Incorporating a Press Release with Your Content Marketing Strategy – A New Trend in Content Marketing

To say that the world of advertising and marketing has changed is an understatement.  This holds especially true over the last few years with the introduction of content marketing to the stage. Consumer behaviors have changed. People don’t want to be ‘sold’ products or service.  Many products or services are now coming through recommendations, much of this travelling through social media.

With a recent article we came across over at Forbes informing that millennials pretty much turn a blind eye to advertising (http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2015/04/28/research-shows-millennials-dont-respond-to-ads/#58642b205599), many keeners in the marketing industry have switched gears and adapted to content marketing.  More noticeable of recent is the incorporation of content marketing and the use of a press release service.

So how do you get your information to travel through social media? Through content marketing.  As previously mentioned in an article we published from August 2016 titled “If you Haven’t Yet Adopted Content Marketing, You are in the Minority” , content marketing has been around for eons. Just now is it starting to make sense to many; here is why.

As mentioned earlier, the buying habits of people are changing. They don’t want to be sold something; they would rather be educated on whatever they are looking for whether it is a product or a service.

For instance, those that are in the real estate industry (just an example), when we bought our first home, we did not know anything about the process.  When we were looking around online for an agent to buy our first home, if we came across an article online about ‘buying your first home’, we would have thought that would be helpful.  There are many pieces of information that business owners can share information about in their industry.  For real estate agents, there are many subjects they could write about.

When you incorporate your message through a press release service like 24-7PressRelease.com you also increase your online visibility because our distribution partners also post your news to their sites.  When your press release has been distributed, you also receive a distribution report of where your press release was posted with those partnering sites.  If your press release takes the voice of being helpful and informative to your audience, expect that your press release may also be shared with many consumers or customers within your industry. People like to share useful information.

24-7 Press Release Newswire has a special on our Integrated Media Pro until the end of January, 2017.  Use the coupon code: fbjan2017 to save $40 off our $139 package which provides distribution of your press release to Associated Press, newspapers and more!  More details may be found at: http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/price_plan_imp.php

Prepare for 2016 with These Press Release Distribution, Writing and Content Tips from 24-7 Press Release Newswire.

02 marketingAlthough the year has not quite come to a close, many individuals in the world of marketing and communications will be on cruise control after Thanksgiving. Their press releases have been written, their budgets have been set and Facebook pages will soon be filled with seasonal office party pictures.

Between the major announcements over at Bloomberg Business of Google’s Rank Brain, and their search now using AI, along with Googles Panda 4.2 update earlier this year, it has been busy in the world of PR, Content Marketing and press releases. Some may consider these changes hard to deal with.  Some may look at it as an opportunity to capitalize on those not willing to keep up with change.

Around here, 24-7 Press Release Newswire likes to keep up with change and share this information with our distribution customers.  Our theory is that if they’re successful, we’re successful. That is why we have been busy populating our knowledge base with some excellent information and tips.

Before you distribute your next press release, have a read through our knowledge base. A few of these articles include:

Using an expert quote within your press release is an excellent article on the effects of using someone credible in your industry to provide a quote for your press release.

Holiday marketing tips which may be found here – A great timely piece of information for promoting your product or service over the holidays.

And of course, one of our more popular pieces is an informational on how you can use a press release within your content marketing strategy.

The online world seems to be becoming more and more complicated. Knowledge is power and these few tips can give you the edge over your competition.

5 Important Thoughts to Consider Before You Click ‘Send’ With Your Preferred Press Release Service Company.

It is no hidden secret that a well-crafted press release, distributed through the right channels is an excellent way to increase your online visibility and potentially assist with search rankings.

Tips when using a press release service to distribute your news.

Tips when using a press release service to distribute your news.

However to send out a news release ‘just to send something out that is stuffed with keywords’ is going to end up getting you in a heap of trouble.

We have assembled a few thoughts to consider before you click that ‘send’ button. Here they are.

