique content rather than approaching journalists aggressively. We published research derived from our tool's data, specifically focusing on omnichannel statistics… Over the course of a couple of years, we generated 1168 backlinks.
Original research is a link-magnet in its own right but PR efforts allow you to amplify the results.
The next step involves identifying journalists and media outlets using tools like Prowly or Roxhill and reaching out to them with the press release.
The journalists use the data to write their story, link back to your report, and job done!
Product PR focuses on increasing online visibility and creating positive public awareness of your company’s products. And earning backlinks to the company’s website.
For example, when you’re launching a new product or feature, you can leverage product PR to create buzz around the launch.
What does it look like in practice?
You craft press releases highlighting the unique features of the product and share them with journalists and media outlets covering your industry.
That’s what Wordtune did when they were launching their AI Content Detector. Wordtune’s PR team reached out to journalists specializing in the area and managed to get coverage from several outlets, including a popular Israeli magazine, Geektime.
Here’s the impact of the campaign on organic traffic:
Thought leadership PR campaigns focus on positioning you or your organization as an authoritative and influential voice within your industry or niche.
They aim to establish credibility, build trust, and enhance visibility by gaining coverage from high-authority outlets and showcasing your expertise and insights. If you want to give it a go, start by crystalizing the key messages and themes for your thought leadership campaign.
To showcase the expertise of your thought leader:
Thought leadership PR is an effective strategy because it generates results long into the future. Once you establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche, journalists and bloggers will keep coming back for more of your wisdom.
Creativity is another way to capture the attention of the media and attract backlinks from high-authority sites.
Have a look at the /OutHourse_ <Your_Email> campaign by Visit Iceland.
The 2021 campaign to promote Iceland as a tourist destination was based on the idea that you can hire Icelandic horses ‘trained in corporate buzzwords’ to handle their inboxes while you’re enjoying your vacation.
The campaign’s landing page includes a video featuring horses walking over huge keyboards and ‘typing’ out-of-office replies and amazing Icelandic vistas.
The ‘service’ even offers a level of customization - you can choose a specific horse for the job. Genius!
How effective was the campaign?
It got coverage from hundreds of outlets across Europe and secured over 1.1k backlinks from over 500 domains.
Newsjacking and reactive PR leverage news stories and trending events related to your niche to generate media coverage and, subsequently, backlinks to your website. The strategy requires constant monitoring of news and social media for breaking news in your area.
An easy way to do it is by tracking trending keywords. Google Trends is an easy-to-use and free tool for the job.
Next, you create related content that adds value to the conversation and reach out to journalists and bloggers covering the topic.
That’s exactly how the campaign on chatGPT growth managed to secure over 60 backlinks from high-authority sites like Yahoo News, The Wrap, and Time magazine.
HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, is a service that connects journalists seeking input with subject matter experts.
Here’s how it works:
You create your account, choose the niche you have expertise in, and the service sends you relevant inquiries from writers.
If you find a query where you have unique insights, you write a 300-word pitch. If the journalist finds your contribution valuable, they feature you in their article and you get a backlink.
Media outlets that use HARO include Fox News, Mashable, The New York Times, Time, and Wall Street Journal, so it’s a chance to secure a link from a high-authority domain.
Of course, HARO isn't an industry secret; the competition to get on journalists' radar is high. So how do you win at this game?
I'v asked Evaldas Mockus.
Hiring a digital PR agency is the easiest way to start with PR link-building.
Such agencies have their dedicated teams made up of professionals with relevant experience.
They have tried-and-tested processes and well-established networks of contacts, so they can help you realize your link-building goals in less time and at scale.
The catch is that choosing the right agency isn’t a straightforward task. Here’s a breakdown of key criteria you should pay attention to when partnering up with an agency.
There are a lot of dodgy players on the link-building scene.
Contracting them to handle your PR campaign will cause more harm than good. In the best-case scenario, you’re going to lose a lot of money. In the worst, they can tarnish your reputation and incur SE penalties for your site.
These things should set off your alarm bells:
Digital PR campaigns may be pricey, especially if you’re hiring an agency, but they allow you to secure backlinks from high-authority websites.
The easiest way to start with PR link-building is by hiring a specialist agency. If you decide to do this, look out for agencies with a proven track record of delivering results to their clients, and transparent processes.
If you need help with your link-building processes, why not have a chat with the Editorial Link’s team?