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How To Use A Press Release To Announce An Upcoming Contest Business owners have been using contests to get consumers excited about their products for as long as they've had products to sell. Holding a contest is a great way to generate buzz, drive traffic to your site, build an email list, and inspire goodwill among your customers. One of the easiest ways to get the word out to your audience is to use press releases to announce your contest.   Why? Because people LOVE TO WIN FREE STUFF. It's simple human nature.   And great news! We've made the job simple for you by creating a Press Release Template for announcing a contest. Simply copy the template below into a clean doc, follow the prompts for the details to include in each section, and drop in the information relevant to your business's contest.  

Follow The Rules For A Successful Contest

  If you want a new way to engage your customers, blog readers, Facebook fans, or Twitter followers, running a contest is a fantastic way to get people excited.   When you're organizing your contest, particularly if you plan to use social platforms to promote it, it's important to follow the rules for each site. For example, did you know it's
against Facebook policies to ask your followers to "share" your contest with friends? You can, however, ask followers to "like" or "comment" on your post to enter. Alternatively, you can direct them to a landing page to provide more details to enter to win.   Understanding the rules of any platform you're using to promote your contest is important, as you will need to be able to provide clear instructions for entering as part of your press release.    

Contest Ideas

  The type of contest you run will largely depend on your business and what your customers and followers consider a valuable "prize." For example, restaurant-goers may appreciate the opportunity to win a free meal, while a marketing agency's followers may be motivated by the chance to win a free user experience (UX) audit.   Some ideas include:  
  • Hashtag and selfie contests
  • Caption the photo
  • Video/photo submission
  • Fan of the Week
  • Trivia, quiz or puzzle
  • Facebook Live contest (announce when you'll be live to provide a clue/code/etc. for a chance to win)
  • Fan photo contest (ask followers to vote for their fave!)
  Regardless of the type of contest you host, make it clear:  
  • How to enter
  • How winners will be selected
  • How winners will be notified
 

Contest Press Release Template

  Onto the good stuff! This template can also be found in the "Resources" section when you log into your free Online PR Media account. Along with this template, there are 11 other press release templates for a variety of newsworthy topics.   For the purpose of this blog, we've beefed up this template to provide more in-depth instructions about what to say when announcing a contest. All of the press release templates on Online PR Media provide helpful step-by-step instructions to make writing your news release quick and simple! If you haven't already seen this feature on the newly designed site, check it out here: https://www.media.onlineprnews.com/resources   __________________________________________________________________   Template Enter your 3 primary keywords below. You may choose to add longtail keywords as well. Use this area to keep track of your keywords as you use them. Use at least one in the title and 1-2 in the summary. Use each keyword at least once in the body. Keyword #1       Keyword #2       Keyword #3         Title: 100 characters or less (use 1 keyword, as close to the beginning as possible)   Summary: 175 characters or less (use 1-2 additional keywords)   Paragraph 1: Load this paragraph with the most important details about your contest. Describe the prize, and reveal who is giving the prize away. Explain who is eligible to enter the contest and the date on which the winner will be chosen. Also, mention how the winner will be announced (social media, your blog, by email, etc.). Use an anchor text link to link your company name to your website’s homepage.   Paragraph 2: Provide instructions on how the reader can enter your contest. If the instructions are complicated, this might require two paragraphs.   Paragraph 3: Provide additional details about the prize. For example, describe its dimensions, explain what it does, and disclose how much it would cost if the participant purchased it at a store. If you're giving away several prizes, list them in bullet point format. Rank the list according to how the prizes will be assigned to the winners (1st place, 2nd place, etc.).   Paragraph 4: Include a quote from someone at your company. The quote should mention how the participant will benefit from entering your contest in ways that extend beyond just winning the prize. (Example: "Each participant not only has the chance to win a home treadmill, but will also receive our information-packed monthly newsletter Simple Fitness For Busy People.")   Use the following format for the quote:   "Quote," said Name of the person being quoted, Title of the person being quoted of company name. (http://www.companywebsite.com) Make the person’s name an anchor text link linking to their LinkedIn profile, if applicable.   Example: "Each participant not only has the chance to win a home treadmill, but will also receive our information-packed monthly newsletter Simple Fitness For Busy People," said Stephen Noble, President of Simple Fitness Inc. (http://www.simplefitnesswebsite.com)   Paragraph 5: Describe your company's background. Include details about how it serves your target audience. Highlight the ways in which your company is better than your competitors.   Paragraph 6: Include another quote from someone at your company. The quote should underscore why you're excited to run the contest. Mention how doing so will build awareness around your product, an item that will provide value or help your target audience solve a problem.   Paragraph 7: Reiterate when the winners will be chosen and explain how they'll be notified. Then, include a link to a page on your site that provides all of the information that's relevant to your contest.   About Your Company: Your Company (http://www.companywebsite.com) Include a brief description about how your company serves your target audience and highlight the things that set you apart from your competitors (i.e. your unique selling proposition). Mention specific benefits your customers receive by working with your company.   __________________________________________________________________  

Examples Of Effective Contest Press Releases

  A casual stroll through the archives of press releases we host at Online PR Media shows how popular contests are as a promotional tool. Reviewing some of the press releases that have been written in the past to announce contests is a great learning experience! Here are a few examples:   https://onlineprnews.com/news/1125257-1548354184-moorpark-college-to-host-region-in-statewide-cybersecurity-contest.html/   https://onlineprnews.com/news/1124470-1546980100-cinpals-social-media-influencer-contest-now-open.html/   https://onlineprnews.com/news/1123893-1545894942-kids-world-fun-organizes-international-short-story-contest-2019-1-for-school-children.html/   https://onlineprnews.com/news/1114643-1534331476-coolclub-announces-1500-video-contest-scholarship.html/  

Your Turn!

