Content Marketing and Press Release Services, Putting all the Pieces Together; Tips and Information to Assist Your Marketing Efforts From 24-7PressRelease.com

Content marketingWe have written many articles about it.  24-7 Press Release Newswire has assembled enough information and reading to educate you on the following:

  1. Planning a content marketing strategy.
  2. Incorporating the use of a press release distribution service (like 24-7pressrelease.com) to help draw visibility to your content.
  3. Have you even engaged in social media efforts?
  4. Even if you are a neighbourhood business, you need to be writing content. If you are not publishing meaningful content; and your competition down the block is, guess who will have increased online visibility? If you don’t think this is important, you better wake up to 2016 because 81% of shoppers conduct online research before they buy!

We want to jump directly into our 3rd point; social media.  We cannot believe the number of business owners that, in this day and age have not engaged in social media within their marketing efforts.  You expect this train of thought would be left to those over the age of 50. Many of these business owners that I know who fit into this category are well below that age. This is something that is shocking.

What are the basic social media accounts you should be setting up?  The top accounts should include Facebook (a business page, also where you can post your press releases too), a Twitter account and Google Plus.  It takes only a few minutes to set each one up. It is NOT a scary experience. It is easy and straight forward.

Press releases, social media & content marketing.

Press releases, social media & content marketing.

Let’s get back to my first point, planning a content marketing strategy.  Once you are over the hurdle of getting out of your comfort zone and doing this, the rest is fairly easy.  You need to become an expert in your industry or business.  You need to write articles and perhaps even some press releases that you can distribute to increase your online visibility.  That being said, when distributing a press release, 24-7PressRelease.com encourages you to only distribute content of value.

When you plan your content marketing strategy, you will want to have a series of articles & press releases lined up.  Generally 4 months in advance is a good target, even if you only have a general title (or theme) with some bullet points sketched out.  You need to know how to interlace your posts between where you post your articles on your website and your social media and from your social media back to your article.  This is also something you will want to do after distributing a press release. Post it to your social media and make reference to where your press release may be found.

Create awesome content and increase your online visibility.

Create awesome content and increase your online visibility.

Here is the deal.  Content is king.  If you are publishing content that your audience (or customers) can engage in, they will more than likely share this content across their own social media.  In turn your customers will have friends and family that may reference your information and become familiar with your brand or product.  This does not even get to the point that social media may be triggers for search engines and help with rankings.  Why do you think that when you perform a search online, the big social media sites tend to surface closer to the top?

Over the last couple of years, 24-7PressRelease.com has been focused on helping our customers become savvier with their marketing efforts which include tips for everything from press release distribution, to creating great content and the timing of when you send your press release out.

We encourage you to visit our library of over 30 excellent pieces to help you become more visible online than your competition.

A few pieces include:
5 Ways to Engage With Your Audience Through Your Press Release  – Press releases perform well based on myriad factors, but one of the most important is engaging your reader. If you do not capture the reader’s attention right from the start, they will click away from your press release and onto someone else’s very quickly.

Leveraging Social Media to Maximize the Reach of Your Press Release – Post a link to your press release to your followers on Google Plus, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn or Twitter.

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 – Those who write extremely good content that is valued by their audience will continue to receive media attention and thrive; those who don’t will see their information fade into the background, reaching a smaller and smaller audience.

Distribution of Your Press Release is Pointless Unless You Have Good Solid Content. Stats and Data go a Long Way. Here’s How to do it Right! – You have approximately 1.75 seconds to grab the attention of your audience. This could be a journalist/reporter, blogger or customer.

These and many more informational pieces may be found through the knowledge base at 24-7PressRelease.com.  Become that expert in your industry. Share your knowledge & tips.  Get into the social realm.  Increase your online visibility.  If you haven’t already started a strategy, by following some of these tips and information you will be sure to increase your presence through search results faster than by not.

A leader in online press release distribution, www.24-7pressrelease.com established in 2004, continues to bring on new customers; not because we offer a fancy new website that looks techy, but because we offer a great valued product. We do not claim to offer the Cadillac solution (we leave that up to the PR Newswires of the world). We also do not offer a Ford Pinto solution. 24-7 Press Release provides excellent, middle of the road, great value press distribution packages which are fair in the pricing.

 

Getting Noticed By The Media – Key Information You Need To Know To Be Heard And Seen

Press Release WritingThe purpose of a press release is to influence people by changing their opinion, having people purchase a product or service or even voting for a particular candidate or issue.  This could include vendors your work with, online bloggers, the general public or of course, the media.  Reaching out to the media, for the majority of the time is through online communication like social media, news sites or email.  Seldom is communication through direct telephone or in person unless you know someone personally in the media to give your pitch.

A press release is an endorsed piece of information used for announcing an event, product or service, product change, management change or financial results that may be of interest to a reporter.  This is to wet their appetite and save you time if they contact you.

