Some things just go well together. Bacon and eggs. Penn and Teller. John, Paul, George and Ringo.

In each of these instances, the combination is better than the individual components. Together, they’re not just a little better, but spectacularly awesome. How much do you love the Beatles? Now, how much do you love Ringo Starr’s 2003 album “Ringo Rama”?

The same theory holds true for the combination of content marketing and public relations.

Here are three questions that will help you gauge whether you’re properly blending content marketing strategy with your PR efforts:

1. Are you fully leveraging your company’s expertise in the media?

As newsrooms get trimmed, publications are increasingly looking for companies and executives to contribute compelling, non-promotional content. Providing this content is often the job of the PR professional or a dedicated “brand journalist.” By developing content for media outlets popular with your audience, you get the best of both worlds: a credible vehicle for establishing thought leadership and an article in which you control the message.

Tip: Contributed content offers tremendous opportunities. But once you’ve found reputable publications who are willing to run your content, you still need to produce it. You can do this more easily if you know your end user’s wants, needs, and pain points. These flow best if you have developed a buyer’s persona as part of your content marketing strategy.

2. Do your articles have a keyword strategy?

In any marketing campaign, websites are the marketer’s most powerful tool. A smart keyword strategy is paramount because it helps raise the search engine rankings of the articles you contribute to your site (perhaps on your blog) and of the website itself. What keywords should you use? Research will help you identify what terms your customers are using to search for the goods and services you provide or to answer important questions related to your company’s expertise. Incorporating these keywords into your article will deliver the most value.

Tip: Work with your digital marketer to understand which keywords will be most effective from an SEO perspective. Then use the most important word or phrase once in your headline and again in your lead sentence. Don’t overdo it after that, as search engines now penalize articles that use the same keywords with unnatural frequencies.

3. Do you measure the impact of your PR efforts?

PR is traditionally difficult to measure. However, in this data-driven age, marketers are increasingly using marketing automation tools to gauge the effectiveness of all of their campaigns, including PR. Use that to your advantage. Knowing which media sites deliver the most visitors to your website is invaluable, as it enables you to reprioritize your resources for the outlets that your audience engages with the most.

Tip: Find out what readers do once they visit your site after being referred from a media outlet. This will help you gauge not just the quantity but the quality of traffic coming from your various third-party media placements.

Together, content marketing and PR make for an unbeatable combination. For more tips on how to use content marketing to engage a scientific audience, follow us on Twitter at @chempetitive.