How do you measure success for digital PR content campaigns? Beyond tracking increases in organic visibility, brand awareness and domain authority, the most obvious metric is inbound media coverage.
Each year we look back at our annual media coverage for DTC’s digital PR clients to track success and identify changes in what the news industry wants to cover.
The news cycle in 2023 was one defined by change. As things shifted back to normal after the pandemic, we saw storylines around new anxieties including an uncertain economy, housing market, and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI).
Navigating the changing storylines in 2023’s news cycle was just part of the battle. Our team also faced increased competition in the digital PR space. The industry continues to experience rapid growth and capturing attention from top-tier news outlets has become more difficult than ever before.
This year also brought about increased competition in the digital PR sphere. We encountered adaptations of our successful content concepts pop up as we monitored media mentions for our own clients, forcing us to continue to ideate bigger, more data-driven, more authoritative concepts.
Our agency launched 105 digital PR campaigns between December 1, 2022 and November 30th, 2023. We built on our success and momentum from 2022 by using techniques like newsjacking, seasonal storytelling, and evergreen content creation. We also took new risks and navigated a growing importance of client/content relevancy.
In the fall of 2023, Google released its “Helpful Content Update.” This was a game changer in digital PR and SEO. The search engine said it would begin prioritizing websites that offered genuinely helpful and “people-first” content… putting quality over short-term buzz and quick wins.
Our content strategists used this algorithm update in Q3 and Q4 as an opportunity to focus on content that not only earns media coverage but better emphasizes the client’s authority as subject matter experts. We shifted our focus not just on the quality of the research, but the user experience (UX) and “helpfulness” of it to articulate narratives.
Our 2023 campaign topics covered everything from health and wellness to technology, sports, pop culture, and lifestyle.
Earning coverage in national publications is no easy feat. Your content has to be unique, timely, and trustworthy. Journalists at top-tier outlets turned to our clients’ digital PR campaigns in 2023 for headlines, supporting statistics, and evergreen datasets they couldn’t get anywhere else.
Earning linking media coverage in these publications carries significant value for our clients, not only do the links from high DA outlets carry more weight for SEO and organic visibility purposes. It connects clients with the largest, most relevant audience and helps establish expertise, authority, and trust.
|1. Business Insider
|2. Washington Post
|3. CBS News
|4. Financial Times
|5. Fox News
|6. GO Banking Rates
|6. USA Today
|7. Reader’s Digest
|8. 24/7 Wall Street
|8. The Guardian
|9. The Street
|9. Daily Mail
|10. TODAY Show
|1. Martha Stewart
|2. Well + Good
|4. Travel & Leisure
|4. Tech Republic
|5. Travel Pulse
|6. Your Tango
|6. PC Mag
|9. Apartment Therapy
|10. Time Out
Local news continued to be a key component in our 2023 digital PR strategy. New research shows 86% of U.S. Adults turn to digital devices for information, so local television, radio, and newspapers are placing more emphasis on their websites and digital presence.
This offers a unique opportunity for digital PR as the demand for catchy and unique content continues to grow. Local outlets often have a high DA as well, so linking media coverage offers significant SEO benefits for our clients.
In 2023 we earned 3,949 local news placements and earned coverage in 206 of the 210 media markets – that’s 98%! Our clients’ content was seen by millions nationwide and often syndicated, turning one placement into dozens.
|1. New York
|7. Cedar Rapids
|3. Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo
Our team is excited to keep our digital PR momentum going in 2024. We’re looking forward to finding innovative campaign ideas, new ways to visualize data, and emphasize relevancy to position our clients as leaders in their industry.
The news cycle was anything but normal in 2022. Repercussions from the Covid-19 pandemic continued to be a major storyline in local and national outlets, along with inflation, talks of an impending recession, and a volatile housing market.
Our content and digital PR specialists strategically worked to navigate another tricky news cycle and lean into the top digital PR trends of 2022.
Common themes in our 2022 digital PR campaigns included health and wellness, the impacts of the economy on personal finance, and real estate/housing topics.
Between December 1, 2021 and November 30, 2022, our agency launched 139 digital PR campaigns for our clients that centered around fresh data and new ideas. These campaigns offered journalists a balance of evergreen narratives and timely newsjacking opportunities to gain widespread coverage.
We found new ways to get inspired and created unique campaigns that stood out in a crowded news cycle. Our digital PR strategists came up with campaigns that balanced industry relevance with newsworthiness. These campaigns established our clients as subject matter experts on topics like moving trends, consumer shopping habits, eyecare, sports analysis, and much, much more.
One size does not “fit all” when it comes to data and digital PR. Our clients come from all different industries, but we were able to create newsworthy campaigns for each one via national surveys, data scrapes, and analyses of search trends.
Successful digital PR in 2022 connected our clients with the largest and most relevant audiences possible. What better way to grab widespread attention than to earn media coverage in the nation’s leading, marquee publications?
Earning media coverage in publications with a national audience not only increases a company’s exposure… it also plays a major role in SEO strategy.
National outlets have an impressive domain authority (DA). Every time they mention or link to our client’s website, search engines take notice and view it as a sign of trust. Google crawls high-DA websites and assigns value to the links they cite. That value carries over to our clients, improving their website’s authority, keyword rankings, and ultimately their visibility in organic search.
Local news continued to be a staple of our digital PR strategy in 2022. Roughly half (52%) of our inbound media coverage in 2022 came from the thousands of local television stations, radio stations, and newspapers serving Americans across the United States. These hyper-local digital platforms offer incredible SEO and PR value in the form of strong DAs and high traffic volumes (not to mention opportunities for amplified coverage through syndication).
This year, our work was featured in 49 of the 50 states, reaching millions of local news consumers.
We earned 3245 placements in local newspapers, television stations, and radio stations’ websites over the past 12 months. These digital publications, with geographically diverse audiences, also carry an average domain authority (DA) of 60. Making each local link earned a valuable asset to our clients’ websites.
Local news is often the preferred type of news in many communities across the United States. There are 107 million TV homes in the country broken up across 201 designated market areas (DMA). Our content was shared by 87% of the nation’s media markets.
Local news also carries additional, albeit harder to measure, PR value in the form of broadcast, print, and radio coverage. This year, our clients were featured in 556 different newspapers, 367 television stations, and 565 radio stations.
DMAs are designated by population, with the top markets reaching the greatest potential viewerships in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. And of our total local news placements, 42% of all local placements earned by our clients’ research occurred in the 30 largest media markets in the US. Taking advantage of opportunities for coverage in both local and national media outlets is one of our top digital PR tips from 2022.
The volatility of the 2020 news cycle carried over to 2021. Our content creators and outreach strategists navigated a particularly fickle news cycle dominated by the Covid-19 crisis, political unrest, and economic uncertainty.
Roughly half of our research supplemented the themes and trends we saw in our news feeds and watched on our TVs. Here’s what media coverage for DTC clients in 2021 panned out…
Between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2021, our agency launched 75 pieces of content for our clients. These campaigns newsjacked media trends to gain widespread news coverage, and identified key themes in media appetites.
We worked diligently to find tangential research topics that established our clients as subject matter experts, and were also newsworthy enough to capture the attention of journalists and lead to news stories.
The campaigns consisted of consumer and national surveys, data scrapes, as well analyses of search behaviors. While the topics varied from client to client, many campaigns shared a common theme of pandemic-related impacts on American life.
Successful digital PR connects businesses with the largest and more relevant audiences possible. What better way to grab widespread attention than to earn media coverage in the nation’s leading, marquee publications.
What exactly does “national” news coverage look like? Here are just a few examples of the national media outlets that featured our digital PR clients’ work:
From an SEO perspective, publications with national audiences always maintain a high DA (Domain Authority). Which is why we pursue and build relationships with journalists at these leading media outlets by regularly producing data of interest to their target audiences.
Think of an inbound link as a digital signal of trust. Each time we earn linking media coverage from outlets like the Washington Post, or ABC News, some of those website’s credibility was passed along to our clients. Search engines, like Google, crawl high-DA websites and assign value and digital trust in the links they cite. Those citations can also lead to increases in referral traffic to our clients’ websites by curious readers looking to learn more about their digital PR research.
These evaluations can improve the ranking of our clients’ websites in organic search results. Not just for keywords found on the content pages, but other targeted keywords clients pursue for business-building purposes.
Local news continued to be a staple of our digital PR strategy in 2021. We earned inbound media coverage from the thousands of local television and radio stations, newspapers, and hyper-local digital platforms. Each placement offers incredible SEO and PR value (and opportunities for amplified coverage through syndication).
This year, our work was featured in all 50 states, reaching millions of local news consumers.
One of the many benefits of local news coverage is the opportunity for geographic diversity of media placements. In reaching 80% of the nation’s designated media markets, our clients’ content spread far and wide across the United States.https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/PzPdT/5/
The 1400+ local news placement we earned had an average domain authority of 64, which transfers significant weight and strength to our clients’ websites.
Local news also carries additional, albeit harder to measure, PR value in the form of broadcast, print, and radio coverage. This year, our clients were featured by 411 newspapers, 500 television stations, and 467 radio stations, earning valuable brand mentions and linking coverage nationwide.
Our digital PR content earned repeated media coverage in top media markets including Chicago (#3), Philadelphia (#4), and New York City (#1). We tracked dozens of television segments, radio spots, and newspaper articles in these impressive market spaces.
Local news is often the most preferred type of news in many communities across the United States. There are 107 million TV homes in the country broken up across 201 designated market areas (DMA), according to Neilsen. Our content was shared by 81% of the nation’s media markets.
DMAs are designated by population, with the top markets reaching the greatest potential viewership in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. At the end of the year, 49% of all local placements occurred in the 30 largest media markets in the US.
Between December 1, 2019 and November 30, 2020, our agency launched 60 digital PR campaigns for our clients. The campaigns were grounded in data and defined by tangentially relevant research topics. We selectively chose topics that could both establish our clients as subject matter experts, and appear newsworthy enough to capture the attention of the media.
