October 01, 2012
/ by Cision Contributor
Free! It’s a word that can universally grab the attention of an audience, and for good reason.
How many times have you heard someone say “I couldn’t afford that free service” ?
For example, soda companies often offer a free sample when launching or revamping a product line. Of course what really matters is whether or not the free offer actually delivers. If the soda doesn’t deliver to your tasty expectations, the likelihood of you purchasing in the future is little.
In any industry, there are always lower-cost options. It’s ultimately up to the buyer to decide which option is best suited to help them reach objectives.
Our own industry is one of the more unique where not only are there lower cost options, but there are free options as well.
For those just starting a business where money is tight, this might be one of the few options they have to try and spread the word. Fair enough, but as you begin collecting customers – and hopefully marketing dollars – there will come a time when paid distribution might merit a line item on your budget.
Let’s look at the options of free vs. paid distribution, and hopefully the information we provide below helps give you a guide for when to consider the spend of a paid service.
Free Press Release Distribution Services
It’s no surprise that free services may not include all the features and benefits of paid competitors. Before distributing through a free service, here are a few things to consider:
1. Customer Service
Paid services use payments to improve its products/services, customer experience, interface among others. With most paid services, you can reach someone 24/7 to ask questions, help you distribute a release etc. Free services may not have similar staff (or any) to handle inbound calls for those times when you need to speak to someone directly.
2. Ability to Edit
Prior to distributing, check the site for the options to edit your press release post-distribution. It may not sound important, but imagine you find a typo – or worse, a factual error. Being able to edit the press release does have some advantages in at least being able to show involved parties that you have updated the content.
3. Distribution – List / Quality
The size and quality of the network that your release will be distributed to is something to think about. If your goal is media coverage, you want to make sure your release is reaching influential well-known outlets, not scraper sites that republish anything.
The ability to monitor results from your press release in the way of views, mentions and referrals is vital to informing future marketing efforts. Which messages performed better, which day of the week did you see more results? This is the data that marketers use every day to be sure their next campaign will perform better.
When creating a press release, run through the check list above and determine which services meet the essential criteria and will help best position you to reach your goals; whether pickups, media placements or online visibility.
Paid Press Release Distribution Services
The old saying, ‘you get what you pay for’; I’ve found holds true more often than not. After all, it was Bill Gates who said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on Public Relations.”
Here are just a few reasons why spending marketing dollars on paid press release distribution make sense:
1. The 4 Above Are covered
The right partnership can add incredible amounts of value to a paid press release distribution service. In 2010, for example, PRWeb announced a partnership with Zemanta, which is a content discovery tool for bloggers. Press releases that are distributed through PRWeb are shown to bloggers who are looking for specific information or newsworthy items.
3. Innovation of Service
Innovation in service to deliver better results for customers requires research, testing, development and many other steps which at some level all require resources. Services which require payment are investing in the future and earmarking dollars to ensure they can continue to outpace the competition with feature updates for its customer base.
4. Online Visibility
The culmination of distribution quality, partnerships and innovation in service is improved online visibility. Distributing through a paid service offers you a certain level of distribution and ultimately better online visibility for your release. After all, your content can’t deliver results if no one sees it.
Sometimes you may find that ‘anything goes’ with free press release distribution services which can result in press releases that struggle to break out among the amount of content published each day.
When it comes to marketing your business online, it’s critical to make every dollar count. Paid press release distribution services make it easy to stretch your marketing budget and gain invaluable exposure to an expansive list of quality destinations.
Are you ready to experience the benefits of a paid service for yourself? Put PRWeb to the test and create your own account today.
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