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Cedarwood Appoints New Head Of Digital PR

Manchester’s Cedarwood Digital has appointed Matt Thompson as its Head of Digital PR.

Matt brings over a decade of experience to the role, having previously worked at iProspect, Open Partners and THG.

“It’s an exciting time to be joining Cedarwood,” Thompson said. “The team are already producing some fantastic work, with a whole host of recent award wins under their belt. I’m looking forward to driving things forward, helping grow the team as well as our clients’ businesses.”

Amanda Walls, director of Cedarwood Digital, added: “The past 12 months have seen our digital PR team go from strength to strength, and we’ve got big plans for the future. Matt’s experience in launching new products, as well as growing existing channels, will play a key role as we look to further expand our offering to be truly market leading.”

Founded in 2016, Cedarwood Digital works with a diverse array of national clients to enhance their business’ visibility online through organic, earned and paid channels.

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Cedarwood Win Two UK Digital PR Awards!

We’re delighted to win not one, but two awards at the UK Digital PR Awards yesterday!

We took home:

🏆Digital PR Agency Of The Year

🏆Digital PR Campaign Of The Year – E-commerce

 

Here’s what the judges had to say:

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Digital PR has been a huge area of success for Cedarwood over the last 12 months, so we’re over the moon that this is now being recognised in such a competitive space🎉.

A big congrats to the team, for all their hard work! 👏

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Five Key Tips To Create An Effective Digital PR Campaign

Digital PR has been a buzzword in the world of online marketing for quite a while now and it’s a popular marketing approach for businesses who are looking to grow their online profile while also landing important links back to their website. 

Here at Cedarwood, digital PR has always been an important part of our service offering, not just for the visibility that it garners for our clients, but also for the positive impact it can have on SEO campaigns and as a result we have a lot of experience (over seven years direct experience in fact!) in rolling out effective digital PR campaigns. 

Although it is one of the more popular approaches within the SEO mix, digital PR is something which if not done properly can fail to have the desired impact – so below we’ve included some top tips on how you can go about creating an effective digital PR campaign.

The importance of Digital PR

Before we dive into five key tips to creating an effective digital PR campaign, let’s first look at why digital PR is important and how it can help you to achieve your goals across both SEO and also improving overall awareness.

Digital PR is important because it can help businesses achieve a number of goals, including:

➡️ Increase brand awareness: When your brand is featured in high-quality, relevant publications, it can help to raise awareness of your company and its products or services. This can lead to increased traffic to your website, more leads, and ultimately, more sales.

➡️ Generate leads: A well-executed digital PR campaign can also help to generate leads for your business. When journalists and other influencers write about your company, they often include a call to action, such as a link to your website or a way to sign up for your email list. This can help you to capture the contact information of potential customers who are interested in learning more about what you have to offer.

➡️ Improve SEO: When your brand is mentioned in high-quality, relevant publications, it can help to improve your website’s search engine ranking. This is because search engines take into account the number and quality of backlinks to a website when ranking it in search results.

➡️ Build relationships with journalists and influencers: Digital PR can also help you to build relationships with journalists and other influencers in your industry. These relationships can be valuable assets for your business, as they can help you to get your company featured in the media and reach a wider audience.

There’s a lot of value that you can add to your overall marketing mix with digital PR but it’s important to understand how it fits in with a broader marketing mix, so that you can understand how to utilise it effectively.

Five Key Tips

  1. Start With Your Strategy

Strategy plays a key role within your digital PR campaigns and understanding your client’s audience, the current landscape and the type of content that will resonate with your audience (and journalists!) is important to driving success. 

So let’s start off with some key considerations and questions to ask around your digital PR strategy:

➡️ Your target audience: Who are you trying to reach with your digital PR campaign? What are their interests? What are their pain points?

➡️ Your goals: What do you want to achieve with your digital PR campaign? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Generate leads? Improve SEO?

➡️ Your key messages: What are the key messages you want to communicate with your digital PR campaign? What do you want journalists and influencers to take away from your story?

➡️Your content: What type of content will you create for your digital PR campaign? Will you write blog posts? Create infographics? Produce videos?

➡️Your distribution strategy: How will you distribute your content? Will you share it on social media? Submit it to media outlets? Pitch it to influencers?

➡️ Your measurement strategy: How will you measure the success of your digital PR campaign? Will you track website traffic? Leads generated? SEO ranking?

It might seem like a lot, but putting time into understanding your target audience, goals and distribution strategy will save you a lot of time further down the line so invest the time early on to ensure you are driving maximum efficiency through your campaigns. 

2. Do You Research

Undertaking research at the start of a digital PR campaign is another way to ensure you save time further down the line, don’t repeat stories which have already been covered and really maximise your outreach capacity and capabilities. 

When you’re doing your research for a digital PR campaign, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

➡️ Identify your target audience: Who are you trying to reach with your campaign? What are their interests? What publications do they read? What influencers do they follow?

➡️ Identify the right publications and influencers: Once you know who your target audience is, you can start to identify the right publications and influencers to reach out to. Consider the following factors when making your selection:

➡️ Relevance: The publication or influencer should be relevant to your target audience.

➡️ Reach: The publication or influencer should have a large enough audience to reach your target audience.