  1. How familiar are you with your industry. Many press distribution services, like 24-7 Press Release Newswire, have potentially hundreds of categories to select from when sending out your news.   Knowing exactly which categories are relevant to your business is critical to reach the right journalists. This is because in many cases, the news categories are tied to what journalists have registered to receive.
  1. Timing is a key component. Do you know what time the press release service company you are using disseminates their news to their channel partners and journalists? Do you know where they are located? 24-7 Press Release Newswire has found the most effective distribution time to send your press release is between 3am – 6am eastern for national news and 6am – 8am for a local event. The day of the week you send your press release is also imperative. Our recommended day for distribution is Tuesdays, followed by and Wednesday or Thursday. In our experience, by Friday afternoon, most people have checked out mentally. Over the weekend, unless it is sports oriented, people don’t chime into the news as much, particularly journalists. And by the time Monday rolls around, most people use this as a catch up and planning day. By Tuesday, most people have settled into their routine.
  1. In the past, we have mentioned that accompanying your press release with a vivid image is imperious. People like pictures. People like pictures. Did we mention that twice? That is because we have found a news release with an image attachment can receive upward of 300% more visibility than one without. At the very least, attach your company logo.
  1. How well are you tuned into what geographic location(s) are the most suitable for your business and news release? Is your news local to a neighbourhood? A city? The entire state? Or, in some cases, your press release may be applicable to various states in a region. Particularly if your product is offered online only. Naturally, to select the city that is closest to your business is the first obvious choice.
  1. Last but not least, who will be your point of contact and is this person available for a 3 week period after your press release goes out? This one may seem obvious; however is one of the most overlooked points. We cannot tell you the number of times that people add a contact to their press release that is never available. Or worse yet, they select a contact that is about to go on holiday and leave their phone off. Ensure the contact you place within your press release is someone that can be reached, that knows about the press release and knows the product or service. This person should also be familiar with answering questions.

Although many of the points we have mentioned may seem obvious, there is a reason why we have put this list together. All too often the most obvious details are missed or forgotten about. By following these simple points you will increase your chances of further visibility with a journalist, blogger or writer.

Making Finding Keywords Within Stories Easier For Journalists / Bloggers

At 24-7PressRelease.com, we have been actively working to enhance our site and experience for journalists, bloggers and of course companies looking to extend the reach of their news through both traditional news channels and of course social media engagement.

Huge enhancements are soon to come for journalists & bloggers, including a separate portal just for researching stories, however in the meantime we have made finding stories just a little bit easier by increasing the speed of searches and also adding a yellow highlight to keywords that you are searching for to show you exactly where your keyword is immediately! See the example below:

Journalist and blogger research tool.

Journalist and blogger research tool.

Press Release Writing Tips: Choosing Keywords

It’s no secret that one of the most effective ways to improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) is by distributing press releases on a regular basis.

By including anchor text links within a release, regular press release distribution can really assist in getting your website up in Google’s ranks, and fast! But the best way to use this tool to its fullest is to ensure you are choosing the right keywords to link within your release.

Here are some tips on choosing keywords:

  • Use the same keywords you use in other marketing efforts, such as Google AdWords. Keeping your approach uniform across all marketing channels should lead to a greater return on your promotional efforts and dollars.
  • Choose just a few keyword phrases to really hone in on, rather than trying to cover every phrase you think could lead someone to your site.
  • Pat Wootton at Prompt Proofing suggests keeping the number of anchor text links within a release to between four to six, and directing them to different web pages, not just the home page. We would agree with this as it will help to prevent you from being seen as spamming Google’s system, which could lead to your site being flagged and even blocked by Google.
  • It can be a good idea to have a couple of keyword phrases that are quite popular, but also a couple of unusual ones. This helps you cover mass audiences and niche ones too.

Press Release Writing Tips – Additional Media

Sometimes one of the best ways to make your press release attractive isn’t even anything to do with the writing at all.

At 24-7PressRelease, we allow for images to be uploaded with any of our paid distribution packages, and with our $89 and above packages we allow for videos to be uploaded also. Take advantage of this!

