Get Reads and Leads With Your Online Press Releases
I had the pleasure of recently hosting a Vocus customer webinar on how to get reads and leads with Vocus press releases. Having used the PRWeb online visibility service since 2010, I had a few tricks up my sleeve to show our customers!
Below are the answers to the most pressing questions I didn’t have a chance to answer during the live Q&A.
Q: Can you change the keywords you are using from press release to press release?
A: Yes! Your keywords don’t have to be the same in each press release, although it’s smart to keep a few the same for consistency and brand association. Choose the keywords (I recommend niche keywords with low competition) to target your audience, but remember to write for readers first, search engines second.
Q: How do you get around the problem of duplicate content in a release and blog post?
A: Summarize the press release in an informal tone, and use first and second person language, which you can’t use in a release. Rework the headline to pose a question instead of just stating news. Try bringing in experts or peers to comment on the news, and include their opinion in the blog post. Don’t forget to include rich media such as photos and videos. Here’s an example of how we did it. Here’s our latest press release, and our corresponding blog. You can see that we added additional info and highlighted the most important part of the release.
Q: How do you measure success in a press release?
A: When you access your analytics after you have distributed your press release, the summary shown on the front page is a great glimpse to see your current reach. You can see here full page reads, interactions, referrals by search engine, interactions and headline impressions. The media deliveries tab shows you which media outlets received your news release via email or news feed. PRWeb has over 250,000 subscribers to our news releases and as many as 30,000 bloggers and journalists. The online pickup tab shows you the web sites that have picked up your press releases, and links you straight to them so you can see how they are displayed. The online interactions tab is really helpful because it shows you the number of different activities that people performed when visiting your press release, including printing your release, forwarding it, downloading a PDF version, clicking on a link or interacting with your embedded web site.
I believe interactions may be the most important metric because your goal when distributing a release is to get whoever reads it to take action. If you’ve included a call to action and people are clicking through to your website or landing page, that’s success. If you’re garnering media coverage or pickups, that’s also great success.
Q: How can I make a press release last longer than a day?
A: Craft and recraft headlines and short summaries for your social networks, and post the news there on alternate days or on a schedule that you determine. For example, share the original press release on Monday. On Tuesday, change the headline into a question and share it on Facebook with a photo or video. On Wednesday, blog about the press release informally or guest post on a topic that supports the premise of your news. On Thursday, create a linked in discussion about the topic of your news. On Friday, share it again on Twitter with another recrafted headline. If you have a press release that is two paragraphs long, you should be able to recraft the text within the release for at least five separate posts. Over the weekend, read news stories by journalists or bloggers who are covering news that is relevant to your news. Leave a thoughtful and conversation provoking comment with a link back to your release if appropriate.
Q: Would you suggest in your social channels linking to the full press release posted on PRWeb or the company/brand web site?
A: It depends! What is the goal of your news release? If you have a call to action within the press release that adequately links to your site, then link to the press release. The press release frames your news and gives people the reason to click through. If you have updated your site to mirror the news announced on the press release, and there’s adequate explanation and a call to action there, then absolutely link there.
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