In current times, digital marketing tends to speak more tech talk than brand speech. It’s therefore important for businesses, marketing teams and digital agencies to avoid gaps in the funnel and ensure they incorporate authentic brand voice, useful information as well as build loyalty, brand trust and third party endorsement. Digital marketing and online advertising, while once very prosperous in attracting new prospects, creating conversions and boosting business’ bottom lines, is now in need of PR to attain the levels it once did.
While a once deserted online scene, the digital sphere now sees the overcrowding of marketing technology, tools and tactics with each element of the digital marketing mix no longer making an impact like it did before. Hashtags, keywords and SEO terminology are over-used, strategic digital executions and algorithms have all become the same old, never new.
Furthermore, online business advertising has trapped unique, individual companies in cramped, standardised boxes which render the following of sheep instead of the leadership of a wolf.
Nowadays, with the bolstering of SEO keywords and algorithm-based marketing efforts, instead of brand speak and targeted personalised messaging, businesses are being pushed to the front of the digital line to an audience that is oversaturated with the same digital marketing talk and unconvincing speel. No wonder savvy business owners and agency clients are asking PR professionals to assist and open up technologically focused minds to the broader picture.
PR puts real people at the centre of all communication
PR professionals knew this time would come when technology would start to struggle. Yes, everyone thought PR was a dying art, but it’s come back and with a vengeance. As PR is specifically centered around people and their needs, it puts real people at the centre of all communication. And, PRs are therefore once again as motivated to bring back this offering to those who, for a while now, pushed it to the side in a firm belief that technology and digital tools have the answer and the superpower to get businesses booming, audiences noticing and business shelves empty. Now it’s about going back to our PR roots. So, let us dive in and shed some light on an even broader industry issue, and solution!
First off, in a nutshell, digital tech and marketing tactics set out to market a business in a generalised manner to a standardised, large-scale audience. With such belief in digital marketing, businesses and marketing agencies have come to solely rely on tech tools, keywords, audits, algorithms and analytics. Well, most have. Other marketing and digital agencies have kept PR in the loop and have remained personalised – speaking their brand, speaking their uniqueness, their magic – all this to their specific audience. These marketing methods, and the copy and creative within, are conceived following market research, business offering assessment, audiences outreach etc. Their copy may not rank the highest on Google, BUT they rank high in the minds of those who are highly likely to make use of their offerings.
Back in the day when traditional PR was a must, brands enjoyed wide-spread exposure both offline and online. This was thanks to their thought-out messaging, their customised brand speak, their relatability to their audience and the recognition of that audience through this tailored, bespoke messaging. Now, online advertising channels, materials and holistic virtual business presences have become the same with no differentiation between them. And when everything looks the same to online viewers, it’s not surprising that online users act in the same way – ignore, move on and opt for a business or service that speaks brand – a brand that speaks to them.
Those doing the marketing for themselves or for others sought to have a large online following, a massive online presence and new audiences’ attention. But in attempts to gain online exposure and attain new audiences, they lost their brand speak and unique voice. They sacrificed personalised brand speak for standardised tech talk. And in efforts for businesses to be digitally heard, their business voice was lost in a crowd where everyone is technologically shouting. In efforts to build new relationships through tech strategies and algorithm-based tools, loyalty and personal relations went flying out the window. Tech talk in digital marketing, or should we say tech-based marketing, speaks to the masses. And now, the masses don’t buy. They become aware, but they don’t convert. Technology doesn’t convert, nor does it sell. This is where PR comes into powerful play.
PR and brand awareness integrated into your digital marketing speaks to those who are listening because the message is created specifically for those ears. So, how can digital agencies know how to do this when they have no idea that their clients go beyond #hashtags and #keywords? The missing link here is that full understandings of the client or the business and its audience are non-existent. The fast digital space has left no time to understand, research and acknowledge the client, the company and its brand. Time now needs to be made with the inclusion of traditional PR into digital marketing.
12 Reasons Why PR Needs To Be Included Into Digital Marketing
- PR builds mutually beneficial and authentic relationships between businesses or brands and the people important to their business.
- PR builds a positive image through various communication channels and traditional media, which, contrary to what many think, is still as powerful as it was then.
- PR protects business reputations and credibility.
- PR builds a brand and tells the story of that brand – creating trust and authority which increases sales.
- PR ensures great experiences and in-depth, valuable engagement, with new opportunities following.
- PR aligns key messages across online and offline channels which are specifically targeted to focus-centric audiences who respond.
- PR and digital marketing combined, elevate each other and the benefits thereof.
- As communication experts, PR professionals will also be able to write meaningful content aimed at your target audience, to win hearts. This could then be repurposed for blogs and other online articles by including target keywords.
- Apart from identifying news angles for businesses and brands, PR can also ‘piggyback’ on relevant news items by offering comments or issuing related media releases. This could be repurposed for online news sites, social media and blogs.
- PR professionals are resourceful and geniuses at networking and managing people. They know and identify the right influencers and brand advocates to communicate brand values and messages meaningfully through social media, elevating businesses or brands through word-of-mouth.
- PR enhances a website’s domain authority when integrated with digital marketing. By securing high visibility online placements and optimising digital content, quality PR makes key messages more attractive to search engines. Link building or promoting content through PR, drives SEO rankings and showcases your company to a much larger audience.
- PR always ensures a personal touch in marketing strategies, ensuring brands’ survival.
And the list goes on and on, but hopefully, the point is proven that while once only seen as a ‘nice-to-have’ by marketers and digital agencies, public relations – and traditional public relations at that – should be viewed as a ‘must-have’ to achieve a powerful 360 degree digital marketing strategy. This is exactly what our agency’s comprehensive 22-point plan which integrates PR and digital marketing tools in every strategy, sets out to do. This is sure to fast track and maximise efforts and ensure a better ROI.
Public relations should therefore always be combined with a digital marketing strategy, and we can help! Email or call us. At Armstrong PR & Digital, we’re traditional but we also work in the digital space. We offer a complete 360 degree approach to your digital marketing which includes brand ID development, strategies for traditional and digital PR, digital marketing and so much more!