  Have you used press releases to announce a contest for your company? If so, did you include any details that we didn't mention in the above template? Do you have any questions about writing a contest press release? Let us know in the comments section!    
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Tips For Using A Press Release To Promote Your Book You’ve spent months, maybe even years, slaving at your keyboard. You’ve overcome countless cases of writer’s block. You’re researched, written, and revised. You’ve gone back and forth with an editor. Finally, the time has come: your book is being published. The time and energy that have gone into your book deserve nothing but the best chance for success. Now comes the key question: how are you going to sell it?   While there are no shortage of companies offering their services to help market your book, these services are often extremely costly with no hard results guaranteed. Conversely, online press releases are a simple, flexible, and cost effective way to help promote your new book. Here are some tips for using online press releases to walk consumers through the buying journey to maximize your sales.    

The Release

  You finished your new book - but no one can buy it if they don’t know about it! Including a press release as part of your launch strategy will help your book stand out. By their nature, press releases are of limited length - meaning you’ll be forced to pack a punch into 500-800 words, long enough to get the point across but also keep the audience’s attention. Also unique to the press release is the tone in which it’s written (refresher available
here). With a press release, your book release becomes an urgent and important event.   What to include:   We recommend using the following format for your launch press release:  
  • Headline – less than 100 characters; should grab attention and include the author name and book title.
  • Summary – limited to 175 characters, this is the 1-2 sentences summary that should build off of the headline.
  • Dateline – location and date of the press release
  • Intro – as an author, you know the importance of an introduction. Be concise, make it interesting, and make your audience want to keep reading.
  • Quote – this should make you relateable, but also share insight into the content of your book.
  • About You – a quick intro to who you are and what compelled or qualified you to write your book. Keep this short and relevant. You can add more in your boilerplate.
  • About Your Book – quick summary of your book in 1-2 impactful paragraphs.
  • Contact Details – this info is required by Online PR Media so that journalists and news media representatives can easily contact you.
  • Call To Action – where can your book be found and why should someone buy it.
  • Boilerplate - include a little more about you, your accreditations, your website, and anything else that can add to your credibility.
 

Book Signings & Other Events

  If you’ll be participating at an event to promote your book, like a book signing, expert panel, or book fair, a press release is a good tool to help get the word out. The standardized format of a press release lends itself to sharing events and building a sense of importance around them.   What to include:   Especially important in marketing events is making sure the important questions are answered: who, what, when, where, and why.  
    • Who addresses the names of anyone participating.
    • What includes a little info about the event itself.
    • When is, of course, the date and time of the event.
    • Where should include the specific location, i.e. the auditorium on West Campus of Middletown University
    • Why should include an explanation of the significance of the event; why someone may want to attend.
If you’ll be doing a signing at a bookstore or with other authors, be sure to list all other parties involve, and share the press release with them once published.  

Peer Reviews

  We already know that reviews have a huge impact on purchase habits. In fact, according to G2Crowd, nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase (Spiegel Research Center, 2017). A review can carry even more weight if it comes from someone who is considered an authority on the subject. Did your book recieve a good review from a reputable journalist, subject matter expert, or other trusted source? Share it with your audience in a press release.   What to include:   This type of press release should focus on the reviewer’s opinion of the book and what makes the reviewer’s opinion credible. Be sure to include:    
  • A brief summary of the critic’s review.
  • Who the reviewer is and when their opinion matters.
  • A quote from the reviewer that contains strong positive feedback on your work.
  • Boilerplates for both you and the source who reviewed your work, specifically listing anything that shows your featured review comes from a credible source.
 

Newsjacking

  According to Hubspot, newsjacking is the practice of capitalizing on the popularity of a news story to amplify your sales and marketing success. Basically, if your new publication somehow relates to a (very) current event, you can ride the wave by using a timely press release to either share your expertise on the subject, or relate your fictional work to the event or issue.   For example, if there were recent news related to strange weather patterns expected in the coming year, and your new book is on the impact of global warming, you could write a press release about how your new book can offer insight into the science behind the expected weather pattern. If your book is a science fiction novel about an apocalyptic future after severe climate change, you may also be able to relate the book to current news via press release.   What to include:   The key here is not to directly promote your book, but to explain the relationship you and your book has to the event. If your book is nonfiction, be sure to include any degrees, certifications, previously published works, or affiliations that would lend to your credibility on the subject at hand.  

Share, Share, And Share Some More

  It’s not just what you say - or even just how you say it! It’s also where you share it. Once your press release is picked up by news and media sites, you’ll have dozens of options of sources to share from. After you have found your favorite couple outlets, make the most out of your press releases by sharing them via any media platform where you have presence.   Don’t forget about:  
  • Your website - if you’ve been updating your fans on the progress of your book, they’ll be excited to read the press release announcing its completion and publication, any events you'll be attending, and peer reviews.
  • Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Professional social platforms like LinkedIn.
  • Your monthly newsletter, if you have one.
  • Personalized emails to family, friends, and fans.
  • Personally reaching out to media sites and review sites
  Remember that sharing across social media doesn’t end in front of your immediate circle. If you’re an established author, your excited fans will be delighted to share with their circles. If you’re a first-time author, don’t be afraid to ask for additional shares from your supportive friends, family, and professional circle. Sharing is caring!  

Online PR Media Makes It Easy To Promote Your New Book

  Press releases are a simple, cost effective tool that can have a big impact. For more tips on writing good press releases, check out our blog. When you’re ready to promote your book with a press release, you can find our distribution packages here.  
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Write Better Press Releases In 2019 It’s the New Year, and you’re feeling ambitious! You’ve mastered the basics in How to Write an SEO Press Release, and now, you’re ready to bring your press release writing skills to the next level. In the ever-evolving world of search engine optimization and online marketing strategies, knowing and applying the latest tactics to your writing is critical if you want your press releases to stand out. Here, you’ll find the latest tips to stay ahead of the game so you can write stronger press releases and make the most of them in the publicity climate of 2019.  

