You can put out press releases and just sit there and hope your stories get picked up and/or read by customers, but it helps if you optimize them for those who are most likely to be interested.
Nida Haque, Marketing Manager of PRWeb spoke with WebProNews recently about press release optimization. "Do your keyword research," she says. "Don't use words that are just on your website. Do the searching before it and see what people are searching for."
"Be a little creative," she adds. "See what's happening in the season." She cites Black Friday as an example. A lot of people are searching for Black Friday deals ahead of Thanksgiving, which presents opportunities to take advantage of that from within press releases, because press releases can be pretty powerful for search.
Lisa Buyer, CEO of The Buyer Group told us, "It used to be with public relations that we were reaching out to the journalists with a press release and trying to get the journalist to do the story, and now with the optimization and the online opportunities with press releases we can actually reach our targets direct by optimizing our press releases and releasing them on the search engines, and then using social media to even get more exposure."
She also shared some thoughts on the added value press releases can get from Twitter. "You can use Twitter...as part of your PR program, as part of your news feed, so Twitter is like basically...we all know it's 140 characters so it's like putting out little nuggets of news via Twitter, so if you take your press release and kind of chop it up into four or five different sound bytes, and then put those out...over the Twitter news feed each day..."
Of course press releases aren't just about search and social media traffic. You want press. You want journalists and bloggers to pick up stories and really get them spread around. Well there are ways to get them to pay attention more. First, obviously, you need an interesting product or announcement, but it also helps if you give the blogger/journlist something else to latch onto. A lot of details help, but so do visuals.
"48% are more attracted to video news releases or image news releases than just your standard kind of text-only news releases, so that will definitely help a lot," says Haque, who notes that using multimedia in press releases also increases the time spent on page by an average of 30 seconds when it comes to customers viewing the release themselves.
Lee Odden of TopRank marketing had some good advice on getting releases in front of journalists in another interview with WebProNews earlier this year. He says to look at what it is you can do as a marketer to make it easier for the journalist to do their job. Optimize your content for what a journalist is looking for.