Press Releases: Huge Benefits of Online Distribution
It’s important to note that one of the primary objectives of online media release distribution is not getting into print publications and being mentioned on media websites—although that may happen. Digitally distributed media releases are generally not news. It’s just a fact that no matter how much you spend to distribute a single release—whether it’s $10 or $1,300, it won’t get picked up for print or website publication if it is not news.
The rare release that would be considered newsworthy is a different discussion with a different strategy using different tools. Newsworthy releases are not what we are concerned with here.
General goals for digitally distributed releases include:
· Reaching prospects directly
· Search engine optimization
· Maximizing content distribution online
As opposed to traditional media releases, which are a channel for communicating only with the media; online media releases reach both the media and the public directly. There is currently no more cost-effective tool for quickly building and maintaining the online visibility that is critical for success in today’s market than strategically written, optimized, and regularly distributed media releases.
Well-written, key term optimized releases accomplish everything Google Ads accomplish—enhancing visibility and driving traffic to the website—for a fraction of the cost. They have the additional advantages of longevity and credibility and they accomplish much more.
There are 2 Google-related benefits: Google Search and Google News
These releases will come up in search results—often within minutes of when the release was submitted for distribution. Waiting for Google to index new content on a website would otherwise take days or even weeks. If and only if the release is correctly key term optimized, appearing in search results will increase visibility and credibility and drive traffic to the website.
Google gives anything it interprets as news priority in search results. In order to be picked up by Google News, the release needs to be distributed by a digital news distribution site that Google recognizes. These sites submit releases directly to Google News (it’s part of the service) and Google News continually indexes these news sites. Another big benefit of being picked up by Google News is that this is the #1 place all media outlets go to looking for story ideas and news.
Feeding the Sales Funnel
The goal is to be on the first page of search results for terms that are relevant to your products and services. Research conducted by Google for its ebook Zero Moment of Truth concluded that today the average buyer of high end (not basic consumer) products is already at least 70% of the way toward making a final decision by the time they first contact the seller. They conduct this preliminary research by:
1. Performing an online search for the produce/service
2. Inspecting select websites.
3. Reviewing LinkedIn Company Pages
You can maximize your visibility in all 3 of these areas with media releases—ensuring that you are everywhere your prospects are researching before they decide who to contact directly.
Controlling the Marketing Message
Another benefit of online release distribution is that you control the message. When releases go directly to media outlets, they are rewritten and stripped of anything that looks like advertising or marketing. Digital releases have no such restrictions. Online releases are typically published either exactly as they are submitted or slightly rewritten.
One of the benefits of online release distribution that is often overlooked is a significant increase in inbound links to your website. The number and especially the quality of inbound links are primary parameters that Google is using to determine the importance of your website. At least 40% of all visible inbound links to our clients’ sites are connected to release distribution.
Nurturing Channel Partner Relationships
Most larger companies monitor media mentions daily through programmed alerts. Adding the name of a channel partner strategically to a release will keep your company top of mind. In addition, many channel partners will generously compensate the creation and distribution of a media release.
They are Remarkably Cost Effective
There isn’t any other marketing tool that can accomplish all of this for a fraction of the cost of a typical Google Ad campaign. Fully leveraging media releases allows most companies to eliminate or significantly reduce dependence on Google Ads. Google is not losing out; these releases provide the foundational content Google needs to balance their ads with credible organic search results.
All of this said, not all release distribution sites are equal.
What We Look for in a Distribution Service
We are continually vetting new release distribution services and comparing them with the service(s) we are currently using. Here’s what we look for:
1. Where is the service distributing releases to? Nearly all services distribute to Google News. The better services will distribute through a higher-end syndication service. This is a requirement for us.
2. What is the cost? The cost for distribution per release can vary dramatically—anywhere from free to well over $1,000. But price is not an indicator of value. In fact, the actual results of distribution for non-new releases are nearly the same for distribution that runs under $100 and distribution that is over $1,000. Releases that are actual news may justify paying more for distribution.
3. Which outlet is appearing in search results? Google will only show each release in search results once. We want the outlet that appears in search results to have some credibility.
4. What is the quality of the report? There needs to be a printable report showing which outlet feeds picked up the release. Each feed listed needs to be hyperlinked directly to the release.
5. Can we get metrics? We need metrics: i.e. pickups, impressions, click thrus—not available at the super low end of release distribution.
Then there are some secondary considerations such as how fast the release can be distributed: how many graphics we can include; if there is a word limit; the domain authority of the distribution site; customer service; etc.
And Finally…Consistency is the Key to Success
The key to success with release distribution is maintaining a disciplined schedule of at least 2 releases/month. Sending releases out at irregular intervals and sending out one release or less a month will deliver very few of these benefits.
THE BOTTOM LINE: ASK YOURSELF
IS THERE A BETTER, MORE COST-EFFECTIVE WAY FOR PROSPECTS THAT DON’T KNOW WE EXIST TO FIND US?