Headlines Still Matter

  It’s been said many times before, but it bears repeating: your press release headline matters. Your headline is the first thing people see. Whether or not your audience reads your press release greatly depends on the strength of your title. Is it intriguing? Is it relevant? According to Holly Chessman, VP Marketing at Glowtouch:   “If your title doesn't catch me from the first moment, I won't read your release. Make sure your title contains appropriate keywords and some good, solid meat. Moreover, the more interesting the wording of the title, the more likely I'll be to share it. That doesn't mean clickbait – it just has to show that the piece is providing valuable information that it would behoove me to share.” (Forbes)   So a great headline means increased reads and increased shares. How do you make it intriguing? When creating your headline, Cision’s suggestions include:  
  • Using an active voice.
  • Writing your headline as if it were on the front page of a newspaper.
  • Using alliteration (brush up on this poetic strategy here).
  • Writing your headline last.
  Think you’ve got a solid headline? Why not test your score? Run your title through CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer, which rates your proposed headline according to power, likelihood to convert, and digestibility.  

Write Using The Inverted Pyramid

  In their post on How to Write the Best Press Releases With 21 Examples and 7 Templates, CoSchedule.com reminds writers that a good press release follows the inverted pyramid framework: broad, big picture and important information comes first, followed by more specific, detailed information toward the end. The idea is to introduce with the essential information first so that the reader (a journalist, for instance) can determine that this story is newsworthy without needing to search for key information. Once the reader is hooked and has decided your story is important, further detail can be introduced.   Let’s use a merger between two small businesses, Company A and Company B, as an example. In the first paragraph, the big picture facts should be presented - usually, the “who” and “what” of the story. In this case, the “who” includes Company A and Company B, and the “what” is the new partnership between the companies along with any immediate big picture impact, like the number of new jobs created in the community as a result.   Next, you can move into the “where” and “when,” followed by some of the less urgent or important facts surrounding the merger. This is also the appropriate place to include a quote from a figure involved in the move. The “when” may include the date the merger will become or became official. The “where” to share here would be the location(s) of of the businesses as it stands, as well as the location(s) that will exist after the merger. The quote included should be a concise thought from a leader from one or both companies that informs the reader, frames the news in the desired manner, and lends a personal tone to an otherwise more formal piece.   Finally, you can address the “why,” “how,” and other details of your event in the last paragraphs of your press release. The ”why” may include supporting information about what made the merger a good decision for both companies and the “how” could include logistics surrounding the merger, if it's beneficial for the public to know. Finally, additional details could include other helpful, but less important information about the merger that readers may find interesting or useful, but not “story altering.” This is also why boilerplates appear last on a press release.  

Timing Is Everything

  While having a catchy headline and sharing the right information in the appropriate order is certainly necessary, timing is now also an important factor to consider when sharing your press releases. This includes both timing as it relates to the subject of the press release, as well as the time and date you choose for publication.   First, news is called news for a reason; no matter its significance, it only maintains relevance for so long before something “newer” happens and detracts from its attention. Thus, it’s best to publish your press release as close to the related event as possible. Waiting too long to publish once the event is over will result in lost audience, who may see your event date and think “old news!”     Next, there is strategy to the actual time of day and day of week that press releases publish for best results. According to CoSchedule, the best times to publish are Tuesdays between 9am and 10am, followed by Mondays between 8am and 9am. This will maximize the likelihood that your story is picked up and published by good sources as quickly as possible.  

It’s All In The Follow-up

  One of the most important things to remember after your press release has been published is: it doesn’t end there. In fact, some of the very best benefits of an online press release come from what you do after it is published. Once your story is picked up, you’ll have your pick of sources from which to share your press release! Here are some great places to share your press releases to ensure they reach as much of your desired audience as possible.   Social Networks The power of social media is well known at this point - but suffice it so say: it’s not going anywhere in 2019. According to Statista, a whopping 77% of Americans have a social media profile - that’s a huge potential audience. Sharing your press release from your business or personal profile along with a quick, thoughtful post will accomplish two things. First, it will allow your followers to easily access all of the information they need without exceeding your character limit. Second it will give your followers something succinct and objective to share with their circles.   Finally, a press release makes a great temporary add-on to social profiles - often the first exposure a potential follower has to you or your brand. Linking to a press release with your newsworthy activity is a simple way to make a stellar first impression and show your credibility.   Your Website If you have a website, include a link to the press release and a personal intro on your news/announcements page. The objective tone of press releases creates an air of formality that will lend credence to your words, since press releases are stylistically similar to news articles.   Newsletters If you have a monthly e-newsletter, link back to your press release to share your announcement with your contacts. This will save valuable space in your newsletter and encourage readers to click through to your press release, giving it social currency to boost organic SEO.   Journalist Outreach Don’t be afraid to reach out directly to journalists, publicists, or editors who work with relevant publications, asking them to share your news. Include a personal note about why your news is a good fit for their publication and audience. As an added bonus, since you have reached out to them directly, your contact information is readily available should they have follow-up questions.  

Online PR Media Is Your Partner In Success

  Ready to get the most out of your press releases in the coming year? With 10 years of experience and 230,000 published press releases, Online PR Media is your partner in success.With multiple distribution packages at a variety of price points, you can easily and cost-effectively include press releases as part of your 2019 digital marketing strategy.  
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5 Ways To Increase Your Website Visibility This Holiday Season For online retailers, driving website traffic during the holiday season is critical to meeting sales goals. Even major retailers have to ramp up efforts to increase visibility this time of year. Whether traffic is sluggish, or you just want to add some new strategies to your plan, here are 5 ways to increase website visibility this holiday season.  

#1 - Advertise

  This may seem obvious, but it's true that sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Advertising is a fast, effective way to drive traffic to your website. During the holiday shopping season, people are quite literally looking for places to spend their money. They want to hear about your deals!   Here's how to get in front of potential customers with paid advertising:   Retargeting - Also called remarketing, retargeting basically "follows" your website visitors around the web and conveniently shows them ads of the products they viewed on your site. This is a great way to combat shopping cart abandonment and get shoppers to return and complete their transaction, especially if you include a special offer on the ad.   Social Media - Every major social media platform offers some type of paid advertising. What's great about this form of advertising is that you don't have to have a lot of followers to reach a lot of people with your ads. Social ads offer very granular targeting; you can show ads based on demographics, geographics, interests, and browsing history.   Pay-Per-Click - PPC allows your website to compete with organic results in the SERPs (search engine results pages). You are essentially "bidding" on specific keywords (meaning, if a competitor has a higher budget for the same keyword, their ad will rank above yours), and paying that amount every time your ad is clicked.   Onsite - Capturing shoppers' attention and getting them to make a purchase while they're already on your site is the ideal time. It's also the most affordable. You can use banner ads, videos and even pop-up offers to promote your holiday deals and convert visitors into buyers.  

