Why your B2B SEO strategy needs digital PR
Figuring out an SEO strategy for your B2B business can feel overwhelming, especially when the B2B SaaS market is highly competitive, and the digital landscape is constantly changing. It’s common to feel like you’re always a few steps behind the curve.
In this article, we will discuss a marketing strategy that is often skipped by B2B brands, when it really shouldn’t be, known as ‘digital public relations’ (digital PR). We will explore how digital PR and SEO (search engine optimisation) work together, and how you can use these to build a brand that makes an impact, and that people will remember.
What is digital PR?
Digital PR is a promotional channel that combines traditional PR strategies, such as press releases and sponsored content, with SEO, content marketing, and influencer marketing. It is used to boost an organisation’s online presence and support marketing goals.
Digital PR differs from traditional PR. While traditional PR focuses on conventional channels such as television, radio, and magazines, digital PR meets a modern, internet-using audience, and helps your brand to get mentions in a way that benefits its search engine rankings.
What does digital PR involve?
- Building relationships with online journalists and regularly responding to requests for comment to get featured in their stories
- Getting high-quality backlinks from reputable websites, and making sure any press releases are fully optimised with links back to your website
- Reaching out to influencers and popular bloggers to attain mentions on their blogs and social media accounts
- Publishing high-quality content on your website to build your reputation and increase your number of backlinks
- Acquiring honest customer reviews
Digital PR for B2B companies
There’s a common misconception that B2B brands can’t benefit from digital PR and that it is reserved for more ‘fun’ B2C brands. However, this is not the case. B2B brands are made up of ordinary people just like you and me.
In fact, research has shown that the top B2B companies spend around 40% of their total marketing budgets on creative content. There are lots of creative ways B2B companies can leverage digital PR.
Although they do have some overlap, digital PR should not be confused with SEO. These are two different things. However, digital PR can be used to support your SEO strategy.
Why do we need digital PR?
In this section, we’ll go over some of the benefits of having a solid PR strategy that is integrated with your SEO one. We’ll also cover some of the drawbacks to digital PR, and outline some of the problems that you might come across when implementing a digital PR strategy.
Advantages of digital PR
Digital PR helps you to build brand trust
Having your brand featured on authoritative websites that people trust helps to improve your own authority. When your audience sees that you’ve worked with other trusted brands, this increases the trust they have with you, thereby also increasing the chance they’ll want to work with you. Furthermore, working with notable publications can help you to land additional coverage in the future.
Digital PR campaigns have a long-term effect
While traditional PR campaigns typically show immediate results, the impact quickly reduces once your TV ad stops running, or people move on to the next issue of a magazine. On the other hand, digital PR campaigns typically have a much longer-term effect. In fact, they can benefit your SEO for years following initial coverage, as website pages remain public.
Digital PR helps to increase social engagement
Many people think that social media is only useful for B2C brands. But as the line between B2B and B2C marketing becomes increasingly blurred, it’s becoming clear that social engagement is becoming more important.
Whenever you involve other brands in your PR campaign, a new opportunity to increase your social engagement arises as you interact with them on social media. If one of your posts gets picked up by another brand, their followers will likely take notice.
Other brands will likely take notice too, which can increase your chances of forming new brand partnerships and exposing yourself to an entirely new audience.
Digital PR helps to generate more leads
Lead generation is the process of identifying prospective accounts and audience segments, attracting them to your business and encouraging them to take interest in your product or service.
According to 2021 research published by FINITE, lead generation is the main objective of SEO for two thirds of B2B tech marketers, more so than brand building. In having a consistent digital PR strategy that supplements your SEO, you’re more likely to generate leads as people are redirected to your website and therefore your lead capture forms.
Digital PR ultimately helps to increase sales
One of the top priorities for any B2B company is to increase sales and see a return on investment (ROI) for a digital marketing strategy. If you stay consistent with your SEO strategy and make sure that your website is filled with high-quality content, then increased engagement with your website will eventually lead to more sales.
Challenges of digital PR
Keeping up with the trends
As your industry is ever-changing, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest marketing, growth and PR trends. This means to capture your audience’s attention, you need to be forward-thinking and innovative with your content and headlines.
More is not always better
Many brands end up straying too far away from their focus and saying ‘yes’ to any request just because they think that any backlink is better than no backlink at all. This results in brands spreading themselves too thin and coming up with any response they can think of just because they want to be involved in the conversation. To position yourself as a thought-leader within your industry, you should have a solid idea of which topics you have authority to talk about – and resist the temptation to stray too far away from this!
Effort does not always equal success
Digital PR is highly dependent on the availability and willingness of third parties to work with you and publish your content. This means that you have less direct control over the results and that your efforts won’t directly link to your success.
Using digital PR to improve your SEO
In this section, we’ll go through some of the key ways you can leverage digital PR to improve your SEO.
1. Have a clear goal in mind
Often, brands pour lots of money into PR campaigns without fully understanding what their objectives are, and without thinking about how they will measure success.
There are probably lots of things that you want to achieve with your digital PR strategy, but when you’re coming up with a digital PR strategy for your B2B company, it’s important that you first understand what you want to achieve by setting out milestones and key performance indicators (KPIs).
For instance, you might be trying to increase brand awareness and differentiate yourself from the competition, get more third-party coverage, boost your SEO score, or get more customers.
Examples of KPIs you might choose to measure include: traffic driven to a specific page on your website, the number of subscribers on your email marketing list, or the number of influencer features you attain.
2. Focus on websites with high authority
Many businesses focus their efforts on getting as many mentions from as many different websites as possible. However, this often results in spreading yourself too thin in terms of your thought leadership, and investing too much budget and time into low-quality publications.
Instead, you should find the top domain websites that are relevant to your niche, and reach out to them with high-quality, link-worthy content that demonstrates how you can offer value to their readers.
For example, if your business has recently created a report that monitors phishing trends across different industries, you can provide free access to this report for B2B buyers in these industries. To get the maximum benefit from the backlink, you can also suggest relevant anchor text for it.
3. Create high-quality long-form content that you can use in campaigns
Editors won’t include a backlink to your website without good reason to, and many will remove backlinks to your homepage as this does not provide immediate value for their readers.
This means that to get backlinks, you should make sure that you have high-quality content on your website that readers will find useful and will want to learn more from.
4. Measure the success of your digital PR strategy
Unlike traditional PR, digital PR is a data-driven channel, which thankfully means there are lots of tools that you can leverage to measure your success.
For example, you can use tools such as Google Analytics to measure the number of referrals from online articles or influencer links that mention your business. You can also use BuzzSumo to measure the number of social shares for content on your website or articles that mention your website, Moz’s Link Explorer to measure the number of backlinks to your website, and MozBar to check your website’s domain authority.
You can learn more about setting up a keyword strategy and measuring the success of your SEO campaigns in our B2B SEO best practices 2022 guide.
Hire a B2B digital marketing agency to boost your digital PR strategy
If you work within a B2B company that is just getting started with digital PR and you’re still working on refining your strategy, you can work together with a specialised SEO agency to refine your strategy and get results more quickly.
We’re the global SEO agency delivering tangible business results for ambitious tech and SaaS companies. Learn more about enhancing your B2B SEO strategy by checking out our services page.