As an eCommerce business, you rely on your Internet presence to communicate your brand’s message and encourage people through the sales funnel. Digital public relations is your key to curating a positive brand image online. With e-retail revenues projected to grow to $5.4 trillion by 2022, you’ll want to strengthen your brand’s online reputation so you can generate some of this revenue.
What is public relations, and why should you care? Let’s explore how to use PR to boost your eCommerce advertising and increase sales.
What is Digital Public Relations?
Public relations is the process of building an image or persona of a brand or organization in the public’s eye. It’s not simply responding to negative press (though that is a part); it’s actively creating and reinforcing a view of your brand in front of an audience.
Digital PR is the practice of finding the positive messages in your brand and then presenting those as stories to the public to boost your eCommerce business. You do this through unpaid (owned) or earned methods of communication on high-quality sources.
When seeking a mention on an earned channel, you persuade outside publications (such as magazines or blogs) to write a story about you or your brand. The copy the reporter or editor writes appears organically in the editorial section rather than a paid media section (which is where paid advertisements appear). By collaborating with trusted, external third parties, you build credibility with the public.
When you publish a blog post on your website or post on social media, you’re using owned channels because you control the message you share. Both earned and owned channels boost your eCommerce’s PR.
Is PR Another Term for Marketing?
How is this different from marketing? Essentially, PR is not to be implemented apart from marketing. Many companies combine the efforts of a PR team with their content marketing and digital marketing campaigns. Increasing the number of customers and sales is the primary goal for all these efforts.
You may even say that PR is a branch of marketing since they both aim to engage a specific audience. The difference is that PR establishes your brand as a trusted public figure while marketing creates excitement among consumers with instantly gratifying initiatives. Marketing campaigns are deals, discounts, coupons, and promotions that get customers and their friends interested in products. PR, on the other hand, gets people thinking with news and opinion pieces. You can think of it in this way: you grow your business with marketing and establish your authority with PR.
How to Successfully Use Digital PR as an Ecommerce Business
Consumers are bombarded with advertisements and marketing messages every time they jump on the Internet or their social media, drive down the road, shop for groceries, or turn on the TV. Some are even tired of and resistant to blatantly obvious ads. How can you ensure your eCommerce website stands out among all the noise without adding to it? Implement PR campaigns. They’re gentle reminders that your business exists, you have something to offer, and your products and services can be trusted.
Any business owner or professional can start crafting PR campaigns, but to be truly successful with your public relations, you should know a few things before you begin. Here are a few ways you can boost your eCommerce business website with public relations.
Assemble a PR Team
You know the saying, “It takes a village to raise a kid”? Well, PR is sort of like a kid—in the sense that to have the best public relations for your eCommerce brand, you need a village of PR specialists. This “village” can be as big or as small as you want. Perhaps, the village is you and one other employee. Maybe your brand needs multiple people to cover each role of PR.
Even if you run a small eCommerce store and don’t have the resources for a team, you can still have one person cover the PR work. Just make sure this person is good at building relationships, writing strong content, and speaking publicly.
Build an Online Presence
It’s hard to boost your eCommerce website if you’re not actively engaging customers, influencers, and the media online. Incorporate social media into your PR campaigns.
The posts you publish on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with a public relations intention shouldn’t push a product or service. Instead, they should offer an honest opinion or insight into a hot topic in your industry.
The key is to be true to your brand voice. Don’t address something that doesn’t fit your brand, and stay truthful because people can sense when you’re using manipulative tactics.
How you engage with consumers on social media also plays a big part in how successful your digital PR campaign is. Here are a few pointers:
- Determine which social media channels fit your brand and actively post on these sites. How frequently you post depends on your industry and the specific platform.
- Follow influencers and other accounts that are related to your industry.
- Like and share posts.
- Add to the conversation by commenting on other’s posts and creating opinion posts. Always be respectful and share things you’re genuinely interested in.
Establish Yourself as a Thought-Leader
One of the greatest ways to build your online presence is by sharing your knowledge with others. When you position yourself as a thought-leader, consumers will begin to recognize your name and your brand as trustworthy. Gain more press for your eCommerce business website by participating in online conversations.