#2 - Leverage Google

  Google holds a lot of power when it comes to your website's visibility in the SERPs. While the precise algorithms used to rank sites and content are somewhat of an enigma, Google provides a ton of helpful resources and very clear guidelines for the type of content it does (and does not) like.   If you're not already using
Google Search Console (formerly called Webmaster Tools), you'll want to get onboard with this super useful tool. Most notably, you can use the console to submit your website and sitemap to Google - essentially telling Google that your site exists and should be indexed.   Additionally, you can view your site's backlinks and tell Google if they should ignore any, view and resolve any crawl errors, analyze your site's traffic and performance, and submit individual URLs for crawling, such as when you create new content on your site (i.e. blog post or landing page), and get helpful tips for optimizing your website.  

#3 - Get Social

  In addition to paid social media advertising, you can leverage social media in a variety of free or cheap ways as well. The ultimate goal is to get potential customers' attention and drive them to your website to make a purchase. You can do this by:  
  • Sharing holiday gift-giving "guides" - This is ideal for retailers that cater to a wide audience (something for everyone), as well as those that sell items that are often compared (i.e. "Ninja vs. InstantPot").
  • Holding contests - You can do traditional contests where you direct visitors to a landing page to "enter to win," or something more social like a hashtag contest with customers sharing pictures, tagging friends, sharing your posts, etc. The key with contests is to make the "prize" something valuable, which is easy to do around the holidays! Think free shipping, a gift card, dollar or high percent off, or even free products or services.
  • Promoting sales - This is the most obvious use for social media during the holiday shopping season - and it's completely FREE! Don't underestimate the power of simply telling your followers what kinds of deals you're offering. Link to specific products, provide discount codes right in your social posts, and even offer referral specials for customers that share your posts.

#4 - Press Releases

  Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the power of press releases for promoting your holiday offers. While a news release is a great way to… share your news… it's also a fantastic SEO tool. When a press release is published on a news or media site, particularly a prominent one when you've taken the time to write a stellar release with relevant news, it creates a backlink to your website. Within each release, there are also helpful and well-optimized anchor text links that are pointing back to your website.   When used as part of a well-rounded SEO and link-building strategy, press releases spread your news while also helping your site rank better. Better rankings equal improved visibility and increased organic traffic.  

#5 - Use Commercial Intent Keywords

  This last tip ties into all of the above strategies for increasing visibility, especially around the holiday shopping season when you have a singular goal of increasing sales. If you've done any amount of keyword research for your company, you likely have discovered various buckets of keywords. Words used in search queries when someone is in the research stage are called "informational" intent keywords. Words used when someone is looking for place or business are called "navigational" intent keywords.   When someone is ready to purchase goods or services, they use transactional intent keywords. These keywords usually have a product or service plus intent words such as buy, deal, discount, special, coupon, free shipping, etc.   When shoppers use these types of keywords in their search query, they're signaling their intent to BUY something. So using these keywords in your ads, social posts, and press releases signals to Google that your content is relevant to the shopper's search query. Meaning, the content is more likely to be shown in the SERPs, increasing your visibility, and driving more traffic to your website.  

Online PR Media Is Here To Help

  Press releases are a great addition to your visibility strategy this holiday season. If you're new to writing press releases, or you need some help during the process, the editors at Online PR Media are ready to help! You can reach us at support@onlineprmedia.com, or get in touch via our online contact form.  
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Simple Social Media Marketing Tricks To Boost Holiday Sales It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and even large retailers rely on consumers' Q4 spending habits to make up a huge chunk of their total annual revenue. During the holiday season, people are even more prepared than usual to open their pocketbooks. In fact, the average American plans to spend nearly $800 on Christmas gifts this season.   Want a share of the action? Using social media marketing greatly increases your chances; a recent study showed that 37% of online shoppers say they use social media for purchase inspiration. Here are some quick tips to help you capitalize on an audience that is ready to spend.  

Host A Contest

  Hosting a contest to win a giveaway, or even a discount, gets people talking about your brand. And of course, who doesn't like to win free stuff!?   Posting a contest generally creates interaction with your post (think likes, shares, and comments), and in most social platforms, this engagement translates to higher post reach. Additionally, you can create contests that involve your followers sharing your brand content, tagging your brand, or using a contest hashtag, thus exposing your products/services to the audience of your fans (think "friends of friends").   Looking for some contest inspiration? Check out this article from Small Business Trends, which has social contest suggestions for various platforms customized to your product/service.  

Invest In Paid Ads

  If you have ever created a paid social ad campaign, you’ve likely seen the incredible reach that can be achieved on a very low budget. Since social media platforms capture 33% of the total time users spend online, paid ads are a great way to know you’re reaching users.   Want to know where to spend? Facebook is still favored by 96% of online marketers, who say it is a valuable marketing platform. In terms of type of media to use, videos appear to have the highest impact; in addition to having a higher organic reach in Facebook’s current algorithm, 64% of consumers say that watching a video on Facebook inspired them to make a purchase. To learn more about how to best use paid ads on each social platform for your specific goals, check out this article from Hootsuite.  

Work With Influencers

  A social media influencer is a person with a large social following that is generally considered an expert in a specific niche. For this reason, their opinion on products and services related to the niche carries a lot of weight. The idea behind influencer marketing is that influencers agree to review and share your product with their following, giving you instant exposure to huge new audience. In some cases, they are willing to do this for free. However, in most cases influencers receive payments from brands for the exposure.   Want to learn more about how partnering with a social media influencer can help increase your sales? Check out this infographic from Izea.  

