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21 / 06 / 22

Trending Digital PR Campaign Formats (and how to get more out of them)


Rebecca Moss

7 minute read

If you work in digital PR, then it’s likely that you spend a lot of time looking at campaigns and dissecting how they were put together (hands up if you head straight to the methodology section for every campaign you click on…) 

From the ubiquitous ‘dream job’ campaign to market research surveys, there is such a wide variety of digital PR campaign formats for us to choose from. The beauty of the digital PR industry is that campaign trends develop, evolve and change all of the time – but one thing remains constant…

The need to have measurable commercial benefits tied into any campaign that we run – beyond links. 

With this post, I’d like to discuss a wide range of popular digital PR campaign formats and what we can put in place to ensure that we’re getting the most out of them from a performance standpoint.  

‘Dream Job’ Campaigns

This is a PR campaign format that’s been around for a few years – where a brand will offer one lucky person a ‘job’ where they will be asked to test or review a product or a service. 

The ‘dream job’ is usually aspirational in nature – roller coaster testers or espresso martini testers are just some of the most successful ones I have seen, but they all have a few things in common.  

  • Generating coverage often with links to the application form to apply
  • Social shares for the brand and for the news publications that cover them
  • Heightened brand awareness as potential candidates apply for the job

What you can do to get more from a dream job campaign

  • Adding an opt-in to the company newsletter on the application form
  • Using internal links to product pages to spread link equity from the campaign page
  • Create social media posts to boost campaign awareness
  • Including internal links to relevant products in the page copy

Digital PR dream job campaigns

How to measure a dream job campaign to prove commercial impact

  • Referral traffic – how many new people landed on your site as a result of the campaign?
  • How many people engaged with the campaign by submitting an application
  • Newsletter / opt-ins – how many more people subscribed to your newsletter or marketing communications? 
  • Social media shares – how many did you get? 
  • Sales – did anyone buy the product you linked to from the campaign page?

Onpage listicle content

We all love the humble listicle, but in the digital PR world, they are usually reserved for off page reactive content or to support a larger campaign. But what about onpage content? How can we harness the power of the listicle to help funnel link equity through to priority product service and landing pages?

Here we are stealing a trick from the content strategists and content marketers amongst us, by creating listicle content on a blog, with internal links through to prioritised landing pages (the pages your clients want to rank) – and then building links to it with digital PR techniques. 

What you can do to get more from an onpage listicle

  • Ensure you link to priority pages from within your listicle content
  • Ensure you have a meta title, meta description and headings that truly describes what the page is about 
  • Use exact match keywords for your internal links – so Google knows what’s going on 
  • Build relevant links to the listicle content using your digital PR skills
  • Use statistics on these pages so that journalists can find and use the content for themselves in future 
  • Try and think of the question a user would be searching for to find your content – and answer it to be in with a chance of securing a featured snippet*

How to measure the effectiveness

  • Results will take longer to see so monitoring and reporting will be required
  • Monitor the priority page as well as the listicle content and report on ranking improvements for that keyword group
  • As more links get built to the page – monitor the impact on referral traffic
  • Check for new referring domains to the page that may occur naturally 

*What is a featured snippet and why do I want one?

Featured Snippets are short boxes of text that show up at the top of the search engine results pages. Google pulls these automatically and assesses if they are useful based on a range of factors. We want featured snippets from our content as they can increase clicks by 8%

Hero campaigns

Large-scale creative campaigns seem to have fallen out of fashion in the digital PR world – in favour of quick to launch reactive and proactive content – but the hero campaign still has its place! 

Hero campaigns are great for brand awareness and for a large number of high quality links – they are brilliant for closing (and creating) competitor link gaps. 

What is a link gap? And why would I want to create one?

A link gap is an analysis or comparison between the backlinks your website has pointing at it – compared to the ones your competitors have. Usually, in digital PR we’re tasked with closing these link gaps – but there’s a need to create link gaps too! There’s nothing better than earning a link that your competitor doesn’t have! 

What you can do to get more from a hero campaign

  • Ensure you have internal links to priority pages from your hero content
  • Ensure your hero campaign sits in a relevant area in the site hierarchy* so it’s easy for link equity to pass to the most important pages
  • Ensure your hero campaign is topically relevant to the products and services your brand is trying to promote
  • Creating social media posts to boost campaign awareness


Digital PR hero campaigns


How to measure the effectiveness of a hero campaign

  • As more links get built to the hero campaign page – monitor the impact on referral traffic
  • Check for new referring domains to the page that may occur naturally
  • Monitor the impact for up to three months as this can be the time it takes to see the impacts of your work
  • Check increases in Domain Authority and Domain Rating (but take with a pinch of salt as they are not always a true reflection of commercial success) 

*What is site hierarchy and why is it important for digital PR?

Website structure helps both Google and users navigate through the pages, and to understand what pages are the most important and where to rank them. If your hero campaign page is hosted in a relevant section of the website – then it’s easier for Google to assign and give credit to the links you’re building to the content. 

Market Research Surveys

There’s no need to be sniffy about surveys! They can have real impact for brands, as long as the on-site content is optimised for performance. 

What you can do to get more from a survey

  • Publish the results of your survey on a well-optimised landing page and drive links to it
  • Your survey page might generate links passively after a time
  • If possible, publish the most relevant survey results directly on your commercial page to encourage deep links to that page
  • If the content of the survey is relevant to a particular product or service – aim to point your links to those pages
  • Create social media posts to boost awareness of your survey results
  • Set up Google Alerts for the topic of your survey and re-push the results for up to 12 months – the survey results are still relevant

Digital PR market research surveys

How to measure the effectiveness of a survey

  • As more links get built to the survey page – monitor the impact on referral traffic
  • Check for new referring domains to the page that may occur naturally
  • If you were able to get coverage through a brand mention – use a tool like CoverageBook to determine the impact from a traditional PR perspective.

Newsjacking, expert commentary and thought leadership

Newsjacking is a great way to get links and coverage for brands – especially when done well but how can we get more value out of our speedy pitching? 

What you can do to increase the commercial impact of newsjacking

  • For a successful newsjack, the content needs to be hyper-relevant to the brand behind the comment. So, it’s likely you’ll be able to link to a commercial page – try it and see! 
  • Create an author page for your experts – sometimes you won’t be able to get a link due to editorial policy – but you might be able to get them to link to an author bio citing attribution as the reason for the link. 
  • If you create an author page – ensure it sits in the site hierarchy AND contains links to commercial / priority landing pages

Newsjacking, expert commentary and thought leadership

How to measure the effectiveness of newsjacking

  • If you’re able to get links to your commercial pages – keep an eye out for traffic and ranking increases for those pages since you built the first link. 
  • If you were able to get coverage through a brand mention – use a tool like CoverageBook to determine the impact from a traditional PR perspective. 

Key takeaways for more impactful digital PR campaigns

For more impactful and measurable digital PR campaigns: 

  • Think about the structure and optimisation of the content you’re building links to – a well optimised piece of onsite content will perform much better against commercial metrics than a standalone microsite or orphan page.
  • Remember to include internal links into your on-page content to allow that link equity to pass easily between pages
  • Try and be strategic with where you point links to for the largest commercial impact
  • Don’t forget about other channels – social shares and newsletter sign ups hold plenty of value for brands outside of links
  • Remember to check your old campaigns – you might find links and coverage that you didn’t know you had.