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It’s no secret that digital PR is a top-of-the-funnel activity.

When we’re investing in promotion through this channel, we need to recognize that the chances of a visitor to our content then deciding to make a purchase is far slimmer than it would be if they had come through a bottom of funnel activity like PPC.

Now, that doesn’t mean we can’t be talking about the revenue impact of a digital PR campaign – because, especially when we take an integrated approach, we can.

But it also means that digital PR deserves greater recognition than we currently tend to give it. And that means understanding the cross-funnel impact the channel can have.

What Do We Mean by a ‘Funnel’?

Fans of marketing frameworks will be aware of the marketing funnel.

The idea that consumers move through a linear journey may be somewhat simplistic, but it can help us to better understand:

  • How our target audiences are behaving.
  • What part of the journey we’re impacting along the way.

According to the AIDA model, consumers move through a journey of:

  • Awareness – First becoming aware of the problem or solution.
  • Interest – Becoming interested in the solution offered.
  • Desire – Wanting the solution offered.
  • Action – Buying the solution offered.

Digital PR, then, sits at the top of the funnel.

It’s about raising awareness, whether that’s through traffic to the campaign itself, or increasing visibility for the brand in the SERPs by improving their ranking positions.

Conversely, something like PPC is much more driven to targeting consumers at the point of conversion (especially if we’re talking about search ads and Google Shopping).

How Does Digital PR Contribute to the Funnel?

The way that digital PR in its purest sense contributes to the funnel is, as mentioned above, through increasing awareness amongst the target audience.

When done well, it’s about getting the brand in front of its audience with messages that start to build relationships that could lead to conversion eventually.

It should, therefore, be intrinsically tied to tangible, measurable goals such as number of links built and resulting ranking, and therefore traffic improvements.

It can also contribute to the rest of the funnel and has the greatest potential to do so when:

  • We craft campaigns that sit at the very core of the Circles of Focus (a technique I’ve been using with my clients to prioritize content production).
  • We integrate our campaigns with other channels.

Here are four ways that you can drive higher returns from your digital PR campaigns by capitalizing on its cross-funnel potential.

1. Integrate PR with SEO – Properly

2. Borrow from Traditional PR – But Make It Measurable

3. Think About the Wider Benefits of Our Assets

4. Consider Funnel Campaigns

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