Keep It Social

  When designing your holiday campaigns, don’t forget - social media is supposed to be SOCIAL. This means maintaining a positive and consistent brand personality and sharing posts that are of interest to your followers. It also means creating and responding to opportunities for authentic engagement by taking the time to respond to comments, questions, and certainly direct messages.   However, when it comes to sales and discounts - don’t shy away from posting them because it feels salesy and impersonal. A whopping 72% of consumers say they WANT brands to share discounts and sales on social media!  

Don’t Negate The Power Of Email

  We know - inboxes are inundated, and sometimes it may feel like the efforts of creating a content-filled newsletter or sales promotion are in vain. Remember, though, if someone has willingly provided you with their email address, rest assured they expect you to use it. That means they WANT your content. In fact, 86% of consumers say they would like to receive promotional emails at least monthly from companies they do business with.   Also, consider that traffic from email marketing campaigns has an average conversion rate of 4.29%, compared to direct traffic at 2.93% and social at 1.81%. Take some time to craft a festive email showcasing your best-sellers, sales, and promotions, and watch the results boost your bottom line. Additionally, you can (and should) include your social icons in your emails, and can even drive readers to your social sites to participate in contests or join the conversation!  

Share A Press Release

  Want big exposure on your hottest products or holiday sales or promotions? Write a press release! Online PR Media makes it simple and affordable with a variety of packages available to meet your distribution needs.   Once your press release has been published, use your Online PR Media press release report to choose a media site that has picked up your news - preferably one that your audience cares about or follows. Grab the link to the published release, then write a post that generates excitement about the release and explain how it impacts your audience.   Want more information on how to get the greatest impact of your press release on social media? Read our blog on the topic here.   Social media is a powerful platform for engaging your current followers and reaching a bigger audience. By using a variety of strategies, including press releases and email, social media marketing makes it easy to share your deals far and wide and boost holiday sales.  
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How To Promote Your Press Release On Social Media Did you know that hitting "submit" on your press release is just the first step in sharing your company's news? For maximum reach and exposure, social media is an invaluable tool for promoting your press release and getting it in front of your target audience.   We've previously talked about what to do after submitting your press release. Now, let's take a specific look at leveraging the power of social media to promote your release and share your news far and wide.    

First, Grab A Relevant Link

  While you may be eager to share your news with your followers, it can sometimes take a minute for news and media sites to pick up stories. Wait 24 hours after submitting your press release, then go to your Dashboard on Online PR Media, and view the report for the release you want to share. You'll see a list of full-page reprints where your press release has been published. This is why Online PR Media is such a valuable partner in your press release distribution strategy; the report you get for each press release is a veritable goldmine of links that prove your press release is getting noticed.   You'll want to share your press release from a relevant media source. For example, if you're a national company reporting financial earnings and the Wall Street Journal runs your release, that's amazing! Use that reprint as a tool to build credibility with your audience. Likewise, if you're a construction company in Buffalo, New York and you want locals to know about your emergency services following a storm, look for your press release on a local outlet, like The Buffalo News to show that you're a local business.  

Tell Your Followers Why They Should Care About Your News

  How you share your news on social media will largely depend on your audience/followers. Are they customers following you for deal alerts? Investors keeping tabs on you? A mix of both?   While you can do a single post that simply announces the news and shares the link, a better strategy might be to segment your followers and personalize the message based on why each audience should care. As with all online content, assume that your followers always want to know, "what's in it for me?" If in sharing your news you answer that question - tell them why they benefit from the news - they're more likely to click, read and take action.   Here's an example: say you're an online retailer. You have a mix of followers on social media, and you want to share your recent press release about third quarter earnings being up 25% over last year.   Your investors or shareholders care because you making more money means they're making more money. And maybe your customers care because you're taking some of that profit and putting it into a new automation system that will significantly reduce shipping costs.   In this case you could create separate posts for each audience to announce your news in a relevant way.  

Consider Paid Social Advertising

  Deciding if you want to pay to have your news reach more people on social will depend on the topic. Using the example above, it probably wouldn't make sense to create a paid ad just to announce your earnings report. However, dropping your shipping costs as a result of those earnings could be a major draw for new and repeat customers.   All social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram offer a paid element. The beauty of paid social advertising is that you can target your audience on a very granular level: by location, demographics, interests, etc. Meaning, your ad is only shown to your ideal customer, giving you tight control over advertising costs while sharing your news with the people who are most likely to take action.  

Start A Conversation

  Remember, social media is a form of two-way marketing. Don't toss up posts and share your press release for the sake of meeting your daily quota. Share your news because it matters to your audience. Ask a question. Invite opinions. Reply to commenters and let them see there are real people behind the news. This is also a great opportunity to be more candid and share additional information that wasn't succinct enough for a news release, but that adds value to the story.   So let's recap. After you hit submit on your press release, it's time to leverage the power of social media to continue sharing your news. This is accomplished in four simple steps:  
  1. Share a relevant link - Grab a link from your news release published on a local, national or industry-specific news site, depending on the topic.
  2. Tell followers why they should care - Craft your social media post with your audience in mind. Consider segmenting followers and creating separate posts to keep it relevant.
  3. Consider paid advertising - Reach a greater audience beyond your followers with a paid ad promoting your news.
  4. Start a conversation - Invite followers to comment on your news, and be prepared to respond and keep the conversation open and engaging.
How do you share your news on social media? Log in and leave a reply below - we'd love to hear from you!
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How To Choose A Press Release Topic You know that press releases can be leveraged to help your business gain online and media visibility, increase web traffic, and market your business. And yet, we hear time and again that businesses are stumped when it comes to drumming up a topic. They think they're not doing anything important enough, that the news needs to be earth-shattering to warrant a press release. But that's simply not the case. Your news just needs to matter to your audience.   Here are 10 powerful topic suggestions to use as a guide when creating effective, newsworthy online press releases that will catch the attention of your target audience.   (Psst… if you already have an Online PR Media account, you can access FREE press release templates for all 10 of these topics, and more!)  
  1. New Product or Service

