“Building A Plan To Integrate Search, Social, Content and PR in 2013″

by Matt Roberts – VP of Product / Co-Founder at Linkdex & Kevin Gibbons (@kevgibbo) – MD UK at BlueGlass Interactive

Matt RobertsKevin Gibbons

Matt kicked off his talk asking the audience – what does success look like?

Matt believes that true success can only be achieved through team work – via different sets of skills. His prediction is that process matching will be a big challenge for the years to come.

Combining search, content, social and PR skills – is the way forward. In the last few months we have seen a couple of interesting partnerships between SEO & PR agencies – early adopters who clearly have realized the potential of a fully integrated digital team!

Content marketers for instance have to judge what content suits particular pages best – but does that mean that they are automatically good at outreach? Probably not, that’s where the PR agency comes into the game – with their skills of creating, enhancing and maintaining great relationships with influential bloggers and journalists. SEOs don’t necessarily have to be good at relationship building – but they are great with site architecture etc.  We NOW need to ensure to have the right resources in order to spread content via optimized sites!

So what game are digital marketers currently playing? The art is to manage and measure the value created by connecting great content with people.

So what should we call ourselves? Content marketers, really? According to Matt we are actually marketers of content. A great example is Moneysupermarket.com which used to have a purely in-house SEO team back in the day. Today? Their structure has massively changed over the last few months – showing that they have seen the need of a fully integrated in-house team including content creators, SEOs and PRs.

Is it possible to pinpoint which profession is the most important within this new structure then? Probably not since we are now marketers of great content and to achieve success we need to look all the different, little strings and pull them together for a truly holistic approach.

According to Kevin SEO is pretty far down in the food chain at the moment – whereas the big budgets are still spend on PR. His take is that we should stop referring to search as SEO – the term doesn’t do the profession justice any longer. BlueGlass Interactive now take a client’s budget and spend it on search, social, content, PR and outreach – the only approach to achieve true and lasting results in the long run. Their focus is to tell a brand’s story to its audience – the hard bit though is getting it in front of the target audience.

Kevin is certain that 2013 is the year of holistic marketing strategies in terms of

  • owned media
  • earned media
  • paid media (used to push earned media)

He gave a great example – how Hubspot define their market assets

  • increasing traffic
  • generating leads
  • social PR
  • creating sales
  • generating inbound links

So what have we learnt?

  • He also believes that the first step is to tear down the silos: social, search, content, email & PR.
  • The benefits of having an integrated digital team are – work processes will be sped up, challenges will be reduced and you’ll generally have more support to get things done.
  • Include your brand or client’s brand team and get them involved. Further he highlighted the need to leverage PR agencies and promote the results via social media channels.
  • Using paid search to advertise and drive traffic to a piece of content