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17 How to Use Press Releases to Create a Steady Social SEO PR Downpour

There was a day when the press release did a lot of the work in generating actual media coverage for a firm announcing a new product, acquisition, award or some other newsworthy milestone.

Yan Arief via Flickr CC

Today a great deal of this kind of news is either delivered directly to audiences through social channels or carried by a PR professional as part of a broader pitch for coverage or advocacy.

The humble press release, however, is not a relic of the past. The press release still performs a very valuable function in the online world that requires the constant care, feeding and gathering of keyword rich content, social signals and links.

Publishing a consistent stream of press releases as a tool to announce and distribute news is a proven lead generation tactic right now.

Below are the five elements required to view and implement this tactic as a systematic process in your overall lead generation plan.

Publish

Commit to publishing at least once a week. You don’t need earth-shattering news to create an announcement of update. Think about things like milestones, new hires, new products, new eBooks, awards, new clients, or new certifications. Focus on things you would like your clients to know about.

Write each release on one page using standard press release format. I’ve created a free press release tool that walks you though the process of writing a press release. It does all the formatting once you fill in the blanks.

Distribute

Once you create a press release you’ll want to get it distributed to various news and media outlets. By using a distribution service you do run some chance of garnering some media coverage, but the primary purpose of this step is online distribution. If you have a local media list you may want to submit your releases to local journalists, Chambers, industry newsletters and even your alumni newsletters.

Below are a number of choices for distribution ranging from free to full service. As you might guess, you get more options when you pay, but you can still get some coverage from free and low cost options. Most small businesses can get by with a Submit Press Release 123 or PRWeb.

Curate

Once you commit to a steady stream of releases you should house them on your website as a newsroom or use a tool like Submit 123 or PRWeb’s newsroom options so you start to build a library of keyword rich news releases, media coverage and related content.

If you use a newsroom service or a content tool like WordPress you can also create an RSS feed for your news stream allowing others to subscribe or republish the content on various pages and sites you own.

Amplify

Make sure that all of your press releases contain ways for people to connect and share in the most common social networks and social bookmarking sites. Use your Twitter, Google+. Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg, Delicious, Reddit and StumbleUpon accounts to amplify each press release.

By posting news to these sites you’ll garner even more readership and links as people republish and share for various reasons.

Analyze

Make sure that you add your newsroom to your Google Analytics or other tracking tool routine. When you do this you can start to test and track various distribution services, produce link reports and monitor which social sites are sending you the best traffic.

This is one of those long-term, slow and steady tactics, but if you commit to it and stick to it, you’ll find the local, social, SEO and traffic benefits to be significant.

2 Virtual Conferences Getting More Sophisticated

I am participating in an all day online event called “Thrive 2010: The Ins and Outs of Online Marketing“, hosted by PRWeb. I will be conducting a live chat session over the lunch hour at Noon ET. You can ask just about anything you like about marketing and the web. The cost of the event is $99 but use this code PRWeb40 and you can get it for $59. There’s a nice lineup of speakers including:

  • Peter Shankman on Tapping the Tweets: Harnessing Social Media to Drive Visitors
  • Janet M. Thaeler on Boosting the Buzz: Driving Traffic and Publicity with News Releases
  • Anne Holland on Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur: Marketing for Success

What I really think is cool though is the online environment created by the online seminar service ON24. I’ve used ON24 for webcasts but they have developed this entire suite of templates and services for conducting online shows, virtual conferences with networking lounges, session rooms and lobbies that look like something out of a video game or second life set.

on 24 briefing center

The idea of conducting all day online events through somewhat static platforms kind of pales when you start looking at what’s available as a virtual web show. Imagine what a persistent on demand collection of content presented from a virtual briefing room would look like.

27 7 Signs Your Marketing May Need to Evolve

evolveA lot of marketers get both confused and fed up with all the talk about things like new media, social media, inbound marketing, user generated content, and the age of conversation. I mean, how is a person suppose to apply all these somewhat vague and hard to pin down terms and trends. Well, there’s no denying that the world and certainly the world of marketing has changed. If you’re trying to wrap your head around what that might mean for you, here are seven very concrete ways to start viewing the evolution of your marketing strategies and practices.

1) Your marketing strategy is a sales strategy – far too many small business folks view marketing as selling. I’ve got nothing against sales, you must have them, but what you must have, before a sales presentation is ever made, is a crystal clear, very easy to understand difference. You must claim and communicate at every turn the way that your products, services, and processes are uniquely here to make some narrowly defined target market’s life better. Oh, and it can’t be boring, there must be something remarkable enough about your business or strategy that people go out of their way to tell others about it. Do that and selling not only gets easier, it gets somewhat superfluous.

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86 My Social Media System


At a recent social media workshop a participant asked me to reveal my social media routine – how I track, converse, communicate and otherwise curate all my various social media activities. I paused to think about it for a while because I never really considered what I do a routine, but it occurred to me that, in fact, I do have a systematic approach to social media. (No surprise really, I’m a systems thinker and I just do it habitually – ask my wife, I have a system for making the bed and loading the dishwasher.)

I do think that participating fully in social media as a business and marketing strategy requires discipline, automation routines and a daily commitment. Now, you’ve got to balance that with the fact that much of your activity is about building long-term momentum and deeper networks and that doesn’t always make the cash register ring today. So, some of what I do won’t be right for all, but I thought I would share my systematic approach in the hopes this may reveal some tips that make your experience more fruitful. (I won’t take the space in this post to explain what all of the tools are that I mention, I’ve probably written about most, so try my search box above.)

    Twice-daily

  • Check twitter via Tweetdeck – preset searches for @ducttape, john jantsch, and duct tape marketing – respond as I see fit, follow some @replies that seem appropriate.
  • Scan mybloglog – I obsess over traffic, but this reveals trending links and stumble surges in real time so I can react if appropriate.
  • Respond to comments on my blog
    Daily

  • Write a blog post – RSS subs get it, twitter tools sends to twitter, Facebook gets it, FriendFeed updates
  • Scan twitter followers for relevant conversations to join
  • Scan Google Reader subscriptions to read and stimulate ideas
  • Share Google Reader favs – these publish to Facebook and you can subscribe
  • FleckTweet any blog pages from my subscriptions that I love – this goes to twitter
  • Bookmark any blog pages from my subscriptions that I love – delicious using Firefox plugin for right click posting – this goes to FriendFeed
  • Stumble any blog pages from my subscriptions that I love – this goes to Facebook and FriendFeed
  • Scan Google Alerts for my name, brand and products – in Google Reader as RSS feed – respond as appropriate
  • Add comments to blogs as appropriate – mostly response types – Google Reader and BackType
    Weekly (end)

  • Scan LinkedIn Questions from my network and respond when appropriate
  • Scan delicious, digg and mixx popular and select bookmarks for content ideas and trending topics
  • Consciously add comments to conversations I want to join – hot topic focused
  • Join one twitter hot trend conversation if appropriate – search.twitter.com shows these in real time
    Monthly

  • Check MrTweet for new twitter follow recommendations
  • Scan Amazon’s upcoming and new releases for authors to interview on podcast (the big names seem more accessible with a book release coming!)
  • Post a press release with social media links to PitchEngine or PRWeb (this changes depending on what’s going on, but at least monthly.)
  • Strategize on ways to repurpose and repackage any and all of this in ways that make it more accessible to another audience.

For some this just seems crazy – others will notice some obvious glaring holes in this system – the point though is the system approach. Set your system up and work it, day in and day out, whatever that means for you, and then you will start to understand the vital role that social media can come to play in your overall marketing strategy.

This is my way and one way only – please share your tips for managing the beast!