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Major Digital PR Trends to Watch out for in 2016

By Denny Averill and!

The world of digital PR is changing at a really fast pace. The public relations environment is becoming more integrated, which basically means PR practitioners must learn to adapt in the digital environment. By offering clients more exposure to online/offline platforms, companies are in the capacity to direct their audience to more qualitative content. However, to have an advantage one must have a thorough understanding of the digital landscape. Here are some trends we’ll be seeing shape up this 2016.

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The death of traditional press

Standard PR has vanished, and we don’t believe it will come back alive anytime soon. Why? The answer is simple – the internet has completely changed the way we market our businesses. Companies that refuse to relocate online have a lot of resources to lose; writing and distributing press releases the conventional way is a complete waste of time and money. Rather than keep trying to gain media coverage using offline PR, you might want to embrace the fact that the future of marketing is in the online environment. Social media must be embraced and used as often as possible because it will help you develop strong relationships with potential customers, influencers, and industry leaders.

All eyes on improved security

This season’s highest priority in digital PR is all about improved security. Online companies need to be updated with the latest changes  and then do whatever’s necessary to make sure their websites are secured. Random breaches, password discussions, as well as leaks with British Airways and Ashley Madison websites, have convinced companies to know everything there is to know about high-profile security hacks. A digital PR campaign must also focus on improving security, thus making sure that clients are protected. Social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have started offering retailers more privacy tools. That’s great news because it instills trust and to some extent it makes customers choose to access your site rather than turn to the competition.

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Content amplification

Several years ago, a company’s sole strategy to gain valuable customers was getting published on top-tier websites like Forbes or TechCrunch. These platforms still provide tremendous value because they focus on a targeted audience; they’re still in the lead and startups still need them to boost traffic. But it’s not the only way anymore; amplifying your content and promoting your business on other channels are additional marketing options you need to take advantage of. Quality content and learning how to leverage that content is the key to a successful online PR campaign.  

If you choose to start an online business, the best advice is to center your attention on quality content. It will be easier for you to leverage that content to drive targeted customers. Apart from social media, nurturing events (articles & infographics) and generating leads, your digital PR campaign should also focus on marketing newsletters, the sales process, and even signature emails to amplify the message you’d like to convey.

Online reputation management becomes crucial

When pitching a piece of content or story to a journalist or editor, you can be sure that they’ll first look you up; then they’ll decide whether or not your content is worth publishing. Considering that they get hundreds of articles on a daily basis, they have to be sure that what you have to provide is valuable; as well as whether and if your company has a good reputation. When someone searches the name of your company they will also assess your expertise and brand. A reputable online presence is your ticket to having content published. Managing a reputation is easier said than done. How do you handle dissatisfied customers? What do you do if a review website gives you a bad score? Center your attention on a targeted audience and they’ll want to know more; even buy what you’re selling. Focus on quality content, good products, and stellar customer support system.

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2016 is a big year for digital PR. Things are changing and companies must be willing to adapt in order to thrive. Focusing more on quality content, linking to social media platforms and having a targeted audience in mind for your website are just some of the trends one must adhere when implementing a digital PR campaign for their online business.

Author Bio: Denny Averill is the writer to this article. He is a regular contributor at many sites and mainly focuses on business related topics. He also writes for a site which is a digital marketing and web design agency in London

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Andre Bourque (@SocialMktgFella) is a cannabis industry media influencer, brand executive and advisor, blockchain marketer, and cannabis columnist. He specializes in cannabis industry partnerships, distribution, and funding. He is a ranked social media marketing and content strategist.

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