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With recent changes like Google’s Penguin 2.0 algorithm update, SEO and search marketing are moving rapidly from search-focused ranking tactics to a more holistic, content-focused practice. And as digital takes over the marketplace, PR is expanding beyond churning out press releases to sparking, engaging in and steering conversations about brands.

Today’s PR is also today’s search marketing: a mix of audience research, content creation, and promotion is the best way to raise brand awareness. The goal for both SEO and PR is to reach the right people, with the right messages, at the right time.

So, how do modern PR teams manage to create relevant, engaging and effective discourse? And how can PR firms keep their targeted audiences engaged with the best content?

Create your own opportunities

The dominance of the search engine has made search engine optimization an essential element of any successful marketing campaign. Because consumers can search for the products and services they want, it’s more important than ever that the results they find provide them with useful, engaging and shareable content.

For PR firms, that means outreach. Research and identify your target audiences, then look for the places they frequent online. If you can place useful, shareable content in front of your potential customers, they’re more likely to engage with you and your brand.

Start earning links

Search isn’t a new medium, but SEO is transforming itself. Before, a few simple keywords and links could change how brands rank on a SERP, but now high-quality content drives rankings. And high-quality content can also set the stage for earning links from the sites and online publications your audiences trust the most.

The rapidly changing nature of search marketing is turning link-building strategy into link-earning strategy. The Enterprise Marketer’s Future-Proof Link Earning Guide lays out the steps necessary to create campaigns that can help both PR and marketing firms research, target and capture the leads and customers they want by earning links from sources they and their audiences trust.

Measure your results

Digital PR is much more than reputation management and information distribution; it’s also about building and nurturing communities. Use your earned link opportunities to measure your returns—by keeping track of the links and views you earn from each opportunity, you can learn from how your audiences react to your brand.

Digital PR and SEO aren’t at odds with each other; instead, the two are slowly becoming the same practice. The best and most successful PR firms already employ a strategy that includes search, content marketing, and social media; they approach PR with an online, real-time strategy and embrace inbound marketing tactics. The more in tune PR teams can be with their brands and the audiences they want to attract and maintain, the better they’ll become at reaching customers when and where they are.

How has your marketing team integrated digital PR? Tell us in the comments.

Image credit: wiredforlego

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