FRIDAY 22 OCT 2021 1:33 PM


Olga Andrienko, VP of brand marketing at Semrush, talks to Communicate about digital comms and how the online visibility management platform can help companies cut through the noise.

How did you come to work at Semrush and what does your role entail?

My career journey started at Lux Express Group, where I got to grips with ecommerce and the growing importance of digital marketing during the rise of social media. Semrush recognised my ability in building brands and asked me to join the company in 2013 as their head of social media to widen their audience and boost online engagement. Now, as a VP of brand marketing, I’m responsible for global brand marketing across North America, Europe, APAC and LATAM. The role involves overseeing brand management, audience retention, advertising, and marketing across a global team. Since taking the position, we have managed to build a very loyal global community and now there are over seven million users who have tried Semrush. When I joined this number was less than 300,000.

How can SEO be used to measure the value of digital PR?

If the user googles a company or brand name, there will be multiple websites ranking for it that have mentions of that brand in their content. So the reputation which the PR team builds, as well as online mentions, are crucial for search. Customer review websites, content websites, and news about the company - this all will be exposed to their potential clients. And if PR did a great job, the top ten results will make a great impression even if the user doesn’t just click on the actual website first.

Another case is with press releases, or any official statements and research the company puts out. The impact of this will not just be the PR coverage, but also many other websites linking to the brand. Backlinks have an impact on website rankings, and Google officially mentioned this as a part of their algorithm. So building links with PR will directly help the SEO team.

In what ways do you think digital comms and media relations have changed over time, this could be over the past decade or during the pandemic?

Companies are struggling to cut through even more noise. The number of journalists in media houses has fluctuated due to Covid, and has meant that some journalists use industry expertise more than they did before, due to less of their own research time. Digital comms and media relations have become data-driven, with many more PR tools entering the market because online is dominating and other media channels are decreasing in popularity. 

Social media is becoming THE channel that audiences look for news and reactions from. For example, Elon Musk's tweets have a real impact on how the market reacts, and Reddit's community teamed up to play against the market with the Gamestop stock phenomenon.

Do you think the role of marketing and communications professionals are merging, and what does this mean for the wider comms industry?

Boundaries are certainly blurring because of social media, and this is where it gets complicated. Social media is historically a marketing channel, but many PR stunts are now done on social media too. Also, if there is a PR crisis, then hoards of people will discuss it on social media. This is the channel which PR and marketing share.

What can PR and comms professionals learn from the Marketing Scoop podcast?

The Marketing Scoop tells the stories of industry experts across their successes and failures, and what they have learnt from these experiences. Professionals should expect first-hand insight into both local and global marketing growth in topics such as AI, content creation, and the best SEO tools on offer. Our mission is to educate and inspire a generation of digital marketers by keeping them in the loop with the hottest industry news and trends, giving them the tools, strategies and techniques they need to succeed.

Find the Marketing Scoop podcast from Semrush here.