Be A Media Mogul With Press Releases
If you are not using the power of the press release to help you facilitate more sales and attract new customers to your online store, you are missing out. The truth is that many online business owners are simply unaware of how powerful and effective a press release can be.
So it’s time to get you all caught up to par with this definitive guide that entails the top reasons why your online store needs ecommerce press releases on a regular basis. We’ll deliver the ins and outs on how you write, distribute and syndicate ecommerce press releases so you can be a media mogul.
But first… how do ecommerce press releases benefit your business?
Reason No. 1: Exposure
A press release is one of the very best and most economical ways to gain the massive exposure that your online store requires to compete with the larger stores and to solidify industry recognition. A well-placed press release can be distributed at thousands of online websites and newsfeeds, making it an easy way to get your story out to the mases. What’s more, journalists and those who are involved in the industry often read these news releases, which can lead to your online store being covered in various media outlets.
Reason No. 2: Social Saturation
Ecommerce press releases do far more than just get you coverage in major news mediums like MSNBC, CNN, Yahoo Finance, Market Watch and more… they also help you gain social saturation. As the news feeds pick up your outbound ecommerce press release, people begin to share it on their social channels, bookmark it and even comment on it. This all results in more targeted, organic traffic coming back to your online store. Plus, you can also syndicate your favorite news clippings on your social channels to encourage even more engagement.
Reason No. 3: SEO Benefits
While there are some SEO gurus who claim that the press release no longer aids your SEO efforts, they are mistaken. Press releases help you with rankings because you can create branded links and do-follow naked URLs that actually still count towards your SEO. Furthermore, press releases have the potential to generate traffic to previously unknown landing pages, helping them get indexed faster so they rank more quickly.
Reason No. 4: Media Coverage
We’ve already briefly touched on media coverage, but here it is again. When you use quality distribution, you can actually reach thousands of journalists who may be interested in including your online store in their next article. That’s because many of these journalists subscribe to the feeds that are filtering these press releases. If they see a story that interests them, they will contact the issuer (you) and request an interview or more information.
Reason No. 5: Targeted Traffic
Press releases are a surefire method of getting a massive traffic spike. The average release gets read a few thousand times and generates hundreds of clicks. Say you are advertising a special Cyber Monday sale… how much more revenue do you think 500 extra clicks on your store that day can generate? When big holiday shopping events near, like Black Friday or others, staying on top of the news can help you secure more sales than your rivals.
Reason No. 6: Competitive Landscape
Your competitors are assuredly issuing press releases. So why are you allowing your rival to remain in the news when you are nowhere to be found? Issuing regular press releases helps you stay in the top of the news at all times. It keeps your brand dominant and omnipresent so that you can get the exposure, credibility and publicity that you require to thrive as an online business.
Reasons No. 7: Omni Channel Marketing
One last reason is omni channel marketing. Why would you ever want to restrict yourself to one or two marketing verticals when you can attack them all simultaneously? The answer is: you don’t. With regular press release campaigns, you can expand your marketing efforts exponentially with minimal effort and cost on your part. And that’s a tune we can all happily hum along with.
Need Help Writing Your Press Releases?
We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn the top methods that the pros use to compose winning press releases. It delivers 11 must-know steps, complete with a sample press release and an illustrated infographic to get you started. In no time at all, you can be a PR whiz!
How To Create Press Releases Like a Boss
People love to read the news. The most recent statistics on how far-reaching press releases are show that more than 80 million people choose to read their news online over any other medium. By contrast, more than 60% of all journalists look to find their stories online, too.
What Is A Press Release?
If you operate an ecommerce business, there are few tools that are as effective and organic as a press release. But most retailers are just not in the know about how to write, distribute and syndicate these releases.
A press release consists of a newsworthy announcement that is submitted to a news distribution service for dissemination. Once approved by the editorial department, it is syndicated over a large swath of news sites, able to reach millions of people.
Press releases are not terribly difficult to compose for adept writers. But knowing what rules to follow, how to write them, and how to get them distributed and syndicated is imperative in your efforts. We’ll provide a step-by-step guide here, so you can start harnessing the power of the press release.
Rule No. 1: Know How Compose Press Release
If you are not a professional writer, you’ll benefit greatly from hiring one to compose your press release. A press release is all about informing the world of your newsworthy topic. In order to get them approved, you’ll have to follow the rules of journalism: who, what, where, when, why and how.
Press releases have to cover something that is newsworthy, and they have to adhere to the AP writing style, something more fully explained in this PR Daily article. There are, in fact, five basic composition steps involved in writing an ecommerce press release.
- Stating your objective clearly.
- Using the five W’s (who, what, where, when and why).
- Being mindful of proper spacing (no double-spacing after sentences).
- Using proper grammar, style and prose.
- Showing names and titles correctly.
