Guest Post: The Essential Guide To Effective Online Press Release Marketing

About the guest blogger: This post is by Lauren Horn, Digital PR Specialist at ProspectMX.

With a majority of research being performed online, several high ranking search engines play a primary role in delivering news in a timely and efficient manner. Since the internet is such a valuable resource, not only are customers searching online, but journalists and new the media (bloggers and just about everyone that touches a keyboard) are as well.

Gone are the days of hardcopy press kits and bulk mailings. In 2011, we will start to see the greater effect of internet marketing and the role of social media. For instance, it was debated from the 2010 VMA’s this September that a tweet may replace a news release, or at least for celebrity entertainment news. However, the press release will continue to live on as it still serves as the primary source for media news, Facebook Notes, Twitter, and blog feeds.

The format of an online news release is written in the same general format as a traditional press release, but usually contains anchor text, or clickable words (keywords), to the site that is being promoted. The overall format of an online press release is typically a one-page document consisting of about 400-600 words.

To get the most of out of press release marketing, the combination of optimizing content, utilization of distribution services, creating an eBlast campaign, and engaging in social media outlets are critical elements for the success.

Optimization of content

The root of many failures beginning with online press release marketing is that many press releases lack content that emphasizes relevant and relatable keywords. Optimization of content is vital, helping to provide greater web visibility, increase in traffic and higher rankings. Much like SEO and PPC campaigns for website enhancements, there is a process for determining which keywords are of value. Once you know which keyword silos you want to put in place, the solution is to optimize the press content. To do so, imbed no more than one or two keywords within the introductory paragraph of the release for greater visibility.

Distribution through online outlets

Once the content of the news release is optimized and keyword silos are placed strategically, pinpointing useful distribution outlets and properly submitting the press release to online newswire services is a must. When done correctly, the links contained in the press release will serve as anchor text links helping to dramatically increase online market visibility, press coverage, generation of leads, and serve as driver for sales revenues.  When a major site picks up a release, it’s granted immediate creditability with worldwide recognition. Also, if the release is redistributed, often by other news sources on different sites, the value of the press content is even greater.

Editors, bloggers and other media enthusiasts with an interest in news get email alerts when press releases are submitted in categories they subscribe to. In doing so, allows the media sources to review the content online and determine which ones are relevant to their interest. The best, most pertinent topics covered are then published on their sites, displaying the full release, news story or a blog post. This means more effective SEO link building as well as even greater publicity.

For further reference, a few newswire distribution services include the following:

eBlast Campaign

Every marketing and public relations department has their own target media list. So, to guarantee the targets of interest actually receive the news release, eBlast campaigns are established. All that’s needed here is an email list, creative or catchy subject line (usually no more than 5-8 words) and insertion of the press release within the body of the email.

Social Media Involvement

It’s all about engagement and offering fans and followers with news and information in real-time. So why not send a tweet directing to the press release or insert the press release content within the “Notes” portion on a Facebook Fan Page? Keep customers and targets involved and in the loop. Also, don’t be afraid to create a blog post based on the message and content provided within the body of the release.

Syndication of content will assure you results. With use of optimization, compelling content and relevant messaging and branding, a press release marketed online will build traffic, web presence, rankings, and leads.

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