Digital storytelling is no easy task, but every now and then brands get it right. Here are some especially impressive digital PR examples with the link value to back them up.
Finding the wellspring of digital PR success takes a calculated approach, and brands fail many times until they strike gold.
Creating content that succeeds in digital PR involves using the right content framework, speaking to the correct audience, and then creating high-quality content that meshes stellar copy and design.
Tailoring content for the correct audience is what we do at Siege. We’ve experimented with about every type of content imaginable and have had great success; however, it didn’t come without a good deal of trial and error.
But with links and brand mentions from top-tier publications like Fast Company, Thrillist, and Time, we can confidently say we’ve figured out how to do digital PR well.
Keep reading as we explore digital PR at a conceptual level, the best performing frameworks for digital PR, and 15 digital PR examples that compelled audiences.
What Is Digital PR?
Digital PR is a tactical approach for brand building done through content creation.
When done successfully, a digital PR campaign will result in links and brand mentions from high DA sites, thus increasing authority in the eyes of search engines and real human readers.
Because of the organic search and link building implications, digital PR is incredibly valuable in SEO right now, but it has larger benefits for brand-building.
Sure, high DA links will lead to better rankings that you can report on, but what about getting your brand mentioned in major media outlets that thousands of people read every day?
Consider Google’s Helpful Content update, which explicitly states that “people-first content creators focus first on creating satisfying content, while also utilizing SEO best practices to bring searchers additional value.”
Updates like this are part of Google’s ongoing mission to reward valuable, people-first content.
As a result, brands and content creators need to think deeply about what their expertise is, who their audience is, and the different ways they can provide value to their audience through content. This takes a little creativity.
Successful Frameworks for Digital PR
Traditional blog posts aren’t out of style, but in digital PR, quality copy is oftentimes best served when paired with another framework.
There are a few frameworks that have historically performed well in digital PR. These include:
- Data studies
- Maps and city studies
- Current events content
These are broad categories that can be combined and broken down into different subsects of each other.
Stay with us as we explore 15 examples of these frameworks in practice and the profound impact they had on brand development.
15 Top-Tier Digital PR Examples
Gaining digital PR traction starts with creating world-class creative content.
The examples below exemplify the best of the best in content and digital PR — with the links to back it up. Let’s dive in.
“Interactives” is an umbrella term in content marketing that includes everything ranging from calculators to clickable charts, quizzes, and more.
Interactive content elevates topics and adds a level of value that traditional blog content can’t, along with having long-term passive link value. See some top-tier examples below.
1. Car Affordability Calculator by The Zebra
Someone searching “what car can I afford with my salary” doesn’t want to see a list of considerations; they want to see a number.
This in-depth and multi-faceted car affordability calculator by The Zebra shows that you can take a SEO post for a keyword like “what car can i afford with my salary,” and elevate it to fit user intent.
With 77 links and counting, the content’s success illustrates the importance of user intent.
If you were choosing between a copy-only piece and copy + calculator, which would you choose?
2. Baby Name Generator by Shutterfly
This baby name generator by Shutterfly is another example of using interactives to go above and beyond to meet audience intent.
While many sites will just include a list of typical baby names, this generator tailors a name specifically for you. The generator first asks if you’d like to see a male, female, or neutral name. Then, it lets you elect a “name style” (celebrity, vintage, biblical, etc).
Because of these features, users can have a more personalized and rewarding experience.
3. Jetflix Vacations by mybaggage
This piece of content by mybaggage is a favorite of ours because it takes a familiar theme (browsing for a show) and applies it to a popular search theme (browsing for a vacation).
Many people want to travel for the sake of traveling, so why not let your streaming taste dictate your next adventure?
Titled ”Jetflix Vacations” the quiz polls you on your favorite genres, your desired mood when watching T.V., what type of vacation you’re looking for, and what season you want to travel during.
The results display a location based on a show you’re assumed to enjoy.
As a result, you’re not only getting a vacation recommendation; you may find a new show to binge as well.
Data studies are perhaps the most effective way of getting high DA links because they give your content an added layer of trust.
Additionally, when it comes to pitching to journalists, providing original data about a niche they cover gives you a far better chance of landing a brand mention and link.