Rule No. 2: Appeal To Your Audience
When composing an ecommerce press release, it’s imperative that you speak to and for your audience. So, if your audience is in the 50+ age group, for example, you’ll want to avoid using modern terms that would more appeal to the millennial crowd. Naturally, understanding what type of audience might be reading your news is important when choosing the writing style that you will utilize to reach your target demographic.
Rule No. 3: Industry Targeting
When you have your release ready to out the door and hit all the distribution channels, you will want to be specific about your industry targeting. Each press release distribution service offers industries that you can select for dissemination of your release. Make sure that you choose the ones that apply to the products that you are selling online.
Rule No. 4: Creating Your Elevator Pitch
It’s best to view an ecommerce press release like you would branding yourself; they are reflective of your brand and are syndicated across broad online platforms. They do require that the reader become interested and engaged, something that starts with your title and elevator pitch.
According to Business Know How, knowing how your brand connects to people is incremental in your press release gaining any steam and traction. You’ll want to take your time with the release title to assure that it’s captivating, and that it encourages readers to dig in and see what you have to say.
Bad PR Titles – Will not do anything to encourage a user to read your release. A good example of bad, boring PR titles is something like this: “ABC Store To Host Fall Sale On Popular Items.” This title really does nothing to encourage or intrigue people to read it.
Good PR Titles – You can be more creative by revamping the title to have more punch to it. Something like this would go much further with readers, and would attract more reads and clicks: “Looking Your Best This Fall – ABC Store’s Big Fall Sale Makes It’s Easy And Affordable.”
Rule No. 5: Understand The Editing Process
Bear in mind that editors at the press release distribution services are English majors; they eat, breathe and sleep the ABCs. They are also masters of grammar, style and prose as well. In short, they are trained to spot and correct errors and want to see a good-looking paper that requires minimal editing.
A Community Tool Box publication provides an array of helpful tips and tricks that you can use to help get your press release published quicker. If you abide by the rules and proofread your press release draft several times over before submitting it, you can avoid getting a rejection letter like this journalist from the Torontoist received.
Rule No. 6: Collaboration Is The Key
It is never a bad idea to collaborate on the press releases that you plan on issuing. Two sets of eyes are always better than one set of eyes. And two likeminded brains thinking together will go further for creativity and originality, too. Plus, with two people proofreading the press release, you can assure that it’s ready for the hawk eyes of the editors at the distribution service.
Rule No. 7: Cross Promote to Gain Credibility
One way to get more exposure is to cross promote your press release. The Edward Lowe Foundation advises that this is the best form of free advertising, or lower priced advertising, because you can split the costs with a collaborator. This also helps you with cost, control and credibility. Think of any business partners you have or suppliers that you use, there could be room for a cross promotion strategy if you are selling a new line they offer. Be creative here. You’d be surprised at what you can think up.
Rule No. 8: Use Good Distribution
You never want to be cheap when it comes to distribution. You have a wide variety of distribution channels that you can consider as well. The rule of thumb here is simple: good distribution will cost you some money. Cheap distribution won’t get your release out there to almost anyone. The top four distribution channels that you can consider include: Marketwired, PR Web, Business Wire and PR Newswire. Make sure you read reviews of each to determine which one best suits your needs.
Rule No. 9: Syndicate Post-Distribution
Once your ecommerce press release has been distributed, you will want to syndicate it and tell the world that you are in the news. There are a few tricks that you can use to accomplish this goal.
- Find the top news outlets hosting your press release from your dashboard report.
- Share the links on your social channels, using a different top story link for each social channel.
- Embed the press release into the “news” section of your website.
- Feature links to it and snippets in newsletters.
- Add logos of new sites that featured your story to your site so you can say “As seen on and featured in” to add credibility and clout.
Rule No. 10: Utilize Social Syndication
There is another step that you can take to gain even more traction with your ecommerce press release: social syndication. Services like Pitch Engine are great for this. They let you take your same press release and send it out over every major social channel. The cost is low, and you can actually get your release to be found in social media search engines as well as the standard news and major search engines. It’s a great way to maximize your PR efforts.
Infographic: Press Release Dos and Don’ts
In parting, we leave you with this helpful infographic. It provides you with more illustrated depth and clarity regarding all the dos and don’ts of issuing an ecommerce press release.
Rule No. 11: Compositional Structure
Press releases follow a very simple but effective compositional format. Here’s what you’ll want to do.
- Heading: Make your title punchy, short and newsworthy – this is your announcement and is also what attracts readers to your release.
- Sub-heading: Offer a simple summary of your release in two sentences or fewer.
- Opening paragraph: Announce the city and state and your company name with the website URL in parenthesis, letting the world know about your announcement.
- Body: Offer related statistical information and offer some more breadth and depth on your topic.
- Direct Quote: Quote a representative of your company (usually you) to add more meat to the article.
- Conclusion: Wrap your press release with a strong conclusion and call-to-action that includes your website URL.
- About: Offer some information about your company.
- AContact: Provide the media contact information for your company.