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Radically Better Results

Avatar of Lekha Ly

Earlier this month, some of the Campaigns team at Yard took a trip down to Brighton to enhance our knowledge of all things SEO and Digital PR.  

After a tumultuous two years caused by the pandemic and the impact it had on so many of us mentally, what stood out to us the most is that the conference wasn’t just about SEO and Digital Marketing. Talented speakers from all over the UK spoke about being supportive leaders, how we can look after our mental health at work and how menstrual health impacts work. As we spend more of our waking hours at work, there’s been a positive shift towards overall work wellbeing, and this was more palpable than ever at this year’s BrightonSEO conference.  

A talk that gave us lots of actionable insights to take back to our fellow Yardies was Isa Lavahun’s presentation on How to be the Ultimate Double Agent- PR and Link Builder. It had us thinking about how we elevate ‘traditional’ PR practices in the Digital PR industry. The tools we use as Digital PR practitioners are now more refined than ever, so we are no longer seen as “link builders” but as PR Experts with SEO value.   

Digital PR is often seen as “spammy” link-building when it’s done badly (more on that later), but really, most of us use traditional PR tactics to help maximise our PR efforts: 

  • Research 

  • Case studies  

  • Newsjacking  

  • Expert commentary  

To elevate the above, at Yard, we use keyword analysis and customer profiling along with tools such as Google Trends and Answer the Public to help us ideate and produce Digital PR Campaigns. 

Isa’s talk provided everyone at the conference with some additional tips on how we can get more data and insights, which we would like to share: 

Social Listening:  Social listening gives us an opportunity to see what issues crop up the most in our client’s specific industry and what problems they are trying to solve in order to create relevant and compelling content. An example is if our client is a fashion or accessories brand, we can pinpoint through social listening what key influencers care about the most. Is it using sustainable materials or is it more about buying timeless pieces, so we consume less?  

Competitor Insights: Competitor analysis can define your client’s standing in relation to other market players and importantly identify gaps for you to fill. We use BuzzSumo to see which journalists are writing about competitors which is useful for understanding where you’re likely to be featured.  

Exploding Topics: As the name suggests, Exploding Topics is a tool that allows you to find “trends” before they even take off. Through this tool we can see what the most searched for topics are in your client’s sector. At Yard, we have many finance clients and when doing a search for exploding topics in this sector we saw that “openpay” has had a 5400% increase in searches in the last year. We could use this insight to create a campaign around protecting your finances when using buy now pay later services. 

 

Creating the Idea: 

Social listening and Exploding Topics can help us identify one of the biggest pain points for a customer. In the case of “openpay” for instance, we could survey 2,000 adults who have used this service to find out how they have been enticed to use it and if they’ve found it difficult to save money as a result of using.  

Turning the results into a press release, we could also add tips from a spokesperson (our client) with tips on how often we should be using “openpay”. 

So, you have the data-led idea. How do you get a link? 

At Yard, the Digital PR and Content teams work hand in hand to create campaigns that encourage links. To expand on our “openpay” example above, we could create a visually compelling timeline to live on the client’s side of how in-store credit cards have now evolved into the “buy now, pay later” option we know today.  

This will encourage journalists that you are outreaching to, to link to your site to help their readers.  


Why do Digital PR practitioners have a reputation of being “spammy”? 

Ultimately, relevancy is pivotal in Digital PR and not just for the content we produce either. Is your content/ campaign relevant to the journalist you are pitching to? 

Relevancy means different things to different people so when you’re outreaching ask yourself the below: 

  • Would your client’s target audience be interested in the publication you are trying to place content in? 
     

  • Are you selling in something that is truly newsworthy to the journalist? 

If your client is a luxury travel company who targets city dwellers aged 40+, should you be trying to get coverage in Cosmopolitan online even though their DA is super high? 

Or, is what you are saying even newsworthy? What are you adding to the conversation? Is the content already out there? 

Ask yourself these questions before outreaching and understand your client’s niche so that journalists don’t feel like you’re just copying and pasting a pitch without doing any research on the title you’re expecting coverage in.  

Relevant content: 

Relevancy isn’t just important to journalists but to Google too.  

  • Is your client an authority on the subject you’ve chosen for them to speak about? 
     

  • Does the press release you’ve written contain keywords that you want your client to rank for? 

At Yard, we ask our clients the right questions to understand business goals and what success looks like for them before we start ideating so that we’re not just “link builders” but ambassadors of the business we’re representing.  

We set boundaries against what topics we ideate around so that we can create a truly “relevant” idea that can be angled towards prioritising a specific landing page.  

See a case study here for our jewellery client, ROX, to see how we used traditional PR and link building tactics to help them rank in position 1 for “Engagement Rings”.  

We are a team of experts in not just SEO but brand building and reputation management. It’s thanks to conferences like BrightonSEO and the speakers that kindly share their time and knowledge that we are able to continue to grow and improve in order to have a positive impact for our clients. If you’re interested in amplifying your Digital PR coverage, get in touch with us here.