Digital PR cost can vary, from as little as $5,000/mo for brands with an out-of-the-box compelling story, to $15,000/mo+ when unique content is needed to be created to reach quality outlets.
Siege Media is an SEO-focused content marketing agency with digital PR at the core. We generate 6,000+ pieces of coverage per month for clients like Casper, Asana, Intuit and more.
The difference between a company that can leverage digital PR services for as little as $5,000/mo and a company that needs a full-service package is the type of messaging that exists at the core of the business.
In this post, you’ll learn what kind of digital PR is right for you (if any), and what you should expect to pay for a campaign no matter what industry you play in.
Outreach vs Full-Service Campaigns
Some companies naturally have something that’s promotable about their message. This represents the “content” that a digital PR firm can latch onto.
For example, we worked with online auction website Invaluable, who frequently has notable high-end art auctions going live on their website.
We noticed that a Star Wars auction was naturally getting covered online by monitoring ongoing mentions on the site. We leveraged this as a narrative story to push in other outlets, generating 30+ pickups in high-end blogs to national news movie and television related publications.
This is an example that a digital PR firm can’t fabricate. It’s a natural element that occurs within the Invaluable business, and for that reason allows a savvy internal or external specialist to push it harder to generate even more coverage.
To put it simply, stand-alone digital PR services take brand stories that are already happening in some small form, and help amplify it to be significantly more effective.
In this instance, digital PR would not need to create new content to generate a significant number of links for Invaluable, and could likely only cost $5,000-$10,000 for a significant number of pickups.
Full Service Campaigns
If this isn’t happening for your business, that’s okay. Most businesses aren’t that lucky, and have to work a little harder to generate PR.
In these instances, it’s often on the digital PR firm to generate a compelling news story, often with unique or curated data such as consumer surveys. This requires research, writing, and design just to get to a story that’s promotable to national news.
For example, the following survey for Possible Finance required unique data, custom design, research, editing, and more before outreach even started.
In these instances, it’s easy to see how campaigns can cost $8,000 to $15,000 end to end to create and promote.
From there, you wouldn’t want a one-and-done attempt. The nature of digital PR is that newsworthy content is sometimes hit or miss. You’ll want to invest in several attempts to get to a reasonable average outcome expectation, so should dedicate $10,000+/month over at least four months to get to a significant sample size.
Our typical messaging to clients is to expect one piece to do really well, one to do okay, and one to not do as great. This should balance out into an overall high-performing campaign.
Cost Per Placement
Digital PR is a realm where having content go viral is possible. This can dramatically drive down expected cost, but shouldn’t be expected as a common occurrence.
On average, industry standard for a high-quality placement in a news outlet will on average land somewhere between $800 and $1,200 to generate. As mentioned previously, if one asset goes viral or close to it within a vertical, it’s possible those numbers could drive down as low as $250 to $500 but shouldn’t be planned for as a consistent outcome.
Is Digital PR Worth It?
If you’re adding “digital” to the front of PR, this often means that you want to see SEO benefit on top of the isolated PR benefit from the work you’re doing.
This is a great thing to do because it allows you to have multiple ways you can see benefit instead of just from the direct exposure on each publication.
That said, the value of a link in your vertical may not be significant. We do this calculation in our link building cost article, where we give you a framework for understanding the ROI from links.
The short version is links tend to be most valuable in verticals where they’re hard to generate, such as finance.
They’re less valuable in verticals where they’re easy to generate, such as fashion. This doesn’t mean links don’t matter, just that the sheer volume generated often means dedicated activity towards it in isolation rarely makes sense.
That said, strong digital PR with multiple KPIs can all add up to a positive ROI equation for your business. We generally recommend combining high quality digital PR with top-funnel content marketing in these industries, as it allows you to layer on additional value while still generating a high volume of links.
Where Digital PR Strikes Out
Most often, digital PR strikes out when it’s a PR firm trying to generate one-off coverage for a non-compelling brand story without content.
This doesn’t mean it’s not feasible to do on occasion, it’s just highly unlikely to be scalable. It is these situations that often give PR firms a bad name, as at the end of the day we all need “content” to promote, whether or not it’s generated from the brand story, or near the brand story with content creation.
Interested to find out if digital PR is right for you? Get in contact today to learn more about our digital PR services and get a free ROI assessment.