August 31, 2012
/ by Cision Contributor
Today’s guest post is from John W. Hayes, a Marketing Strategist and Contributing Author at Vocus, where he specializes in Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing for Small and Medium-sized businesses.
If you are looking to extend your marketing reach beyond your email marketing list and network of social media followers, an online news release distributed via a service like PRWeb will help you kick-start a highly visible content marketing strategy and potentially position your message across thousands of online and traditional media outlets. For a small business, with limited resources, this can be instrumental in helping you build a brand and sell to a wider (and potentially global) market.
As well as the obvious publicity this can create for your business, the impact on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy (i.e. improving your ranking on the major search engines and attracting more people to your site) is also likely to be very significant.
But there is more…
A well written news release, when combined with a carefully optimized website, can actually help you increase the size of your email marketing lists and build new social media connections. To do this you’ll need to include compelling subscription forms on your website landing pages detailing the benefits of joining your list. The phrase “join our mailing list” – just won’t cut it anymore, so tell your visitors why they should subscribe, what they will get in return and make a promise not to share their information with anyone.
You’ll also find your news releases can provide an additional content resource for your email marketing newsletters and social media campaigns as well as providing an additional platform to share previously produced video or graphics, extending their reach and offering increased value from your marketing budgets.
However, as with all content marketing strategies, actually creating the content for your online news release is often the really difficult thing. In my book, Becoming THE Expert: Enhancing Your Business Reputation through Thought Leadership Marketing, I share six newsworthy ideas to build your press releases around.
Six Newsworthy Ideas for Your Next Online News Releases:
1. New hires and company expansion: Have you just recruited a new key member of staff to your organization? Where did they work prior to joining your company? What have they achieved in the past? What major projects will they be working on for your company? It isn’t just senior members of your team who can be newsworthy. If you are going through a period of growth and looking to expand your team with a series of hires, this is also extremely newsworthy, especially in an economic environment where many businesses are struggling. As well as showcasing your business as strong and healthy, you will also attract resumes from potential employees, helping you to avoid some of the high costs associated with recruitment.
2. Awards: Have you, a member of your team, a product or service, just won a significant award? This is big news and definitely worth shouting about in a press release. If the award is prestigious enough, being short-listed might be newsworthy enough to warrant a release. If your peers think enough of you to put you up on a pedestal, don’t be shy. Acknowledge your pride in being selected and thank your customers and employees for their support.
3. Product launches: Do you have a new product that solves a significant problem for your clients? Then you’ve got a news story. Try and back up the announcement with a good customer quote (perhaps referencing the results from a beta test) to add credibility to your release.
4. Significant milestones: Anniversaries, customer wins, acquisitions, rounds of funding, revenue growth, reaching profitability, etc., all make great news stories.
5. Charitable contributions/environmental awareness: Show the world you care about a little more than just the world of business and profits. Be careful here; your support of a charitable cause or environmental campaign must come from the right place. Any cynical exploitation of a good cause will not do your business any favors. Focus on the individual achievements of your staff or people you support, showcase the issues at hand and demonstrate your primary concern is improving the lives of the people and the environments in the areas where you, your customers, your suppliers and your employees live and work.
6. Survey results: A survey can provide an excellent base to build a press release around. Delivering insight collected from customers or another targeted group suggests you have a deep knowledge of a particular industry. Online services such as SurveyMonkey provide easy-to-use tools for surveying groups of people and quickly collating the results. It is even possible to set up simple polls on social media sites, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, which will widen the coverage of the survey beyond your own database.
Got a great idea for a press release? Share your suggestion in the comments box below.
John W. Hayes is a Marketing Strategist and Contributing Author at Vocus, where he specializes in Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing for Small and Medium-sized businesses using iContact. He is also the author of Becoming THE Expert: Enhancing Your Business Reputation through Thought Leadership Marketing which is now available from Amazon and the Apple iBookStore.
(Photo Credit – Flickr Creative Commons: miamism)
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