How to Get Free Publicity for Your Small Business

How Press Releases Work

An important component to any marketing and PR strategy is press release distribution. While the formatting and how you distribute a press release has changed since the days of typing one on a typewriter, then mailing physical copies to different publications (what a waste of stamps!), the goal is the same: to get the spotlight shone on your business.

The Basics
A press release is a public announcement of your company’s news. It’s distributed through online distribution resources, such as PRWeb. Through these channels, your release gets published on dozens of news and niche websites that pull their feed in from specific PRWeb channels. If you’re a toy manufacturer, you might choose to send your release through children’s, lifestyle and family channels so that it appears on relevant websites.

The more places your press release is published (along with your company website and keywords that focus on what you do), the better you will rank in search engine results. So if your press release uses keywords like “eco-friendly toys” and “green toys,” whenever someone searches for these keywords, your release, and thereby your company, will appear in those search results.

You can also send your release to journalists and reporters in the hopes that they will be interested in your story. Keep in mind, though, that they receive dozens of press releases every day, so being relevant and to-the-point is key in your email pitch.

The Benefits
Google and other search engines love new content linking to other websites. By providing a new release (which you should also link to on your News page on your company website) with links to your site, you’re effectively telling Google that your website is important (it must be! Look at all these sites that link to it!) and it moves you up the results list.

Also, more and more, consumers are finding press releases online, which introduces them to your brand, and lets them travel on to your website. Occasionally, journalists will also find your release online outside of you sending it to them, so it also provides an opportunity to reach the media that you wouldn’t otherwise have connected with.

Tips
? Aim to put out one press release a month.
? Only write releases about news; not promotions or ad-heavy copy.
? Pitch journalists mid-week when they’re less likely to delete your email.
? Include several relevant keywords in your release.
? Share your release on social media, in your email newsletter and on your site.
? Track who’s clicking from your press release through Google Analytics or whatever analytic program you use to measure web traffic.

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s written two books: 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and blogs for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as Mashable, Small Business Trends and Lead411. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.

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