Earlier this week, I participated in an excellent webinar from PRWeb (thank you PRWeb!) and learned some very valuable tips about utilizing your news to drive traffic to your site. The speaker was Lee Oden, CEO of Top Rank Marketing. The purpose of this training was to help us learn how to create, optimize and promote news content to reach consumers and journalists.
Lee opened the training with sharing that an estimated 70% of people are getting their news online. As traditional marketing and public relations methods are evolving; we are adapting to new ways of reaching journalists. Journalists are now utilizing social media networks, blogs and other online sources to get their story. Lee shared some very interesting statistics with us that demonstrate how search engines are utilized when looking for facts, sources and information for their story.
When using search engines, 91% of journalists say they typically do a standard and general search- meaning they do not limit their search to any specific type of media. However- in many cases, the same journalists do specify their search to narrow their results. When doing this-
9% search for video
18% are searching for images
14% are searching blogs
27% are searching social media networks (Twitter/Facebook)
So, which social media tools do journalists use to do their research for facts, experts and trends? According to Oddem:
55% say they use Blogs
36% use Microblogging sites (such as Twitter)
64% search in social networks (such as Facebook, Linked In)
9% search in Social Bookmarking Communities (Digg, Delicious, Stumble Upon)
36% search in Media Sharing
14% search Podcasts
50% search Wikis
So the million dollar question is: how can I make it so journalists can find it and write about my company? Right? Most companies use SEO for lead/sales generation (quite important!). However, we should also look at ways to optimize our content so anyone doing research in our individual field or industry can find us.
Oddem demonstrated the importance of using a healthy combination of “Push vs Pull” tactics of marketing. As he explained this, I interpreted “Push marketing” to be traditional marketing as we know it- using outreach methods to get information to writers in the form of press releases in the wire services and pitching directly to the journalist. There is still value in this method- but needs to be complimented by “Pull Marketing” which is the practice of optimizing content so it is easier to find.
So- how do we optimize our content? Oddem stressed the importance of researching and strategically placing your keywords in specific areas about 2-4 times- (namely in the title and within the body of the piece). However, make sure the piece is optimized for people to read- not just search engines. Some companies are so focused on using their keywords- they lose sight of the fact that real people read them and the piece reads poorly! It is also valuable to add media such as photos and video when possible. He gave us his model on how to best optimize a company press release using a combination of the “Push & Pull” marketing:
1. Research Keywords
2. Optimize the content with the keywords
3. Create a call to action within the piece
4. Direct the reader to a landing page designed specifically to convert them into a solid lead
5. Post to a newsroom (see GM Europe and Electorlux for great examples of online newsrooms)
6. Pitch to the media
7. Utilize an RSS feed
8. Utilize Wire Service Distribution
9. Measure success
He gave us some very valuable PR tactics that companies can utilize that will affect their SEO (implement your keywords in all of these!):
- Press Releases
Letters to the Editor (print editions and letters often appear online- so use your keywords!)
Real World Interviews (make sure you use your keywords when giving an interview)
While I am not sure I was able to grasp and articulate each of his points in this post, I learned a lot in the 50 minutes that he spoke. I appreciate his approach on combining some of the traditional (and still relevant) marketing methods and complimenting these methods with the new approaches that allow our information to be accessible in the search engines. I believe these tips will be useful for any web marketer or business owner.