By John Brackett, founder of Smash Balloon, the world’s leading social media feed plug-ins for WordPress.
Are you looking for a way to reach your target audience, build credibility and generate more sales for your business? If so, you could benefit from writing and distributing a press release.
Essentially, a press release is an official statement put out by a business to the media that highlights noteworthy announcements. The goal is to write a compelling piece that gets people to visit your site and talk about your brand.
Despite how it sounds, your release should not sound like a marketing spiel. Instead, it should mention factual information about your product or business. You’ll want to get the word out about new products, live events and significant changes within your company — such as getting a new CEO.
There are plenty of factors you have to keep in mind when you’re writing and distributing this type of content. Today, we will cover several tips you can use to get more value from your next press release.
Understand Your Audience
You’re going to have a hard time putting out a press release if you don’t know your target audience. The goal is to let people know about meaningful changes coming to your business. Imagine trying to connect with a group of consumers, but you don’t fully understand their needs, pain points and goals.
Sounds tough, right?
I recommend researching your audience so you can let them know how your latest update will affect them. For instance, if you’re putting out a massive update for your marketing software as a service (SaaS), you should tell readers how this update will help them generate new leads and sales.
You can learn a lot about your audience by reviewing the Google Analytics data from your website. Take a look at the different demographics, behaviors and interests of visitors.
Social media can also help you research your target market. There are countless groups where people discuss industry-specific goals and problems. Seek out these communities to get some valuable consumer insights. Use this data to frame your press release in a helpful and relevant way for your audience.
Use Google News And LinkedIn To Find Journalists
Next, let’s talk about getting your press release out to the public. There are quite a few ways to get your message out through paid channels, such as Newswire and PR Newswire. But we want to focus on ways you can track down publications willing to share your press release.
Google News is an excellent starting point. You can type in keywords used on your site and see relevant articles in the results. You’ll want to make a spreadsheet that can give you an overview of your options. I suggest tracking the following:
• Publication name.
• Journalist name.
• Relevant articles.
• Contact information.
You can find the email address for a publication like this by checking their about page in most cases. However, you can reach out to the journalist personally and improve your odds of getting published.
LinkedIn is full of journalists who may be interested in your story. Reference your spreadsheet and look up the names you uncovered during your Google News research.
Personalize Each Pitch
Now that you know your target audience and have an idea of where you want to get your post published, it’s time to write your pitch.
The most important thing to remember here is personalization goes a long way. Journalists get hundreds of emails each week. You need to show them why your story is different. Because you did your research, you’ll have a much easier time personalizing your pitches.
Remember when I said to keep track of relevant articles on each publication? You can use this information to show journalists that you’ve read their work in the past and know who they want to reach. If their audience aligns with your own, there’s a good chance they will take you up on your offer.
Keep your message short and sweet, but get your point across. Writing a couple of sentences that highlight why you picked them to publish your story will help you win favor with journalists who get bombarded with copy-and-paste emails.
Speaking of copy-and-paste emails, I have a golden rule when it comes to pitching. You should never spam a million journalists at once, nor should you spam one journalist a million times.
Narrow down your list of publications to the groups most likely to publish your post, and follow up two to three times over two weeks. This strategy will help you stay organized, which is crucial for getting your press releases published on time for your next update.
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