PR Best Practices: Selling Digital – Interview Notes

Last year a reporter for The Firm Voice wanted to know “How can an agency best package, sell and present digital capabilities to clients? I’m looking for tips and best practices.” Selling Digital Capabilities to Clients: Ten Tips for Packaging and Presenting Digital PR for Greater Results was published on October 15, 2008. This was my response:

My one-line selling point to clients and prospective clients is “You may not be interested in social media, but social media is interested in you.”

Research what people are saying about your client or potential client online. If you can demonstrate that there is an online conversation taking place—good or bad—about them or their brand(s), your client will have a natural interest in addressing those conversations.

Research your client/potential client’s target audience(s) to demonstrate their presence online and back it up with statistics about their online use and behavior.

Demonstrate your expertise. If you’re selling social networking marketing services, you should probably be using social networking for marketing your own services. Blogging is a superb way to 1) demonstrate expertise and establish thought leadership, 1) educate clients/potential clients about Internet marketing in general and your capabilities in particular, 3) and serve as a lead generator in and of itself.

Case Studies. Case studies of previous work help reassure clients/potential clients that you’re capable of executing using this new medium and also provide concrete examples of success in digital media.

Use analogies that get to the heart of benefits of digital media and avoid overly technical explanations. Compare digital services to things they know. Examples: Blogs are word-of-mouth; search engine marketing is advertising, while search engine optimization is earned media.
Emphasize measurability: Show concrete examples of previous campaigns accompanied with web analytics that demonstrate actual results.

Emphasize cost savings versus other media. More often than not, digital media is going to be much more efficient and less expensive than traditional media.

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About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.