Let’s explore some examples.
4. Startup Statistics by Embroker
This data study on startup statistics by Embroker does an excellent job of blending data-driven storytelling with unique visuals to create something that encompasses the best of both worlds.
The post rounds up 106 startup statistics in a digestible format and offers a glimpse into the world of startups through raw data.
The post has racked up over 1,000 links, including Business Insider, TechCrunch, and Investopedia.
5. Emoji Marketing by CleverTap
This data study by CleverTap, a customer engagement platform, compares marketing metrics in campaigns that include emojis v.s. those that don’t.
Emoji marketing is relatively self-explanatory as a concept. Users were more interested in knowing if the concept works in practice.
Someone searching this term is likely a marketer looking to gain actionable insights about emoji marketing. Raw data is truly the one way to fulfill this request.
6. Women in Healthcare by Mckinsey
We’re big fans of this McKinsey study on women in healthcare because it uses data to tell a compelling and timely story.
The question, as stated by the author in the first paragraph, is “How does the healthcare sector stack up on gender equality?”
It’s an incredibly important question that deserves only the most thoughtful and accurate answer.
Data is able to accomplish more than copy to address this issue.
Maps and City Studies
One of the best methods for gaining local coverage is through city studies and interactive maps.
Comparing data by cities and states is extremely useful for local journalists, who are constantly looking for their next story. If a journalist cites and links to your study in their article, they gain extra value for their piece. In return, you gain a high-quality link and brand mention.
Pro tip: When pitching city studies to journalists, go ahead and lay out the angle for the story during the pitch process. If you give them a story from the get-go, it makes their job much easier.
7. Best Cities for Young Adults by Homebuyer
This millenial map by Homebuyer uses an interactive map to tell a data-driven story about what young adults value in a city.
Considering jobs, commutes, populations, and food and drink establishments, Homebuyer was able to build a list that ranks and scores the 12 best cities for young adults to move to.
Using this format, they were able to appeal to publications at the local and national levels.
The piece has over 60 links and was mentioned by a national publication, CNBC, as well as a local one, ABC11, a Durham, North Carolina news station.
8. Pet Ownership Statistics by State by World Population Review
This pet ownership statistics map by the World Population Review is memorable because of its interactive element.
When you click on a state, you get a snapshot of the percentage of the state population that owns a pet, and how that percentage breaks down into dog owners and cat owners.
There’s a ton of data in this piece, but it doesn’t overwhelm. Because of its interactive element, the map can deliver the exact amount of information that the user wants to see. As a result, it appears simple, but is still incredibly detailed and effective.
9. Nursing Shortage Map by USAHS
This nursing shortage map by the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USHS) allows users to hover over each state and see the number of registered nurses in that state in 2020, the state population, and the number of nurses per 1,000 state residents.
The story here is that the U.S. has a nursing shortage and it’s affecting certain states more than others. By visualizing the states in different shades and adding interactivity to the map, USHS illustrates the issue in a way that anyone can understand.
Staying on the topic of data, surveys add value to topics because the data is wholly unique.
Traditional data studies and city studies typically pull data from online resources and use the numbers to tell their story.
With surveys, you control the data from start to finish — giving you an automatic edge over competitors when pitching to the media.
10. Household Chores Survey by Angi
This household chores survey by Angi gives perspective on how much time Americans spend in their lives doing chores (Spolier: It’s a year).
This particular survey offers that “wow” factor that a content creator hopes for when using original data. The “wow” is that Americans spend a year of their life doing chores — but it’s not the whole story.
The survey tells a larger story about homeowners v.s. renters and the role that gender plays in doing chores. Angi does a great job of getting users through the door with a compelling headline and then leading them through the larger idea.
11. Spending Knowledge Survey by Mint
This spending knowledge survey by Mint works well to highlight the fact that most Americans are unaware of how much they spend on a monthly basis.
This survey has gained well over 300 links and counting since it was published in 2020, including references by CNBC, Yahoo News, and American Express.
The reason being? It answers an important question without speculation. YMYL content is very important to users, so it’s crucial brands get it right. Additionally, it’s relatable. Users enjoy seeing data they can place themselves in and see how they compare to others.