➡️ Credibility: The publication or influencer should be credible and respected by your target audience.

➡️Find out what they’ve written about in the past: Take a look at the publications and influencers you’ve identified and see what they’ve written about in the past. This will give you a good idea of their style, their interests, and the types of stories they’re interested in.

➡️ Find out how to contact them: Once you’ve identified the right publications and influencers, you need to find out how to contact them. This may involve finding their email address, phone number, or social media profiles.

By doing your research, you can increase your chances of success with your digital PR campaign.

Here are some additional tips for doing your research:

➡️ Use online tools: There are a number of online tools that can help you with your research, such as Google News, Cision, and Meltwater. These tools can help you to find relevant publications, influencers, and stories.

➡️ Talk to people in your industry: Talk to people in your industry who are familiar with digital PR. They can share their insights and advice with you.

➡️ Attend industry events: Attending industry events is a great way to meet journalists and influencers and learn more about their needs.

Taking additional time to thoroughly research all of the above and build your contact list can really help when it comes to outreaching the campaigns, so make sure you put the groundwork in before you start building the campaigns to maximise the success.

3. Create High Quality Content

If you want journalists to link to your website then you need to generate great content which gives them a reason to link to it. So whether it’s a data piece, a piece of thought leadership or just something of genuine interest to the user, make sure that the content you create is relevant, up to date and most importantly, within the user interest. 

Great content for Digital PR comes in a number of different formats and can include:

➡️ Data-driven content: This type of content uses data and statistics to tell a story. It can be very persuasive and can help you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. For example, you could create a blog post that analyzes industry trends or a report that provides insights into your target audience.

➡️ Compelling visuals: Images, infographics, and videos can be very effective at engaging your audience and driving traffic to your website. Make sure your visuals are high-quality and relevant to your content.

➡️ Interviews and thought leadership pieces: Interviews with experts in your industry can be a great way to generate backlinks and establish yourself as a thought leader. You could also write thought leadership pieces that share your insights on industry trends or best practices.

➡️ Case studies: Case studies can be a great way to demonstrate the value of your products or services. They can also help you generate leads and build relationships with potential customers.

➡️ Trendjacking: Trendjacking is the practice of capitalizing on current trends to create content that is relevant and timely. This can be a great way to generate buzz for your brand and attract new customers.

Undertaking the first two steps will help you to better understand the audience and it’s important to keep this in mind when creating high quality content to ensure that when you outreach it to journalists it’s going to be relevant to both their audience and yours.

4. Promote Your Content

In the simplest terms promoting your content is essentially outreaching it – getting it in front of journalists to ensure that you get the right level of coverage for your client, at the right time. The promotion of the content is almost as important as the quality of the content if not more so, as it doesn’t matter how great your content is, if no one sees it then it will have no impact on your overall marketing efforts! 

When outreaching to journalists the first step is to create an effective media list – remember – you don’t have to include everyone on your media list, rather focus on the contacts that count, people who are likely to cover your story or who have a genuine interest in what you are doing. 

Here are some top tips to land coverage with journalists:

➡️ Do your research. Before you reach out to any journalists, take the time to learn about their work and their audience. What kind of stories do they typically write? What are their interests? Once you have a good understanding of their needs, you can tailor your pitch accordingly.

➡️ Make a great first impression. Your subject line is the first thing a journalist will see, so make sure it’s clear, concise, and attention-grabbing. The body of your email should also be well-written and engaging. Get to the point quickly and clearly, and make sure your pitch is relevant to the journalist’s interests.

➡️ Be helpful and responsive. If a journalist is interested in your story, be prepared to provide them with all the information they need. This includes high-quality images, videos, and other supporting materials. Be responsive to their questions and requests, and make sure they have everything they need to move forward with the story.

➡️ Be patient. It takes time to build relationships with journalists. Don’t expect to get a response from every pitch you send out. Just keep pitching good stories, and eventually you’ll start to get results.

You won’t always get it right first time, but taking your time to build out media lists & prepare them effectively will play a key role in ensuring that you are maximising the most of your opportunity. 

It’s also important to stand out – in a crowded area where journalists receive hundreds of PR pitches each day, how do you make sure that you stand out from the crowd?

➡️ Personalize your pitches. Don’t just send out a generic email to a list of journalists. Take the time to address each journalist by name and tailor your pitch to their specific interests.

➡️ Offer exclusive content. If you can offer journalists exclusive content, they’ll be more likely to take a look at your pitch. This could be a press release, a white paper, or even an interview with an expert.

➡️Be persistent. If you don’t hear back from a journalist right away, don’t give up. Follow up with them a few days later to see if they have any questions.

Timing is also key – ensuring that you outreach at the right time to the right person plays a key role in getting the coverage that you are looking for.

5. Measure Results

Measuring results and evaluating your digital PR campaigns plays a key role in ensuring that you get the most out of them and that you can take learnings to continue to evolve and improve your offering. Digital PR is constantly changing and evolving, so staying on top of your game is key and ensuring that your clients understand the value of what you are offering plays a key role in ensuring that you’re showcasing the value that you are bringing.

To start with, you need to be clear about what you want to measure, approaches here include:

➡️ Set clear goals: Before you launch your campaign, set clear goals for what you want to achieve. This will help you track your progress and measure your success.

