When I start working with a new company who wants PR, I usually have to spend at least a few hours training them on how to get the most out of the work I will be doing for them. So, I figured it was about time to put all that training into a simple easy-to-understand Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your Online PR Efforts.
There are lots of good articles about how PR affects organic rankings, so I’ll leave that statement as fact. You don’t really have to do anything extra with any online PR you get for it to affect your SEO. But just make a habit of asking for a link to your site in the article that mentions you or your company. I know it sounds tacky, old-fashioned and whatnot, but it never hurts to ask.
According to Joy Powers at Ragan.com, “When employees don’t know what is going on in the company, productivity can give way to redundant or otherwise unnecessary efforts on the part of the staff .” (emphasis mine) The takeaway: make sure to let the entire company know when you or your company gets mentioned in any press. That might be as simple as sending it out in the company newsletter or sharing the article on your social sites and blog.
The credibility you build as an opinion leader spills over into everything else you do. Thought leadership is more than an article, a book, a speaking gig, or an award: it’s truly leading a space in thought and serving as a resource for others in your area. Many PR companies today help their clients get setup as regular contributors to large sites, like Forbes or Inc. But you can apply for those same writing gigs yourself.
In the dot-com bubble era, when the worth of a technology company was measured by how well it was known, market valuation increased by a factor of twelve in some specific cases. However, other sources have described ‘intangibles’ like your brand name as an important market valuation tool as well. In either case, if that Inc.com article you were mentioned in didn’t drive any leads or sales, you can feel better about it’s value as a brand and market-value-strengthening tool when you tell your investors or board members.
I recently wrote an article here on SEJ about ways to use social proof properly. “As Seen On” quotes on your website and video interviews with C level executives are two examples. Simply put, use the logos from the press sites you get mentioned on and put them in the footer of every page of your site. Or on a prominent spot on a landing page. You’ll be able to see a positive impact on conversion rate.
Ask most PR people and they’ll tell you PR increases sales. Ask them by how much and they’ll start to get awfully vague just like many marketers when asked a specific question like this. But, imagine you were having a conversation with a salesperson and they mentioned that their company had recently been profiled in the Wall Street Journal. You would instantly, albeit subconsciously perhaps, grant that salesperson more credibility and trust. But don’t take my word for it. See this Entrepreneur article about that topic in greater detail.
Content marketing and PR are really starting to cross into the same realm. And with content syndication tools like Outbrain and Taboola, you can dramatically increase the exposure of your own blog posts, as well as PR pieces in the press that mention you or your company. You can’t count on a PR mention in the press to generate instant traffic; but with a little content syndication to a credible site, you can really amplify those PR mentions.
I did a test with a former client of mine. We developed a very specific piece of content aimed at a very specific demographic, and got the article published on a well-known international site. It generated 60k views over 60 days, and it keeps getting a few hundred views every month. But the article also linked over to the client’s site, and I had access to the client’s analytics. That article alone was responsible for five leads. That might sound really low, but each lead was worth thousands of dollars for the client.
It is much easier to recruit for a company that people have heard of. Margarita Hakobyan, the CEO of MoversCorp (and disclosure, a friend of mine), uses her press mentions at every new candidate interview. She says, “While we may look small, I can mention the fact that we’ve been in Forbes and instantly each candidate becomes more interested and respectful.”
If you’re generating your own PR in any way, this list will help you maximize your efforts. And if you want to share some more examples of how you’re using PR in marketing, please leave a comment!