How to use digital PR and cross-channel data to drive organic growth

How to use cross-PR and cross-channel data to drive organic growth

30 Second Summary:

  • With the right strategy, digital PR can help increase both brand awareness and organic performance
  • During an economic downturn, brand visibility is essential to sustaining the brand message over the long term
  • Brands that will win out are those that take a cross-channel approach to drive higher ROI, using data from other channels to inform their approach

While I’m tempted to cut spending during a recession, I believe it’s crucial for brands to stay visible to sustain the brand message – and digital PR is a great, cost-effective way to do this.

Future frontrunner brands will be those that take a cross-channel approach to drive higher ROI, leveraging data from other channels to inform their approach and ensure it resonates with audiences.

In the current economy, brands and businesses are understandably scrutinizing every penny and are likely to make cuts in marketing budgets around the world.

Businesses need to be realistic about their growth trajectory over the next few months and make sure every marketing dollar they invest is accounted for. While this can of course lead to higher investments in performance channels such as paid media, it leads to increased costs per click (CPCs). One way to stay measurable but cut costs is to get creative and focus energy on getting attention instead of continuing to pay for every click and impression.

As a result, I would say so digital PR is one of the most important tools in your marketing toolkit because, with the right strategy, it can increase both brand awareness and organic performance.

You’re missing a trick if you’re just using Digital PR to generate links

Digital PR is used to build high authority and relevant links to key category pages to increase search performance through organic growth. A well-targeted strategy that aligns closely with SEO goals allows you to track ROI if you have the right measurement tools. This activity feeds into lower-funnel marketing activities as it helps harvest demand as higher rankings capture better traffic and conversions.

However, if you only use it for this purpose, you are missing out on a huge opportunity further up the marketing funnel.

By ensuring on-brand, impactful coverage of authoritative and influential publications, digital PR can also be used to drive search demand and brand awareness at the top of the funnel. This third-party validation is the perfect way to build prominence, credibility, customer advocacy, and trust while increasing organic performance through quality links.

However, to achieve both brand and performance, you have to be Create relevant and engaging content that your audience will want to read and share. You shouldn’t create content “just to link,” but consider broader business goals—and make sure you’re actually targeting the press your audience is reading.

In summary, digital PR shouldn’t just be an “intention-driven” marketing discipline to boost rankings. It’s a discipline that can both increase demand and awareness while helping to capture intended traffic.

Why brand visibility is even more important in a recession

Recessions are difficult and uncertain times, which makes it all the more important to continue building visibility and relevance – as consumers on tighter budgets are likely to become more selective and want to buy from brands they trust and that remain relevant to them.

We’ve seen brands in previous economic uncertainties maintain their brand awareness and relevance, retain more market share, and recover faster. Mark Ritson’s Marketing Playbook of the Recession provides more information and resources on this topic.

To use digital PR to deliver true brand performance, you need to make sure you create it based on as many cross-channel insights as possible.

Share cross-channel insights for better ROI

While many marketers say they work “across channels,” the reality is that many teams still work in silos—particularly on brand and performance teams.

For best results, it’s important to break down silos and use data insights from each channel to create an overarching strategy.

For example, to drive organic growth, while it’s important to start with key SEO insights, search volume, branded traffic, non-branded traffic, relevance, and backlink count, you should consider other channels to measure performance to maximize.

Another example would be that your PPC and paid search teams have lots of useful data that you can use to inform your organic strategy. Which keywords cost the most? You can adjust your efforts to improve organic rankings for those keywords, effectively allowing you to spend less on those terms.

Your programmatic team also has access to display placement reports, which provide insight into the publications and websites your in-market audience visits. This should then inform your target outreach list. From a paid social perspective, this team will have a lot of useful information about what content is performing best provides valuable insights for your PR brainstorms.

Further reinforcement of your digital PR reporting

Not only should you work with other channel teams to define your strategy, you must work with them throughout the process to amplify results.

For example, when you generate a really fantastic piece of linking digital PR coverage on a very credible publication. While this will boost SEO performance and some brand awareness to maximize the opportunity and valuable third party validation, make it even harder by amplifying it through paid social networks.

Mini Case Study: Cookies from Maryland use PR to reach more than 5 million people

Maryland came to us because they needed to align PR, programmatic and paid social to drive mass awareness of their new sugar-free cookie and drive an immediate uptick in new customer sales. Through an integrated approach of PR, paid social and programmatic, we reached 5.3 million people across all channels. View the case study here.

We’ve seen in previous campaigns that by using PR content as part of your social ads, not only does it actually outperform the ad creation, but it can also help prevent ad fatigue and provide you with additional benefits (the you don’t need). nothing extra has to be paid!).

Immediate steps to support your 2023 marketing plan

To be successful, it is important to create a framework that helps bring all channels together.

at travel further We use the “4Ds” – Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver.


In this phase, all channels are asked to provide insights and data based on their recent campaigns and past learnings. It is recommended that an account manager be assigned who can be tasked with compiling a list of questions and a briefing document to ensure the discovery phase is as useful as possible. This helps identify where the greatest opportunities lie across all channels.


Agree on the best target and goals based on the insights provided by all channels. Create an overarching strategy that counteracts them and promotes maximum ROI.


Establish a clear roadmap of roles and responsibilities for each channel. While in the case of an organic growth strategy, SEO and PR take the leading role, it is important that other channels clearly know how to amplify the activity at each stage and what insights they can also take from the activity to improve their own results in the canal.


Marketing activity is enabled. If it’s a digital PR campaign, influencer marketing and paid social tactics, for example, can be used alongside public relations to boost the campaign and generate more excitement and engagement.

Reports on the right metrics

Another benefit of working across channels is that you can report on many more metrics, giving a more holistic and accurate view of ROI.

Creating a 24/7 live reporting dashboard with tools like Data Studio allows you and your team members to check in and monitor progress at any time. This gives you a continuous cycle of insight to enable you to continuously improve your marketing efforts and provide an overarching strategy that allows you to remain visible while increasing performance.

Beth Nunnington is VP of Digital PR and Content Marketing at Journey Further, a leading digital PR strategy for the world’s top brands. Her work has been featured in The Drum, PR Moment and Prolific North. Find Beth on Twitter @BethNunnington.

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