Standing out in the digital age is difficult. With thousands of bloggers, vloggers, and businesses all scrambling for their share of the online limelight, you have to work increasingly hard to stand out from the crowd. That’s where an effective and viral digital PR campaign that captures people’s attention can work wonders when trying to get your message and branding out there. But it isn’t easy – that mysterious golden egg of virality is difficult to predict. Sometimes, you might have the perfect campaign ready to go, but you release at just the wrong time and it gets swallowed by other news.
All you can do is to take control of the things that are actually… in your control. Do this, and your digital PR campaigns will have more successes than failures and you’ll get your stories out in front of the right people. While you can’t always predict how a campaign will perform, there are a lot of things you can do to set yourself up for the best success possible.
Be Simple & Unique
Ever feel like you’re bouncing around from one thing to another without being able to concentrate on something for long enough before getting distracted? Well, that’s probably because you’ve got a smaller attention span than a goldfish. No, I’m serious, you really do. The average human attention span has fallen by almost four seconds since 2000. Now, I wonder what else significant has happened in that time…
That’s right: we’re all spending a lot more of our time staring at screens and scrolling through feeds. We live in a new age of informational freedom, and boy does it come at you thick and fast. So it’s really no surprise that, in a way, information has become more disposable. Can your campaign be seen, digested and understood in eight seconds or less? If not, you’re in trouble.
Simplicity is king, alongside being able to pique interest by showing something unique that your audience hasn’t seen before. Together, both of these factors mean that your campaign will stop people mid-scroll and quickly get the message, making that valuable share/like/comment all the more likely.
Successful storytelling in digital means cutting through the noise – and doing so quickly. A straightforward, simple message behind your campaign is one of the easiest ways to achieve this. Shareability is key.
There’s nothing to say that you can’t run a decent campaign on a small bit of news, and there’s plenty of reasons you might want to run a locally-based campaign, but you’re going to need your campaign to be of general public interest. Be too specific, and your lack of reach will limit your success. Be too broad, however, and you risk having nobody pay attention. The answer? Be disruptive and force people to pay attention.
Ok, that might be easier said than done, but the fact is that the only campaign people won’t ignore is a campaign they can’t ignore. ‘But how do I make [insert boring client here] interesting’, I hear you ask. Fortunately, every story has some creative angle to it. It might take a bit of brainstorming, mind-mapping, coffee, and, well, frustration, but get those creative juices flowing and you’ll find something worth talking about.
Always be asking yourself: ‘why should someone care about this?’ and ‘what’s stopping someone from skipping/closing/scrolling past this?’ Doubt is actually your friend here, and it will help you reach a process of constantly refining and working on the angles to create something genuinely interesting and captivating.
Try to disrupt the natural order when creating a campaign. If you can find a story that directly opposes a common belief, then that’s perfect. People will talk. If you can mine and analyse the data to find a surprising result that people seem to be ignoring, then scream it from the rooftops. Your job is to make your friend’s grandma who doesn’t even own a computer go around to her friend’s house for tea and say: ‘ooh did you hear about such and such?’ Do that and you’ve won.
Call To Action
Ever feel under pressure to provide visible ROI and find it difficult to do so? It can be difficult when working with clients to explain just what exactly digital PR is and how important it is. Traditional PR campaigns based on offline media were actually incredibly difficult to quantifiably track. Today, digital PR campaigns are driven by backlinks, mentions, shares, conversions, and all kinds of different metrics that you’re going to be judged by.
This means that you need a digital PR campaign that drives engagement. Sure, a billboard that makes people chuckle on the way to work and mention it to a colleague that same morning is great, but how on earth do you track that? And how effective is it really going to be in the long term? A billboard that makes people stop and take notice, with an invitation to go online and follow/share/hashtag/engage with the campaign is leagues better.
Entice people to engage with something interactive and that’s different, interesting, and unique, and you won’t be able to help but attract their attention. People love filling things out and getting results – it’s something that Buzzfeed figured out a long time ago and mined to absolute exhaustion, but it’s a practice and idea that still remain relevant and it’s something you should use to your advantage. Static media is great for communicating information and your message, but use it as an invitation to something interactive and it will explode.
Use A Data-Driven Approach
So you’ve got a great idea for a campaign. Something that will really capture people’s imagination, encourage sharing, and be of general, widespread interest. Perfect. Now it’s time to back that idea up.
This might seem obvious, but that fact is that your job is to turn general ideas into something concrete and arguable. It can be a lengthy and – let’s be honest – tedious process, but if you’re willing to spend time trawling through reams of data in order to find an interesting and unique story, then an ambiguous or surprising campaign all of a sudden becomes real.
But being data-driven doesn’t just mean using actual data as part of your campaign. It also means finding data-driven ways to track your success, as we mentioned in the Call To Action section. A lot of digital PRs combine traditional PR with SEO tactics like link building, and this can be a valuable way of monitoring the effectiveness and impact of your campaign while proving ROI to clients.
If you can show a client increased backlinks, record levels on social engagement, press and media mentions, and a boost to website traffic, then you can give yourself a big old pat on the back.
Get In Touch
Want to know more? Here at Embryo Digital, we’re an award-winning Manchester SEO and digital marketing agency with a speciality in search optimisation and creative content marketing – both skills that we use when running impactful, eye-catching and effective digital PR campaigns for our clients. Discover more about how we do what we do and why we’re the number one ranking SEO agency in Manchester by getting in touch with us today.