As Pat Wootton at Prompt Proofing said in a recent blog post, “If a picture is worth 1000 words, then let it speak! Many people are predominantly visual and an interesting photo will draw them in, at the very least it may make them read the rest of the release.”

The same idea goes for videos, also. Don’t just upload the video to be displayed alongside your release; also include a link to the video on your company site or on YouTube. Don’t just upload the images; include links to them. If the images are of certain products, the best thing to do would be to include a link to the image on your site right next to the description of the product in the press release.

These varying forms of multimedia make your release stand out in the crowd, as it were, and will draw a greater variety of readers in. Every individual focuses differently; some people are very visual and will be more drawn in by images or video than by specific words. So use all the tools at your disposal!

Press Release Writing Tips – How to Engage With Your Audience

Continuing on with our tips on press release writing, today we discuss engaging with your audience.

Using this blog post by Pat Wootton from Prompt Proofing as a source, we provide some hints on how to help ensure your release performs well by being sure that it is fully engaging with your audience.

One of the main issues with press releases and their audience is that people have a very short attention span when reading online. Engaging with your audience is going to mean combatting this attention span – i.e. getting your message across as quickly and effectively as possible.

Here are some ways to combat this:

  • Keep the release brief. This is the easiest tool to put into action – people are bored by reading a lot onscreen (and reading on a computer is harder on your eyes too, so people tire quicker). Even if you don’t want people to read the whole release, if they open up your release and see a huge chunk of text, they are likely to just click away. Keep it short (we recommend 350 words or less)!
  • Use paragraph spacing wisely. For the same reason as listed in the above bullet point, a huge chunk of text will turn a reader off instantly. Break it up as often as makes sense, and keep your sentences brief (no run-on sentences allowed!). This will make your release much more readable.
  • Place all the essential information that you want people to know about in the first paragraph. That way if they don’t make it past the first few sentences, they have the general gist of what you’re trying to say anyway. One exception? Fine print details like dates, times, prices, phone numbers etc. This information should be neatly displayed at the end of the release. If you have explained simply enough what the sale, product or event is in the opening paragraph, people will quickly skim-read to find the essential details, so having them nicely and easily displayed at the bottom of the release will help them find it and help them have more impact without littering your opening paragraph with numbers.
  • Include a call to action in your release – some way in which people can take the next step. If your release has its desired effect, people are going to want to know MORE about you and your company after reading the release, so you need to provide them with a way to do that while you have their attention! This can be as simple as including a ‘click here’ link to your website, or a phone number.

Put these simple tools in place and watch as your readers engage with your release more and more.

Press Release Writing Tips – Voice and Tone

Hopefully you enjoyed our introduction to press release writing tips, which we will be providing all month long.

In our first post we explained what exactly a press release was. Now that you know what differentiates a release from an article or an advert, it is time to put that knowledge to use by writing your release. However, a large part of ensuring you’re not being too objective or too biased in your release is the tone and voice you use to communicate your information.

Pat Wootton at Prompt Proofing has blogged on this issue before, and had many useful tips to share. We have taken some of her advice and added our own tips below. Read and put these into action, and your press releases will improve substantially!

  • Make a note of the voice you use when writing your release – avoid first person (me, or I) references and instead use third person references (i.e. 24-7PressRelease is a press release distribution service dedicated to offering the best value and quality…).
  • Use a quotation from a company representative (who must be named, in order to provide the release with some validity). Incorporating this element into a release not only gives the release a personal touch but also gives you a chance to brag – the representative can be much more focused on promotions and sales than the actual tone of the release itself. So use this to its fullest. Having said that, don’t include more than two quotes per release – it’s not necessary and will feel like overkill.
  • Be friendly but professional. Avoid overuse of punctuation like exclamation marks, and don’t try to pretend that you know your reader. Instead, invite readers to contact you for further details or information, but otherwise maintain a strictly professional tone.
  • Remember that every time you send out a press release, that is a representation of your company’s reputation and how it will be perceived online. If your company is fun-loving and encourages social interaction, you can reflect that in your writing and help communicate the reputation your business wants to foster.