➡️ Use a variety of metrics: Don’t rely on just one metric to measure the impact of your campaign. Use a variety of metrics to get a more complete picture of your results.

➡️Track your results over time: Don’t just measure the impact of your campaign at the end. Track your results over time to see how your campaign is performing.

➡️Make adjustments as needed: If you’re not seeing the results you want, make adjustments to your campaign strategy.

Don’t be afraid to make updates and changes as you need – this will help you to ensure you keep firmly fixed on the overall goal of delivering value to your clients and the reach/coverage that they want. 

You can use a number of different ways to measure from a metric perspective, but here are some of the most common metrics:

➡️ Media coverage: This is the most basic metric, and it simply measures the number of articles, blog posts, and other pieces of media that mention your brand.

➡️ Link building: This metric measures the number of links to your website from other websites. Links are important for SEO, so this metric can give you an idea of how well your campaign is helping to improve your website’s search engine ranking.

➡️Social media engagement: This metric measures the number of likes, shares, and comments on your social media posts. It’s a good way to measure how well your campaign is resonating with your target audience.

➡️Brand awareness: This metric measures how well people know your brand. You can measure brand awareness through surveys, polls, and social media analytics.

➡️Website traffic: This metric measures the number of people who visit your website. It’s a good way to measure the overall impact of your campaign, as more traffic means more people are learning about your brand.

Whichever you use, it’s important to remember that you always need to be linking it back to revenue and results for your client – these are there key business metrics, so make sure to keep in mind how it closely links back to what your client is looking to achieve.

Final Thoughts

In addition to everything that we have mentioned above, at the end of the day an effective digital PR campaign all comes down to whether the user consumes it, engages with it and feels something for it – after all we are trying to create something which sits within the human interest angle. 

Keeping this in mind, additional elements which will play in to the success of your campaigns include:

  • The quality of your relationships with journalists
  • Your ability to generate buzz and excitement around your content
  • Your ability to adapt your strategy as the campaign progresses.

Each of these play their own important role in ensuring that your campaigns get off the ground, so in addition to some great planning and activation make sure you take the time to build the relationships and research the impact of your content – this is essential to gaining that all important coverage!

To find out more about how we can help you with your digital PR campaigns, get in touch! 

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Cedarwood Wins Two European Search Awards!

We were absolutely delighted to take home TWO awards at the European Search Awards in Lisbon last night! Hosted at the beautiful Patio De Gale it was great to see everyone come together in a celebration of search across Europe!

On the night we took home:

📣 Best Small Integrated Agency
📣 Best Use Of PR In Search

Absolutely delighted to take home two awards to showcase the great year that Cedarwood has had and was lovely to catch up with other agencies & brands during the night! 

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Cedarwood Wins Digital PR Campaign Of The Year 2023!

💥We’re Winners!💥

We are thrilled to announce that Cedarwood has won the Digital PR Campaign of the Year award at the PR Moment Awards 2023 for our outstanding work with Little Loans. Our team of digital PR experts, including Alex, Amber, Beth & Elle, put in tremendous effort to bring this campaign to life and we are proud to see their hard work being recognised.

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Digital PR has been a significant area of success for us at Cedarwood in the past 12 months. This award, in addition to our recognition at the UK Search Awards, we are delighted that we have also been recognised for this directly within the PR space.

The judges were impressed by our well-researched and well-thought-out campaign, which produced excellent results. Our team worked closely with Little Loans to create a unique campaign that not only raised their brand awareness but also increased their online visibility. 

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Brighton SEO Deck: Using Digital PR To Enhance Your E-E-A-T Signals

On Wednesday I had the pleasure of speaking at Brighton SEO’s Online PR Show, along with a great line up of speakers, talking about all things Online PR and beyond!

My deck, entitled “Using Digital PR To Enhance Your E-E-A-T Signals” was designed to explore how Digital PR can and should be utilised to enhance those all important E-E-A-T signals that Google is looking for on a website, in addition to looking through some case studies of where we had used it effectively, with great impact.

This deck is particularly useful for clients who sit within the YMYL industry (of which we have quite a few!) where the importance of key trust and expertise signals become even more important due to Google holding the website to a much higher quality standard.

Some key takeaways from the talk include:

👻 Use your client’s expertise to generate great outreach ideas – focus on the key strengths of your spokespeople to understand the types of publications and areas you might want to cover & what they might be best suited to (and also most likely to be seen as an expert for!)

👻 Use Reverse Digital PR as a way of getting clients to come to you, rather than having to go to them, this is also a great way to establish yourself as a credible resource and it’s the gift that keeps on giving as journalists will continue to find and use this source over time.

👻 Think outside the box, if you can’t get any real life ways to showcase your expertise then innovate – look at soaps or fictional situations where you can demonstrate your expertise and still build those key signals

👻 Get your news listening right – digest news, as much as you can and get your news listening set up so that you are ready to jump on topical trends – this will help you to be first to the conversation when you need to be.

It was a great day with a range of great speakers & for anyone who missed the event you can catch it online again in the next couple of weeks or in the Brighton SEO vault! You can also view my slide deck here

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Cedarwood Nominated For 12 European Search Awards

Delighted to kick off the week by announcing that we have been nominated for 12 European Search Awards, it’s great to see everyone’s hard work rewarded over the last 12 months & to be recognised for some of the great client achievements we’ve had in this time!

