Not another trends, predictions, and how to cut through the noise post…
You’re about to be hit with a flurry of “How to cut through the Christmas noise” pieces in digital PR. Don’t get me wrong; these pieces serve a purpose, and there is some excellent advice out there online, but as always, it can be conflicting and, dare I say it, sometimes down to luck.
December is an odd time for both digital PRs and journalists alike. Whilst we always see an increase in the out-of-office responses, news doesn’t stop. That’s right; even when you’re tucking into your turkey or nut roast, if there is breaking news, there will be someone covering it.
My honest belief is that like with any campaign; if the story is good it is going to get covered. As long as the correct journalist is targeted, your outreach hits the nail on the head, and it’s interesting then it is going to cut through the noise with the exception of a poorly-timed celebrity death or anything else that could potentially make history.
And just like cutting through the noise, there will be an influx of trends and predictions. This is where I’m going to go against the grain and say, actually, no, not a lot is going to change other than I predict that industry-wise we will see more courage in our conviction.
Agencies have a duty to their clients to make sure they’re giving them the best advice and experience. Quality and relevance are thrown about in the industry, yet there are still occasions in which agencies aren’t practicing what they preach.
It can be a difficult conversation with a client who may be used to getting 500+ paid-for, low-quality links and who want to do thing the right way. As John Mueller says, ‘It’s not the number of links that counts’. My interpretation of this is that it doesn’t mean don’t get any links, it means concentrating on quality and relevance.
So, this is my combined post of Digital PR trends and predictions for 2023:
1. Clients will become savvier to ethical digital PR practice
It’s always nice to send a client pick-up and coverage of a campaign you’ve created; but the days of fake products and low-quality guest posting have long gone. You may see a quick boost due to an unnatural spike of traffic from around the globe, but these aren’t people who are going to convert.
What worked a long time isn’t going to have the same effect as it once would have. Google have their own zoo of algorithm updates that put a stop to old-school spammy tactics and are there to try and make the web the best it can be. The days of manipulation are gone, it’s all about quality.
2. Consumers will expect trust and expertise from brands
Google expects this; SEOs expect this, and consumers will expect this. Gone are the days of “Shoe company shows us 6 different ways to make the perfect pasta shape”, brands need to have authority about what they’re speaking about. This doesn’t mean that creativity needs to stop, it also doesn’t mean that we can’t create interesting and engaging news. It means that a story needs to relate to publication and to client.
Relevance became a bit of a buzzword across the last few years in Digital PR, but there are often instances of not practicing what is preached. Being confident enough to be the thought leader, or expert in your, or your businesses area, means that you will be cemented in people’s mind. Martin Lewis is an expert example.
3. Digital PR will be a key area of investment for brands
Let’s be fully transparent here; I’ve got a vested interest in this, however it’s true. The cost of living is a very real thing, and marketeers are naturally worried; this said, as history tells us, the brands who succeed aren’t the ones that cut marketing costs when times are tough; but rather the opposite.
We live online. It’s true otherwise there wouldn’t be hordes of parents concerned about ‘screen time’ for the next generation. We have our faces in our phones more than we’d care to admit, ad blockers are a very real thing and there’s an opportunity to get interesting and engaging stories out that talk to people like they are… well… people.
Brands have got to tell a story; it’s human nature not to care about what a brand is trying to sell to you; it’s human nature to read something that directly affects you whether that’s a fine; something about the weather, a product that will affect your life or something that you would share.
Brands are already aware of the impact of editorial coverage; brands telling stories can resonate and make your brand front of mind when it comes to the decision-making process; which leads me to my final point…
4. Conversion and coverage where it counts
PRs can sometimes (unfairly in the majority of cases) get a bad rep for fluffy content. However, if people are engaging and reading with said content, and a journalist cared enough to write the story then they know that there is an interested audience.
Getting coverage in front of your audience can help develop your brand, but also put you front-of-mind when they may need your service.
If you want to get coverage where it counts with Digital PR, get in touch with us, we can help.
About the author: Matt is our Head of Outreach with 10 years experience in the industry. He’s actively delivered coverage and links for brands including Irwin Mitchell, Ann Summers, Thomas Mansfield, DPG, Viking Direct, BT Business, Rajapack, Moonpig, Go Car Credit, House of Fraser, Nochex, Neil Hudgell, and Unite students as well as many others. With an active interest in white-hat digital PR, his specialties are creating relevant high-quality backlinks for clients alongside creative idea generation to secure coverage in well-known industry publications.