How should luxury brands consider Digital PR in their digital marketing strategy?
Reading time: 5 min
Luxury brands adapted remarkably well to the coming of the digital era. They did what many thought impossible by transferring the exclusivity and scarcity they projected so well in the real world into the online space. The internet still presents significant and evolving opportunities for luxury manufacturers and service providers to enhance their brand reputations, expand their target audiences, and positively influence media coverage.
In recent years, digital PR has emerged as a particularly effective tactic for luxury, aspirational and mid-market brands.
In this article, we delve into the following:
- What digital PR is
- Why it’s important for luxury brands
- How to incorporate digital PR into digital marketing
- How to measure success with digital PR
What is digital PR?
As we mentioned in a previous article, digital PR is the natural evolution of traditional PR. It’s like traditional PR but it never shuts up and it never stops pitching. It eschews print media and TV or radio broadcasts – digital PR is very much an online phenomenon and a child of the Internet era.
There are seven key focuses in digital PR:
- Online news distribution: Pitch press releases about new products or company news to high authority online news sites. Not only do you get great publicity but you get backlinks building your own site’s authority.
- Content marketing: Create and share high-quality, informative and relatable blog posts, white papers, infographics, podcasts and videos on multiple platforms to broaden reach, engage your audience and boost brand recognition.
- Social media: Make the most out of two-way engagement with social media followers by responding to queries fast. Let them know about new products or company news sometimes before anyone else.
- Influencer marketing: Work with influencers and bloggers to secure favourable mentions for your brand and reviews of your products.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): Build high-quality backlinks to your website through guest blogging, content partnerships and so on to improve the long-term visibility of your website.
- Online Reviews: Encourage, motivate and incentivise customers to leave positive reviews (people trust online reviews just as much now as recommendations from loved ones) and control the narrative when responding to bad reviews.
- Webinars and Live Events: Generate a buzz around your brand and its products by holding webinars or live events, much like Apple does when it launches a new product.
Digital PR is constant, relentless and energetic. It’s unstoppable and it delivers great results.
Luxury brands are embracing digital PR because it:
- Enhances brand reputation, visibility and credibility: High-profile and ongoing online campaigns featuring high-quality content creation and distribution and collaborations with figures like artists and influencers shape positive public perception and improve search engine rankings.
- Expands your target audience: Multi-channel digital marketing allows brands to reach past their audience as well as appeal to existing customers. Rather than existing and potential clients having to look for you, you place yourself where they are and in the company of outlets and personalities they trust.
- Influences media coverage: Journalists and media outlets are under pressure to produce more content than ever before. Influencers want the credibility of brand partnerships and to turn their social media activities into a full-time job. The stars align for proactive, energetic PR professionals to find a way to marry up the interests of brands wanting coverage and creators wanting content.
Incorporating digital PR into your digital marketing campaigns
To incorporate some of the more successful aspects of digital PR into your existing digital marketing campaigns in the next 12 months, we suggest the following three steps:
1. Build relationships with media influencers and journalists
Luxury brands gain more exposure and credibility by building strong relationships with media influencers and journalists. Here are some ways they can do that.
First, identify the influencers and mainstream journalists who cover luxury brands and contact them. Start to follow them on social media and engage with their content. They’ll appreciate it when you share their content that because it’ll boost their personal engagement scores with Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Second, try to find out which events or launches they’re attending and make a beeline for them. If you can, introduce yourself. Have something to say to them about their career to make it appear like you’re genuinely interested in their work. If you can’t meet them face-to-face, call them or find out their email address.
Two-way dialogue might not start straight away. You may send a few emails or DMs and they don’t get back to you. The chances are that they do read them though and they’ll be able to place you after the second or third contact. To really push through, you could offer them exclusive access, samples or interviews that their audience would find interesting on your fourth or fifth contact.
That should make the breakthrough. Whatever happens, challenge yourself to come up with content specifically for them or their publication. This positions you as a spokesperson as an authority or someone worth approaching for a quote in an article.
Eventually, most relent and will want to build a relationship with you. When that happens, think of ways to spin them into future events and announcements. They’ll appreciate someone they trust actively helping them fulfil their content quota.
2. Creating engaging and shareable content
Influencers, in the main, are quite easy to work with and compliant. They want long-term relationships with PR people and their clients just as much as you want relationships with them. Nano- and micro-influencers are great fun to work with and, pound for pound, you get better returns from them than the big influencers (although big influencers still get great returns for clients).
Having your media and influencer channels sorted is only a part of the battle. Creating unique, relevant and informative material that your audience finds engaging and interesting and can share across different channels is just as important.
To assist their internal teams, many luxury brands partner with creative agencies and professional copywriters who know how to create stories, themes and discussion points that resonate with their target audience.