Some of our nominations include:

🍉 Best SEO Agency
🍉 Best Use Of PR In Search
🍉 Best Use Of Search (Finance)
🍉 Best SEO Campaign
🍉 Best PPC Campaign

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the event in Lisbon in May! ☀️ 🍷🍹 You can find a full list of nominations here

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Digital PR: The Importance Of Deeper Page Link Building

Link acquisition has been around in many forms for years and has often been seen as one of the most important elements within an SEO campaign. Links are a great way to showcase to Google that people trust your website and find it useful – after all they are linking to it – and they’re also a great way to drive referral visitors to your website, in addition to building a great neighbourhood for your website to be in – but it’s not enough to just build links into your website and leave it at that, you need a strategy to maximise the impact of link building by looking at which pages you are directing your links into.

Many people focus exclusively on building links to the homepage, but in many instances this misses out a lot of value that can be created from deeper page linking.

Deeper page linking is something that has been discussed widely – but in practice it’s something that we need to actively incorporate into our campaigns. We can help to guide this by developing effective/thematic strategies to target specific sections of our website with targeted campaign to help grow authority within these sections and improve overall performance.

Why Is Deeper Page Linking Important?

So you might be asking – is it not enough for me just to build great links into my website? While building great quality links into a website definitely helps performance, if we look at the mechanisms of link flow and equity we can see why targeting these campaigns to specific sections can help to add value.

Think of your website as one entity – any link juice that comes into that entity is received by the page the link is pointing to – as such, if 80% of your links point into your homepage then this will likely be one of the strongest pages on your website. This is great if you want your homepage to rank well, but in most instances, the pages with the best user intent match and the pages we want our users to go to sit further within our website, usually on product or service pages – and these are the areas we really want to give an equity boost.

With so many pages often on your website and usually some form of navigation to link all your key pages to the homepage, by the time you get to these pages a lot of link equity has been lost along the way and therefore the value from these links can often be heavily deprecated from what it was when it initially reached the website – as such, the value of getting link equity from the homepage to your sub-pages is far less than getting value directly from the source – hence deeper page linking is a popular option. By building the link directly to the page you are maximising the equity that you are passing to this page and helping to give that sub-section a boost.

Building links to deeper pages on your website can provide several benefits for your SEO strategy. One of the most significant advantages is the improved visibility and authority of individual pages on your site. When you build links to deeper pages, you signal to search engines that these pages are valuable and relevant, which can boost their rankings in search results.

This is especially important for websites with a large number of pages, as it can be difficult for search engines to identify and prioritize the most important pages on the site. By building links to deeper pages, you can help to ensure that these pages are given the attention they deserve.

Another benefit of deeper page link building is the potential to increase traffic, conversions, and revenue. When you improve the rankings of individual pages on your site, you make it more likely that people will find and visit those pages. This can lead to increased engagement with your content, more leads or sales, and ultimately a stronger bottom line.

How Do I Know Which Pages To Target?

If you aren’t sure which pages to target then a good start is to look at the pages that you are trying to rank/optimise or the pages that are the most valuable/important on your website.

There are several techniques and tools that you can use to identify which pages on your website to build links to for SEO. Here are a few:

💡 Analyze your website’s analytics data: One of the best places to start is by analyzing your website’s analytics data to identify which pages are already receiving the most traffic. By building links to these pages, you can help to improve their rankings and drive even more traffic to your site. Tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics can provide you with detailed information about your website’s traffic, including which pages are the most popular.

💡 Use a backlink analysis tool: Another option is to use a backlink analysis tool like Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMrush to identify which pages on your site are already receiving links from other websites. These tools can help you to identify the most authoritative and relevant pages on your site, as well as opportunities for building additional links.

💡 Conduct keyword research: Conducting keyword research can also be helpful in identifying which pages on your site to target with link building. By identifying the keywords that are most relevant to your business and your audience, you can create content that targets those keywords and build links to the pages that contain that content. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, and SEMrush Keyword Research can help you identify relevant keywords.

💡 Conduct a content audit: Conducting a content audit of your website can also be helpful in identifying which pages to target with link building. By reviewing your existing content and identifying gaps or opportunities for improvement, you can create new content that is optimized for search engines and build links to those pages.

Overall, there are many techniques and tools available to help you identify which pages on your website to target with link building for SEO. By taking a strategic approach and focusing on building links to your most authoritative and relevant pages, you can improve your website’s search engine rankings and drive more traffic, leads, and revenue.

What Tools Can I Use To Evaluate Which Pages I Should Build Links To?

There are several tools you can use to evaluate which pages you should build links to for SEO. Here are a few options:

💡 Ahrefs: A popular SEO tool that allows you to analyze the backlinks of your competitors and see which pages are getting the most links. You can also use it to analyze your own website and identify pages that are lacking in backlinks.

💡 SEMrush: Another popular SEO tool that allows you to analyze backlinks and identify the most important pages on your website. You can also use it to track your rankings and monitor your competitors.

