Use Press Releases to Get the Word Out About Your Business
Press releases have been used as a traditional marketing and public relations tool for decades. They have proven equally beneficial for online marketing. In fact, press releases can help get your business noticed faster than other methods. They can be used to notify the public of new products and services as well as major changes in business structure. The Web population grows daily and you need a comprehensive online marketing strategy to stay competitive. And your strategy should include press releases.
But it takes considerable time to do all the things involved in marketing. The more you can outsource, the more time you will have to devote to your business mission. In this respect, a press release distribution service can be invaluable. Not even sure press releases will help your business? Press releases offer several benefits which is why they should be incorporated in your search engine marketing plan.
A. Increases Site Visibility
Press releases are marketing tools that allow you to get your message to a large group of customers with a single document. As a result, your site becomes more known to people who read your release. Visibility increases the more often you publish press releases. If you are fortunate enough to have your press release picked up by a major news outlet, you can expect even more visibility.
B. Positions You as Subject Matter Authority
As your visibility increases, customers begin to view you as an authority in your niche. Your credibility can skyrocket with well written and strategically published press releases. Your resource box should not be a footnote on your press release. Write a profile that strengthens your credibility. This is possible even if you are a new business or just now developing a web presence. You can include your website URL here so readers can connect directly to your site.
C. Builds Brand
You are establishing your brand as your online visibility and credibility grow. Branding is essential to keep your business competitive. It is supported by your website design, business logo, and other content including blogs. All of these components combine into a business position and value proposition that customers come to instantly recognize.
A press release distribution service will only benefit you if it is the right type. Myriad free distribution services are available. You will probably be tempted to try one of these services. Unfortunately, this is one of the situations where the adage “you get what you pay for” holds true. Moreover, a poorly implemented distribution plan can harm your business by turning your legitimate press release into spam.
If you are going to use a distribution service, there are several factors to consider when making your selection. The more of these factors you include in your evaluation of distribution services, the better outcome you will get.
1. The Basics
Begin with the standard questions. You want to know where your press release will be submitted. The frequency of submissions is equally important. It is vital to know where your press release will be published because it creates an inbound link to your website. And not all links are good for you. Being published on free sites that allows anyone to publish can damage your reputation. How the submissions are made can determine success. Find out if the service uses manual submissions, automated submission, or a combination of the two. Of course, cost is an issue. The price should be reasonable based on the services provided. You can easily compare prices between various services.
2. Avoid Spammers
Some distribution services are known for their spamming techniques. Rather than go through proper channels, they will mass email your press release to journalists and other media outlets. This can significantly damage your reputation which can be near impossible to fix. Just because you did not send the email doesn’t mean you will not be held accountable. Of course, keep in mind that if your press release is included as an attachment, it is very possible it won’t even see the light of day. So you are just throwing away your money with nothing to show for it but a possible tarnished reputation.
3. Know What to Expect
If any distribution service guarantees that your release will be read by members of various media outlets, a good dose of skepticism is in order. Distribution services have no control over what happens to your release after it is published. All they can do is make sure it gets submitted to the best possible outlets so that the likelihood of it being read increases. Examine all guarantees made by distribution services to make sure you understand what to expect from each service.
4. Niche Targeted Services
Distribution services that can get your press release in front of real prospective customers are invaluable. Not all services target distribution based on business category or niche. This may be necessary in addition to the general submission services that all distributors offer. It can be challenging to find a service that suits your particular need but it is well worth it in the long run to research different services and the options they offer.
5. Optimizing for Search Engines
Your press release should be written, at least in part, for search engine optimization. This means including keywords in the release. Don’t go overboard – you can include keywords in the headline, first paragraph, and a few times in the body of the release. There are distribution services that incorporate anchor texts when publishing press releases. Remember that your press release is a tool to get more people interested in your site.
6. Connection to Social Media
The distribution service you ultimately select should be social media savvy. For example, they should know how to use Twitter as a distribution platform. It is not necessary to go crazy here – services just need to include this option in your press release strategy. Social media offers additional outlets for your press releases but releases need to be configured appropriately for each outlet. This is not a one-size fits all kind of approach.
7. Local Distribution
If you are a local business, there should be publishing activities to local sources. This may require additional research on the part of the distribution service that focuses primarily on global submission sources. It’s a good idea to have a sense of local outlets to know if your service is on the right track. Some services may ask if you have specific outlets in mind. This is not a bad thing since it can help them prioritize submissions.
8. Report Out
It is helpful to get a report detailing where your release has been published. This should include actual sites and social media mentions. One reason you want this information is so you can determine return on investment (ROI). There are plenty of tools at your disposable to help you adequately measure ROI. A good one is Google Analytics which you can use to actually determine how many visitors came to your website as a direct result of each press release. You can see how many people view and share your release. Sharing is great because it says that readers found your press release content important enough to forward to their contact list.
The more established distribution services with excellent reputations have built relationships that can greatly benefit your business. What this means for you is that when they publish press releases, people read them. While getting your release distributed is important, getting it read by potential customers is more meaningful. It is at this point in the process that you can experience increased traffic to your site which can create conversions.
Value-added services offered by press release distribution services should be considered. Press releases typically have one of two focuses: a compelling story or a call to action. Many press release distribution services are most knowledgeable about SEO while others are interested in the content of the releases. Finding one that addresses both should be your goal. A good story engages the reader but it is a call to action that will get them to visit your site.
Reputable distribution services also offer press release writing services. Because their reputation is on the line as well, they will only distribute well-written press releases. They will review your press release and if it is okay, they will use it as is. But if there are problems with it that may prevent it from being accepted by publishers, it is a good idea to purchase their writing services so they can fix it for you.
Take the time to analyze your options. Begin by defining what you hope to get out of your press release campaign. Then use the criteria above to identify and select a quality service to help get your release published. You will get a reputable press release distribution service that provides quality services at affordable rates. Even if you do not have a well-defined online marketing plan at the moment, you can still use press releases to begin to build awareness about your business. And your business will get noticed for all the right reasons!
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