A recent discussion among our crew had us tilting our heads and wondering whether or not the good ole press release is actually worth it from an SEO standpoint. Hmmm?
The initial discussion that begged this question was based on the dramatic changes we’re all experiencing in the overall marketing landscape. It’s no mystery at this point that consumers rely on key influencers–that they trust–to encourage and fuel their opinions and behavior using everything from social engagement, to loyalty, and even disloyalty to a brand, product, or service.
The weight of a press release from an SEO standpoint has evolved both on and offline. Whether or not it’s actually beneficial really depends on several key factors. If you’re a well-known B2B (or even B2C) business with a hefty budget and clout among your targeted demographic, then a press release could be beneficial as your news is less likely to get lost in the mad shuffle of it all and hit some major media headlines. However, if you’re a small to medium-size business focused on a local or niche demographic, there are other avenues you can (and should) utilize to get your news circulating within appropriate channels. Most of us have to adhere to a marketing budget, and let’s be honest, press releases are quite pricey and rarely give us much bang for our buck.
Here are 3 creative alternatives to the press release that our team has found to be much more effective for the small to medium-sized business, and much easier on your pocket book!
Blog About Your News
Press releases generally present the facts and only the facts. In other words, they tend to be dry and can often lack key elements that make the story interesting. Bring your news to life in your company blog! Creating an article that’s housed on your website gives you the freedom to use your brand voice and speak freely. This gives your story the personality it deserves to really speak to, and hopefully engage, your targeted audience. Remember to use targeted keywords and appropriate links back to your brand for added SEO value. You’ll also want to optimize the post with the appropriate metadata and add a strong, well-optimized image.
Image Tip: Avoid using stock photography. Instead try taking a unique photo that is specific to your brand and the news you’re writing about. Whether it needs to look uber professional, or more casual, is up to you. Either way, using your own unique photos helps to showcase your story in an authentic and sincere way that will absolutely hold more weight with your audience.
Leverage Social Media for Your News
And here’s where your news can go viral, giving you the reach of a press release but with a very specific, relevant audience. First, you’ll want to build a strategy around the story, event or update you want to share. The first step goes back to our first point of generating a blog. This is the core of the news you’re planning to share as it holds all the finite details of your message, not to mention valuable keywords and links. Once you’ve created your blog, the next step is to blast it out on your social media channels by sharing it. Pre-plan the appropriate content for all channels (with links), and maybe even set a hashtag. If you’re promoting a product, take photo’s and push those on Instagram and Pinterest, also with the content, links, and hashtags.
Tip: Facebook advertising can really up the ante on your news release. Even if it’s only $10, you can set the parameters of who and where you’d like the boost to target. Just remember that your featured image must contain no more than 20% text.
Live Stream Video Your News
So technically this falls into the social media category, but it deserves its own mention as it is a slightly different beast. Planning a live stream video strategy is a great way to share your news. If you’ve already built an engaged audience, then this will be slightly easier for you as the brand already has a presence of active followers. However, even if you do have a solid following, you’ll want to create momentum with a solid strategy to lead up to the story you want to highlight as best you can. Plan your video content by asking yourself/your team the following questions:
- What is our message?
- How can we make it interesting and valuable?
- Who will be speaking? — Choose wisely here!
- How will we build up to our message to gain an active following among our targeted audience?
- Should we do more than one live stream? Maybe a teaser, then a blast of the actual info, then a live Q&A session?
Now some events and stories don’t allow for a lot of planning, we get this, so take from above and do your best. For instance, if you’d really like to try the live streaming video but either don’t have time, or simply don’t have time to build the audience, save it for the next event or story you’d like to share. Just remember to add live streaming video into your ongoing calendar to gain some practice and more importantly, an audience.
Have you nixed the press release from your marketing budget? We’d love to hear the creative ways you’ve forgone press release generation, and even why. Or, if you still find the press release to be beneficial, please enlighten us!
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “4 Content Tips For Your Live Streaming Video Strategy”. Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today!