💡 Moz: This tool provides a backlink analysis feature that allows you to see which pages on your site are getting the most links, as well as identify opportunities for new links. You can also track your rankings and monitor your competitors.

💡 Majestic: This tool has a comprehensive backlink analysis feature that allows you to see which pages on your site are getting the most links, as well as identify opportunities for new links. You can also track your rankings and monitor your competitors.

💡 Google Search Console: This free tool from Google provides insights into your website’s performance, including which pages are receiving the most traffic and which pages are linking to your site. This can help you identify pages that are important for SEO and prioritize them for link building efforts.

Ultimately, the best tool for evaluating which pages to build links to will depend on your specific needs and preferences. You may want to try out a few different options to find the one that works best for you.

How Do I Get Started?

It’s not hard to get started with deeper link building, with a couple of quick steps. Firstly, identify the pages on your website where you need to build internal authority, secondly create effective digital PR campaigns to drive links into these and finally, outreach your great campaigns. In no time you’ll be building authority into the website and reaping the rewards of it.

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Director Amanda Speaking @ Brighton SEO!

We’re delighted to announce that our Director Amanda Walls will be speaking at the April Brighton SEO event in front of an audience of thousands talking everything SEO & Digital PR.

Amanda will be speaking on the Wednesday afternoon at the Online PR Show with her talk discussing “Using Digital PR To Enhance Your EEAT Signals” – a great talk for anyone looking to use digital PR to enhance their overall SEO – or for anyone who particularly works in a YMYL industry, where this is held to an even higher standard – to get a better understanding of how they can utilise digital PR in this way.

The talk will have:

💥 Lots of great Case Studies which show how digital PR can help boost your SEO

💥 Great ideas on how to think outside of the box when it comes to newsjacking & thought leadership

💥Insight into why digital PR matters for EEAT

💥 Ideas on how to get journalists to come to you!

So if that sounds of interest get yourself booked on or check the talk out online when an online version of the conference day is released the week after.

To find out more about schedules on the day or to book your ticket click here: https://brightonseo.com/event/online-pr-show/

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Traditional PR Vs Digital PR: What’s The Difference?

Digital PR is probably one of the most popular services that we offer at Cedarwood and we were early to market with this product – starting our offering back when our business began around seven years ago. Back then, Digital PR was referred to as “link building” (they are very different!), certainly wasn’t the buzzword it was today and it was a rare occurrence in a world of paid for link acquisition.

Today, thanks to the rise of Google tightening its link spam algorithms and a number of agencies (and SEO experts) championing the values of Digital PR, we find that EVERYONE is talking about it (even John Mueller!) – but we still find that in many situations when we are approached by clients they can be a little unsure as to what it is and how it differs from traditional PR.

So let’s take a look at what Digital PR is, how it differs from traditional PR and how you can combine tactics from both to deliver a great link acquisition campaign.

What Is Digital PR?

Digital PR is an online form of PR, which essentially looks to promote visibility and awareness for your business through digital platforms and online. Digital PR takes a lot of the elements from traditional PR and puts an online spin on them – so that still includes coverage for your clients, increasing brand awareness and making sure that you land all important links, but with digital PR you really have to consider what is going to land in the online space. 

Digital PR is a slightly different skill set because it’s really focuses on online only with offline being a secondary consideration. It’s widely used for businesses that are online first and are looking to gain traction amongst their target audience as well as build those all-important links back to their website.

What Is Traditional PR?

By contrast, traditional PR has more of an offline focus or as you could say a combined focus, think events activation, newspapers, integrated campaigns, tv, radio, newspapers, billboards – everything that you have come to associate with this timeless form of PR. That’s not to say that you can’t combine elements of this for a very effective Digital PR campaign – it’s more that these are what you would traditionally associate with a Digital PR campaign. 

Traditional PR doesn’t necessarily focus on attracting a digital presence and as such, for businesses that are online only it can often be seen as missing their target demographic. That said, there is no reason why traditional PR techniques can’t be used effectively to help drive success across Digital PR campaigns.

What Is The Biggest Difference?

The biggest difference between traditional and digital PR is the platform that it’s generally targeted at, with traditional PR focused on a more traditional offline audience, whereas digital PR being targeted at a predominantly online audience. It’s this targeting strategy that also contributes to whether or not one is more effective than the other for your ideal audience. 

There are many other differences between traditional and digital PR including:

  • Feedback & engagement – due to the advent of online “comment” posts it’s a lot easier to get feedback on your content through Digital PR than it is through traditional PR, this can give you a good insight as to how your content has performed and also inspire you if you are to continue with that type of content in the future
  • Audience sizes – although traditional PR can give you a good audience size, the digital world is infinitely larger and digital campaigns can reach an international audience at a much greater scale than a traditional campaign.
  • Intent & Interest-Based targeting – one of the main differences between digital and traditional PR is the ways you can target your audience. With Digital PR you have the option to choose between interest and intent-based audiences – that’s the option to actually put your product in front of the user at the time they are searching for it, whereas with traditional PR this is mostly limited to the user’s interest by placing it within a specific magazine or publication
  • Purpose – the purpose of the two campaigns is often very different. In a lot of instances, Digital PR is designed to drive visitors and awareness to a website – and in many cases to support SEO through effective and targeted link acquisition. By contrast, traditional PR can be more about brand awareness and driving visibility – it can also be used as a direct sales platform but this is often slightly more difficult to attribute.
  • Measurement – Last but not least, one of the main differences between digital and traditional PR is the way that you measure it. Digital PR is in most instances a little easier to measure – you can rack based on link and link quality as well as reach and various other key metrics, traditional PR by contrast is just that little bit more difficult to measure – but it can still be done by coverage, reach etc… 

Does This Change The Skill Set?