The truth is the majority of press releases are drier than sawdust and are not written well nor engage the reader.

“By Far, the most important part of a media release is the headline.  This is the main support of your story that dictates whether your reader continues reading or simply flips to the next story with a more engaging headline” said Michael Iwasaki, managing partner at 24-7 Press Release Newswire.  “We cannot emphasize enough that it is critical having a strong hook, more so than your competitors. A great example we saw from article in Forbes that got our attention? ‘News Report Ranks Top U.S. Cities for Bedbug Infestations’. Does this not make you want to read the story? Of course it does, because it plays off your emotions as they know you will want to see if you’re  in one of those cities!” continued Iwasaki. A social media hint. Your headlines are shared on places like Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook. Do not repeat the headline in your first sentence.

For the body, it is all about the details. Going deep and making sure your homework is done. Avoid jargon that reporters may not understand and avoid a sales pitch. Get permission and use quotes from recognized, credible 3rd parties.  This is instant recognition. Less is better. Ideally, keep stories under 400 words and make sure if you are using a boilerplate, make sure your information is current brief and accurate.

Distribution of your press release is the final step.  Using a credible service that has been in business for a long time with a good reputation and recognizable distribution partners is ideal. This saves you the time and effort of trying to reach out to all the necessary media points in your industry.  You may pay a little more, but your message will get to the right places.  24-7 Press Release Newswire (http://www.24-7pressrelease.com) with their Mass Media Visibility package partners with credible distribution outlets including PR Newswire and Associated Press.

Once your press release has been distributed by your vendor of choice, you will hopefully reap the results you are looking for.  If you talk to anyone in the media, they will recommend letting the journalist reach out to you.  Don’t try to reach out to them. This may turn them off.

How Your Mug Shot Can Help YOU Increase Free Traffic Up To 35%

Google Authorship

Google Authorship

I came across an excellent article by Cyrus Shepard on moz.com (click here), that really hit home, only because the same frustrations and information that he shares in his article is nearly identical to what I had experienced.

What I am talking about makes reference to Google Authorship, which is the displaying of your Google+ profile image within search results for posts or information that you have authored.

Cyrus’s article is excellent, and really explains how authorship can increase your traffic, simply by adding a decent image.

Keep in mind, that when an image comes up under whatever the search term is, you should be displaying a professional image as people are looking for a “credible” source.

I would also recommend keeping with a profile picture.  Like Cyrus, I had tried to do some experimenting, which did not have good results.  The experiment was changing my profile picture (keyword, PROFILE), to a corporate image.   I do not know for sure, however I suspect that Google might have some type of photo recognition software that recognizes a true portrait as opposed to “something else”.  The results were our images did change almost immediately, but then were dropped completely.

Anyway, the information and tips from Cyrus are excellent, have a read by clicking here.

 

6 Tips For Effective Marketing Using a Press Release – Are You Following These Practices?

Press Release Marketing TipsMarketing becomes tougher and tougher every day. With the introduction a number of years back, and growth of Social Media, it continues to become more and more difficult to announce a new product or service.  One tool that has remained consistent for getting your news out, aside from costly ad-words, is the press release.  Why? Because it is “disseminated” and sent to so many locations that people will eventually stumble across it.  Bloggers may blog about it, journalists may do follows ups as they are always looking for interesting news.

Below are some recent tips for a successful press release.

Headline & Sub Head That are Catchy

Your headline and sub headline are the most important elements of your press release.  When you write them, make sure that you have a catch.  Try to tailor your headline to really grab your audience. This is your one chance to really grab journalists and bloggers. Otherwise, they will just move on to the next interesting headline.

Multi Media

The use of multi-media within a press release, in this day and age, is the key to attracting attention.  To not include the use of at least one image (product, service images, or logo) is asking for your press release not to be looked at.  Let’s face it, people like pictures!  People like them so much, that through the new Google Authorship program (search results displayed with images of the author), search results with an image (no matter what their position, 1-10 in the search results), received 80% more clicks than search results without images.

Google Authorship

24-7PressRelease.com press release now supports Google Authorship.  If you have it, we recommend using it. This allows you to add your Google Authorship account, and when your press release is returned in search results, your image (from your G+ account), will also be displayed in the results, making your search result (or press release) more attractive to click on (because it has your picture).  Read more about the program here: http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/google_authorship_information.pdf

Keywords

Make sure that you include one or two instances of keywords within your press release, along with your website link in plain sight, such as http://www.24-7pressrelease.com.  With the search engine technology and engines today, having your keywords within the same paragraph as your website link is good enough, they no longer need to have links (also known as “money links” from them.

Timing

Timing can be key for the success of a good press release campaign.  If you have a product or service that is relevant to an event that is happening locally, or around the world and you send your press release out and also mention whatever event is taking place, chances are your press release will receive more pickup from journalists and bloggers than if not.  News and events snowball.  Timing also includes the frequency of a press release.  The rule of thumb is try to send something out a couple/few times a month, but only if you have something interesting to share that your audience will want to read.

