Why SEO and Content Marketing Are Important Ingredients For a Successful PR Campaign

If you work in PR, you’re well aware that the old rules for building a brand or promoting an idea no longer apply. In a world where 83 percent of Americans have at least one social media account and 93 percent of online experiences begin with a Google search, digital media tools like SEO and content marketing are essential for today’s PR campaigns.

SEO and content marketing work best when combined.

Although SEO and content marketing are usually regarded as separate strategies, their goals overlap. SEO techniques use popular keywords and credible backlinks to improve search engine rankings and generate web traffic. Content marketing creates relevant, engaging writing or other media to establish thought leadership, provide additional value to customers, and foster brand loyalty. Both SEO and content marketing aim to convert online traffic into sales, but SEO directs potential customers to your website, while content marketing keeps them engaged after they arrive.

Visitors to your website won’t convert if they fail to find the high-quality information they were searching for in the first place. By the same token, even your best content won’t generate sales if your target audience doesn’t see it. To cover all your bases, use SEO research to identify the topics and types of content your audience wants to see, then build that content around relevant keywords to make it more discoverable. Additionally, if you’re trying to increase your domain authority, publishing guest posts on reputable blogs is the best way to generate backlinks.

PR and marketing teams need to work together.

Just as SEO and content marketing complement each other, your PR and marketing teams will benefit from creative collaboration. Content marketers can provide valuable insights into niche markets and consumer trends. PR professionals build strong relationships with journalists and influencers. Combining PR and marketing strategies, therefore, will ensure your content reaches a broader audience.

Marketing teams are well-versed in building SEO keywords into articles and webinars. PR departments can learn to incorporate the same techniques into press releases, which are frequently shared online. Linking content like ebooks and infographics to PR campaigns will attract more high-profile influencers and give them ready-made materials to share with their followers.

The most important part of developing a brand identity is consistent messaging. If your PR materials have a formal, institutional feel but your online content is playful and full of cartoon graphics, your brand image will suffer. Maintaining a clearly defined editorial calendar for both departments will help PR integrate the same topics and themes that appear in content marketing.

SEO and content marketing foster audience trust.

While establishing relationships with journalists is still important, PR teams need to recognize that customers are turning to other sources for information. A recent study revealed that consumers are most likely to trust recommendations from people they know and least likely to trust information that appears on a company blog or a brand’s official social media channels.

In terms of trustworthiness, Google and other search engines came in third, behind emails from friends and consumer reviews but ahead of newspapers, magazines, and radio. Any PR campaign, therefore, needs to align its efforts with SEO practices. According to PR Daily, optimizing press releases, white papers, and other content with high-traffic keywords is one of the top three tactics for successful PR in 2019.

If consumers are unlikely to trust content that comes directly from a company, you need people who are more trustworthy to curate and share your content for you. Social media influencers and bloggers now boast more followers than the total circulation of many newspapers and magazines. Even if customers don’t know these people in real life, they trust the accounts they follow on a daily basis. Some people become dependent on social media because they don’t trust traditional media outlets, but if a social media influencer shares a newspaper article or press release, they are more likely to read it.

Although incoming links from social media posts don’t impact your search rankings as much as links from other websites, they are still an important component of SEO. Visitors from social media tend to have low bounce rates and high engagement rates. Social sharing can lead to backlinks if influencers on the same social media channels choose to feature your content on their websites and blogs. They, in turn, share links to their blog posts on their social media accounts, generating further traffic.

To know if your target audience conforms to these general information trends, tracking your digital presence is essential. When executing a new PR campaign, check your domain authority to see how many new backlinks are coming from media outlets, influencers, and partners and whether these interactions are increasing your brand relevance. Track social media mentions, likes, and comments. Use the Acquisitions tab on Google Analytics to see which digital PR placements and brand mentions earned you the most referral links.

How have SEO and content marketing helped your PR? Share your thoughts in the comments.