Did you know? In one second on the internet there are 12,964 Instagram photos uploaded, 50,000 Tumblr posts, 400,000 Tweets. Among all this user-content that’s created every second, you have a LOT of competition for your buyer’s attention.
Sarah Skerik, Vice President of Content Marketing at PR Newswire, shared lots of tips in her breakout session presentation at Content Marketing World around creating press releases or creative content and how you can get them promoted so your target audience will see it.
“If you publish it, will they
convert even see the dang thing?”
Build Discovery into Content Strategy:
- The most emailed & most shared stories get the most action – make a point to mine content that gets high engagement elsewhere.
- Demonstrate a timely response – FM Global Insurance company responded in an almost real-time way to a Hurricane Task Force Report released by the government and issued a press release linking back to their relevant disaster insurance web content. Tie your thought leadership to relevant events as quickly as possible – because people are already talking about them.
- Capitalize on trends & issues – positively. Jim Beam Honey Liquor creates the humorous “issue” of how bees were in danger due to bears – writing some viral, humorous content for the perfect channel – BuzzFeed.
- Use Editorial Calendars to inform strategy & timing – Most magazines list their upcoming editorial calendars on their website – spending some time creating content around the topics they already have planned will give you a leg up on what people in that industry will be talking about at that time.
- Leverage sponsored/owned content – leverage pieces/studies that other companies generated to use as your own news – highlighting the statistical piece that is most relevant to you.
- Utilize seasonal and recurring events – The Super Bowl and holidays are great times – to drive your content. There’s attention and conversation around the seasonal topic, so tell stories that will be found due to their timeliness.
- Distribute the content – Consider a multimedia news release – turn a press release into a video, Slideshare, ebook, etc. to reach multiple audiences
Distribution Deep Dive
“It’s not a press release, it’s a vehicle for all sorts of news and info.”
- Find, connect with and quote the people who care – Send your important and relevant information to someone who’s important in your industry, in the hopes that they’ll share it socially with their networks. It’s worth a shot!
- Use free press release distribution sites – judiciously – PRLog and PitchEngine are two great free options. Focus on different message elements than you would for traditional paid PR, and be sure to use trackable links.
- Balance your time & efforts against your results – Measure what worked against what didn’t work – and use that to guide you for the next time.
“It takes almost 4 months for the average release to accumulate most of its views.” (Give it time to do its job.)
Fast Formatting Tips & Tactics Proven to Improve Results
- Headline length really matters. Yours should be somewhere between 80-130 characters. Search Engines will pull 65 characters, the Associated Press will show 80, and your Twitter headline will show ~100 characters. Use a subhead to keep peers happy if you can’t get your message across within the character allotments.
- Employ multimedia elements to your content – Visuals have their own distribution networks and draw eyeballs.
- Dump the speed-bump. Give the reader a reason to keep reading past the initial sentence. (Don’t bog down the reader with a huge description of your business. “XYZ company, a blah blah leader in blah blah technology based in blah blah…”)
- Embed a Call-To-Action – near the TOP rather than the bottom and link it strategically. Think about servicing the reader, and not solely about the SEO. Be sure to link to any profiles of those quoted in the message.
- Use keywords – being specific about your keywords makes the search interest more qualified in viewing your content.
If you utilize all these tips, it does sound like it requires a lot of steps and work to make one piece of content happen – but keep in mind the fact that you’re able to re-purpose it and distribute to multiple channels, making it more valuable than it being just one piece.
So remember, just because you publish it, doesn’t mean they’ll see it – take every step possible to ensure that doesn’t happen.