When it comes to modern PR, digital is an efficient and effective way of building brand authority, and achieving objectives spanning sales, marketing, talent and more.
Take PR backlinking. Demand has steadily inclined over recent years, and it’s no wonder: it can help businesses enhance their SEO and SERP, generate genuine inbound leads, boost domain authority, and significantly expand their outreach.
But - and it’s a big caveat - achieving PR backlinking on its own is extremely challenging. We’re talking ‘holy grail’ levels of challenging. Securing even a single backlink on a Tier 1 site (think: BBC, Financial Times, The Telegraph and so on) can take years of relationship building with senior media pros, and a well-seasoned PR expert to commit to the task.
So, should you put backlinking at the bottom of your wishlist? Or is there a simpler way of achieving real results?
If you’re serious about PR backlinking, your best course of action is to invest in a holistic PR strategy that incorporates the tactic - rather than leading with it - alongside other digital best practices.
If you're interested in understanding more about the world of PR backlinking, and how you can implement it into your wider strategy, here's an intro to the digital discipline.
What is PR backlinking?
If you're familiar with SEO principles, you'll know that backlinking is a powerful tool in your arsenal.
Linking to other websites from relevant brands (known as outbound links) and having other brands link to yours (inbound links) informs Google that you're a trustworthy, reliable, and relevant site. Helping cement your digital presence, and build a strong brand authority over time.
PR backlinks achieve this same goal, usually using links from media outlets, industry sites, or other similar brands. Making them extremely high-value.
Why are PR backlinks so high-value?
The core difference between PR backlinks and other forms of backlinking, is that - according to Google - newspaper sites, media publications and reliable brands meet higher levels of trust, authority and expertise.
They tick all the boxes of a well-developed, well-managed website; publishing diverse content that's backed by research and fact-checking, achieving consistently high levels of traffic from both new and returning visitors, and so on. There's also incredible value in gaining positive coverage in a title that has thousands upon thousands of visitors daily, and that's generally perceived to be reliably factual.
Can they drive real results?
Think of it as a multiple-birds-one-stone situation.
Boost your SERP and SEO. A website with high Google rankings for trust, authority, and expertise backlinks to your own. What does that communicate to search engines? That your website is also trustworthy, authoritative and expert.
Generate inbound interest. Journalists regularly scout publications for new material, and brand partnerships are often influenced by online mentions. Plus, customers are far more likely to trust your brand if it's been 'vetted' by a source they know well.
Increase domain authority. Where standard backlinks don't always guarantee clicks, PR backlinking is far more likely to generate interest, driving organic traffic to your site - and consequently building your domain authority.
Build brand awareness. Backlinking can introduce who you are and what you do to a whole new audience. A great backlink could open doors to other opportunities, build key industry relationships, expand market reach overseas, and much more.
How can you achieve quality PR backlinks?
Achieving PR backlinks takes (plenty) of time, dedication, and an understanding of market changes. However, it can also drive great results for your business.
Here’s how to implement backlinking as part of your wider digital PR strategy for the best results that are actually achievable.
Brand partnerships. Establishing partnerships with like-minded brands is a great way of achieving backlinks. A good partnership will be one with shared values, and aligned objectives and audiences. Remember to research your partner’s website ranking and domain authority to ensure you can reach the results you’re looking for.
Thought Leadership. With a strong thought leadership brand, the PR world really is your oyster. Consistent LinkedIn blogs, social content, and channel mentions from other leaders and brands can lead to securing bylines for industry titles, or even a regular column on a news site. Providing ample opportunity to implement backlinks.
Strategic news releases. A new product or service, seed fundraising announcement, hiring a new CFO or something else entirely - a strategic and well-timed press release can secure you backlinks on a multitude of news sites. Use a targeted approach to issue it to the outlets and journalists who would be most interested.
User-generated content. Particularly attractive for B2C brands, user-generated content can secure you PR backlinks on highly popular blog sites with thousands of readers. Pitch your product to be included on Christmas gift lists, or offer exclusives for a blog dedicated to your brand.
If you do decide to pursue PR backlinks organically, here’s a word on your pitch. The same principles to traditional PR apply: make it short, sharp, engaging and meaningful. Make sure you're reaching the right names at the right places, and schedule time for follow-ups.
Invest in your PR for best results
PR backlinking may be founded on the same best practices of 'traditional' PR, but it’s by no means a simple task.
Depending on the outlet - and audience - you want to reach, you may be one of thousands of brands pitching for a single opportunity. And you could be rinsing and repeating that process for years before you see results.
The best, most realistic way of achieving your PR objectives is to invest in your strategy, and think clearly and precisely about the ‘why’ behind what you’re looking to achieve. The right freelancer or advisor can provide consultative support on your PR and media relations, and help define the most effective way of reaching your goals. So you’re not left running around in circles, and wasting resource that could be used elsewhere.
Visit The Work Crowd today. Using our network of over 4,500 professionals, we can source the right support for you and your business. And help put your brand on the digital map.