Optimized public relations requires a new vision in which data over search intention takes precedence
(Expansion) – Who has not used the web or social media search engines to find information about products or services that they need, without knowing the name of the particular brands? The data doesn’t lie: The vast majority (87%) of shoppers begin their shopping journey on digital channels, according to Salesforce research. And boy did 2020 give this habit a boost!
This trend of searching the web and doing it more precisely is giving more relevance to marketing executed with an SEO strategy (optimization techniques to rank better in searches).
In this scenario, public relations are taking an increasingly relevant role as part of integrated marketing communications; Now, in addition to creating awareness and visibility for brands, these strategies have the challenge of maximizing the capacity for discovery at the points of contact with customers and potential customers who, during their shopping trip, are looking for information according to their interests and motivations. Specific, and in the formats they like to consume.
New features for public relations
By driving greater possibilities for discovery on the web, public relations actions help to ensure that brands reach the right audience, with the right content and at the right times; triggering two-way conversations to increase brand awareness and generate engagement – involvement with the brand-.
Although achieving ‘discoverable’ brands has been, until now, a task-focused on digital marketing, especially through actions such as paid content and ads (online ads); From my perspective, the online brand discovery has become the new paradigm of integrated marketing -including public relations-, in whose function as optimized PR will be the creation of a strategy of earned media that are written, published and shared in so that maximum search engine discoverability is achieved.
These actions require credible and authentic content, offering deep insight and advice on multiple aspects of the topic to engage the reader, writing first for the reader and then for the search engines.
It does not mean that public relations are losing its essence, rather it is an optimization to adapt to the current business environment and consumer habits.
On the other hand, this online discovery function of brands becomes a kind of the cherry on the cake that crowns many of the public relations efforts that we already carry out today and that are fully linked to demonstrate the importance and the true impact of PR on business results.
Traditional RP + Digital RP: the perfect match for the engagement
Under this new role, an optimized PR strategy paves the way for brands to leverage the benefits of the traditional PR + digital PR formula (which I referred to in another Expansion article) to maximize discovery search capabilities to the length and breadth of an integral strategy (PESO marketing model) based on a multiplatform content based on SEO, which, when distributed through the different channels, helps target audiences to discover our brand in any of the contact points. Thus we arrive at the final result of the formula: traditional PR + digital PR = the perfect dumbbell to generate engagement.
Optimized PR requires a new vision in which data over search intent, SEO-optimized value content that responds to our buyer persona’s searches, and accurate distribution take precedence.
With this in mind, many of the brands may think that a public relations strategy is only for a large brand or to achieve a global online presence.
However, given the current digital landscape, where isolation is a common denominator and people use online channels to find out and buy; all businesses need a strategy that makes them be discovered in online channels, from the web search engines themselves to the social networks where their audiences are connected.
Today businesses have the challenge of ensuring that their brands are visible and found on the web, because in this lies the difference between success and failure; And when PRs perform these strategies correctly they add immense value to brand content and extend its useful life.