12. Best Cities in the World by TimeOut
This annual survey determining the best cities in the world by TimeOut is particularly fascinating because of its lofty ambitions.
According to Ahrefs, the query “best cities in the world” rakes in 2.7K searches monthly and has a keyword difficulty of 59, meaning it’s very tough to rank for.
It’s a lucrative SERP, but what does the query even mean? What qualifies as “best” and how can anyone claim to be an authority on this topic?
The answer: Original data. And a LOT of it. In order to do this well, a large sample size was pivotal. By polling over 20,000 people worldwide, TimeOut was able to claim authority on the subject.
Current Events Content
Capitalizing on what’s currently relevant is an effective way to gain mentions in high DA publications.
This could range from pop culture to upcoming holidays, political elections, social media trends, and more. Let’s explore.
13. Wordle Wizards by Wordtips
The game Wordle took the world by storm in 2022, and brands were quick to capitalize on its popularity.
This Wordle Wizards map by Wordtips analyzed Twitter data to determine what global city was best at solving the daily Wordle, as well as what countries and U.S. states reigned supreme.
The results? Over 400 links since January.
Why? Because it elevates a topic everyone is already infatuated with. We love Wordle; why wouldn’t we want to know what countries are best at it?
14. National Rosé Day Cocktails by Winc
Capitalizing on holidays, a.k.a seasonal content, is a must for brands, and Winc does this especially well with their piece on festive cocktails for national rosé day.
The content offers recipes for a number of different rosé-based cocktails that users can try out.
The best part about this content is that it’s recyclable and can drive evergreen results if refreshed annually. Once you create it for the first time, you can tweak it and republish it every year, making it a link building engine that never breaks down.
15. Most Romantic Restaurants in America by OpenTable
Similar to the example above, OpenTable is able to capitalize on Valentine’s Day with an extensive list of the most romantic restaurants in each state.
It’s important to note that OpenTable is at a major advantage here. As a leader in reservation making, OpenTable has an infinite number of restaurant reviews at their disposal that they can parse through to make this guide.
However, this doesn’t change the fact that this is a great use of resources. By using this information and using it well, OpenTable continues to be the go-to for this information year after year.
Essential Digital PR Tools
You know what success looks like in the digital PR realm, now it’s time to put your plan into action.
Luckily, there are a number of resources to help you get started — and a good chunk of them are free.
Here are a few great resources for the different types of content.
You don’t need a fancy tool to get data. There are a ton of data sources online that provide metrics on about everything and as mentioned above, a good chunk of them are free or budget-friendly. Some of our favorites include:
- Statista: Statisita provides a great library of data on topics in a variety of industries. While most of the access requires a paid subscription, you can access a limited amount of data for free.
- U.S Census Bureau: All data collected by the census is available on their site. It’s fantastic for geographic or demographic-driven data analyses.
- Open Data Network: The Open Data Network is especially cool because of its built-in visualization tools. Just type in the data you want to see and the resource will show you the metrics in a clear format.
For Creative Content
Finding the best way to illustrate your story is an integral part of the digital PR process.
If you’re utilizing a lot of raw data, you’ll need to leverage content design to ensure the information is digestible for the user.
At Siege, there are a few different places we go to seek inspiration. Some of these include:
- Dribbble: Dribbble is a great resource for getting design inspiration — especially for unique illustrations. Check out some of Siege’s best work on Dribbble.
- Pinterest: Pinterest is another haven for all types of unique designs. Search for your topic on different Pinterest boards to see how other designers approached it.
- Reddit: Reddit is a gold mine for unique design by searching through subreddits to find exactly what you’re looking for. Some great design subreddits include /r/dataisbeautiful and /r/infographics.
Reach New Heights With Digital PR
Content strategy and digital PR go hand in hand.
When brainstorming your content, keep digital PR priorities in mind. What can we do to elevate this content to make it more valuable? How do we demonstrate our authority through content?
If these considerations show through in your product, publications will want to link to it because it makes their content more valuable as well.
It’s a cycle where everyone wins, as long as everyone plays.
For help boosting your brand, check out our top-notch digital PR services here at Siege.