As well as written and photographic content, include video. Video is a proven way to drive engagement on your website and on social media platforms like Instagram. Not just glossy videos though – lo-fi and behind-the-scenes content works very well. Short-form videos that provide behind-the-scenes access to how products are made or showcasing pieces from new collections in motion can keep your audience engaged while building anticipation for future release dates.
Building credibility through online reputation management is founded on the creation, distribution and promotion of engaging and shareable content. You content must be rich in authentic storytelling. Great content often focuses on brand heritage and the craftsmanship behind individual product items.
3. Eight ways to use social media for maximum PR amplification
To maximise brand amplification as part of a digital PR campaign, we suggest taking the following eight steps:
- Identify the social media platforms that your target audience is most present on.
- Create content pieces that showcase your brand’s unique selling points like its heritage, logo, notable past associations and products.
- Find industry influencers and journalists on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram and follow them. Like, share, and comment on their posts to start building a meaningful relationship with them.
- When you have something important or newsworthy to post, consider DMing the industry influencers and journalists whose attentions you’re trying to grab to offer them enhanced access for expanded coverage.
- Encourage customers to create user-generated content (UGC) and share their experiences on social media using branded hashtags.
- Use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter ads to boost your brand’s visibility and lead generation efforts.
- Respond promptly to feedback from customers or followers on social media platforms.
- Consider developing a distinctive voice in your posts that’s consistent with your brand but makes it stand out from the rest of the crowd.
3 metrics to measure success in digital PR
Three metrics we measure success in campaigns for our clients’ digital PR campaigns are:
1. Media coverage and engagement
Keep track of all online news articles, blog posts and social media mentions related to your brand. This will help your marketing team adjust their strategies accordingly.
For example, if there is a spike in sales or website visits after you’re featured in a well-known publication, track it. Over time, you get to know which publications generate the best returns.
Keeping close track of traditional media and social media coverage also alerts you to any situations where you may be at risk of reputational damage. At that point, your digital PR agency and marketing teams can take the appropriate action to mitigate damage from potential crisis situations successfully using the digital channels you appear on.
2. Website traffic and conversions
The most important website-related metrics to track and why are:
|Metric||Description||Tools to Track|
|Website traffic||The overall number of users visiting your website provide an insight into the overall reach of your digital PR campaigns.||Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, SimilarWeb|
|Organic search traffic||The number of users visiting your website through search engines indicates how effective your SEO and content marketing efforts are in relation to your digital PR strategy.||Google Analytics, SEMrush, Moz|
|Referral traffic||The number of users visiting your website from external sources like media articles and influencer mentions indicates the success of your digital PR campaign on attracting traffic to your site.||Google Analytics, Ahrefs, Majestic|
|Conversion rate||The percentage of visitors who convert (for example, making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter) shows the effectiveness of your digital PR activities in persuading users to take action.||Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Optimizely|
|Goal completions||The number of users completing specific goals or actions on your website helps you understand how much traffic from digital PR campaigns has contributed to revenue and engagement targets.||Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, Kissmetrics|
By monitoring these metrics regularly, your marketing team can determine which sources generate the most traffic and greatest sales volumes when planning future digital PR campaigns.
3. Social media metrics
When monitoring digital PR-related social media posts, especially those in partnership with media outlets or influencers where you pay for the opportunity, metrics to measure for each partner and type of post include:
|Metric||Description||Importance for Luxury Brands|
|Reach||The total number of unique users who have seen your content.||Higher reach ensures that your brand message is being viewed by a larger audience, helping to increase brand awareness.|
|Engagement||The number of interactions (likes, comments, shares, etc.) your content receives.||Greater engagement demonstrates that your audience finds your content interesting and valuable, which can help build credibility and trust.|
|Clicks||The number of clicks your content generates, including clicks to your website, products, or other external links.||Monitoring clicks can help identify which content drives traffic to your website or product pages, allowing you to refine your Digital PR and content strategy to focus on high-performing content.|
|Impressions||The total number of times your content has been shown on users’ screens.||Impressions give an indicator of your content’s visibility and can help identify any differences between the number of people who see your content and those who engage with it, providing insights for improving engagement rates.|
|Conversion Rate||The percentage of users who take a desired action after engaging with your content, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.||Tracking conversion rates can help demonstrate the ROI of your Digital PR efforts, informing your overall digital marketing strategy and budget allocation|
|Share of Voice||The percentage of online conversations about your brand compared to competitors within your industry.||Monitoring share of voice can help you understand your brand’s position in the market, and identify opportunities to increase your visibility and influence in your industry|
Digital PR and VERB Brands
Digital PR forms part of an increasing number of our clients digital marketing strategies. Unlike traditional PR, digital PR delivers now and in the future thanks to increased backlinks, higher follower numbers and the quality of relationships with journalists and influencers.
To bring digital PR into your online marketing portfolio, please click here to contact us. We look forward to working with you.