Many people think that you need a completely different skill set for traditional digital PR and this isn’t entirely true – but it definitely helps to have the online connections and contacts when you are trying to run a digital PR campaign. Digital PR is also incredibly fast paced and there are elements like newsjacking which do require experience and also an understanding of where to go to seek out an effective story – as a result this can become an important skill set to develop if you are looking to make the transition from traditional through to digital PR.

Are Traditional PR Skills Transferable to Digital PR?

100% you can transfer many traditional PR skills over to digital PR very effectively, but it’s important as with any campaign to take the time to understand what the client is trying to achieve with their campaign – and it might be that with digital PR that differs from what a standard traditional PR client is looking to achieve.

There are also a number of super valuable skills that traditional PRs can bring over to digital PR, in particular established journalist relationships – many of whom may now work for digital publications in addition to traditional offline publications and many of whom will have stories that they have written for print published online. In addition, an eye for a good story/angle in addition to a strong press release hook and timing for outreach are all important skills for digital PR which are carried across from traditional PR.

Is Digital PR More Popular Than Traditional PR?

I wouldn’t say that one type of PR is necessarily more popular than the other, but it would be fair to say that digital PR has seen a significant rise in interest over the last 24 months mainly due to its support for SEO and also that it has a proven track record of helping businesses to grow particularly in the online space.

The trend of digital PR took off massively during COVID-19 when businesses were forced online due to physical stores and properties being closed. At this time, people were looking for ways online to market their products and services – predominantly as this is where the audience was – and as such, digital PR took off. 

We can see how the growth of digital PR has evolved over time, so it’s not that traditional PR is necessarily less popular, I would rather say that digital PR has evolved to be even more popular than it was before.

Is Digital PR Or Traditional PR Right For My Business?

Choosing the right type of PR for your business plays an important role in getting the most out of your campaign and it’s important to ensure that you understand your target market and which type of PR might be most effective.

If you are looking to attract a traditional audience and grow offline brand awareness and visibility then traditional PR is a great option. By contrast, if you are looking to grow your business online then digital PR is a great choice. To find out more about digital PR and how it could work for you get in touch! 

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Cedarwood Nominated For Four PR Moment Awards

We’re delighted to announce that we have been nominated for four awards in the PR Moment Awards 2023 for our work across Digital PR.

Digital PR has been the biggest growth area of Cedarwood over the last 12 months so we are delighted to have our work recognised by the PR industry, in addition to the work we undertake for SEO!

We’ve been nominated in:

🎀 Best Digital PR Campaign Of The Year:

Cedarwood Digital & Little Loans – Driving Digital PR In A Competitive Vertical
Cedarwood Digital & Patient Claim Line – Building E-A-T Links
Cedarwood Digital & Hayes Garden World – Building Visibility Through Effective Digital PR

🎀 Low Budget Campaign Of The Year:

Cedarwood Digital & EZ Shopper – Driving Ecommerce Success Through PR & Referral Sales

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the ceremony next month 🍹

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Digital PR: 10 Free Data Sources To Help You Land Solid SEO Links

We all know that Digital PR plays an important role in any solid SEO strategy. Whether it’s chasing after valuable high-quality links, improving the external reputation of your business, or trying to build credible, expertise-driven connections between your website and other trusted sources, doing it in a sustainable and consistent way is a key pillar of SEO success.

Although there are many ways to do Digital PR effectively (think newsjacking, thought leadership, product placements), data-led campaigns have grown in popularity as journalists look for interesting, data-driven stories to entertain their audience. 

When data-led campaigns started a lot of them were based around surveys. In some cases, these were expensive to commission (upwards of £3,000 per survey) and it took a while to get the data back. Although these are still a popular option among many SEO agencies, the rise of freely available data sources has paved the way for cheaper and quicker turnaround pieces, for example newsjacking with a data-led campaign. Yet they are also equally as effective for targeted news stories, thus creating a great recipe for effective Digital PR. This has led to a big rise in smaller data-led campaigns, which are a favourite among many agencies, including the team here at Cedarwood. 

To help out on your hunt for free data we’ve collated some of the best free data resources available to Digital PR professionals right now. All you need to do is go in and grab your data, find an angle and perfect that pitch. Data-driven Digital PR campaigns are a great way to enhance those all important E-A-T signals, adding real value to your SEO campaigns. So what are you waiting for? Get started by having a read through our list below:

1. Statista

https://www.statista.com/

One of the biggest portals of available data, Statista holds data from over 170 industries across 150+ countries so, if you’re looking for data, this is a great place to start. With a super easy to use interface you just input your search query to find relevant results. For example, if I wanted to know more about the 2022 FIFA World Cup I could input that exact query:

Source: Statista

If I wanted more of a summary, I have the option to only select the most important facts, for example, the transfer value of each of the country’s teams in the World Cup. I could then drill down further:

Source: Statista

Utilising data like this is a really valuable way to quickly analyse and pull together a newsworthy story. An example of the above would be looking at how likely a team is to win the World Cup based on their transfer value – a very timely, topical and data-driven piece of content from a very effective free data platform.

