Insights

Unveiling the missing ingredient for your brand’s organic growth

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, organic growth remains crucial for brands seeking sustainable success. However, navigating the complexities and intersections of each ingredient—content, search engine optimization (SEO), social, and more—while earning trust signals presents significant challenges. That’s where digital PR comes in.

Read on to learn more about how digital PR serves as the missing ingredient in many of today’s organic growth strategies, and how to effectively implement it into your efforts.

 

The problem with shortcuts and the power of trust signals

A lot of brands are confident with the technical aspects of their website but falter when it comes to earning trust through quality content and high quality link building.

It is well known in the SEO industry that backlinks from third party websites are seen as a “vote of confidence” and a “trust signal” for Google.

Yet, a lot of brands and businesses risk their reputation and income by conducting black hat tactics to try and cheat the system—attempting to buy their way to success rather than earning.

From day 1, Google has made it clear that buying links is bad practice, and they will, and have, penalized brands in the past, causing their rankings to tank and organic revenue to be wiped out literally overnight. JCPenney suffered as a result of this back in 2011, after the New York Times revealed they had been buying links which caused their rankings to plummet. When asked about it though, JCPenney said that they had no idea that its SEO agency was buying links.

While this was 13 years ago, I still get daily messages from low quality link builders offering to sell me 10 links for $100. Which, on paper, sounds like an absolute bargain for zero effort. The unfortunate reality is though, at best, those links would do absolutely nothing, and at worst they could end in a penalty, causing my clients significant damage.

Digital PR is the solution, offering a performance-driven approach to traditional techniques. By fostering genuine connections and valuable content, digital PR executed correctly, will not only earn links that align with search engine expectations but also deliver engaging content that resonates with target audiences, and help improve brand metrics.

 

Metrics-driven strategies for enhanced engagement

Earned media can play a huge part in connecting with audiences more directly, and building better engagement, authenticity and overall experience.

As such, marketers must ensure outreach efforts deliver substance tailored to audience interests and industry trends, as well as desired keywords they want to rank for. With the demise of cookies, earned media becomes instrumental in forging direct connections, emphasizing the need for relevance in content creation.

If you’re investing time and money into outreaching PR content, then you firstly need to make sure what you’re outreaching is relevant and attention grabbing, and that it actually delivers against your objectives and marketing goals.

To do this, consider the following factors to ensure your driving both relevance and attention:

  • Does data show that your target audience will be interested in the content? Will they read the publications you’re pitching?
  • Does the content align with your brand’s key messages, tone of voice and proposition?
  • Is it topical? Does the content align with what is currently trending in the news agenda? Is it interesting and new?
  • Does the content include commercially valuable keywords that you want to rank for?

 

The significance of proactive campaigns and value-driven content

While planned content is essential, to really turbo-charge your success, agility is paramount in responding to fast-paced news agendas and social trends. Staying attuned to trending topics through Google trends and social platforms like Tik Tok is imperative and aids in predictive insights and strategic planning.

Good content is still key for SEO success, but it needs to go beyond just being useful. It should embody brand identity, leveraging visual and engaging elements to captivate audiences.

For example, last year Sizzler engaged us to transform their digital strategy to bring them back to the top of the fast casual category. By leveraging insights and using a performance-driven approach to reach specific demographics like families and business travelers through precise geo-targeting, we were able to increase engagement, conversions, and brand visibility, leading to a significant increase in restaurant visits.

All in all, digital PR specialists can drive further engagement by crafting compelling narratives and additional hooks that entice journalists, and help drive links back to the content.

 

Demonstrating ROI

PR has been described to me as ‘fluffy’ and ‘hard to measure’ but when executed with performance insight and metrics in mind, this is simply not true. We developed Salient, our proprietary tool that uses natural language understanding to read content. We utilize this to not only optimize all content for relevance but also to measure topic relevance of backlinks and onsite content.

When it comes to measuring success, here are a few factors to be sure to track (at least on a quarterly basis):

  • Organic market share (keyword rankings and traffic)
  • Number of high quality links and brand mentions
  • Target publications (new domains, high authority, relevant audience)
  • Topical relevance
  • Sentiment and brand key messages

 

What this means for the PR industry

Now more than ever, PR professionals can lead the way in measurable organic growth by integrating SEO insights into their strategies. The journey to organic growth requires a holistic approach, encompassing technical prowess, relevant and value driving content creation, that fuels authentic, high quality link building. By embracing and implementing digital PR strategies grounded in trust and relevance, brands can navigate the ever-changing digital marketing landscape with confidence.