In addition to sharing your thoughts on social media, you can build a positive reputation for your brand by:
- Acting as a resource for reporters: Journalists and bloggers often seek sources to provide comments for their stories. One way to find these opportunities is through a service called HARO (Help a Reporter Out). When you sign up, you’ll receive emails daily with questions from reporters and bloggers. If you see an opportunity that aligns with your eCommerce business, write up a response to the question, then send the quote to the writer. They’ll often cite your name and company and link to your website.
- Joining discussions on forums: Find industry-relevant forums or questions on Reddit or Quora, then engage with consumers on these platforms. Be sure to be honest about who you are and whom you represent. You don’t want to hide that you are part of a company, but you don’t want to push your products or services. Many forum moderators will kick you out if you try to sell products. The best way to interact on forums is by providing solutions and answers to people’s pain points.
Create Content Worth the Buzz
Media outlets and bloggers are constantly searching for the next big thing. They want timely pieces that entertain and inform. As an eCommerce website owner, you have a unique perspective on your industry. This insight could bring a lot of value to readers.
When working on your PR campaigns, make sure you craft content that addresses who, what, when, where, and why. Be careful not to have your content read like a list of answers to these questions. Instead, it should read like a story. We suggest working with a professional writer. They can take your ideas and weave an interesting anecdote that editors and bloggers want to publish.
Craft a Personable Pitch
Publishers will not publish your content or write about your business simply because you need to improve your eCommerce store’s search results rankings. They want to know what’s in it for them. Why should they care about your business or your new product offerings? Why would their readers be interested?
Convincing editors, influencers, and bloggers to partner with your brand is a big part of PR. You’ll need a pitch that stands out from the hundreds of other emails they receive. Craft a pitch that includes these elements:
- Kind Voice: Start your pitch by specifically naming the editor, influencer, or blogger you are outreaching to. Then, keep this polite voice throughout the short pitch. Be complimentary of the specific site, so your pitch doesn’t sound like it’s coming from a template.
- Link to Your Website: After introducing yourself and your eCommerce store, provide a link to your website so they can learn more about you and your brand.
- Clear Call-to-Action: Near the middle or end of your pitch, include your CTA. Make it clear what you want; don’t skirt around it.
- What’s in It for Them: Discuss how the editor or blogger will benefit from sharing your business’s story or opinion.
Benefits of Digital PR
Why should you care about your online public relations? Not only will it improve your brand’s reputation, but it will also help you in the following areas:
- It’ll Boost Your SEO: Publishing articles online, networking with journalists and editors, guest blogging, and partnering with bloggers for sponsored blog posts can gain you valuable, high-quality, and relevant backlinks. These links to your eCommerce website signal to search engines that your site is a credible source. Building your backlink portfolio with these PR initiatives can increase your ranking position on search results.
- It’ll Earn Your Site Visibility. Publishing press releases and crafting newsworthy content can earn you press features, which will place your brand in front of new audiences—all with a single piece of content.
- It’ll Generate Leads and Boost Sales. By focusing time and resources on digital PR, you’ll drive traffic to your site and thereby increase the number of people perusing your products and purchasing items.
Boosting Your Website with Digital PR
Whether you’re establishing a new brand or running an established brand, you can benefit from using public relations strategies. Build a positive online reputation for your brand by sharing opinions, news, and helpful information with reporters, editors, bloggers, and influencers.
Information provided by Evestar a Fort Lauderdale e-commerce advertising agency.
Top Public Relations News:
Job of the Day: Senior Social Media Planner for Digital Gurus
Apple Has More than Jobs
Polk County Visitors & Convention Bureau Seeks Marketing Firm
Joe’s Crab Shack Earns a PR Darwin Award
Ken Bone: His Fifteen Minutes Of Fame Is Over
BP’s Aggressive PR Plan Revealed, Piss Everyone Off
South Carolina City Issues PR RFP
Tourism RFP Issued By Davis County, Utah
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Issues Media Strategy RFP
The perils of rebranding your organisation