The same-old ways that marketers have used and publicized press releases aren’t sufficient anymore, David McInnis — founder of PRWeb (since sold to Vocus) and the news-marketing platform Cranberry — argued in an HRmarketer-sponsored webinar Wednesday.
Some background from McInnis:
- It’s important for companies to create at least one press release per month, given that news is always original content. Search engines love original content, as do consumers. Plus, news is more authoritative than other types of content, builds trusts and confidence and gets more shares than other content.
- There is, however, a major problem. Press release visibility has declined in 2011-13. One reason is Google’s Penguin and Panda updates. Another factor is online press release distribution services have created restrictions on editorial such as requiring companies to include their names in press release headlines, and removing the opportunity for additional keywords, which hurts SEO.
McInnis’ suggestions for marketers to improve their news release online visibility:
1. Learn the art of drafting. Drafting, also referred to as newsjacking or topicjacking, is associating your content with popular news or topics. By using drafting, it’s possible to increase page views several hundred percent.
2. Learn the language of “we.” After years of a “me” cycle, where individual confidence and a desire to be No. 1 were rewarded, our society is now in the upswing of a “we” cycle, where people’s priorities are on things such as being a team player, showing personal responsibility. As a result, if your press releases have “me-type” language, you should consider adjusting how you are doing them. To learn about writing a way that connects with the “we” society, visit, www.pendulumgift.com.
3. Don’t be greedy. Write for “we.” Point the spotlight at a customer, partner or vendor (one advantage: they will share your news with their networks). Also acknowledge shortcomings, both your industry’s and your own; this adds humility, transparency and authenticity. And if you have the guts, consider giving a shout out to your competition. You should also avoid being greedy with your link strategy. Only about one-third of your links should point to your online assets, with another one-third to another authoritative article/site and the remainder to other sources.
4. Write for people. Marketers have gotten accustomed to writing for search engines and for links. Develop accurate personas (e.g., competitive, spontaneous, methodical, humanistic), and find someone in your organization that can write for those personas.
5. Sending a wire release isn’t enough. You need to follow through with content marketing strategies if you want people to actually read your news. Among these is putting a different version of your press release on your site than is on the online distribution service. Consider changing the headline to add keywords. This new version will be viewed as original content, separate from the version on the online distribution service.
Ultimately, McInnis said, if you want to increase your visibility and SEO, put out a press release that starts a conversation, that gets people talking about and linking to your news on social media. And how do you build conversations? By writing for people in a way that connects with them.
To listen to a recording of the webinar, visit http://www.hrmarketer.com/content/?cat=8.
Post written by HRmarketer / SocialEars HR team member Eric Anderson.
Labels: David McInnis, drafting, online visibility, press release visibility