Before the web came along, small businesses often had very little control over the publicity they could generate in the press, even when sending out press releases. They had to submit their news to a traditional press distribution or media wire service, which was often expensive and provided no guarantee that their news would ever be mentioned anywhere in a newspaper, magazine, or other publication. Reporters and editors were completely in charge of which press releases were deemed newsworthy enough to be published, and the rest were basically ignored.
Things improved greatly for small businesses with the development of online press outlets that allowed press release submissions from all types of companies, large and small. One main benefit of these sites was that even if your news wasn’t “picked up” by a major news outlet or site, at least it generated some new, high-quality inbound links back to your business web site, providing you with some additional exposure online and helping improve your search engine rankings.
Now with the explosive growth of social networking sites, small businesses have another great opportunity to gain extra publicity and online exposure by incorporating social media into their corporate press release strategy.
When thinking about a press release strategy for your small business, consider creating a comprehensive plan that includes your web site, online media outlets, and social media sites. For example:
* Be sure to have a “Press Room” or “In the News” section on your business web site. Include the latest press releases for your company, and also provide a link to a press release archive for older news releases.
* If you are a Chamber member, always submit your press release to your local Chamber of Commerce. These organizations love to promote news from their members, and Chamber publications are typically well-read by the membership and others in the community.
* Submit your press releases to any other organizations or professional groups to which you belong, or to other sites in your industry that accept news releases about your type of business.
Online Media Outlets:
* There are hundreds (or probably thousands) of web sites that are news-related or niche sites that publish news from press releases submitted to them. Many are free or very low cost, and will accept press releases from all types of businesses. Just do a Google search to find the online press release sites that fit your budget and your industry.
* Optimize your press release for the keywords that you also target on your web site. Use keywords in the title and subtitles of your release, as well as through out the body of the press release.
* Always provide links from your press release back to your web site. Better yet, provide links to specifically optimized landing pages that target the keywords or the subject of your press release (e.g., a new product announcement).
Social Media Sites:
* Include links from your press release to your social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This helps drive traffic to your social media sites, and may provide the spark needed for your release to go “viral”.
* Use Twitter to announce your press release, and link back to your web site’s Press Room or the landing page for the release.
* Put your optimized press release on your Facebook page, preferably in a custom tab where your optimized release can help boost your site in the search engine rankings (regular “wall” posts don’t help your rankings)
* If your social marketing profiles have been set up correctly, the press release can be published automatically to all your social media and bookmarking sites with one single action on your part (such as a blog post).
Press releases are an excellent way to publicize your company, build inbound links to your web site, improve search engine rankings, and promote news or events going on in your company. Because of the web, small businesses now have more access than ever before to get their news (and links) in front a huge audience without the approval of traditional news reporters and editors.
By adding social media to your press release strategy, you can create a comprehensive plan that not only takes advantage of your web site and online media outlets, but also uses social media sites to distribute your news further on the web, help keep it visible longer, and ultimately extend the reach and effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
By Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay