Using Digital Marketing to Complement PR Efforts

Jarobin Gilbert, Digital Marketing Specialist
Before I begin, I want to say a big thanks to LCI for bringing me on as a Digital Marketing Specialist. Using my skills in conjunction with PR efforts has been a fantastic learning experience. My role allows me to focus on the nuanced points that lie within digital publications, new coverage and other types of media central to PR, and then help to make strategic recommendations from the standpoint of results, consistency and opportunity.
As with any business, the results of any team’s work are most important. Whether it is how much revenue is earned, how many people saw a billboard or how many times a commercial was on air, results are what help us to understand just how well (or not) our campaigns are working. Results from the digital side cover the following important aspects:

  • Number of site visitors:This is one of the most important metrics that clients and agencies look for. The number of site visitors is always a good benchmark for how well known your site is and how easy it is to access it. For PR purposes where popularity/visibility is a key metric, site visitors is always going to be an important metric for you to follow.
  • Bounce/exit rate:This tells you what percentage of people left your site or a particular page without completing any other actions, and is an important metric for a PR firm because it indicates whether your website and other digital assets are performing well or may benefit from improvements. While site visitors is one of measure of success, a bounce rate can tell you a lot about the user experience and if your PR efforts match the digital experience you want customers/viewers to have. Typically, if a bounce rate is low for most sites, there is enough content and information for the user to experience. A high bounce rate may be an indication of where your site may need some strengthening
  • Average time spent on site:Like the two metrics above, average time spent on site is a good indicator of how your digital messaging is working. Average time spent on site can help you to see if your website experience is a good one and if you should continue to add features and/or what parts of your site perform the best.
  • Conversions: This is a metric that comes in many different forms for clients depending on the kind of campaign they are running. Some are trying to sell an item, acquire signatures/registrations or have people dial in to phone numbers. Conversions are the key indicator of how well your website, supporting media efforts and clear calls to action are performing.

The examples above are just some of the ways that you can tell how well your campaign is performing as the numbers are clear and finite. However, the beauty of the data is that it can help you to adjust, tweak and even change future outcomes based on what you’ve learned.
Results are the end aspect of campaign efforts. The key to both success and longevity of any campaign is to figure out how you can keep the conversation going both on and offline. Whether your campaign lives on a website, or you have other supporting elements, it is to your advantage to keep the minds of a user/viewer on your subject.
To accomplish generating a continued interest, it is worth investigating where coverage is shared, how often your intended audience has seen it, and where conversations happen.
Sharing/spreading news coverage and media results are a key factor in keeping eyes and ears on a particular cause and client. News publications may only publish things once, but we often underestimate the power of our own social networks and the reach we have within our own grasp. Using social media platforms to your advantage is a crucial factor in making sure that the coverage you do obtain doesn’t go by the wayside.
To help boost efforts, one can factor in other variables such a time of day, day of the week or even if one piece compliments another in a campaign that you’re running. The point is to always make sure that your efforts and work are top of mind for the viewer, and that those efforts continue to have your intended audience be a part of the planning and the goals you’ve set.
Review and Plan Again 
If there is one consistent theme throughout each campaign, each strategy and each meeting, it’s that in order to be successful in our efforts, we must review and analyze what we did before. On the digital marketing side of any industry, not every campaign is flawless. In launching anything it is crucial that all the pieces come together for the best effect possible. You can do this in a few easy steps:

  • Always share your insights, concerns, potential challenges and the desired outcomes with your team.
  • Ask yourselves, “What worked?”, “What didn’t work?” and, “Why did/didn’t this work?”
  • Analyze the competition and compare with yourselves. Look at their tactics, methods and successes. Find out what makes you unique.
  • Find the best tools, tactics and methods that your team can use to reach those same goals.
  • Be in communication with each part of your team and make sure that each piece is working together and where it can be improved.
  • Analyze your results and repeat the same steps for your next campaign.

Knowing what your strengths and areas of opportunity are will be crucial to a successful digital campaign. Going through these steps can always be relied on and can help you to accomplish just about anything you set forth.
Digital marketing has many metrics, tactics and tools available. However, these alone cannot turn any campaign into an overnight sensation. The key to success with digital marketing is not just an understanding of what your objectives are; rather it is having frequent communication between the members of your team so that all the pieces fit together. Successes are often the result of well planned strategies. So having everything in sync, digital or otherwise, is crucial for the best results.
Questions or comments for Jarobin? Leave a comment below or email [email protected].

9 thoughts on “Using Digital Marketing to Complement PR Efforts

  1. Jarobin – great blog post. Glad to see you support the importance of PR and I agree with you that it’s critical with digital campaigns to constantly “test and learn” to find that silver lining that spells success. Thanks for all your help here at LCI. Cheers, David

  2. Jarobin, thank you for the blog post. Completely agree with your thinking in that the key to both success and longevity of a campaign is to figure out how you can keep the conversation going both on and offline.

  3. Great post, Jarobin. Without a doubt you have demonstrated your great skills in the digital marketing space. I’m also glad you were able to incorporate those skills in public relations, and able to produce fantastic results.

  4. It’s been great working alongside you and learning about the depths of digital marketing analysis that you undertake. Thanks for all of your insight and best of luck in your next venture!

  5. Jarobin, excellent blog. It’s the “analyzing” results that I always falter on 🙂

  6. Wow, what a useful post, Jarobin, thank you! I’ve recently started getting my feet wet in the digital marketing arena and have just learned several new tips as a result of this. It’s a very well-laid out plan that will help others get their hands around this concept better. Thanks again!

  7. The ability to tweak a campaign in real time is what I find so intriguing about digital. Jarobin – thanks for your many thoughts about how make the most of a PR campaign through digital support. Integrated communications is where it’s at!

  8. Jarobin, I really enjoyed your post. You did a great job of showing how someone with your expertise can work together with a PR agency to boost efforts – very interesting. I particularly enjoyed the part about reviewing campaigns, looking for what did/didn’t work, and using that information to plan for next time. It’s been such a pleasure working with you!

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