When did you Last Distribute a Press Release; and did you Share Your Information on Social Media? Quick tip…

Keeping your content interesting.Your social media can assist you with your content marketing strategy and visibility if you tie all the pieces together properly. Yes, this includes your actual press release too.  This is a strategy we have discussed previously which can be found in our Knowledge Base here .  You should be posting to your social media the day your press release is distributed from the 24-7 Press Release Newswire.

If the information you are sending out is useful and considered valuable to your audience, you may notice an increase in your followers.

Unfortunately, as of recent months (from the end of 2015), we have started to notice a trend in ‘less than satisfactory’ social media posts, which could potentially means less followers.

Allow me explain. When people visit or stumble across your Facebook page, if you have information that is of value to them, they will keep coming back. They may follow you.  They may share your information (part of how posts go viral).  These types of social posts may include press releases announcing a new product, or an upgrade, tips and techniques to help existing customers; or keeping them up to date on an industry, such as finance.  We talked a little about this in our article titled “When Disseminating a Press Release, Quoting an industry Expert Who Can Vouch for You Can Further Validate Your Brand and Earn Trust in Your Marketplace”.

Where we have started to see things go south in the quality of posts is with the “Look at us!” style postings.  You are probably familiar with these.  They are the Facebook posts displaying images of office party socialization’s, birthdays, Friday afternoon hangouts with the selfies.  Not to say the occasional post like this wouldn’t be appreciated particularly if it is a ‘personal Facebook page’, however for a business page, it is not that interesting for your customers.Office party

You need to put yourself in the seat of your customer.  When you visit a company’s social media page, would you rather see updates to a product you have purchased and how that product may be used; or ‘the Friday afternoon office hangout selfie’?

Here is another way to think of it.  Let’s think big Corporation.  How often do you see the party type pics on an Apple Facebook page? I would say very rarely.

The point we want to make is ensure you incorporate your press release within your social media and content marketing strategy. When you distribute your news with 24-7 Press Release Newswire we provide you with a link to your news story. Use this link to further your reach and share on your social media; particularly if this press release will be useful to your existing or potential customer base. As far as frequency goes, a good rule of thumb is three to four times a month.  With this being said, we only recommend disseminating news when you have a story to tell that will be of interest to your audience.  Don’t force something that isn’t natural.

Keeping these ideas in mind will be a sure way to help with your overall content marketing strategy and put you above those that are not practicing these strategies or not posting at all.

Marketers are Re-Thinking Content Marketing Strategies for 2015, Integrating Press Releases

Social Media PR“Google’s paradigm shift away from keywords has caused content marketers to re-think marketing strategies”, says Michael Iwasaki, managing partner of 24-7 Press Release, a leading news aggregator.

“Well-crafted story telling has always been important and even more so today with Google’s implementation of Penguin 2.0. Tried and true doesn’t necessarily work. Focusing on relevance and creating content that’s accurate, smart, meaningful AND entertaining trumps old boring standards. You need to be empathic with the end reader in mind.”

Over the past few years, marketers and public relations professionals were caught up in over-stuffing their news with keywords to increase search engine optimization, perhaps losing sight of what was important, the news. Google’s changes in search engine optimization have forced marketers to re-think how they present their news,” he said.

Effective marketers need to learn and re-learn. They need to figure out what’s next and where to focus their time and efforts. Being a writer isn’t enough. Today, everyone’s a writer. Understanding your audience and writing for them is paramount. You need to choose words well and write with economy, keeping in mind writing style and the end reader.

What does this mean for the relationship between journalist and PR/marketing professional? Marketers need to go back to the basics, reevaluate their target audience, determine what works and what doesn’t and re-prioritize. With countless new ways of reaching your audience, you need to be smart about resource allocation and investment.

The ill-conceived notion that the “press release is dead” has been proven incorrect. Marketers and publicists who just pitch are being ignored. A little bit of selling here and there is expected, but those who do nothing but sell, sell, sell, are going to be ignored, dismissed and overlooked by journalists, consumers and prospects.

Reaching Your Audience

How you reach your audience is another story. There’s a plethora of opportunities and each take time and care. Once you have the foundation—a well-crafted story—your distribution method can make or break your success.

“News distribution should be a key component in any marketer’s toolkit. Think in terms of writing an effective story, not a release. How you choose to reach out to journalists and your other contingencies directly correlates between being successful and not,” says Iwasaki.

Today, you want to integrate your news with social media, distribute it via services like http://www.24-7pressrelease.com, reach journalists directly and post comments and links on forums and social sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Taking the time to hone your target and reach out with customized messaging will help develop your position as a brand leader and reliable source. It also will help in recognition through Google’s search engines.