Adding a Quote to the Body

Add a quote to the body of your press release, otherwise known as attribution.  This adds an element of credibility and gives some personality to your press release.

Contact Information

Do not forget to include your contact information right in the body of your press release.  Although your contact information may be present on the site that the press release originated does not mean that info will be transferred. Including it at the bottom guarantees the transfer of info.

 

 

 

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.

Importance of Facebook in Relation to Internet Marketing

Last week we discussed the importance of Twitter in relation to search engine rank and online marketing. This week, it’s Facebook’s turn.

Social media in general has a huge impact on search rank, as previously discussed in previous blog posts this month (in case you hadn’t seen a pattern already, we are focusing on social media for September’s blog posts!).

This article by Search Engine Watch details the 13 elements of social media you should be tracking in order to really work out which elements of your social media campaign are affecting your search rank. It helps to narrow your focus on certain metrics so you can most effectively track the progress of your marketing strategies and tailor them as necessary.

While the author’s first four points focused on Twitter (which we covered in last week’s post), the next two look at Facebook. The two elements the author says you should be concerned with, when it comes to Facebook usage, are:

  1. Number of fans
  2. Number of comments

While elements such as Facebook shares and ‘likes’ are focused on by many social media experts, it seems that fans and comments are the ones that deserve your attention. The reason for this, the author explains, is that if people are ‘liking’ numerous posts on your Facebook page but commenting on few of them, it is a sign of a marketer trying to fool the system.

Even if your page genuinely is getting organic ‘likes’ from fans, and you’re not trying to pull one over on Google, this is still a sign of something that you need to work on. If posts are just driving people to ‘like’ them and not to comment then you need to reevaluate what kind of posts you’re putting up. You want to encourage discussion and involvement through your social media strategies, so post more leading questions, invite commentary or opinions. People love to share opinions, especially on Facebook, so if you ask the right questions you should have ample discussion on your page.

This is, of course, dependent on you having a large group of fans to provide the feedback and discussion you need. Which was the author’s first point of focus – the number of fans you have. Akin to Twitter followers, you need to garner these fans in a natural and organic way (companies are no longer allowed to require that people ‘like’ their page, comment on a post or engage with them on Facebook in order to enter a competition, which was how a number of companies used to gain large followings on Facebook – you can see Facebook’s official rules on that issue here). Advertising that you have a Facebook page, and printing a QR code on marketing materials will allow people to quickly be directed to the page once they have scanned the code with their smartphones, simplifying the process for customers.

According to Search Engine Watch, a large number of fans will add value to your website in a search engine’s eyes.

Check back on Friday for the importance of YouTube on your Internet marketing strategies.

Importance of Twitter in Relation to Internet Marketing

An article on Search Engine Watch focuses on the top 13 social media ranking factors for SEO. These are centered around Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, but a couple of points touch on dealing with other social media also.

The point of the article is to advise you on which areas of your social media campaigns to focus on tracking in order to see the efficacy of a social media campaign and its effect on search engine rank.

For Twitter, the article recommends focusing on number of retweets and number of followers – both apparently obvious. But it also recommends looking at the relevance and quality of your followers. How do you determine the relevance and quality of a Twitter account? Look at:

1. What industry is the follower in?

If they are in the same industry as you, or one that is complementary, you can consider them a relevant follower. If your company is in retail and the Twitter follower is not a professional but rather a potential consumer, often their Twitter bio will give some information regarding their hobbies and interests. If they are a healthy living advocate, for example, and you are a sporting goods or nutrition product retailer, they are still a relevant follower as their interests align with what your company is selling, and therefore they are not just a potential consumer but also a potential brand evangelist.

2. How many followers does the follower have?

This isn’t the only figure to look at to determine the quality of the follower, but it is a telling one. If they have a lot of followers, then their tweets will be more widely seen than someone who has under 50 followers, for example. However you can also look at quality by looking at the amount of activity in their Twitter feed. Are they active on Twitter? Is most of what they are saying of interest to a wide variety of Twitter readers, or do they mainly use up their feed communicating back and forth with their best friend?

When you have analyzed these two factors you will soon be able to whittle your followers list down to the ones that are most likely to prove useful in spreading the word about your company/product – and that might reduce a list of thousands of Twitter followers to only a few.

You can attract more of the right kinds of followers by searching people out on Twitter who you want to have as followers, people with large follower lists, who tweet relevant content and work in industries that align with yours. Then follow them (sometimes that’s all that’s needed to get a follow), but also tweet them and engage in conversation with them. They may not reply at first but if you continue tweeting them (when it’s relevant!) they may eventually retweet you or reply, and start to take an interest in what you do, or at the very least, this activity will share you with their followers list, providing you with more exposure.

In our next post we will look at Search Engine Watch’s recommendations for tracking performance on Facebook.