Is your business planning to offer a brand-new product or service? A press release is the perfect opportunity for you to get the word out and invite customers to check out the new offering.  
  1. New Website, Feature or Enhancement

Whether you're launching a brand new website, or you've added features or enhancements, a press release lets you share the details and how visitors can expect an improved experience.  
  1. Reaction to News

When your company is featured in a blog post, article or interview, it demonstrates that you are a knowledge powerhouse in your industry. A press release can show your audience that yours is the business others turn to for relevant information and solutions.  
  1. New Digital Content (Whitepaper, e-Book, Video, etc)

Continually creating helpful, valuable and relevant content keeps your audience coming back for more. Promote new assets like e-Books and videos with a press release explaining how it benefits readers. Don't forget a link to access the new content!  
  1. Award or Accolade

Let your customers know when your hard work is being acknowledged. Don’t simply tell customers that you are the “best in the business.” Instead, show it with a press release announcing specific recognition.  
  1. Upcoming Event

Let your target audience know that your business is hosting or participating in a special event and why this is meaningful to them. Be sure to include relevant specifics such as the type of event (webinar, training, seminar, etc), what an attendee can expect to gain, and how your business is participating.  
  1. Contest or Giveaway Announcement

Announce a special contest or giveaway you are hosting by writing a press release. Include information about the prizes, and specific instructions for how to be entered to win.  
  1. Promotion or Sale Event

Announce an upcoming promotion or sale using a press release. Be sure to maintain a professional and informative tone, and avoid salesy or overtly promotional language. Include details on the offer itself, along with information on how your business provides a solution specific to your audience's needs.  
  1. New Strategic Partnership

Use a press release to share the exciting news of a merger or partnership and how this will benefit your customer base. Include relevant background information on your business and your new partner.  
  1. New Team Hire

When announcing a new hire in a news release, talk about how this person in their new role will change the company for the better from the perspective of your target audience.  

BONUS: Promote a Crowdfunding Campaign

  Crowdfunding has become popular in recent years as a way for companies and individuals to leverage social media and the internet to raise money, often even from complete strangers. If your business is trying to raise money for a fundraiser, event, or even as part of a new product launch, a press release is a great way to spread the word about your crowdfunding campaign.  

Have Important News to Share? Online PR Media Can Help.

  When choosing a press release topic, remember that a strong
press release is informative in nature, not an advertisement or opinion-based piece. When writing a press release, you want to provide objective information to demonstrate the value your business offers to your target audience, alongside facts about what makes your business unique, the solutions you offer, and relevant company background and qualifications.   If your company has an announcement to make, Online PR Media can help get your press release in front of your target audience with our strategic partnerships with hundreds of news and media sites. Login or create a free account to get started with online press release distribution today!
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press release editorial guidelines Press Release Editorial Guidelines Our goal at Online PR Media is to help you gain visibility for your company. To remain a trusted source for search and journalists, the news releases we publish must meet certain quality guidelines. Following these guidelines helps you create a message that better resonates with journalists, influencers, potential customers, and strategic partners.   To ensure a smooth and successful distribution, your press release should:   Be Newsworthy - First and foremost, your press release should be newsworthy and informative in nature. Your release should have a legitimate news angle that is appropriate for news media sites and relevant to your audience.   Be Accurate - Your release should contain complete and accurate facts and proper attribution for any sources cited outside of your own organization. For legal matters, press release must contain a case number, court of record, or other public legal documentation.     Be Objective - The tone of your press release should be professional and objective. Write in the third person and avoid using a conversational tone. Words like "I", "you", and "we" should only be used in the quotes.   Be from a Clear News Source - The news source is the company submitting the press release. The company should be clearly named in the title of the release. And it should be clear how the company is related to the news being announced.   Be an Acceptable Length - Press releases should be a minimum of 250 words, and not more than 800 words for readability. For extended distribution on PR Newswire, and for international releases, word count is very specific and overages are an additional charge. Please contact support@onlineprmedia.com before you begin writing if you have purchased extended distribution.   Contain a Valid Media Contact - A valid media contact is required for all Online PR Media press releases. The minimum requirement is a name, email and phone number. The media contact can be someone from the news source (company submitting the release), or a person at the agency representing the news source.   Be Properly Formatted - Online PR Media requires the body of your release to be uploaded as plain text. Avoid HTML tags, tables, non-standard formatting, and special characters.   Not Contain Excessive Links - Online PR Media allows four anchor text links. Links should not be spammy or keyword-stuffed. Links should direct readers to helpful, relevant sources related to the news topic. Online PR Media provides separate fields for links; do not use HTML in the body of the release. Learn more about using anchor text links here.   Not be Promotional - Advertorials, overtly-promotional content, sales pitches, and strong opinion-based writing will not be approved by Online PR Media editors for distribution.   Not be Duplicated - Each press release you submit should be completely original. Duplicate releases or content copied from other sources will not be approved.   Not be Disreputable - Sites that offer adult products and services, escort services, illegal products and services, scams and pyramid schemes, or iPhone unlocking products are not acceptable news sources. These releases will not be approved or distributed by Online PR Media.   Online PR Media's editors review every press release before distribution. While our editors determine if your release is appropriate and meets editorial guidelines, they are also your partner in success. Unless you opt-out at upload, they will provide editorial suggestions to improve your press release for the most successful distribution possible. Have specific questions about writing or formatting your press release? We're here to help! Contact our editors at support@onlineprmedia.com for questions about editorial guidelines while writing your press release.
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news anchor video Professional, Turnkey News Release Videos For Your 2019 PR Strategy A press release is most successful when it gets your news in front of your target audience. And what's the latest tool that PR professionals are loving for reaching and engaging audiences online? Video. When used effectively, a professionally produced press release video can be an extremely powerful tool for getting your organization’s news out to a wide audience and making a significant SEO impact.  

Video Format Press Releases Provide SEO Value

  One of the few things that experts in online marketing trends can agree on is that video has become an integral part of any robust online strategy in recent years. In fact:  
  Video works. But why? And how can you effectively harness its power?  