Using these tips to correct the voice you use when writing your releases will help to ensure you’re setting the right tone.

Press Release Writing Tips – What is a Press Release

For the month of August we will be focusing on providing tips for writing effective and impactful press releases.

Each post will focus on one aspect of a press release, beginning with today’s post, in which we go back to the basics, and explain exactly what a press release is, and what differentiates it from other promotional materials, such as marketing copy or blog posts, and other newsworthy items such as articles or news stories.

Pat Wootton at Prompt Proofing covered this topic extensively in her blog post, What exactly is a press release?

Using some of her advice and some of our own, we have provided the following bullet points to keep in mind next time you’re sitting down to compose a press release for your company, product, service or website:

  • A press release is NOT an advert. It should steer clear of overly promotional statements such as “Buy now!” – if we receive press releases with statements such as these we will usually request that the customer rewrite the release, or it will be rejected for distribution.
  • However, a press release is also NOT a news piece. It is not written by an objective third party – it is written by you, the company owner (or perhaps employee, or marketing rep) and therefore it naturally does have a bias. There is no point in hiding this; it will appear deceitful. Rather, use a writing voice that shows that you are representing the company but just steer clear of making too many claims of greatness. Let the reader make up their own mind about your product or service by simply providing the facts. In this way, the fact that you have a bias will work for you rather than against you, because readers will understand that no one knows the facts about a product or service better than the company offering it!
  • The key to ensuring your release is not too promotional is to keep it informative. You want to offer details and information about your company’s products/services rather than push people into buying them. Through educating the reader, if your product or service is what they’re looking for, you will already have persuaded them to buy! But remember your audience too – one of the main purposes of a press release is to drive traffic to your site. Therefore, you’re not always writing to your direct customer, but rather just to spread the word about your company to gain awareness and improve your SEO. Therefore, selling should not be your main focus with a press release.
  • A press release is NOT an informative article, either. Those are published to article directories online and are usually a minimum of 400 words. They are in-depth studies of specific topics, rather than press releases. You want to keep press releases under 350 words, ideally. This keeps the reader’s attention and will also help you avoid any overage fees from distribution services with word limits.

Using these tips will help you get started on writing a great release while understanding, hopefully, what exactly a press release is. When you write a release in the proper format and tone, news sites are much more likely to pick up your release for publication.

Quote Permissions and Attribution

Typing press releaseWhen writing your press release, you may want to quote something someone has said or something you have read. Having permission to use a quote is particularly important, especially if it is longer than a single short sentence.  If it is possible to be taken in a negative way, the consequences could be detrimental.

If you want to quote something you have read (copyrighted information) within your press release and do not attain written permission to use this information, you may be held liable and a lawsuit may result, something no company wants. If you personally know the individual, verbal permission may be all that is required. If you are unsure, it is best to receive permission in writing.

An attribution is simply the acknowledgement or credit of your source of information or of the quote. Most well written press releases use attributions. When quoting copyrighted material, be sure to state the source of the quote, including the date or a link. Be sure to include the full name of the individual who made the quote and their occupational title or company position.

If you are using facts and statistics to enhance your story, make sure that you provide source attributions. The reason for this is simple. It adds credibility. If you publish figures or information without a viable source reference, people might assume “it must be too good to be true”, even though your information may be accurate. Without proper source attributions, your information may appear to be stretching the truth, and this could lead to your press release being overlooked.

Bad example: “XYZ is to raise rates” and XYZ Corporation will capitalize on this.

In the above example, there is no attribution. The example does not state who made the quote, or who is commenting on the quote or their position. This also lacks source and date information.

Good example: “XYZ is to raise rates and this is something we will capitalize on,” stated John Doe, marketing manager of XYZ Corporation, in the February 1, 2004 edition of the Sun Newspaper.

In this example, the source, name and position of the person making the comment is clearly stated and does not leave the reader wondering about the credibility of the press release.