9 Ways To Use Digital, PR & Advertising To Achieve Your Brand Goals

Insights and tips to help your brand aware­ness, engage­ment, and rep­u­ta­tion man­age­ment efforts suc­ceed.

Courtney Sulzberger By Courtney Sulzberger from Wpromote. Join the discussion » 1 comment

Smart mar­keters know that all three com­po­nents of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, adver­tis­ing and PR are nec­es­sary to have a healthy brand pres­ence. This arti­cle pro­vides tips, insights, and exam­ples on how each of these enti­ties can help your brand aware­ness, engage­ment and rep­u­ta­tion man­age­ment.

When brands are look­ing to achieve a cer­tain goal in the New Year, it can be hard del­e­gat­ing where their annu­al bud­gets should go. When assess­ing the options between a mar­ket­ing, PR, or adver­tis­ing agency, the mul­ti­tude of choic­es and ben­e­fits of each one over­whelm deci­sion mak­ers. Pre­vi­ous­ly, this choice came down to choos­ing between paid, earned or owned media.

Before the dig­i­tal era, mar­ket­ing, PR, and adver­tis­ing were sep­a­rate enti­ties with defined respon­si­bil­i­ties. Now, these indus­tries are more close­ly relat­ed than ever.

Brand ini­tia­tives are car­ried through­out PR plans, mar­ket­ing strate­gies, and cal­cu­lat­ed ads. Fur­ther­more, agen­cies are find­ing them­selves cross­ing paths with one anoth­er more often than not.

Dig­i­tal out­reach is prac­ticed by PR pro­fes­sion­als and tra­di­tion­al adver­tis­ing moved into the social realm. But how do you use each one of these facets to achieve your goals?

Goal: Create Brand Awareness

Whether you’re an unknown brand, or have already estab­lished your­self as an author­i­ty in the indus­try, brand aware­ness is nec­es­sary for top fun­nel strate­gies. There are mul­ti­ple ways you can invest your bud­get appro­pri­ate­ly to achieve this goal.

  • Dig­i­tal: Using both owned and earned strate­gies, online mar­ket­ing can help achieve this goal. Whether it’s syn­di­cat­ing a pop­u­lar info­graph­ic or tar­get­ing long-tail key­words through your con­tent cal­en­dar, you can reach an audi­ence that was once untapped. A sol­id con­tent strat­e­gy is key here.
  • PR: This is where the lines become blur­ry. Off-site SEO often col­lides with the PR world when con­duct­ing influ­encer out­reach. This earned media strat­e­gy results in online men­tions by influ­encers, blog­gers and even jour­nal­ists. PR and mar­ket­ing agen­cies can approach this tac­tic in mul­ti­ple ways includ­ing con­tent mar­ket­ing (dig­i­tal) and pitch­ing to jour­nal­ists (PR). Either way, a healthy brand should use both out­lets to cov­er the dif­fer­ent areas of exper­tise.
  • Paid: Paid media is also extreme­ly ben­e­fi­cial for brand aware­ness, main­ly due to the prospect­ing options avail­able online. Using cus­tom audi­ence met­rics, PPC and social ads tar­get new cus­tomers that may not be aware of your brand, but have sim­i­lar inter­ests, are locat­ed near­by, or have pre­vi­ous­ly been to your com­peti­tors’ site.

Goal: Build Brand Engagement

Keep­ing your audi­ence engaged is dif­fi­cult. Con­stant, high-qual­i­ty con­tent cre­ation is essen­tial to this, but then what? You need to stay rel­e­vant to your audience’s inter­ests, indus­try trends, and more.

  • Dig­i­tal: It all starts with con­tent. Cre­at­ing use­ful, inter­est­ing and rel­e­vant con­tent for your audi­ence mem­bers is a nec­es­sary step in this process. Fash­ion brand Joie cre­ates con­sis­tent pieces of con­tent that relate to their tar­get demo­graph­ic, includ­ing music, fash­ion trends, and inter­views with influ­encers. Its social media also engages users on a fre­quent basis. Whether it’s cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful­ly pinned boards, host­ing a con­test on Face­book, or reply­ing to mes­sages from their users, these actions keep audi­ence mem­bers engaged and talk­ing about the Joie brand.
  • PR: Once again, PR and dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing cross paths. PR agen­cies will con­sis­tent­ly mon­i­tor social media for any brand men­tions, trend­ing top­ics, and more. This mir­rors what many social media man­agers do on a dai­ly basis as well. PR pro­fes­sion­als will fol­low-up with social media or edi­to­r­i­al leads to try and insert the brand name into the con­ver­sa­tion. They will also notice if influ­encers organ­i­cal­ly men­tion the brand or show inter­est and send them some free prod­ucts (thus increas­ing engage­ment). For exam­ple, an emerg­ing beau­ty influ­encer has been receiv­ing a mul­ti­tude of prod­ucts from big beau­ty brands (includ­ing Ben­e­fit Cos­met­ics and Pixi), thus lead­ing to var­i­ous social men­tions.
  • Paid: Remar­ket­ing is a pow­er­ful tac­tic that can keep your brand top of mind through­out a user’s online expe­ri­ence. Dis­play and social remar­ket­ing ads tar­get users are the mid to low fun­nel, thus increas­ing the chances of engage­ment and direct con­ver­sions or leads.

Goal: Manage Reputation

  • Dig­i­tal: Rep­u­ta­tion man­age­ment strate­gies used to be more aggres­sive in the SEO world. Today, the major­i­ty of this is done via on-site opti­miza­tions for a cer­tain brand term or name. Anoth­er way to man­age a brand’s rep­u­ta­tion is through social media. Social media plat­forms are now con­sid­ered a meet­ing point for brands and their con­sumers, giv­ing con­sumers the pow­er to voice their con­cerns. Hav­ing strong CRM allows brands to address these con­cerns in real-time.
  • PR: Cause mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tives help align brands with pos­i­tive mes­sages such as REI’s #OptOut­side cam­paign or brands that par­tic­i­pate in #Giv­ingTues­day. This also gives brands a chance to tout their social cor­po­rate respon­si­bil­i­ty.
  • Paid: Using PPC, brands can ensure their web­sites are the first thing users see when search­ing for their brand names. We also hope for organ­ic list­ings to also appear first for your brand name; how­ev­er, an opti­mized PPC cam­paign can ensure this hap­pens.

The above sit­u­a­tions include spe­cif­ic exam­ples of the roles each dis­ci­pline can take, how­ev­er they aren’t lim­it­ed to these actions. In real­i­ty, there are an end­less num­ber of ways all three dis­ci­plines can inter­act and com­pli­ment each oth­er. So, when con­sid­er­ing your bud­get for this year, make sure to incor­po­rate ade­quate spend­ing across these three areas.

Courtney Sulzberger

Written by Courtney Sulzberger

SEO Analyst, Wpromote

Courtney Sulzberger is a marketing professional at Wpromote, the nation's leading digital Commerce Agency specializing in search engine optimization, paid search, social media marketing, and more. Her passion is SEO, however she has years of experience with PPC and Social Media. Specializing in fashion e-commerce, Courtney has worked with small to large brands, helping them grow their presence on multiple channels.

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