When Matt Landau needed a way to promote a group of vacation rentals he owned in Panama, he learned about the power of the press release. Once used to attract the attention of media outlets, today’s press release is a tool that, when used properly, can shoot to the top of search engine results. As Landau blogged recently, he was able to turn a $199 package with PRWeb.com into $3,850 in bookings.
“To give you an idea of the exposure you can expect from press releases as marketing investments: My release was featured in the The Miami Herald, CBS MoneyWatch, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Boston Globe (just to name a few of the 123 publications that picked it up),” Landau wrote on his blog.
But Landau stresses that it isn’t an overnight process. Press release marketing relies on search engine results providing clicks. It’s a process that requires time and a great deal of persistence and patience to bring success. Frank Strong of Vocus spoke with SmallBizTechnology’s Ramon Ray about press release marketing and provided the following three tips for success in press releases:
- Be focused. Matt Landau provided compelling content that gave media outlets useful information they could work with. Newspaper and magazine editors are always looking for ways to engage their readers and a press release like Landau’s gives news outlets everything they need. Quotes from reliable sources, statistical details, and more. It’s also helpful for a press release to incorporate the basics of journalism, starting with an attention-getting opening sentence. Start with the “five W’s and one H of journalism”–who, what, when, where, why, and how. The closer you can make your press release to an actual news article, the more your chances of getting that press release picked up by a mainstream publication.
- Be consistent. For the best success, it’s important to regularly deploy PR campaigns for your services or products. By regularly publishing content, you’ll begin to notice information about your small business is dominating search results. As Strong puts it, Matt Landau’s efforts aren’t one-off campaigns. Each campaign is habitual and disciplined.
- Integrate your campaigns. Don’t post a one-size-fits-all release and expect every medium to pick it up as is. Landau re-purposes the same content for a variety of media, giving outlets the ability to use the information in the way that works best for them. Strong observes that Landau’s success, “isn’t a model of luck, but rather the results of preparation meeting opportunity.”
Strong stresses the importance of not relying on one tactic to obtain success in your small business’s marketing efforts. It’s important to mix paid advertising, social media, and e-mail newsletters for optimum success.
“As marketers, an online press release generally builds awareness and is a way to reach prospects that do not know us,” Strong says. “Social media is most closely aligned with engagement and ought to be geared to people that are getting to know us, while an email newsletter generally speaks to people that already know us, are customers and focuses on loyalty and renewal.”
A small business should experiment with this combination to find the best mix for their own personal success.