I recently had a conversation with a colleague at work. We were debating the merits behind the using press releases to drive digital traffic. He was of the contention that the concept of a press release itself has lost its luster and is no longer a valuable tool for driving traffic. Personally, I am of a different contention. In this blog post I detail three strong reasons why I believe that press releases are still a useful tool in the digital age.
Links are the bedrock in which we surf the web. Links are used by search engines to discover how different pages relate to one another. Search engines utilize these links as votes for the popularity of a specific domain. Receiving inbound links from multiple trustworthy sites immediately lends credence and credibility to the final domain. Keep in mind the actual press release itself does not provide that much of a SEO bump. The editorial response to it should. In theory the coverage of your brand via editorial response will include inbound links back to your site. This will serve immediate dividends if the inbound link is from a respectable, popular domain.
When I was in college I had a business professor who once told me that college is primarily about developing relationships and secondarily about learning new information. I believe that success in the business world follows the same pattern. A majority of business, whether in the traditional or digital manner, involves the creation and maintenance of relationships. If properly used, press releases can serve as an additional channel to grow relationships with various influential journalists. In the era of content marketing, it cannot be understated how important it is to have continuous amounts of content created. Having that open relationship with a journalist will only serve to benefit your company. That is because when they are writing their next piece your brand is at the forefront of their mind and they are more apt to feature your company. Consequently, you will benefit from the positive links and coverage that this particular publication will provide.
Power To Influence
I strongly believe in the power of referral marketing. I generally believe that the vast majority of consumers are extremely hesitant to commit to a new product or service. They look for cues from popular and powerful channels before committing to a new product and or service. Press releases are the perfect way to communicate product or service acceptance to the wide majority of consumers. The credibility that organization receive when they have their releases picked up by a influential channel is immense. Consumers immediately believe that if XYZ publication published a piece in support of your brand then your brand must be a success. In addition, these referrals work in the opposite way to support company of origination. For example, if your brand has an article featured on CNN you can run testimonials saying we have been featured on CNN. This lends credence to your business and helps legitimize your brand as a credible competitor within the space.