Think of services like 24-7 Press Release as your media partner. 24-7 Press Release Mass Media Visibility package provides an efficient and effective source for industry specific news targeting, with reasonably priced access to PR Newswire’s network of 5,900+ news websites, databases and online services including Yahoo News, Reuters, Marketwatch, MSNBC, AOL, Forbes, and Bizjournals and distribution to Associated Press’s top 25 US newspapers and 30,000 member journalists.

Stories are also distributed by demographic categories, that you choose, to their in-house database of 3000+ US newspapers and 1500+ magazines. The company encourages users to use the link to their news on various social sites.

 

About 24-7 Press Release Newswire

Founded in early 2004, 24-7 Press Release Newswire is a privately held news distribution company that provides marketing and communications solutions and multimedia gateways for marketers, public relations professionals, bloggers and corporate communication specialists around the globe.

Engaging audiences, the news is disseminated through a multi-channel process to major news outlets, journalists, online social media and bloggers through its network of partners including Associated Press and PR Newswire.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the company is recognized as one of the leading press release distribution services offering high-quality distribution at a moderate price, making it accessible to all sizes of business.

Marketing Your Business In 2014 – Content PR: A New Approach – 4 New Tools You Need to Know About

There is no doubt that over the last 18 months the online marketing arena has changed. That being said, some standby tools have remained while evolving into more social tools, like the press release.

The press release is now considered a main building block of the new content PR world. Social media is great if you have something to share and talk about. But where does that information start? Everything ties into the press release, be it social interaction and sharing of the press release itself (Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc.), or video or images within the press release.

This, by far, is not the magic bullet that we discussed in an earlier post, however it is an integral building block of the big picture that ties in with all the other content PR components that include:

  • Research reports
  • Surveys
  • Podcasts
  • White papers
  • Bylined articles
  • Blog posts

Take a look at the infographic below from Calysto, which explains how everything ties together.

Content PR

Natural Writing and Social Sharing Through Use of INTERESTING Content

We came across an excellent article on PR Newswire about how one should be optimizing their Press Release in this day and age as the landscape for SEO has change so significantly.

Part of why we like this article so much is that it is fairly current and touches on points such as:

– Writing for people and not machines
– Focusing on your messages while having a specific audience in mind.
– Who is the audience
– Where will the best effects be?
– What is the news release about?
– Best distribution time
– About your audience

– Language of your audience
– Adding multimedia
– Sharing socially
– Writing naturally

The article, by Sarah Skerik, is excellent piece, and covers a fair amount of information. The full article and link may be found at:
http://www.prnewswire.com/knowledge-center/online-public-relations/Press-Release-SEO–Writing-Press-Releases-Effectively-for-Search-Engines.html

With Changes in Marketing and SEO Strategies Sure to be a Discussion Point at SXSW, Where Does That Leave Online Marketing, Traditional Press Releases and SEO?

SEO and online marketing are not dead. They are evolving.

Over the past 9-12 months, there have been some big changes within some of the major search engines.  This will no doubt be a talked-about topic at SXSW amongst marketing individuals. The fact is that the changes are supposed to be positive.

“We have had a few enquiries from individuals about sending out a press release, wondering if it is still a viable method of marketing as it used to be,” said Michael Iwasaki, managing partner of 24-7PressRelease.com. “A press release is not going away and will always be a mainstay tool for many marketers. On that note, they need to be treated with respect. We have always advised that if you send out a press release, ensure it is newsworthy, something that will attract journalists, bloggers or any other individuals that may want to follow up your story. “

He has advice regarding anchor text links, also. “If you wish to include links within your press release, do not abuse this option. Adding 8-10 keyword links (all pointing back to the same location) is not advisable.  We are not experts for search engines, but advise no more than 3 links within a press release, pointing to different locations such as your home page, WikiPedia.com, or your blog.”

Remember to include varied media in a release, too, as studies have shown that improves a release’s performance. “Including media within your release is an excellent way to gain visibility.  At www.24-7PressRelease.com, an excellent example is through our Mass Media Visibility package. We have a relationship with PR Newswire for amazing traditional media exposure and distribution, and you can also add images and video with almost all of our packages,” added Iwasaki.

In this day and age, having an array of marketing tools is recommended. A decent start could include Google AdWords, social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.), blogging and of course a press release with media inclusions.

About 24-7PressRelease.com
Launched in 2004, 24-7PressRelease.com is a leader in the online press release distribution industry.

