Press releases have been around for almost as long as businesses have existed (well, since 1906) – but they shouldn’t be written off as an outdated way to submit content for print media coverage!

The modern digital press release is a powerhouse, boosting SEO, reaching million-strong audiences and positioning you as a leading authority in your sector.

Even if your press release isn’t likely to make it onto the BBC news, it’s still an important weapon in your digital marketing arsenal, whether you’re sharing information, responding to a problem, announcing a new launch or making noise about your success.

Let’s look at the hidden value of a well-written press release and why they remain highly relevant in the digital business ecosystem.

Brand Reputation Management

Today’s media is available everywhere: on tablets, smartphones, push notifications, email campaigns, and social media. We often assume a press release is only useful when there is a specific piece of news to share – but it can be very flexible.

Consumer alerts can publicise product recalls, safety issues or security problems, even if they don’t apply specifically to your company! You can be proactive about sharing informative, useful information to your audience and standing out as a brand that cares, prioritises safety, and acts responsibly.

Another useful press release exercise is to get out in front of a potential crisis before it explodes.

Made a mistake, experienced a delay or had a website malfunction? Be the first to own the error, and you get the opportunity to shape the narrative, explain what you’re doing to fix it, and avoid waiting for the complaints to start rolling in.

Valuable Backlinks for SEO

Press releases published online provide a number of benefits when it comes to SEO, which is why they’re a common component in business digital marketing strategies!

    • Interesting press releases with statistics, quotes, figures or data are ideal for reposting and are more likely to be picked up by other businesses or websites.
    • The more mentions and features you get, the more backlinks feed to your landing pages, establishing greater domain authority and getting you on Google’s good side.
    • Reposts act like free publicity, particularly if you have conducted research, raised awareness, or published a case study relevant to your industry or other associated markets.

Get it right, and a simple, short-form press release can do a lot for your SEO, pushing your site higher up the search engine results pages.

The best press releases are well written and provide something unique, so you’ll get higher engagements and views, which might – in the best-case scenario – mean the content appears in organic searches.

Businesses are more likely to see indirect effects when a compelling press release is picked up by media outlets, blogs or newspapers and wins referral traffic.

Evidence of Social Proof

Social proof is a fascinating glimpse into human psychology. It shows how we are influenced by the actions or opinions of others when deciding what to buy, from whom, and when.

An article featuring your business in a respected publication adds weight to your brand, helping you reach a broad readership that now associates your company with their chosen provider.

The most successful small or medium-sized business won’t have a fraction of the reach of a national or global news outlet or e-magazine. You can expand your touchpoints multiple times, linking your name with news companies, blogs, influencers or experts your intended audience trusts.

Another great aspect of a digital press release is that you can focus on whoever you choose to target – rather than hoping at least a proportion of readers fall into your customer demographic!

Social media cross-posts, clever hashtags and a careful choice of publications can ensure you pick a perfect place to publish your press release, where you’re speaking directly to your ideal consumer persona.

Cost Effective Marketing

Let’s face it, many conventional marketing techniques rely on large investments in promotions and campaigns – but a press release can be significantly more effective than a paid-for ad and carries much greater credibility.

Readers are likely to place greater importance on the information within a press release than in a document that is clearly an advert; after all, we’re sold to continually every time we go online!

You can use a press release for almost any purpose:

    • Sharing your back story or the origins of your business.
    • Explaining your values.
    • Demonstrating the unique features of a particular product.
    • Responding to feedback, sharing accolades or addressing issues.
    • Publicising events, sales or exciting news.

The beauty of digital content is that it is stored and available almost forever, so you can create press releases as a form of evergreen content that will remain relevant.

It’s also worth cross-posting to gain traction and maximum exposure, rather than relying on one outlet. For example, you can publish press releases as part of your social media content schedule, create a news page or blog post on your website, and circulate the information via an email campaign.

Boosted Brand Awareness

Here’s a bit of homework! Visit Twitter or Facebook, and search for the hashtag #PRNewswire. You’ll see thousands of social media posts and tweets, usually one every few minutes, if not seconds.

The secret sauce to a press release is that it allows your company to expand the topics you talk about, with more freedom of expression than you’d have with a product page, for example.

You can position yourself as an expert by sharing knowledge, facts, insights and opinions, showcasing why customers should trust your brand and turn to you when they need to answer a question or solve a problem.

For example, an estate agent might publish press releases about property market averages, buy-to-let investment markets, listing a home for sale, or advice around property purchase taxes.

Although some of that information might not be a ‘sales pitch’, you gain touchpoints with a larger audience and increase awareness of your company. When your reader needs more advice, it’s your brand they’ll think of.

How to Maximise the Benefits of Publishing a Press Release

Of course, all of these advantages rely on your press release making an impression.

To achieve the best results, you should ensure your content is professionally written, makes the right impression and conveys the desired brand perception.

The key takeaway is that a press release has greater scope and capacity than simply sharing a snippet of news. It’s therefore important to put effort into the style and substance of your content to ensure it hits all the right notes.