Are press releases still useful and relevant in 2019? Definitely!
A few years back, many internet marketers used press releases as link bait and for SEO purposes. Like with many other marketing fads, press releases got watered down, and many believed they lost their appeal. As more people began using them for any and everything just to gain some SEO benefit, they became devalued a bit in that sense.
That said, the big fad of using press releases in useless, bogus ways has been on the outs, and the cream is rising to the top again, making press release somewhat useful.
How do you take advantage of press releases as part of your content marketing strategy? There are times when it’s helpful to write a press release, and then there are times when it should be considered essential.
Is it newsworthy?
By definition, a press release is information you release to the press for potential distribution. They work in multiple ways, offering the opportunity to share news, providing news outlets with permission to share that news as well. Those sharing it want content of interest to their readers, so the better you present that information, the more likely it’ll be picked up and distributed.
You want your news to be distributed for the following reasons:
Free publicity can’t be beat. You’ll get mentioned and linked to by sites that are relevant to your niche, boosting your credibility, profile, and online reputation.
Highly rated and trusted authority websites help establish your website’s reputation. That reputation and trust is one of the many things search engines measure when assessing your site. Which pages link to you, and how do they relate to your niche?
Every link pointing to your website has the potential to impact your online presence. Linking equals attention from search engine spiders as well as humans. Most press releases will give you a nofollow link, but those are still hopeful. Don’t just write that press release for search engines, because people should see your release, click your link, and be taken to your website where you could turn a visitor into a lead and a potential customer.
Ongoing content will help you build relationships while you generate additional pages for your search engine optimization strategy. Content, such as press releases, helps you find new leads and continually cultivate relationships with existing customers.
How do you know when you should definitely use a press release?
Here are some times when it’s going to pack a big, positive punch:
Moving locations is newsworthy and not only does it give you a great opportunity to tell people, but it also gives you a chance to plug your business and your new address to people in your area. It can get picked up by local news outlets and websites that target your new geographical area.
You’ve launched (or re-launched) your website
Whether you’ve created your first website, an additional website or other online property (such as a YouTube channel, an e-commerce site, a smartphone app, etc.), a press release can help you spread the word and toot your own horn about features and benefits of this new online property.
Tip: How long since you’ve made major changes to your website? Is a re-launch in order? Website development could boost your SEO, your conversion rates, and help you get some press!
Releasing something new? Having a massive sale? This is a great excuse to circulate a press release.
Tip: Release press releases slightly early with an embargo date so that there is ample time to generate interest prior to your launch. Media outlets will schedule in your press release based on that date.
A big, important piece of content
Have you taken the time and effort to create an infographic or free e-book that provides value to your target audience? A press release can help you get more eyes on it.
Promotions or new hires could be another great piece of information to share, giving you an opportunity to share your team’s expertise and/or accomplishments in your industry, which will help you illustrate your company’s competence to your customers and those considering doing business with you.
Have you or has someone in your company won an industry award or piece of recognition? This is a perfect opportunity for a press release and a great opportunity to illustrate your expertise and industry recognition, as well as benefit from recognition as an authority/expert/superstar in your niche.
Press releases do offer SEO value
Not only can press releases help you with SEO value, but when someone runs your company name through a Google search, relevant recent links from your site as well as authority websites and news outlets will come up in their results pages. You want what they find to be well-written content that helps illustrate your expertise and professionalism.
- Don’t forget to include a boilerplate at the end of your press release to leave journalists with an understanding of what your company does and why it matters.
- Not every single press release gets picked up and distributed widely. But, a well-written one has MUCH more reach potential. And you can use it in your social media campaigns as well as make it available for distribution.
- Not sure how to write an effective press release? Here’s a free press release template. Or: hire a professional press release writer.
- Assess results after each press release you write. This can help you strategize for future content marketing.
Need help with your web marketing strategy, including when to issue press releases? Let’s chat!