Forget what the experts say, press releases still matter
As we move into 2017 one thing that’s for sure is someone, somewhere will announce that the press release is dead. But for many reasons press releases are still a powerful tool in your integration or linked tactic toolkit. Press releases still matter, you just need to use them the right way. Here are 8 ways you can use press releases within your integrated marketing mix to boost overall results:
Use your press release for easy SEO. If your digital footprint is poor, or you need to gain optimization on new keywords a good way to get on the first page of Google is by sending a release through the wire. In fact, it’s always been a powerful tool for digital marketers to boost the results of their other optimization tactics. Paid wires like Cision or Businesswire are probably the most effective, but you can use PRWeb or even the free wires and get some decent results. Make sure you know how to optimize a press release, and write it for that purpose. Google has new rules and you don’t want to get penalized.
Tell a story with your press release. The old days of answering just the “five W’s” and providing only facts are gone. Press releases still matter for telling stories, but they do need to be tied to cool visuals as well. This varies a bit with the industry, however so keep that in mind. A B2B e-commerce company is going to have a lot less room for flowery content than a non-profit that rescues animals. As an example, check out the third press release case study in FitSmallBusiness.com’s list of 29 Press Release Examples. In this post, Ashley does a great job describing how she changed up a boring, old-fashioned release to one that created a compelling, strong narrative.
Deliver content that’s easy to lift for second-tier media. By second-tier media I don’t mean second-rate media. There are lots of fantastic medium-size blogs with dedicated audiences who are happy to use your well-written, descriptive content. My pet blog, BarttheDumpsterDog.com has survived for few years almost solely on well-written pet industry press releases. Remember, tell a story so that it’s translatable for a blogger and write the release so that copy can be easily lifted as-is. We’ve had press releases happily published nearly verbatim for clients. Including great visuals will help with this as well.
Convert buyers to a landing page with your release. A press release today can be a strategy to improve traffic to a specific landing page for specific conversions. You can use a press release to announce a new ebook or white paper, for example, and the links send your customers to a landing page where they must first submit their email in order to download the resource. Press releases used to be just for journalists, but most don’t even read them anymore. Write them for your buyers instead.
Boost a viral video or other message. Releases can announce the performance of your other marketing channels and gain even more attention to a video, GIF or whatever you’re promoting. For example, you can use a press release to promote an upcoming podcast episode, or send bloggers to your YouTube channel. Here’s a great blog post on using PR to promote a YouTube channel.
Consider the press release as part of a linked tactic set. If you’re a frequent reader of the Wax blog , you know that combining traditional techniques with newer marketing tactics are some of my favorite ways to come up with new linked tactics. Consider a press release as a way to “boost” the results of another tactic. As long as you’re not spending tons of money on a wire service, or sending it to the New York Times, a press release doesn’t have to be that important in terms of the information it contains. You can announce your 1000th follower on Pinterest in a press release and see if that accelerates your new follower metric, for example. Or maybe you’ve entered your fifth year anniversary of your blog. Think of the press release as a way to boost any other tactic like the ones we’ve described above, or others.
Press releases are fantastic for personal branding. If you’re beginning to speak at events or using personal branding in any way as part of the marketing strategy for your company, press releases really help get that your own name, or the name of your client or boss out there. A CEO of a small company can issue a press release with his or her take on recent industry news, for example. An expert can provide a set of tips for some kind of situation pegged to recent or even breaking news. I’ve even gotten an INC column using releases this way.
Communicate the personality of your brand. If you feel your business doesn’t have the right “voice” that you feel communicates your brand personality, a press release can quickly remedy that. If you want to be viewed as fun, write a funny release. Americans Bummed About Their Bottoms is a great example of a lighthearted release from e-diets.com that helped communicate their brand voice.
What hasn’t changed is that releases need to be written well, provide unique information and be clear of errors. For more great examples, and a good press release template, be sure to check out FitSmallBusiness.com’s list of press release examples.
Like most traditional tools, the press release is far from dead. Press releases still matter – they they just to be used in different ways to be a powerful tactic within your integrated marketing strategy.