The Compass | January 2017

PR | Content | Social | Search – The New Year edition of The Compass brings you an E-Consultancy guide on the symbiotic relationship between PR and SEO and how best to optimise efforts; we examine advances in digital advertising technology and the opportunities for content marketers to expand distribution strategies in 2017; and as organic engagement declines, we offer some quick tips to help amplify social media marketing in the year ahead…

Visual content: how to sharpen up your social media marketing in 2017
As social spheres become noisier and attention spans shrink, organic engagement is estimated to have declined across the board by 60% since 2012. If paid social is not an option just yet to amplify your content’s reach, one counter measure will be to ensure that your content strategy contains a higher degree of visual content in 2017.

The importance of visual content has been emphasised by the changes across almost every major social network in the last year. As the old saying goes, ‘a picture will tell a thousand words’, which is why a survey of 300 marketers found that 60% cited visual content as ‘absolutely necessary’. So, to sharpen up your social, look at the 10 Trends Driving Visual Content Marketing in 2017 and this quick social media marketing checklist.

Content marketing and ‘native’ – a new era of engagement
A State of the Industry Report in 2014 found that 83% of marketers believed content marketing would be programmatic by 2017. While content marketing – the strategy to create and distribute valuable content to acquire a defined audience – has helped brands create one-to-one engagements with audiences, scaling it has been a challenge.

However, advances in advertising technology, specifically programmatic, to deliver content and native ads (advertising that mimics the environment it’s delivered within) has helped to put the right content in front of the right prospects at the right time, enabling greater storytelling at scale. While technology won’t play a big role in the content creation and production process, automation will help to not only scale content marketing and native, but also enable better targeting, measurement and optimisation.

So, as marketers continue to increase their focus on content marketing, it is almost inevitable they will turn to native advertising as a key content distribution strategy in 2017. And the 83%? Not quite…

PR & SEO – Perfect match or sibling rivalry? [E-Consultancy Guide]
Once very discrete practices, the PR and SEO industries now share much in common; technological shifts and the increasing reliance on content has helped to narrow the divide. With search engines updating their algorithms to promote regular, unique and popular content, integrating the way the disciplines work from the outset of marketing planning has become more imperative than ever.

PR should now be working closely with SEO to support a link building strategy, ensuring links are disseminated on a broad and frequent basis, and are also within sites that hold a high domain authority. As Econsultancy refers to in its Social and Online PR guide, it’s also much easier to optimise a website than it is to gain high quality links. With integrated planning, PR efforts can be aligned with SEO both in terms of keyword optimisation and persona targeting. Time spent showcasing these PR results through links, press releases and short descriptors on dedicated landing pages can then be an easy way to get extra web content for minimal additional effort.

Media Safari is an award-winning marketing communications and sales acceleration specialist with a focus on business technology and healthcare technology. Our monthly edition of The Compass provides a quick round-up of PR | Content | Social | Search news to help navigate our fast-changing industry. For more issues visit http://mediasafari.co.uk/news and follow us @media_safari and @matthewking

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