Through its multichannel distribution network, 24-7PressRelease.com helps corporations and organizations disseminate their news to consumers, editors, journalists, bloggers and websites.

24-7PressRelease supports businesses in building brand awareness and increase visibility on the web through social media and bloggers.

Should I Keep Blogging?

If you have put some time and effort into setting up a blog, posting regular updates, and attempting to share your posts and engage with your blogging community, but you’re still not seeing many results, business owners will often ask: “Should I keep blogging? Is there any point?”

The quick answer is: “Often, yes.”

There are a few things that you might be missing. For example, your blog may be low on views, or comments, but if it is hosted on your company website, the updated and refreshed content could still be really helping your site in the search engines. Search engines love fresh content but people don’t often have a reason to update their company’s “About Us” page on a regular basis. Having a blog page on your site is a great way of keeping your site’s content new in an authentic way, which can only help your search engine ranking. So it’s often good to consider the benefits your blog may be providing that aren’t as easy to see.

If your blog is not hosted on your website, then rather than stopping blogging, consider moving your blog over to your site, and that way you are at least gaining some benefit.

If you honestly feel that the blog is taking up too much time and energy, then perhaps revisit the frequency with which you are blogging. Cutting it down may help balance out the effort to results ratio.

You can also revisit your content. Are your blog posts easy to read – are they fairly brief (200-300 words is a good guideline), interesting and well written, without too many grammar errors or typos to distract the reader? You can use a blogging service if you don’t feel confident writing your own posts.

Lastly, it can often be as simple as the blog design that is off-putting to readers. Aesthetics are everything, after all! Consider the size of your font – is it too small? The font itself may even be hard to read, so consider changing that. The blog’s interface design could be too bare or too cluttered – try changing that. Or incorporate images or video into your posts – online readers love multimedia.

Try out these changes before quitting your blog altogether. And remember – sometimes things just take time to grow, just like business! So stick with it.

How Often Should I Blog?

One of the most oft-asked questions when a blogger sets up their first blog is: “How often should I blog?”

The answer is the same for everyone: “Whenever you can.” Or, even, “Whenever you want.”

The truth is, more frequent blog posts are always better except when you’re blogging about nothing. Filling your blog with garbage, or uninteresting information, just because you want to have a blog post up that day, often harms your blog more than it helps it.

For many small business owners who are already wearing a dozen and one different hats, blogging once a month may be all they can manage. Any less frequently is not really advised as it wouldn’t have the chance to garner much of a following, and even once a month is a little on the sparse side. Once weekly is a great commitment if you can keep to it – and if you can’t, you can always employ the help of a blogging service to do the work for you. At least that way the post is written and – with blogging tools’ various scheduling facilities – you could line a whole month’s worth of blog posts up all at once, and not have to think about the blog again until the same time next month.

So the concern is really not with the frequency of blogging. So long as you are putting out quality content and you’re making regular updates, you should be fine. Daily posts are great in an ideal world but we rarely have something of worth to say every single day, so don’t pressure yourself. You will just burn out and not want to blog at all before long, and that won’t help your business at all.

Sharing Blog Posts

Sharing your blog posts is a surefire way to ensure the growth of your blog. It’s one thing to craft a well-written post, put it up on your blog and then sit back and wait for the comments to come flooding in but chances are,  if you are a fledgling blog, you’re going to have to put in the legwork to get those readers to your site, and the best way to do that is the golden rule of blogging: Share, share share.

Set your blog up with a Facebook page (or your company, and promote your blog posts on your company’s page). Make sure you have a Twitter account. Share your blog posts on LinkedIn. Ensure you use the opportunities social media has to offer as much as you can, as this will get you readers with very little time or financial investment. Use a tool like HootSuite and you can post your blog link to all of your social media accounts with just one click.

Another way to share blog posts is through commenting on other blogs. We talked about this in our post on Engaging with Other Blogs and Bloggers last week, and it remains one of the best ways to share your blog posts. It could just be that people will click on your link and therefore discover the latest blog post, but many comment box plugins used by bloggers actually post the title of your latest blog post under your comment, ensuring that more readers see what you’re writing about – which will ultimately grab the interest of many more readers. (For this reason, it is always a good idea to title your posts well – short, snappy titles are good but make sure they accurately describe what your post is about! It’s often all someone will see before deciding to click or not!)

