The changing media landscape is something all agencies have to navigate. Making digital PR work well as a distinct service in its own right, though, is something different to simply achieving coverage online.
YorkTest is the leading UK testing specialist for food intolerances and allergies. The business wanted to expand into the US, with its home testing service. That meant ranking highly for its most relevant search terms on Google — the most important of which was ‘food sensitivity test’ — on which it relied for the vast majority of its customer leads.
Improving the US service’s position in search results wasn’t a task with a simple, singular solution. Especially with a new market, it’s crucial to build trust in a brand. Being unknown to American audiences, YorkTest needed to become visible as an authoritative business in which people could rely for accurate information. That meant showing the team’s breadth of knowledge.
Our approach was to create a steady but multi-pronged programme of media activity. We produced a series of tactical, data-led digital PR campaigns over 12 months, supported by regular thought leadership and reactive commentary.
The success of the YorkTest campaign over the past 12 months is a reflection of the success of Tank’s growth in the digital PR field.
Since we forayed into the field of digital PR around five years ago, the service we offer and the number of clients we work with have grown rapidly in that time. As a result, so has our digital PR team.
As well as YorkTest, we’ve produced similar success for businesses like Ipsos Retail Performance, The Access Group and Miller Homes. This is because the approach we take is carefully targeted.
It’s all too tempting for many agencies to fire out press releases to hundreds and hundreds of journalists. Yes, inevitably, some of them will stick. But that’ll leave an awfully large number of reporters who’ll associate the agency with sending material that’s either not relevant to them or poorly judged. It’s chancer PR.
Yes, this happens with ‘traditional’ PR as well, but the assumption is often that it is more allowable for digital PR — especially when dealing with media in a different country.
The reason why our work with YorkTest, amongst others, has been such a success is because we focus on building relationships with journalists, and with specific titles that really matter in the relevant sectors or areas. By proxy, that build’s the client’s relationship with that publication’s audience.
To do this for YorkTest, we identified specific markets. Not just using generalities for people who might read content from the brand, but accurate metrics such as what their interests are, what they spend their free time doing and what leads them to their interest in health.
Each story we researched and released could then be tailored to this specific group of people — the ones who might actually be interested in reading more about YorkTest directly.
Of course, to work from a true digital PR perspective, the resulting articles need to reference the client’s website. The strongest digital PR projects tell a story, and each one we released had more valuable insight on YorkTest’s own website, which the press articles could then reference with backlinks.
It’s for this reason that, between June 2021 and September 2022, the number of links referring to the domain increased by 354%. As a result of that, coupled with wizardry from our technical SEO team, the site shot up the search results. In fact, for the crucial ‘food sensitivity test’ keyword, the YorkTest US domain rocketed from position 40 right up to fifth.
The fact that this considered approach to digital PR is yielding not only hard results, but also happy clients with which we forge relationships, is proven by the continued and rapid expansion of the team. We’re always on the lookout for new talent — indeed, at the moment, we’re specifically looking for a digital PR manager.
It’s dignified to be magnanimous whichever finalist wins the award on 30th November. But, let’s face it, we want to win.
For more about Tank, the work we do and our ethos, visit www.tankpr.co.uk.