2. Google Ads Keyword Planner

https://ads.google.com/intl/en_uk/home/tools/keyword-planner/

Google Ads Keyword Planner is a highly effective way of gathering data around key trending topics and search volumes, to draw an analysis piece. The tool allows you to view current data (up to the previous month), data for related searches and even historical data for a few years, allowing you to analyse year on year comparisons.

Source: Google Ads Keyword Planner

In the above image we can see the variety of information that Google Ads Keyword Planner makes available to us, including search volume per month for that keyword, level of competition, change YOY etc… We’re also able to split that out by device (mobile or desktop), and drill down by a specific country, region or even city, enabling us to make comparisons at a very granular level. With this level of detail freely available, you can probably already imagine the types of angles and stories that can be developed just from accessing this data.

We recently used data in this way to pull together an effective Digital PR campaign for our client, Mist E Liquid, looking at which date users would give up their new year’s resolutions (based on search data). This landed some great coverage including a link from Yahoo!. If you are looking for a great option for data analysis then the Google Ads Keyword Planner is a good place to start.

3. Google Trends

https://trends.google.com/trends/

Google Trends is another great tool that Google offers that provides you with the option to undertake free data analysis around trending topics. You can analyse something that is incredibly topical and compare it over time, by location and against other trending topics, to once again draw conclusions for an effective digital PR piece. 

Google Trends allows you to analyse the performance of particular trending topics over time, as well as compared to one another:

Source: Google Trends

In addition, it has a drill down option where you can compare the performance of those trending topics in specific areas; for example, looking at how trends for Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian differ based on US States:

Source: Google Trends

Similar to the Google Ads Keyword Planner, Google Trends can be quite granular with its dataset, so it’s down to you to understand which data you are looking for and how you want to evaluate it. If you are looking for up-to-date data on topics that are currently trending, or even just for ideas on which topics are actually trending, then this is a great place to start.

4. NHS Digital

https://digital.nhs.uk/

NHS Digital is an online platform where you can freely access data that the NHS holds, and reports that they frequently publish online. The data they cover ranges from statistics on NHS Stop Smoking Services to workforce statistics, maternity services, GP appointments and so on and so forth. It can be used as a data source for news stories closely relevant to the medical and technology sectors.

The reports are easily digestible and come with two main formats. Initially they give an overview of the key findings from the report, highlighting key pieces of analysis and themes that have come out of it; these are usually broken down into three or four boxes similar to this:

Source: NHS Digital

Following on from the headlines you then have a range of datasets which are broken down into both charts and Excel spreadsheets, to easily digest and manipulate/evaluate the data. This is where you can start to draw comparisons and identify angles which may be newsworthy or relevant for your client.

Source: NHS Digital

The data above allows you to draw topical analysis around the report, i.e. in this instance you could look to compare how many people have tried to quit smoking in a specific region vs the population of that region to understand which region of the UK is most likely to quit smoking. It’s a quick and simple piece of analysis that could be seeded to regional media with a local interest. 

NHS data is often very topical and trending. A great example of this is how the recent NHS report into appointments in general practice (October 2022) was picked up and turned into a news story on The Daily Mail. The piece highlighted which of the country’s NHS practices had the least in-person GP appointments as per the report. It was, and still is, a very topical issue that has gained great coverage, and is a good example of how a free data report from NHS Digital can be turned into a successful Digital PR piece. 

5. Office Of National Statistics

https://www.ons.gov.uk/

The ONS or the Office For National Statistics is another hub of free information. You can access a range of data sources, from employment rates and inflation (very topical at the moment!), to GDP and population/census data. In addition to standard reports it also offers several interactive features, such as interactive maps, graphs and diagrams of the economy, and indexes that cover areas like health.

On diving deeper into the websites you can see an extensive level of reporting on each of the aforementioned areas, with graphs and statistics updated on a regular basis. 

Within each section you will benefit from an initial summary which governs the top level figures of each report and summarises them into a neat table. This is often complemented by a short dot point summary that outlines the key takeaways.

Source: ONS

Some more in-depth graphs usually follow, which evaluate both the three month change and trends over time, so that you can quickly and easily draw data analysis and conclusions.

Source: ONS

The ONS publishes a wide range of reports on a regular basis, so it’s always worth keeping on top of any new reports that are coming up. They also have a huge ‘Time Series’ section, which archives any reports that have previously been created; doing a search here (with over 55,000 reports) is likely to bring up something relevant to your query. 

Additionally, the ONS has a release calendar where they feature already published releases and list any upcoming releases. This allows you to plan ahead and check if there are any reports coming up that are relevant to you. You can therefore set some time in your schedule to evaluate and create a great Digital PR story from said reports. 

Centre For Cities

https://www.centreforcities.org

Centre For Cities is a website dedicated to providing a range of data sources broken down by cities and towns across the UK. It’s great if you are looking for data about a specific region or are going for a local angle for a piece of coverage.

