This post originally appeared on Newswire.ca
Here are 7 common news release myths—and the truth behind them:
Despite the rise of content marketing, only 42% of marketers say their content marketing is effective. Why is this? Often a brand’s resources are so focused on content creation that the distribution strategy gets overlooked. Social media can be highly effective at engaging your current audience, however using a news release as part of your content marketing strategy can actually drive discovery of your brand beyond a core user group to broaden your key audiences.
News releases that promote content can generate media coverage if targeted effectively, boost landing page traffic, deliver app downloads and drive qualified leads for sales teams.
The modern news release does not look anything like the plain-text releases of old. They contain bullets and subheads, bolds and italics, “click to tweet” features and links to grab attention and present your message effectively. As with all online content, including a multimedia or visual element with your news release is a must. A release that contains one multimedia asset can increase views by 170% compared to a release that is text-only. Add in two multimedia assets and that number can jump as high as 288 per cent.
While the traditional role of a news release was to garner earned media, the definition of earned media has evolved. Now it can include a re-tweet from an influential journalist with a large following, or pick up in an industry blog or online publication.
Writing your release with your target audience and their consumption habits in mind will encourage social sharing. Ensure that your headline is tweetable by keeping it below 100 characters. If the piece is easy to share, it will be forwarded, re-tweeted, and reposted on social networking platforms. To make your release social ready and encourage social sharing, follow these steps.
News releases aren’t just for journalists anymore. They return often in search results when individual –s possibly your customers – are researching products, companies or keywords online. So don’t reserve them for absolute essentials. Maintain a steady cadence of content for your online audience to discover.
Expanding your definition of newsworthiness will allow you to see the many ways that a release can be used to promote:
- Webinar or white paper promotion
- Data gleaned from a survey or research project
- Snippets of information such as data points or quick tips to encourage social media sharing
- Internal experts as industry thought leaders and sources of credible insights for journalists and other media
While today’s shrinking media landscape may mean that earned media is harder to get, don’t discount the immense value that earned media can bring to your brand. A 2014 Nielsen study found that earned media is 80% more effective than owned media. In fact, 92% of consumers trust earned media, while only 50% trust paid media. It has the ability to strongly impact the bottom of your sales funnel and can ultimately help sway an undecided consumer.
If earned media is one of your goals, you want to make it easy for reporters to report. For journalists, Cision Canada’s newswire feed is a trusted source of information. They know we’re taking significant steps to ensure the content belongs to a credible source and that it’s safe for them to report on. Many use Cision Canada’s newswire feed to validate news releases they receive by email or other sources.
When your release crosses the wire, your distribution strategy is complete, right? Wrong! Here are four simple things that you can do to improve the reach and performance of your release, after it crosses the wire.
- Engage Twitter and other social media
- Schedule a follow-up or a repeat
- Check your syndication
- Track it and analyze its results