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MAY 16, 2018 //     

Link building and PR: integration is key

By Gina Mossey

While integrated marketing campaigns are now commonplace and winning praise left, right and centre, it can still be tricky to ensure the implementation of PR and digital tactics happens smoothly, and different teams are able to work together. One of the areas we most often see this is between PR activities and link acquisition campaigns, despite these two disciplines arguably having the most in common; both are audience-centric, content-driven and based on relationship building.

But fear not, this can be avoided with a few simple checks and considerations. Here are our top tips.

Repeat the mantra: make once, use many times

Provided the content is suitable for it, anything being created for PR should be used for link building wherever possible, and vice versa, along with use on social media, newsletters, events, websites, and in-store. However, it’s surprising how often this doesn’t happen. Not only does it make for a much more cost-effective strategy to invest in one piece of content to use for multiple purposes, but it also creates a streamlined brand identity. Whichever touch point your audience engages at, they will have the same experience.

Get everyone aligned

Whether you have separate agencies or in-house teams looking after PR and SEO or they come under the same umbrella, make sure everyone is aware of the content being created and any other major activities plus, crucially, the timeframe. Both PR outreach and link building take time to complete, so make sure both sides are aware at least six weeks in advance of any timely or topical content (something tying into a TV series launch or national awareness day, for example) so they can really make your assets work hard.

Embrace the overlap

Just one referral link secured with a high authority “golden” site has the power to catapult your website visits and sales. But a lot of these key titles will be sitting on your PR team’s media list as well as your link target list. Our best advice here is to keep the targeting strategy clean and avoid the publication being approached by both sides; being contacted about the same thing multiple times is a real bugbear for journalists.

Realise the measurement potential

Traditionally, PR has been notoriously difficult to measure, but with the increased integration of PR and digital comes a wealth of opportunity to prove ROI. Sitting your PR campaign side by side with your link acquisition efforts allows you to see which content and coverage is really doing its job – driving all-important traffic and conversions. The data gleaned here is invaluable when it comes to planning future strategies, so make sure your KPIs are defined right at the beginning.

Collaboration is key to any successful marketing strategy and the relationship between PR and SEO is no different. Defining a process for effective collaboration early on in your campaign makes it much more likely to succeed.

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