August 17, 2022

The Benefits of Digital PR for eCommerce Brands

We all know PR builds awareness, trust, reputation, and blah blah blah. But what is talked about less, is how eCommerce companies use media coverage. This is important because it makes all those intangible things tangible. So here are the top 5 benefits digital PR provides to eCommerce brands. But before you get too deep, here is the quick version:

  • Conversion Rates: The best converting landing pages point to trusted sources to increase conversion rates.
  • Positioning & Differentiation: Media outlets position your product for the customer.
  • Direct Sales: The exposure of an article drives sales.
  • Product Rankings: A large number of impressions increases organic search volumes, everywhere.
  • B2B Sales: Nobody in retail, wholesale, or distribution cares about your TikTok followers.

It's not a question of value. This is the wrong question. The right question is: how can you leverage PR to increase your brand's value?

Conversion rates

The best converting landing pages point to trusted sources to increase conversion rates. Let's assume you run paid ads. Most eCommerce brands run tons of them. Now add more logos and article links of 5 industry-trusted resources relevant to your product. What do you expect to happen to your on-page sales conversion rate? In our experience, it's going to go up. This can increase the profitability of every ad dollar you spend, from now until forever. Pretty powerful stuff. But don't our advice from us. Take it from some of the most successful eCommerce brands in the past 10 years. 

  • Hims - Bloomberg, Men's Health, GQ, The New York Times
  • Quip - Time, GQ
  • Casper - US News, People, POPSUGAR, Mattress Nerd, Sleepopolis, Glamour

All of them use media placements to increase their credibility and trust to increase their conversion rates. Open some of your competitor's websites, are they using this strategy to drive conversions yet?

Positioning & Differentiation

Media outlets position your product for the customer. This is a little harder to explain, so we are going to use an example. MVMT, the famous eCommerce watch brand, uses quotes from media outlets to help position its product in the market. This is important for a NEW watch company because let’s face it, their competitors are +100 years old. Seriously, Rolex and CITIZEN are over 100 years old. This means the watch market is saturated with competitors, who have huge brands. So how do you position your product to be more attractive than the goliaths, you leverage huge media outlets to do it for you. 

  • Hypebeast, "... a restrained, yet timeless, elegance perfect for work or play."
  • GQ, "Classic design meets styled minimalism."
  • Business Insider, "MVMT seeks to keep watches simple and affordable while still making a statement with their look."

A well positioned product changes the buyer's intent from seeing a watch for sale to seeing a watch made for them.

Direct Sales

The exposure of an article drives sales. When an article lands it will drive a bunch of sales. Could be a few hundred orders or a few thousand this depends on 3 factors:

  • Size of the audience: Consider this as your 'top of funnel' audience size.
  • Content Focus: Think of this as how many qualified buyers there are in the audience.
  • Time of Exposure: This is how long they'll see the article.

The bigger the audience, the more focused the content is and the longer the article is visible - the more sales it will make. It is as simple as that. Once an article lands on a media outlet, you should expect sales velocity to skyrocket for 3 to 5 days. The reason it's so short is that media outlets are incentivized to keep producing more and more content. So after a few days, your article's on the second page, and after 2 weeks going to be hard to find among the sea of other posts. 

Product Rankings

A large number of impressions increases organic search volumes, everywhere. Are you selling on Amazon? Walmart? Or maybe your product get's picked up by Google's Shopping crawler? Maybe not. But I know you have a website and I know you want free inbound traffic from customers. When you get a high amount of exposure, one thing happens. People start searching for you and seeking your product out. When they go looking for you and find you, your search rankings go up in the algorithm. It doesn't matter if they're searching on Amazon or LinkedIn because they want a job.

  • Amazon Marketplace Listings
  • Google Search Rankings
  • And every other platform including TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest?

If 10,000 people search for you on a platform, the platform will start serving you up on a silver platter. Even to people looking for your competitors. 

B2B Sales

Finally a hard truth. Nobody in retail, wholesale or distribution cares about your TikTok followers. The reason for this is, that begin great at advertising doesn’t mean you’ll sell well on a shelf. Don’t get us wrong:

  • Do social followers generate sales? Of course. 
  • Does the retailer get a cut of your online sales? We hope not.

This is exactly why it often doesn’t mean much to them. It doesn’t get them paid. If you’re trying to get into retail and struggling to get noticed or pitching to deaf ears, ask yourself. If I was on the front page of USA Today: Would this change the conversion? The answer is yes. This type of coverage legitimizes your brand to a retailer and incentivizes them to announce “their new partner in partnership with you”. Because they want to be on the front page of USA Today too.

So aside from the increase in awareness, strengthening of trust, and reputation-building aspects of media coverage, these are the 5 most common ways we’ve seen eCommerce Brands leverage value. If you’re interested in trying to capture some of this value, drop your email below and we will send you some contacts to get you started.