Why Video Press Releases Work

  Primarily, video is engaging in a way that simple text is not. Consider your own personal preferences for browsing online content - would you be more likely to view an engaging video press release, rather than reading blocks of text? For most people, the answer is YES! That is because video engages our brains on multiple levels: visual and auditory. Our brains are wired to be attracted to these things, and we naturally remember more of what we see and hear compared with what we read.   Because of this level of deep engagement, viewers are also far more likely to stay on a website with video content for a longer time. If people are going to your site and leaving immediately, that doesn’t speak very highly of the value your pages are offering.   Likewise, that's why the time a viewer spends on your news release is one of the measures Google uses for determining the value of your content; more time equals more engagement and ultimately improved rankings. And since one of the many benefits of utilizing press releases in your online marketing strategy is SEO, producing a great video featuring valuable and relevant news - that readers actually engage with by reading, clicking, and sharing - is a sure way to improve SEO value.   Another tremendous positive of utilizing a video format for your press release is the extent of video’s reach. Obviously, you’re wanting to reach the greatest number of people with your news release. Well, sharing your news release in a variety of multimedia formats and across multiple platforms can increase your audience significantly! Instead of just having your press release published on news and media sites, you'll also be on sites like Vimeo and YouTube -- the second largest search engine behind Google, as a reminder!  

What Makes A Good Video Press Release

  The most important thing you can do is read your press release out loud!   When thinking about how to format your organization’s news release, it is helpful to picture your press release being read aloud on your local news channel. While this might seem a bit strange to think about as you're writing, it really makes the difference between an engaging and captivating video, and something that was meant to be read, not heard.   Our advice? Have a little fun with it! If you're in an office, find your best "news anchor" personalities (a balance between a painfully-dry Ken from Channel 2 Action News and Ron Burgundy is ideal), and have them practice reading your press release out loud.   You want your video to be:  
  • Professional – A video that doesn’t appear to be professional or modern is going to hurt your message more than help. Cutting corners and producing a sub-standard video won’t pay off in terms of shares and user engagement, nor will it reflect positively on your brand.
  • On Brand – When developing a video press release, it’s especially important that the message you are delivering is on brand and to the point. A poorly written press release will come across badly in video format.
  • Accurate – It’s important to ensure the technical aspects of your video press release are accurate, alongside the message you’re sharing. This means all metadata is accurate, titles and descriptions incorporate your keyword targeting, and a strong launch plan is in place to ensure wide distribution of your news release.
  If you're not confident in your ability to produce a professional press release video, consider working with a professional digital press release organization for help!  

Why The News Anchor Format Works

  If you have spent any time researching how to attract the attention of your target audience online, you’re certainly aware that video content works. Now it’s simply up to you to decide how you want to present your news.   As professionals in the digital press release world,  Online PR Media has found the news anchor format lends itself perfectly to delivering your business’s big news, whether you’re announcing an award, a new product launch, a sale, a strategic partnership, or any other relevant news that matters to your audience. The newsroom format allows you to communicate your news with authority and in a familiar setting to your viewers.   Of course, most businesses don’t have the equipment and expertise in-house to design, produce and edit professional looking videos. That’s why we developed the News Anchor PR Coverage distribution package, to give you access to this valuable multimedia platform for producing professional looking press release videos.   We created the Online PR Media News Room: a studio where you have all of the great film production tools and the people who know how to operate them at your disposal. You write a stellar press release (we'll help if you need it!), then upload your press release as usual along with an abbreviated (150 words max) "script." Your script should be succinct and impactful, pulling the key points from your release along with a brief quote. Our staff will then read the script from our very own newsroom. The result is a professional and valuable press release video that you have full rights to and can distribute far and wide for maximum exposure and engagement!   The $279 Online PR Media News Anchor PR Coverage package includes:   All of the same features of our best-selling Search Engine Visibility package, PLUS:
  • A professional video recording of the reading of the press release script from the Online PR Media newsroom
  • Full rights to the distribution and copy of the video
  • Automatic posting of the video to the Online PR Media Youtube and Vimeo Channels
 

Online PR Media Is Here To Help Get Your Press Release The Attention It Deserves

  Whether you're a seasoned PR-writing pro, or you're just getting started, a news anchor press release is a great addition to your online marketing strategy toolbox that will get your news more coverage and boost your SEO results. Want to learn more about this distribution package from Online PR Media, or how we can help with writing, editing and production of your video? We'd love to help! Contact us online to schedule time with a press release expert today.
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Anchor Text Links What Are Anchor Text Links, And How To Use Them In Your Press Release

If you're new to writing press releases, you may be wondering about using anchor text links. Or maybe even what they are to begin with! An anchor text link is just online marketing speak for words that go somewhere when clicked. You see them all the time in your daily ramblings around the web. They're usually underlined and colored, often blue, although modern website templates offer more choices for matching the look of links to a site's branding.

 

Looks aside, the function of anchor text links is the topic today, and more specifically how to effectively use them in your press releases. Some quick research on the topic reveals some controversy around anchor text links. To quickly clarify before going on, there absolutely IS a right way and a wrong way to use anchor text links. Knowing the right way to use them, and having the right expectations when creating content, is key to success.

 

First, let's take a closer look at the history of anchor text links and why we're sharing information about this topic to begin with.

 

The Rise Of Anchor Text Links In SEO

 

Once upon a time, it was a common SEO practice to use a ton of keyword stuffed links all going to a site's homepage in online content - including press releases. The idea was that with content published offsite (not on a company's own website), such as with guest blogs and press releases, the more links from third party sources a site had pointing to it, the more credible the site appeared. When combined with the technique of using high-ranking keywords in third party links, websites that practiced this SEO strategy saw an instant and lasting boost in their rankings.

 

It was such a popular and effective strategy, that agencies sold "link building" packages, promising website owners a certain number of "backlinks" (links from third party sources linking back to a website) each month. It worked. Search results were riddled with crappy, keyword-stuffed, over-linked content that was effectively clickbait for users conducting legitimate searches for legitimate answers. The result? A website may rank #1, but visitors weren't staying on the site, much less converting on anything.

