With the growth of the food industry has come a growth in competition. Meaning it’s more important than ever, to shout louder than the rest.
Not only that.
Your shouting needs to be better articulated and more original than every other brand in your category.
That said, having an effective PR strategy is one of the most important parts of growing a food or drink business.
In this post I discuss the importance of PR and how digital marketing can benefit from your public relations strategy, as well as vice-versa.
I explain why it can help your referral traffic and which types of web content provide more benefit.
Before that, let’s recap why it’s so important for your brand.
In my view, Wikipedia hits the nail on the head in explaining PR:
“The practice of deliberately managing the spread of information between an individual or an organisation.”
Why is PR important in food?
It’s well known, that getting your food or drink brand in front of the public, significantly increases brand awareness. Even more-so when there’s a great story to tell.
Your effrots can also get you noticed by major retailers (or any other resellers).
What’s more, getting your brand out there for free will give you the best return on investment ever.
That’s where your Food PR strategy comes in.
Building up a list of journalists, who write about food and drink is imperative for you to give them content that they need, when they need it.
Proactively monitoring what journalists are looking for, is also hugely important and must be a part of your strategy.
Putting PR at the forefront of your mind (or having an agency do it for you) is key. It doesn’t matter the time of day, you should always be thinking this:
“There’s a news story in there somewhere”
If you’re already a marketing manager, it’s probably nothing new to you about how important it is.
So, let’s look at the combination of digital marketing and PR together.
Starting with ways in which digital marketing can hugely assist your PR efforts.
How can Digital Marketing benefit your Food PR?
There’s at least 2 reasons to why digital can help:
- If you’re regularly producing high-quality content on your website.
- If you’re helping people in your target groups with problems and learning.
Here’s Why & How:
Firstly, there’s a high chance that your regular content updates will get seen by the press – journalists seeking fresh content every day, online. The more you produce, the higher chance you have.
Use your digital strategy, whether it’s social media or email outreach, to engage with journalists each week or month.
You only need one journalist to see your content for it to go viral, as long as you’re giving them the desire to get in touch with you.
And you could make it into a mainstream paper or on a mainstream website, overnight.
Giving you the ultimate visibility.
However, it doesn’t mean the journalists will come, just because you have okay content. It needs to be great AND news worthy.
What do I mean by that?
Which web content is great for Food PR?
Of course, in general, informative content TRUMPS sales content. But one type of content that works even better for PR (and even search rankings) are statistical findings.
Here’s an example…
Our client wanted to understand their consumers behaviour better.
So, we built an email campaign to survey their previous customers. We took the opportunity to acquire real stats from the people who ‘love’ our client’s products.
Having those stats gave us the perfect promotion and PR opportunity. Partly, because no one else had them.
We published the findings on their blog. When we posted an update on social media, it included a link to the findings, as presented on the blog.
From that, Engagement levels increased by 1,422% compared to the previous post. A practising journalist picked up the findings and published them on their website. It included a link and a reference.
BOOM – referral traffic and increased Google rankings. Not to mention, more sales!
That leads me on nicely.
How can Food PR benefit your digital Marketing?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s vital you take accountability for ensuring these benefits are realised. When realised, PR can significantly help with at least 3 digital marketing goals
- Referral Traffic
- Search Engine Traffic
- Website Awareness
Let’s break each of those down.
How does PR help with Referral Traffic?
When you release a campaign and it gets spotted by (or actively delivered to) the press, there are a few places in which they will publish their content. These include, hard copy and online, as a minimum.
To benefit digitally, you should make sure your story is published online – If you’re unsure, just ask the journalist.
That’s not all. Once published there needs to be a link back to your website, somewhere on the page. Ideally towards the top of the page. That way, readers will click the link and head over to your website.
How can this help with search engine traffic?
It’s rare for journalist sites to pass ‘Google link juice’ to your website. But if they do, you’re in for a treat.
Having a Google SEO optimised back link to your site will significantly impact your rankings in all search engines. And in turn your ongoing traffic and sales.
You need someone who is qualified enough to check your link and request that it be optimised properly.
Of course, it depends on the publisher as to whether the request will be successful.
But if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Remember though, even if you don’t increase your search engine or referral traffic, as a minimum, your website will become ‘known’ in the eyes of the press.
Continuously increasing your website awareness can have exponential effects on the growth of your business – especially after 2-3 years, when done properly.
One thing is for sure.
Don’t leave any stone unturned when seeking digital and business benefits from your PR efforts.
Another thing to remember is that you may be experiencing short term pain for long term. That means everything you do now is tough, but you will reap the rewards as the efforts snow ball over a sustained time-period.
So, stay persistent and consistent with your efforts.
What’s your biggest PR challenge as a Food or Drink Marketer?
I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments.
Food PR Examples
If you’re looking for inspiration in how to come up with your way of deliberately managing the spread of YOUR information, have a look at this page here