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Press Releases Should Still Play a Vital Part of your Digital Marketing Strategy

By: David Tile| Founer @ Article-Writing.co
Posted On: July 15, 2014
There’s a new dirty word for those who write and those who buy press releases: Panda 4.0. Google’s new algorithm helps prevent sites with bad content from ranking high in search results.
That sounds great, right? After all, sites that belch out any ol’ garbage with a few keywords stuffed here and there should be penalized

But, as some industry experts say, it seems like big bad Google is huffing and puffing until the PR sites’ houses blow down. Since Panda 4.0 came out, sites like PRWeb.com, PR Newswire, BusinessWire and PRLog lost significant rankings in Google, says Barry Swartz of Search Engline Land. In some cases, traffic fell as much as 71 percent. That, in turn, makes it tough on distribution partners of some of these PR sites, like Bloomberg, because they get paid to host the press releases.

 

It all sounds a bit scary for business press release writing services. It shouldn’t be. As the moral of the fable goes, if you cut corners when building your house, then don’t be surprised when you house is blown to bits – and cranking out keyword-stuffed drivel is like building a house with straw and wood.
PR Lumped in with SEO

As Tom Foremski of ZDNet says, “Anything that is done to try to game the Google algorithm is considered against its rules of service and can result in a ban from the search index.

“This means that traditional PR and marketing practices fall into the SEO category, in Google’s view of the world.”

In other words, if you cram your press releases with too many links and nonsensical keywords, then you may get spanked by Google.

Foremski says these PR sites had become a way for companies to increase their visibility because they’re sent to high-ranking web sites, thus creating many backlinks. Remember, Google loves links from these top sites because they’re considered more trustworthy.

But PR firms and the like, Foremski says, are lumped in with SEO firms, “because they all work to boost visibility for their clients through paid activities rather than through merit.”

Go the Extra Mile

So what’s a guy gotta’ do if he’s seeking out business press release writing services – ditch the PR machine altogether?

Not so fast.

Press releases are still a vitally important tool for reaching the masses and should remain an important part of your digital marketing strategy. You just can’t cut corners.

“In a post-Panda 4.0 world, press releases will have to be treated like articles or guest posts,” Resolution Media says. “They will also need to be optimized for traffic, information clarity and content quality, rather than for link acquisition.”

Use no-follow links. Add charts and graphics. Use plain-English instead of industry jargon. You know, provide actual, useful information.

“Google wants to send users to web pages that are uniquely useful, not just unique and not just useful,” says Russ Jones of Moz. “Unfortunately, press release sites uniformly fail on this front. On average, only 50 percent of (Google) reviewers found that BusinessWire.com content contained insightful analysis.”

That compares to sites like Wikipedia (84 percent), EDU (79 percent) and government websites (94 percent), which reviewers found far more useful.

When in doubt, go the extra mile. And check out the examples of questions Google reviewers were asked. Because when Google comes to your house, you better hope your PR house is made with bricks.

The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business. 

Seems easy, right? 

Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay! 

Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action. 

As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals. 

Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content. 

Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:

  • Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet. 
  • Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform. 
  • Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
  • Find where your current and potential audience is active online.  Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
  • Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve. 
  • Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience. 

 

Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience

In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.

Dr. Desai’s COVID PreCheck App Content Marketing

For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread. 

Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes

By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope. 

Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package? 

At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package

Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.