 

Users were annoyed. And Google caught on.

 

In 2012, Google launched Penguin, an algorithm update that stopped giving juice to low-quality content with spammy links. It buried that content in the furthest reaches of the SERPs where no one goes, and in some cases even penalized sites that continued trying to game the system.

 

SEO experts agreed that anchor text links were dead. But then something incredible came of the change that tanked the rankings for so many sites. The top results in the SERPs were suddenly filled with USEFUL information. RELEVANT content that actually made sense, provided value to readers, answered questions, and helped users have a better search experience.

 

That was Google's intention. And really, isn't that the ultimate goal when creating content for your brand? Create great content FIRST… then figure out how you can link to related and relevant materials (maybe it's on your website, maybe it's not!) to support your content and create the best experience for readers.

 

Now let's dig into some specific best practices for using anchor text links in press releases.

 

Tips For Using Links In Press Releases

 

#1 - Write a great press release first

 

The overarching goal of distributing a press release is sharing relevant news about your company to a specific audience (customers, investors, etc.). News that matters to people is more likely to get picked up by prominent publications, catch the attention of journalists, reach a greater audience, and ultimately get read and shared by your target audience.

 

#2 - Less is more when it comes to links

 

Five links in a two-sentence paragraph is too many, and Google will see it as spammy. Resist the urge to link to every applicable page on your website. Less really is more if you take the time to plan out your links and make them count by linking to relevant materials that truly support your news.

 

If you use Online PR Media to distribute your press releases, we allow a maximum of 4 anchor text links. We do this specifically help protect you against accidentally spamming your release with too many links.

 

#3 - Use keywords strategically in links

 

The problem that Google Penguin addressed was not just too many links, but too many anchor text links in a site's link profile that matched their onsite optimization 100%. Meaning, if a website is optimized for the phrase "weight loss supplements" and all, or most, of their backlinks are exactly "weight loss supplements," it is clear they're attempting to build links artificially to rank higher. This is the content Google penalizes.

 

This doesn't mean you can't use keywords in your links. It just means the words and your strategy need to be varied. Here are some considerations:

 
  • Use longtail keywords - In addition to your core keywords, longtail keywords are more specific, have less competition, but more total searches. For example, if your core keyword is "weight loss supplement," some related longtail keywords might be "safe weight loss pills," "medically proven weight loss supplements," "natural weight loss pills," and so on, depending on your niche. Not only does using different keywords in your anchor text links keep you on the right side of Google, but it helps to create context, which search engines love because they can more accurately index and display your content in searches.
  • Use branded links - Even if you're not a well-known national brand, using your company name in your anchor text links is a great way to build recognition and visibility, and create a varied link profile.
  • Use generic links - How often do you see links that say, "For more information, click here."? More, click, here, this site, this blog, etc. are safe anchor text links. As an added benefit, if you do a good job writing the content around the link to be a teaser, people won't be able to help themselves. They'll have to click out of sheer curiosity. And every click is SEO currency that signals to Google that your content is useful, relevant and helpful. (See where we're going here?)
  • Use full URLs - While we often talk about anchor text links as being words or phrases, using a full URL also counts as a "link" to Google. The caveat? Short, recognizable links are best. Think about the difference between seeing a link such as www.example.com in a page of content, versus www.example.com/resources/blog/how-to-write-a-blog-post . In the latter, you might as well just say "Learn how to write a blog post here."
 

#4 - Understand the difference between do-follow and no-follow links

 

Getting links back to your website is a normal part of any comprehensive online marketing strategy. Google knows this. Google also knows there are going to be places where you publish regularly - and get backlinks from regularly - that, while not necessarily artificial and spammy, are not organically earned links you want accumulating in your link profile. On the other hand, there will be some mentions and one-off publications and subsequent links back to your site that you definitely DO want in your link profile!

 

When you create a link, you are allowed to tell search engines whether you want it recognized and indexed, or not.

 

A "no-follow" link tells search engines to ignore it. It won't be indexed and it won't be counted for or against your link profile. A "do-follow" link is the opposite; it's added to your link profile and the content is appropriately indexed.

 

Why would you want a no-follow link? Let's talk specifically about press releases. If PRs are a part of your regular marketing plan and you send several (think 2 or more per week), you're going to quickly accumulate lots of backlinks in your link profile. Even if you're varying your keyword and linking strategy, you're going to have some overlap with that frequency. In this case, you may decide to only make the most important and newsworthy releases do-follow links, and set the others to no-follow.

 

The opposite is true if you seldom send press releases, and you have a really stellar topic. Do-follow links will help your content get found, and ensure the credible third-party links are added to your link profile.

 

When you upload a press release to Online PR Media, your anchor text links are "no-follow" by default. Again, this is to protect users against accidentally adding unwanted links to their link profile. If you want to make your links "do-follow," simply check the box at upload.

 

#5 - Optimize your anchor text links

 

Your linking strategy will be specific to your business, your news, and the resources you're linking to. However, this is a general guide for optimizing the 4 links and full URL in your OPM press releases.

 
  • Link your ​company name​ to your ​homepage​, ideally in the first paragraph.
  • Link one ​keyword phrase​ to a ​relevant internal page​ or blog on your website, ideally in the first half of the release.
  • Link a different ​keyword phrase​ to a piece of your ​content published offsite​ (Guest posts, Medium, LinkedIn, Slideshare, etc.)
  • Link the ​name of the person​ you quote to their ​LinkedIn profile​.
  • Use a​ full URL linking to your ​homepage or relevant landing page ​toward the end of your release. For example, “Learn more at ​https://onlineprnews.com/​.”
 

Online PR Media Is Here To Help

 

We hope this resource has been helpful in understanding anchor text links and how to use them in your press releases. The best part is that we have expert SEO press release editors on staff who can provide recommendations and editorial tips to help you get the most from your PRs.

 
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