As the plethora of online platforms continue to change the way people communicate with each other, it has also breathed new life into an old marketing staple—the press release. It has evolved from merely being a document distributed to the publishing industry, to a piece of content optimized for different communication channels.
This article discusses the value of press releases in the digital age, the advantages of including it in your digital marketing plans, and provides tips on how to make your releases stand out from the crowd.
Press Releases in the Digital Age
While formats and distribution channels may have evolved, the essence of the press release really hasn’t changed much. It’s still a valuable tool to make your audience aware of a new product/service, news/event, and how you would pitch it. It also still includes the following:
- Vital information
- Contact info
When done right, a press release is still one of the easiest ways to disseminate information, particularly because everyone – journalists, bloggers, and content curators – are always on the lookout for fresh information to share. So if you know how to write a press release for 2019, there are times when it can actually do the work for you.
Benefits of Press Releases
Brands no longer have to rely on journalists to spread the information for them, which means marketers can choose where they’ll share their releases and how. Be it through social media or email marketing, the various communication channels available puts you in control of how you share the information in your press release.
Increased interest with multimedia
Because you can now include images, videos, and other media to your releases, it opens up avenues for creativity, making it easier to catch people’s attention. These multimedia not only help you expound on your messaging, it also brings with it viral possibilities because of its shareability. In fact, HubSpot points out that photos increase engagement by 18%, while videos fair even much better, increasing engagement by 55%.
If you have an ecommerce store, you can even conduct DIY product shoots, which you can repurpose for your releases.
When your press release is picked up by media outlets, you not only gain increased awareness, you also reap SEO value in the form of credible backlinks. These high-quality links help improve your website’s rankings, making not just your release, but your brand more visible.
How to Effectively Leverage Press Releases
#1. Write them often
This is particularly important if you don’t have a dedicated PR team handling the production of your releases. You may know the ins and outs of what you’re looking to promote, but there’s still an art to conveying that message effectively – and practice helps you get better at it.
#2. Include quotes and testimonials
Quotes and testimonials help make your releases more credible. As you can see below in the news release published by Nike, adding a quote from the company’s COO provided a background on the incoming Chief Information Officer, and makes the release more trustworthy.
Additionally, it can also help break up the text, livening it up in the process.
#3. Go social
The main purpose of a press release is to spread information, making your social networks perfect for your releases. According to Facebook statistics, there are 1.56 billion daily active users on Facebook alone, giving you good reason to make your releases social. It doesn’t have to be your full release either. It can just be a photo or video to catch people’s attention, accompanied by a link to the full release. You can even tailor your approach depending on the social channel you’re posting on, optimizing it for users’ preferences.
#4. Include interviews
Similar to quotes and testimonials, including parts of interviews in your releases also helps build trust. It lets you add valuable credibility to the information you’re trying to spread, and showcases your brand’s relationship with the interviewee.
Additionally, interviews can be used as the backbone for future content. For example, you can expound on an interview excerpt you used in the release for a podcast or blog post, while also linking back to each relevant content.
#5. Don’t forget the numbers
Speaking of credibility, statistical data help support your message by making it even more convincing. Of course, because anyone can come up with numbers that support their cause, it’s best that you link to your data sources.
Press Releases from Successful Brands
Apple’s product release
The release gets right into the meat of it – going in depth on the new iMac’s product specs, and highlighting that it’s the “fastest, most powerful Mac ever made.” It also provides a quote from Apple’s Vice President of Hardware Engineering, providing credibility to their claims.
CNN’s event announcement
This press release promoting a two-part investigative series gets a lot of things right about releases. The title quickly lets people know what it’s about, while the subtitle lets them know exactly when the event will take place. The first paragraph lets people know what to expect, while the next one gives a background to add context to the show.
It’s informative and concise – exactly what a press release should be.
Amazon’s targeted offer
Amazon’s release announces that they made their fastest delivery service available to select small businesses. The release not only quickly tells what the announcement is about, it also says who it’s for. It also includes a quote that’s both eye catching, and shareable.
Essentially, only the modes of distribution have changed when it comes to press releases. It still serves as a great way to spread brand news and information, enhanced by the reach of various available communication channels. This means that press releases should continue to be a staple of your marketing strategies, and part of the tactics budding entrepreneurs must employ.
How do you think press releases can help your brand? Let us know in the comments below.