According to recent reports, there are currently 4.66 billion active internet users and 4.2 billion active social media users. This accounts for over half of the world’s entire population, many of whom could be your potential customers or clients.
With fewer public events or interactions and more people turning online as a result, your brand’s digital presence and reputation (digital PR) is more crucial now than ever. In this increasingly virtual business landscape, you can’t afford to be passive or inconsistent in terms of how consumers perceive your brand across the web.
2021 is the Year to Optimize Your Brand’s Digital PR
The key to understanding the importance of digital PR is knowing the role of online reputation management (ORM) in your overall strategy. ORM comprises several digital marketing channels and techniques to craft your brand positioning/presence, such as:
- Social media conversations;
- Consistent brand messaging;
- Organic content and guest posts;
- Customer reviews or feedback;
- Online influencer engagement;
- SEO and SERP visibility.
In short, digital PR is the vehicle to create a positive ORM for your business. And no matter what 2021 has in store, there’s no doubt that digital traffic will continue to increase. This will make your ORM even more important when it comes to sales and conversions. As such, here are four reasons to take the plunge and focus your marketing efforts on digital PR in 2021.
1. Digital PR Creates Brand Awareness
You can design an excellent website, publish high-quality content and consistently post on social media, but none of that matters if internet users don’t know your brand. In fact, 82 percent of online consumers are more willing to visit links from brand names they’re familiar with, according to research from Red C Marketing.
Digital PR increases brand awareness in a few specific ways. It enables you to communicate with users on the platforms they’re active on, establishing a cohesive brand image (no matter the channel). Additionally, you can promote link building on industry-specific websites that appeal to your target audience (and push more traffic back to your site). Most importantly, digital PR increases your network and positions your brand as a leader in your vertical.
2. Digital PR Boosts Social Interactions
An estimated 75 percent of consumers use social media to research a company’s products/services. Further, 71 percent will recommend that company if their experience on social media is positive, according to Oberlo. Bottom line, your audience wants to interact with you on social networks. Digital PR ensures these connections are direct, timely and authentic.
Online reputation management can expand your reach on social media through the simple tool of conversation. When you communicate with users by responding to their comments or answering questions, you convert them into followers—and ultimately, customers/clients. Over time, this increased engagement also triggers the platform algorithm, so your content appears more in your audience’s feed.
3. Digital PR Builds Trust and Credibility
In an increasingly competitive business sphere where brands must vie for acquisition and retention, the importance of trust is paramount. The Edelman Trust Barometer found that 81 percent of consumers must trust that a brand will do what’s right before they’ll make a purchase. For that reason, your digital reputation must be transparent, credible and trustworthy.
The two best ways to use digital PR to boost credibility are through positive customer reviews and high-authority backlinks. When prospects see your company featured in high-quality publications or reviewed by actual consumers, it authenticates you as a trusted brand. Moreover, this also improves your overall SEO ranking on search engine results pages (SERP).
4. Digital PR Generates Web Traffic
All these other benefits of digital PR lead to arguably the most crucial benefit: more website traffic and, ideally, conversions. But to drive that organic traffic, you need to be visible in the search results that users look for. The number one webpage on a Google SERP has a 31.7 percent click-through-rate. Also, it is 10 percent more likely to be visited than the tenth result, based on analysis from Backlinko. In other words, you want to be near the top.
This is where content, backlinks, guest posts, social media interactions, consistent brand image and SEO keywords all come together to elevate where you rank on Google and other search engines. Successful online reputation management depends on as much positive internet activity as possible, so the more frequently and reputably a brand is seen across the web, the higher it ranks and the more traffic it will receive.
Raise the Bar on Your Online Reputation Management
Now that you’re convinced of the power of digital PR and the absolute necessity for a targeted strategy in 2021, it’s time to build yours! Refer to our comprehensive guide on successful online reputation management to get started.
Our expert team at 10x digital can curate an effective online presence and reputation for your business in 2021 and beyond. Check out our ORM services for more information and get in touch today.