Depending on the client and content focus, we turned to different modes of data collection to produce our research. Some campaigns consisted of consumer and national surveys, others scraped public data bases for trends and demographics information, while others dove deep into Google Trends to reveal insights into search behavior.
Even though the content topics varied from client-to-client, many digital PR campaigns in 2020 found ways to reflect how the global Covid-19 pandemic actively influenced different spheres of life.
Digital PR aims to connect brands of all shapes and sizes to the largest audience possible. What better way to do that than secure media coverage in the nation’s leading publications?
Over the past 12 months, our content marketing and digital PR teams secured impressive national news coverage:
Not only do national publications reach an enormous audience, they also maintain substantial domain authorities; making them incredibly desirable for link builders.
If inbound links are a sign of trust, then a referring link from Newsweek or CBS News signals to search engines that a website is an extremely trustworthy source.
From an SEO perspective, inbound links from national media carry with them some of their host website’s domain authority (DA). Nearly half of the placements we earned from publications with a national audience had a domain authority over 50. While one-quarter of the national placements we secured had a domain authority above 70.
From a PR perspective, a brand mention in one of these leading publications ostensibly conveys credibility. If ABC News cites your company’s research, then it’s often viewed by other journalists and audiences as a trustworthy source of information.
For these reasons, and more, our digital PR strategists constantly pursue and build relationships with journalists at national media outlets. Open lines of communication, consistent content, and strategic outreach provide our clients ongoing access and exposure for future content campaigns.
In 2020, local news continued to be a staple of our digital PR strategy.
While many may assume local news is an imperfect fit for their brand or marketing strategies, we see the bigger picture. We understand that there are inherent SEO benefits when you secure inbound placements on local media. Local news outlets, like national media, have high-DA websites. Any inbound link earned from those sites carries with it the authority and reputation of the platform.
This year, our work was featured in 48 states and 407 cities, reaching millions of local news consumers via content syndication and original placements.
The average local news placement we earned in 2020, had a domain authority of 66.5. With more than 1,200 local placements, that’s a significant number of links carrying impressive SEO value.
Local news also carries additional, albeit harder to measure, PR value in the form of broadcast, print, and radio coverage across geographically diverse audiences.
There are 107 million TV homes across the country. Homes and local news audiences are broken up into 201 designated market areas (DMAs). DMAs are designated by population, with the top markets reaching the greatest potential viewership in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
This year, our clients’ research was featured by 308 newspapers, 421 television stations, and 352 radio stations. Further analysis revealed that our clients’ content was featured in 82% of the nation’s media markets. With 46% of the total local news placements occurring in the 30 largest media markets; reaching a potential audience of nearly 58 million viewers.
Not to mention, local news is often the most preferred type of news in many communities across the United States. A survey conducted in April revealed that local news is the preferred source of information for 32% of news viewers.
Combine the potential audience reach with the sheer volume of local news outlets, and local news coverage is ostensibly valuable from SEO and digital PR perspectives. For these reasons, and more, many of our content campaigns contained localized elements to make them more appealing to local journalists.
We ended the decade with our best year of media coverage to-date. From features in major national news outlets to local news segments and articles across the US–2019 represents a new level of outreach success for DTC’s clients.
Between December 1, 2018, and November 30, 2019, Digital Third Coast launched 58 content marketing campaigns. These data-rich pieces consisted of surveys, data scrapes, and Google Trends analyses covering a range of topics from personal finance to travel to career development.
The graphics and research tapped into the year’s news cycles, earning our clients 3,083 media placements across 2,016 unique media outlets (including 117 overseas).
In 2019 we maintained a strong focus on getting our client’s content featured in national news publications for two primary reasons: audience size, and the value of the publications’ domain authorities.
This strategy of digital PR, focused on getting our clients featured in national news outlets; thus allowing our clients’ brands to be exposed to larger audiences and often leads to increased web traffic. When it comes to domain authority (DA), a metric developed by MOZ, national news outlets are extremely authoritative.
The higher the DA, the stronger a link from that website is. Think of a link as a vote of trust from one website to another. Our objective with our outreach strategy is to earn as many high authority backlinks as possible to strengthen the domain authority of our clients’ websites. National media outlets also have the added benefit of name recognition. Audiences trust the sources cited by the national media; when our clients’ work is referenced in these types of publications, that credibility transfers to them.
Half of our total media coverage in 2019 was earned in local news markets. Many PR agencies focus solely on pursuing national and digital publications when building backlink profiles, while we execute a more holistic approach to digital PR that recognizes the value of local television, radio, and newspaper to amplify coverage geographically.
The average domain authority of the 1,545 local news placements we secured in 2019 is 65, which carries significant weight and strength to our clients’ backlink profiles. Local news also produces an added PR value in the form of television and radio coverage. Our clients’ combined works were featured on 565 television stations’ websites across the country, including several on-air reports, as well as 348 radio station websites, and 356 digital and print news articles.
Important to note is the potential audience base of this type of local news coverage. Roughly one-third of all local placements earned by our clients’ research occurred in the 25 largest media markets in the US. Local news markets are ranked by population. The largest television media markets have the greatest potential viewership; including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc. The top-25 television media markets have a potential audience of more than 55 million homes.