Recently, our MD Simon and PR Account Manager Ashley spent the day in Brighton – not eating fish and chips on the beach – but delving deeper into the world of digital PR at the annual PR and Link Building show, part of the Brighton SEO fringe festival offering.
The show contained three, hour-long sessions, each filled with three 20-minute presentation slots featuring some of the country’s sharpest PR and digital marketing professionals.
With plenty of tips, tricks, and all-round PR goodness on offer, Ashley and Simon surrounded themselves with like-minded pros to soak up the information. Here’s what they learned.
SEO should be at the heart of a good reactive PR story
The first session gave an insightful look at ensuring SEO is at the heart of any reactive PR efforts. Piggybacking or news-jacking current affairs can be a great reactive way to get media coverage for your clients.
However, it must be relevant, because SEO revolves around relevancy. Since Google added its additional E to its E-A-T framework to form E-E-A-T, you need to ensure your content is rich in experience. This will help you rank well – both for your readers and Google. Side note: another talk highlighted Google Perspective – a new addition to Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) that presents results with user-generated content to offer first-hand experience of those searched questions. So, if content is King, then experience is Queen.
Alongside this, the presentation also highlighted three other factors you need to consider in launching a good reactive PR story:
- Speed: Reacting swiftly to industry trends and news is essential for staying relevant. Being the first to provide insights in the digital realm can set you apart.
- Budget: You don’t need a massive budget for reactive PR, but you do need to allocate resources wisely. Creative thinking can compensate for a limited budget.
- Creativity: Creativity is your secret weapon in the world of reactive PR. It helps you stand out and capture your audience’s attention.
Once you have your idea, make sure you test it against these three questions:
- Is it relevant for your audience? Your content should revolve around topics that genuinely interest your target audience.
- Does it demonstrate authority? Establish your authority in the field by discussing relevant topics and driving key keywords.
- Is it original? Offer a unique angle or evoke emotions in your content. Originality is key to making an impact.
If your idea doesn’t make sense to your ideal audience, then it probably doesn’t make sense at all – which could end up doing more harm than good to your SEO efforts.
AI won’t take our (creative) freedom
Another intriguing talk looked at idea generation, and how PR pros will always outshine AI when it comes to innovation. The collective sigh of relief indicated that our jobs are safe (for now). After a light-hearted opening line of “If you don’t have any skills in the first place, then there is nothing for AI to take”, the talk got stuck into how a structured process can help generate some incredibly successful ideas.
Starting with a prompt, or as humans like to call it, a brief, is essential for setting off on the right track. Then, it is all about defining what you want to achieve and doing your research. Use SEO tools like BuzzSumo to define keywords and then let the creative process begin.
Spend time researching facts and figures to help identify primary themes, secondary themes, and continue to widen the ‘level of innovation’ until you reach those ‘out-there’ ideas. Then, take stock of everything you have in front of you. The speaker insisted that this creative part shouldn’t be rushed and can last at least a few weeks.
Next, analyse and refine until you’ve found a couple of ideas that you can run with. The golden rule here is your inspiration should be validated by data.
The gap between the gorilla’s toes
An interesting talk for the afternoon session explored using Quora and Reddit to generate leads. New online privacy regulations mean that audiences are shrinking. But what if there were alternative platforms to the usual Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and X for advertising? Alternatives that provide better ROI? Or, as the presenter liked to call it, the gap between the gorilla’s toes. Well, there are.
Question-based platform Quora has 440 million monthly users and allows audiences to ask questions, away from the usual search engines, to find answers from real people.
Community hub Reddit boasts 500 million monthly users and leverages topics, keywords, questions, and community targeting to deliver content.
Using the right mix of images, videos, text, and questions can generate very healthy advertising results. The presenter revealed that click-through rates can be up to 90% higher than LinkedIn ads.
Three main takeaways
It’s always great to attend industry events and seminars, like Brighton SEO. Hearing from other professionals certainly gives you food for thought when you get back to the office.
The three main things we’ll be taking forward for the rest of 2023 and into 2024 will be:
- Experience is key. Being able to demonstrate relevant experience will resonate with your audience, helping to meet the rest of the E-A-T framework.
- AI won’t be taking our jobs anytime soon. By following a simple creative process driven by research and data, humans can conjure up far more creative and innovative ideas than AI can. Finding a sweet spot in this process will help you create content that inspires, educates and entertains (you just have to get it signed off by your client!).
- Be creative and explore new avenues. Social media advertising is a well-trodden path, but dipping your toe in new areas like Quora and Reddit – as long as it is relevant – can provide impressive results for a fraction of the cost.
We’d thoroughly recommend getting along to the fringe festivals at Brighton SEO. The insights shared underscore the importance of staying up-to-date, agile, and creative to ensure you deliver content that resonates with your audience.
Please reach out to a member of our dedicated team if you would like some expert support with sharing your message.