Earlier, press release distribution was a communication tool between a PR professional and the media. But now, it is so easy to syndicate news that it appears in different search engines, locations, and sites, which proves how useful it is as a marketing tool.
When your story appears on news sites and search engines, releases become effective as a marketing tool. You directly reach your target audience.
Are Releases Still Effective Today?
For the media, it becomes less effective as more and more low-quality content floods the industry. Today, it is less preferred by those who find other digital strategies more affordable, scalable and measurable.
Many years ago, whenever marketers have a piece of news to share, they would automatically issue releases. By then there was no other tactic more effective than a distribution of releases. However, now it should be done with other strategies to make it effective.
How it helps your marketing:
It builds backlinks.
Although there is no direct search engine optimization with releases, it helps build links from the coverage you get from it. As long as you write a newsworthy and relevant content, you can use it to accumulate links that is good for your SEO.
Include keywords that will help you rank in the search engines. Choose keywords carefully. Use the one that your target audience uses to find content like you.
Make sure that your story is newsworthy and interesting for the readers. Provide benefits for them. Useful content gets the attention of the media. When they mention or cover you, you earn links from these sites.
Links are good for SEO. Moreover, using the right keywords helps you rank higher on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Just make sure to avoid keyword stuffing if you don’t want to get banned from the SERPs.
It is picked up by other media outlets.
Releases are intended to be seen by as many people as possible. A press release distribution service enables this to happen as it syndicates a story to its network of locations, sites, search engines and the media.
However, not all releases can be picked by the media. However, how will make it work? Including data in content is found to be effective to get the attention of the press. It’s important that you don’t just write interesting and quality content, but it should also be compelling.
Relevant and compelling stories always get the interest of the press. Stories that use data, statistics, graphs, and infographics make it more compelling.
It helps journalists with fact verification.
A release contains relevant information that the media can use for writing a story. It is packed with information that they don’t need to look for another place to find them.
It contains the message that a brand wants to share, data, quotations that strengthen the claims, and bit of information about the company. It is a perfect place to verify information about a brand. Since it contains a link to the brand’s site, journalists can easily visit the site to find out the facts.
Make their job easier by including the details they need to write a story. Include effective quotes that they can easily pull out from your copy. Provide links for your multimedia assets like images, video and other visual elements for easy accessibility.
Do not include attachments. Make sure that all the information you have written are true and can be verified through your site.
It can be repurposed to another content.
A standard release has a great headline, informative lede, background information, quotes and a boilerplate. It should also have the proper visual elements, including images, videos or audio.
Including these elements make the content easier to consume. For instance, images help tell the story better, while a video summarizes the entire story.
Content with images or video gets more reads and shares which is good for SEO. When an image or a video is optimized, it can appear on the Google Image result pages. It helps your content to rank in the image search engines.
Moreover, when there are visual elements, it can be repurposed to other content and can be syndicated in other channels. This means that distribution doesn’t stop there.
After you earned publicity, repurpose your content by sharing it on your social media accounts. Making your release social media ready can make a huge difference as it gets more visibility.
It defines your message.
A release contains the information that you want to share with your target audience. Your message should be clear and understandable as you craft your content to get maximum exposure.
Your release should be a reliable content where anyone can learn about your story. It becomes a solid base for other content creators, including influencers, bloggers and the media. Everyone should get a unified message based on your release.
It is free.
In the early days, sending a release normally costs some money. You have to buy a paper, an envelope, a printer to print it, stamps and you have to pay the cost of mail.
Today, things have changed. Issuing releases can now be part of your email campaign. You allow a time to craft it and send it through your target contacts.
Another tactic that you can is the automated email platform where it automatically sends your release to the recipients. An automated platform permits you to segregate reporters based on their niche, check who opens your email, monitor the results and choose the best time to send your release.
The platform allows you to know who is interested in your content in real time. It is one big plus factor for your marketing.
You have control over your message.
What’s good with releases is that you are the one who has control over your message. You can choose what message you want to share, the duration of the campaign, who will give the quotation, and what information is most crucial.
The quotes should provide a human element to your story. It strengthens your core message because it backs up your message.
It is helpful when your brand is involved in a controversy. Since you are the one writing your release, you have the authority to say what you want to say. You can air your side and still manage your reputation before anything escalates.
Releases as Part of Your Digital Marketing
To make your release effective, you need to set who you want to reach. Setting your target audience is part of your email marketing plan. Your target market may depend on the goal that you want to reach.
Aside from using the content for marketing, one study has found that journalists still depend on releases. They revealed that their jobs would be more difficult without releases. Some also found it still valuable for their work.
Releases are used for fact-checking and as a reference. Journalists use it to check the names of the people in the news, the spelling of their names, positions in the company, company history or product information.
There are also reporters who use it to get quotes. When they are beating their deadlines and don’t have enough time, releases are a life-saver for them.
Social media is part of your digital marketing strategy. When distributing releases, ensure that you get your copy distributed across the social media channels. You may be missing a huge chunk of your audience if you’re only focused on one side.
Your audience may be present on Twitter, Facebook, and any other platform. Make sure that they get the latest content you are distributing on your site.
With the growing digital media outlets, social media channels are becoming more prominent than the traditional one. Each time you distribute a release, ensure that it is optimized for the social media and mobile marketing.
The basic reason why it should be part of your digital marketing strategy is because of the trust it builds. When a journalist picks your story among others, you get coverage. It can result in people trusting your brand. Eventually, it can lead to the buying process.
However, the result is greater when your brand is engaged with media outreach. You build the trust through a third-party source, which is more valuable.
These days, consumers trust third-party recommendations than the brands itself or traditional marketing. A Nielsen study proved that it is the most valuable information for consumers who are ready to purchase.
A release that is not written properly is just a waste of investment. However, when done well, it can impact largely your business.
In this busy and modern world, releases can only survive if it will continuously evolve. Audiences prefer a much more ready to digest information and appealing content.
Audiences aren’t going to read traditional releases that have no images or a video. People love content that they can share. Releases should be social media ready to make it shareable.
To enhance its marketing value, each release should be written in a way that makes it easy for the audience to read and share. Only when they are able to engage that it serves a marketing value. Otherwise, it is just a piece of content that is useful for the journalists.