Guest posting on other blogs is another great way to share your blog. Reach out to other bloggers in your area of specialty who you have connected with and ask if they would be so kind as to post a guest post you have written for their blog. If they are going on vacation or just want a break from blogging one day, they will often agree, and as long as your post is well written, it should be accepted. When guesting, be sure to spend a short introductory paragraph introducing yourself and your blog and what it is all about. Then it is usually polite to say how you know the blogger whose blog you are guesting on, and then launch into your post. The post itself should be about a topic that is of interest to the readers of the blog on which you are guesting. Hopefully these are shared interests with your own blog but sometimes that’s not the case (for example, if you are a sports blogger but tend to focus on hockey, and you are guesting on the blog of someone who predominantly talks about golf, perhaps write a golf-focused post this time). That way you ensure more people make it to the end of your post, and once they’ve completed that they may well want to read more.

It always takes an investment of time and energy when you start blogging, but it often pays off in more ways than just an increased readership. You can make worthwhile connections and form beneficial relationships, so put in the legwork and reap the rewards!

Engaging With Other Blogs and Bloggers

To start a blog – even if it’s only for ‘business’ purposes – is to join a community.

Blogging has taken off like never before. Just a year ago, it was predicted that there were approximately 173 million blogs on the Internet (source). Blogging has begun as a hobby for many and turned into a full-time career. No matter what kind of blogger you are, there are countless blogger communities waiting to welcome you.

And truthfully, if you want your blog to be a success, engaging with that community is going to be one of your best methods of exposure. Commenting on blogs is a great way of getting your own blog out there. Think of it this way: when you comment on a blog, most if not all blogs have a way for you to link your name to your own blog. Therefore your comment will appear with your name above it and a link to your blog. When readers scroll through the comments on a post of a blog they love, when they see your blog name and realize that it is similar in nature to the blog they are already reading, they will most likely click on your link to check out your blog, and see if it’s another they can add to their blogroll of daily reads.

Referrals from comments made on other bloggers’ sites often ends up being one of the biggest traffic sources for a blog, and it’s free! It costs time, truthfully, but that time is usually well rewarded because you are able to keep up with what other bloggers in your field are doing and talking about, and this information usually helps to make you a better blogger.

So what community will you join? If you are blogging strictly to boost your small business, you can seek out others who run similar businesses to you and also blog; you can look for small business bloggers, or you can abandon the business side altogether and join in with communities who are interested in what you have to offer – for example, if you run a sports shop, you could blog about current events in sports and then join in with the community of sports fan bloggers out there.

Don’t just join in by commenting on other blogs either – reach out to bloggers on Twitter, Facebook and through email. Most of them are tapped into social media as a way to promote their blogs, so they’ll be keen to connect on those channels as well.

The opportunities are endless, but engagement is a key part of growing your blog and, ultimately, growing your business.

What Should You Blog About?

Blogging for business is undoubtedly beneficial. It can get you known as an industry expert, help you to build a community around your readers and customers, encourage two-way communication between your customers (or potential customers) and your business and, of course, assist with your search engine optimization efforts.

But if you are a small – or large – business owner and you are persuaded of the benefits of blogging, the immediate question which comes to mind is usually “What do I blog about?”.

The answer to this is often the simple and obvious one, but we can put it in one phrase for you: Blog what you know.

You want to make sure that you know a lot about the topic you are going to blog about, otherwise you can end up doing more harm than good when it comes to your company’s reputation. And, for business purposes, you also want what you’re blogging about to be related to your company. It’s great if you are passionate about and knowledgeable of American football, but blogging about football won’t help your insurance company too much. It may be a great personal blog to launch, though!

You have to consider who your readers are – are you wanting to attract the attention of the everyday consumer, or professionals in your industry? That will help tailor your tone and method of writing – whether to keep it casual and free of jargon, or whether you can use more sophisticated industry speak, because you trust that your readers will be the people who would know this language well.

You also, of course, want your blog’s content to be interesting to readers, no matter who they are. In keeping with the previous example of an insurance business owner, if you’re trying to attract the everyday reader, don’t fill your blog posts with endless statistics and information about deductibles – instead, try to make your topic a bit broader. For example, do you offer travel insurance? Then blog about fun travel destinations, and tips and tricks to avoid things going wrong when on holiday. Do you offer home insurance? Talk about interior design tips or new products that caught your eye that make the home safer or more efficient. And if you offer car insurance, well – lots of people love to read about cars!

As long as you tie the topic back into your business in the final paragraph, you will have a relevant blog post. And truthfully, one which only relates back to business in the final sentence is the best kind of blog post to read – a blog post that is basically an extended advertisement will have people clicking “Close” before they’ve even finished the first sentence.