This post was first published by Maya Smith on March Communications’ blog PR Nonsense.
It isn’t “new” news anymore that Google’s Panda 4.0 caused the SEO visibility of press releases to drop considerably, but companies are still working to adjust PR strategies. The silver lining is that the increasing emphasis on original content presents even more opportunities to share original, creative content that drives results. The press release can still be used to generate awareness, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Here are some other ways that brands can spread their messages, without running into the Google algorithm roadblock.
1. Blog Posts
Through a corporate blog, executives have the freedom to write about a new product launch, an industry trend or whatever other news they find relevant. It’s a space that allows businesses to create rich, meaningful content, without contending with the filter of a news publication.
2. Contributed Content
Many publications will syndicate contributed content that’s helpful for a target audience. Usually, this kind of content is a thought leadership article that has been written by an executive within a company and, like a blog post, can help shape the public’s image of the business. The big advantage of contributed content is that, once accepted by a publication, the article will appear in front of a huge audience in a well-known news outlet – with all the SEO and social media benefits that go with it.
3. Social Media
Speaking of social media: between LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
and Google+, circulating news to a large network in real-time is easy and quite frankly, necessary. Posting a short message linking to your news or to other content can even reach four times more people than your follower base. Creating a steady flow of updates not only circulates the relevant news about your brand, it also shows that you are a thought leader in your industry and gives your voice a stronger presence. Something to which consumers expect to see.
A final way to further promote a brand’s name is through video. A video gives executives a voice and can capture their full personality through the lens of a camera. Video is also a great way to capture an industry event. There are a lot of ways to leverage a clip – it can be posted on the brand’s website and YouTube channel, then further promoted through social media. Feeling productive? Blog about it as well. A video offers all the benefits of a blog post, but goes one step further by creating a visual connection between a brand and its audience.
One Piece of the Puzzle
Press releases are far from extinct and are still a proven way to make an announcement, but as you can see, it’s not the only option. By incorporating blog posts, bylines, videos and a solid social media presence within a PR campaign, brands can gain a lot of traction just by leveraging owned and earned media.