The website is incredibly user friendly and interactive. It features data in a number of different ways, including dashboard information that allows you to see a summary overview of how different towns and cities fare on key topics, such as energy bills and cost of living:

Source: Centre For Cities

There is also the option to break down this information in more detail, giving facts and figures to back up the data and looking at it in a more granular format:

Source: Centre For Cities

The site allows you to draw direct comparisons between different towns and cities so you can see how they are performing alongside each other:

Source: Centre For Cities

This data can be especially valuable if you are looking to evaluate something in a particular town or city, or regionally. The clear visualisation boards can help with data analysis too, so if you are looking to source data on a regional level this is a great place to start.

Google Public Data Sets

https://google.com/publicdata/directory

Google Public Data Sets are publicly available data boards that contain a broad range of information from around the world. Information included in these datasets can be GDP, Word Development Indicators, Agriculture, Domestic Government, Education, Energy, Health, Infrastructure and so much more… 

The interactive data sets allow you to evaluate growth over time and even helps to predict growth factors into the future. In addition, you are able to add and remove countries as you need which allows you to compare countries against each other – another valuable comparison metric.

Source: Google Public Data Sets

The Google Public Data Sets launched back in 2018 to provide a search engine strictly for data. Keep this in mind and if there’s something specific that you are looking for, you’ll likely have the ability within this dataset to drill down and find it. It’s also very intuitive, with an easy to use interface, clear description of the data, and even a summary in some sections, so you’ll know if you have an angle on your data or not.

If you know the type of data you are looking for then this is a valuable resource to pull that data together before adding it into your Digital PR strategy.

Data.gov.uk

https://www.data.gov.uk

Data.gov.uk is one of the UK’s largest sources of open data, which has been published by either local authorities, public bodies or the central government. Topics that you can find data on include

  • Business And Economy
  • Government
  • Transport
  • Defence
  • Crime And Justice
  • Health and Education

The information available is very in-depth and can offer good granularity into a sector. For example, if we look at the travel sector we can find over 824 relevant publications, including GB Road Traffic Counts, GM Accessibility Levels, Transport Statistics by region, Metrolink data, Speed Camera data and more. With new publications being added every few days, or even multiple times a day, this information archive is kept well up to date with the latest information. 

The database is quite user friendly and allows you to search by publisher, topic or format, as well as allowing you to sort by the most recent or most relevant topic. You can also do a general search if there is a specific data set that you are looking for. The data sets provided are extensive and, in addition to a standard summary, include a mixture of csv, pdf and zip files containing further information for your data analysis.

If you are looking to undertake a data analysis piece specific to one of the general topics listed above then this is a good data hub and place to start your research. The depth of the data lends itself well to regional analysis if you are looking to expand the reach of your content. 

Eurostat

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat

If you’re working with European clients then Eurostat will be one of your go-to data platforms. An official website of the European Union, this website is home to wide ranging data about the EU, including inflation rates, GDP growth, house prices, unemployment rates, population data and much more.

The website offers a vast amount of reports and data visualisations that are handy for data analysis. This covers everything from key facts broken down at country level, through to key figures that cover Europe as a whole. Eurostat also has an API section which lets you draw data directly from the source. This is invaluable when you are working with large datasets and can allow you to use a more enterprise approach to data analysis. 

There are interactive dashboards where you can create your own datasets to analyse specific country’s data against the EU and Euro area as a whole. The below example shows where you can interactively check the information you are interested in and the information you are looking to compare together in a dashboard. This allows you to see the country data side by side and can lend itself quite well to effective data analysis.

Source: Eurostat

Similar to many other data sources, Eurostat has a release calendar which you can use effectively for proactive newsjacking. It comes in a really easily digestible and aesthetically pleasing format:

Source: Eurostat

If you want to create stories that involve data from the EU this is an excellent source of information and a great place to start. You can also use the handy calendar function to plan your campaigns in advance when you know key data is being released.

US Bureau Of Data Statistics

https://www.usa.gov/statistics

The US Bureau Of Data Statistics is home to a range of data information sources about the US. It includes census data and information about the economy, demographics and population. It’s a central hub for all information relating to the US and is an official website of the United States government.

In addition to publishing relevant data, the US Bureau Of Data Statistics also provides a list of useful links to other Federal Government data, including the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Transportation. This allows you to visit the respective sections if you are looking for more granular information about a specific sector. 

There are links through to sections for specific states and local governments too. So if you are looking to analyse data specific to a certain state or local area then utilising the websites provided here is a valuable place to start.

The website also has a maps section, covering topics such as environment data and water resources, current weather, recreation and agricultural information by commodity. If you are planning to analyse any of these in more detail, the website can give you information as granular as crop and plant yield and livestock/animal information. 

If you’re working on some US Digital PR campaigns, then the US Bureau Of Data Statistics can provide you with the data and insight you need for those juicy data-led campaigns.

Now that you have your free data sources you are well on your way to creating some high quality, data-driven Digital PR content. So, what are you waiting for? Start jumping on those trends, analysing great data and producing juicy angles to get your coverage front and centre in the press, delivering those all valuable links back to your client’s (or your own!) website. 

Want to find out more about how you can use free data-led sources for your Digital PR campaigns? Get in touch with our Digital PR team today!