In terms of content marketing impact, most brands don’t even consider press releases to be worthy of a single blip on the radar. However, failing to get your best article writers in on the act and optimizing this kind of content is an easy way to ship an advantage over to the competition.
Don’t believe it? Let’s spend a few minutes talking about just how necessary these formal offerings are to your digital presence, as well as how best to compose and promote this content, and you’ll be singing a different tune regarding press releases in no time.
The Skinny on Why Press Releases Matter
Before digging in any deeper on the “how” side of things, it’s probably a good idea to cover why press releases matter in the first place. According to the experts behind PR Web, the importance of reinvigorating your current take on these offerings or having your best article writers handle and incorporate press releases into your content marketing strategy boils down to three cold, hard facts:
- 80 million people get their news online every day.
- 100 million people use search engines every day.
- 64 percent of journalists use Google or Yahoo to follow the news.
The moral of the story here is simple; if you have something big to say, press releases still stand as one of the prime conduits for getting this statement out to the masses. This sentiment holds especially true if you aim to interact with more formal customers and larger organizations as your primary audience.
Searching out the Signs of a Substandard Offering
Of course, simply tossing something together and calling it good isn’t enough to satisfy the need for strong press release content. As Maggie Holley of PR Daily points out, it’s all too easy to fall apart on this front if you’re not careful. For starters, failing to have the best article writers or a professional editor on your side can easily lead to an unprofessional document that is rife with incorrect facts and grammatical errors.
Additionally, it’s hard for those without experience in this area of the content marketing world not to come off as “salesy” or lacking focus as you try to find that perfect blend of newsworthy content and appeal. Simply put, writing a great press release requires an expert understanding of how best to mix what readers expect out of this content with the story you want to tell this audience.
Is Your Content Press Release Worthy?
First, be sure you have a good reason for sending a press release. – Entrepreneur magazine staff
These words, from the staff of Entrepreneur magazine, embody the first step that goes into writing a successful release now that you understand why these offerings matter and how this content can fall flat on its face. Good reasons come in many shapes or forms and often rely heavily on what’s relevant to your industry.
The grand opening of a new facility or branch within your organization, a new product line, or even a notice of record setting sales from the past year are some strong examples of this notion. The big key here is that you actually do have something worth talking about. Otherwise, this lack of meaningful content – even in the hands of the best article writers – makes it virtually impossible for you press release to ever win over a digital crowd.
Hit a Homerun with Your Headline
From here, the HubSpot Blog’s Hannah Fleishman points out that an eye-catching headline can do wonders for your fortunes with readers – and search engines. Fleishman’s anatomy of a powerful press release headline looks a little something like this:
- Strong use of action verbs.
- Clear, understandable language.
- Short, sweet, and to the point.
As you’ll soon see, being brief and focused is a recurring theme with the modern take on press releases. However, this mindset all starts with the headline, so it’s imperative that you maximize this portion of the process and capture the attention of the person on the other side of the screen.
Avoid Content Regurgitation
In terms of the “meat and potatoes” of your press release, Graham Charlton of Econsultancy explains that the temptation to either regurgitate old content or stuff your offering with filler is something that you must avoid at all costs. Great press release content says what it needs to say in an expedient and concise manner, so don’t be afraid to jump straight to the point.
Yes, you’ll still want to provide your readers with an enjoyable and structured experience, just like what’s found in the blog content offered by the best article writers, but that doesn’t mean you need to artificially inflate the word count on this piece. Short and straightforward is a good thing on the press release front.
Quotes Go a Long Way
Quotes should be used to provide insight and opinion and sound like a real person said them. They definitely shouldn’t be full of jargon or technical language. – Janet Murray, The Guardian
As the above excerpt from The Guardian’s Janet Murray highlights, one of the most powerful tools found within press releases comes in the form of insider insight and quotes. Having an employee or respected voice in your industry sound off on the main focus of this content not only adds an increased level of engagement to the whole experience, it also provides a certain amount of authority to the experience that leaves readers more convinced about the message held within. Quotes – when used properly and devoid of unnecessary jargon or technical language – can definitely supercharge an otherwise mediocre press release.
Skip the Gimmick and Stick to These Fundamentals
By this point, it’s no big secret that a winning press release is all about being straightforward with your audience. Do some gimmicks work for brands in the digital world? Perhaps. However, if you want to consistently build a strong relationship with your audience via this medium, then it’s clear to see that sticking to a solid and concise approach is the way to go.
If you can back up a brief and newsworthy message with a powerful headline, strong quotes, and a willingness to avoid filler, then there’s no reason why your next press release can’t stand above those offered by the competition as a winning offering. Regardless of which industry you call home, it’s hard to pass up on this kind of outlook.