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How Earned Media Strengthens Digital Marketing

By: Michaela Kitson, Account Supervisor

Consumers turn to digital resources for their everyday needs. At Access, we use digital practices to increase brand awareness and preference for our clients. As part of Access’ commitment to continuous learning, I took a digital marketing course where we did a deep dive into search and social media advertising, and explored case studies illustrating the importance of authenticity and consistency across online platforms. Most importantly, I affirmed how positively PR can impact digital marketing practices.

  • Search – SEO & Paid: Think back on your day so far. How many things have you searched for? Probably more than you realize! Search plays a major role in consumers’ daily lives, so it’s an essential tool for marketers. Brands combine Search Engine Optimization (SEO, organically built by everything from strong website functionality to credible online content), and paid search to help their products come up as top search results. PR makes search even more effective.
    • PR Strengthens SEO: Earned media – the heart and soul of PR – paid media and social and influencer content help brands optimize SEO. Collaborating with media on stories, partnering with influencers, and creating original web content are just some of the ways PR contributes to SEO.
    • PR – the Messaging Experts: Successful brands use consistent messaging across channels to market to consumers. We regularly collaborate with fellow agencies to ensure messaging is consistent across platforms including search, key word and website.
  • Social Media Ads (Facebook and Instagram): Brands use social media ads to reach consumers where they spend a lot of time: on social media. A strong social media ad fits seamlessly into a feed and/or entices the consumer to click through to learn more and purchase. As content creators, PR strengthens and helps create authentic ads.
    • Content Must-Haves: Could it Work on Social?: We consistently produce digital content ranging from infographics to landing pages, and must ensure this content works on social platforms; social media ads, for example, with 20% or less text perform best.
    • Extending Influencer Content: Influencer content is accessible to consumers because it’s authentic. Look for ways to re-post branded influencer content on your own channels and through social media ads.
  • Website Optimization: Brand websites and apps affect purchase decisions and are conversion destinations. Earned media helps convert website visits to purchase.
    • Earned Media – the Original 3rd Party Review: More than ever, consumers rely on 3rd party reviews for their purchase decisions. PR works with media and influencers every day to secure positive reviews and stories. Feature this content on websites to show consumers how products fit into their lives. Website news rooms, for example, should house the great coverage we secure.
    • Consistent Consumer Experience: Brands influence the consumer experience via consistent website links. Ideally, consumers use the same links to access brand websites and will thus receive identical, and hopefully positive, website experiences. PR supports this work by sharing the same website links with media. When media feature these links in their stories, consumers, in turn, will click through these links to reach brand websites. It’s also imperative these website links load well and drive to purchase locations. This supports SEO.

Brands have tremendous opportunity to reach target consumers online as digital’s role in consumers’ lives continues to grow. With this in mind, brands are more successful when their communications channels work together as seamlessly as possible in the digital space.

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