Producing high quality content – and delivering it to a specific audience – is difficult. Whether your target audience is a customer, investor or journalist, you are competing against so much noise out there – from long headline queues at 8 a.m. Eastern to instant public reactions on Twitter.
A few seconds is all you have to get your audience to take the next step with your press release. People will move on if your message isn’t high quality right from the start.
All too often, I see content that had good intentions fall flat because it was tossed out into the news cycle without much thought to execution.
Don’t fall victim to headlines with 200+ characters, blocks of text that are difficult to scan because they lack formatting and visuals, jargon-filled writing that causes confusion, or stale messaging that doesn’t deliver relevant meaning to your audience.
Follow these five rules and produce high quality press releases that don’t get lost.
1. Make it insightful & relevant.
This is probably the hardest rule to follow, and requires a lot of patience and preparation.
Your content needs a purpose beyond filling your web site’s News section or company’s Twitter feed.
Get started by creating an editorial calendar at least three months in advance. Coordinate with your product, sales, and other teams to produce content your target audience will care about.
Do you have a new study to report on? A new infographic with up-to-date data? A white paper you’re proud of? An upcoming trade show you’re excited about participating in?
Readers and search engines will quickly know whether or not your message is relaying insightful and relevant information.
Don’t make the mistake in thinking you can fool them.
2. Be the authority.
In SEO and website terms, achieving authority can be a nebulous challenge, a reflection of search engine algorithms’ unending evolution.
But authority also means owning your content with confidence and expertise. Spot-on data, clean writing, and well-attributed quotes will never go out of style.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun. As we approach April 1st, PR Newswire is always a fan of the the entertaining content that April Fools’ Day inspires.
Transparency is the key to success. Don’t try and be overly clever or too subtle with your message; you run the risk of undermining your authority. Make sure the audience knows your intentions early on.
3. Avoid short, unsubstantial messages.
Search engines may not be looking for a minimum word count, but they are looking for high quality content.
That means producing a message that isn’t just a quick 50-word post with a few links to outdated product pages.
You need to craft content that builds trust with your readers so that they – and search engines, in turn – don’t think of you as a spammer.
Don’t fill your editorial calendar with short, low quality content. Instead, ensure you are delivering substantial (insightful, relevant and authoritative) messages.
4. Engage your reader from the start.
Don’t lead with a dry quote from an executive as to why your product is the best or why a deal will be great for your company’s future. Don’t bury a link you really want the reader to click in the bottom half of your message.
Engage your reader as soon as possible by focusing on why your story matters, including a call to action early on, and incorporating relevant and eye-catching photos and videos. It is proven that readers engage with visual content more than text-only.
5. Make your story easy to digest everywhere.
When Google confirmed last year that more searches take place on smartphones than on tablets and desktop computers, it sent a clear message to communicators:
Your content must be formatted with mobile in mind.
The challenge lies in balancing style with substance. Fortunately, with the right formatting, you can have your content cake and eat it too.
Shorter headlines, bullets, and bolding are all tried and true practices for making your story easy to discover and digest on any device.
Follow the above five rules and your content will be off to a good start. Get more tips that will ensure your message is well-received by downloading our Quick & Easy Guide to Sharing Your Press Release with the World.
Author Glenn Frates is Regional Vice President, Customer Content Services at PR Newswire. You can follow him on Twitter @glennfrates.
7 Comments on Blog Post Title
I’m glad you mentioned SEO, but I think it’s even more important than you suggest.
Google absolutely loves content, and the more the better. It needs to be high quality, obviously, but it loves in-depth articles.
Understanding SEO helps you to more quickly get your content ranked for those looking for stories and should be an integral part of the PR process.
Thank you for all of your great posts. The timing couldn’t be better.
Content absolutely needs to be engaging and often snappy. However, avoid turning to clickbait at all costs. It may increase the initial number of visitors to your page but this traffic will be of no value once they see no substantial content behind the headline. Focus more on creating a brand story and content which suits that brand – making it original and relevant.
Thanks for the interesting post!
not orange is the new black…content is new backlink. thx Glenn. i will simply just try it on one of my blogs
Very useful post
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the insightful post!