Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Press Release

Every successful company understands the importance of a well-written press release as it plays a huge role in any effective communication strategy. However, despite its relevance, many companies struggle to curate the perfect press release as it can be rather difficult to create one that captivates and engages the audience. A poorly written or untimely announcement can have detrimental repercussions, forcing your company to regroup and do damage control. Therefore, to help you write an informative yet newsworthy press release, here are the common mistakes you need to avoid. 

Having a Bland Headline 

Nowadays, journalists wade through a plethora of press releases, and many of them get overlooked because their titles do not generate enough interest. The more eye-catching your press release, the better. A bland headline will not spark interest and will most likely have your copy pushed to the side. To capture the attention of journalists, you’ll need to captivate them with a newsworthy title. You’ll want to come up with a direct and concise headline that communicates your message in an effective yet engaging manner. 

Not Including Visuals

Many press releases are blocks of plain text, which deters both journalists and readers alike. Without interesting and relevant visuals, your press release will just be a block of black and white text that journalists are unwilling to read.

If you want readers to stop and take notice, your PR needs to sizzle; this means you need to generate excitement and interest. The best way to ensure this is by including eye-catching visuals that can increase your chances of creating an engaging press release that your audience will want to read. Studies show that today’s market is all about visuals. With the fast pace of the media – specifically social media – we gravitate to visuals first, and that helps us determine whether or not the text included deserves our attention.

Rushing it 

If you’re a rookie, the mere idea of writing a press release can make you quite anxious. This can lead to 2 things: either you won’t give yourself enough time to write well-thought-out content, or you will become overwhelmed and cram too much information, which will lead you to lose the audiences’ interest as a result. Avoid rushing the writing process as this will affect your sentence structure and make you more likely to leave out relevant information. You also don’t want to ramble on and confuse your audience. The information has to be relevant to the reader, so give yourself enough time to devise an outline and identify the message you want to convey and the clearest way to do so. 

Press releases are the fundamental foundation of a successful PR strategy, which is why you ought to conduct quality research before writing it out. For this reason, experts recommend that you consider using a template to provide your readers with a perfectly-formatted press release. Taking a look at some samples will also give you a better idea of the optimal outline to follow to ensure success. 

One Dimensional Formatting

Many people tend to write their press releases in a formal manner similar to that of newspapers. This type of stiff writing has no flow. A lack of fluidity in your sentence structure won’t generate the engaging vibe you need to cultivate excitement. Take a look at some of the most captivating public speakers and pay attention to their rhythms and sentence structure to learn how to intrigue audiences. You want to avoid redundant sentences but, on the other hand, you don’t want your sentences to be short and stiff, either. 

Overuse of Links 

It’s easy to get carried away with embedded links and forget what the initial goal of this press release is. Follow this golden rule moving forward: stick to 2 links maximum for the best effect. In the meantime, don’t forget the importance of keywords and SEO practices to ensure your writing is not only compelling but that also aligns with your audiences’ online search habits. 

Lacking Resonance 

Of course, you will have goals you want to achieve and a vision you want to stick to, but a common mistake many people make is that they become so preoccupied with their vision that they create content that doesn’t resonate with the different audiences intend to target. It’s important to remember that it’s not a one-size-fits-all case. You will need to alter your copy for various audiences to resonate with journalists, editors, media publishers, and all the other readers you hope to reach out to. This means customizing your headline and leads accordingly. Some information that may seem relevant to you may not be relevant to a select few of your target audience. 

Making it Too Promotional

As mentioned above, being preoccupied with your vision has its downsides. After all, a PR isn’t about patting yourself on the back; it is about resonating with your target audience, most notably, journalists. Avoid making your press release too promotional and instead, focus your attention on providing your readers with real value. Always ask yourself, “Is this news is relevant to readers?” “Does it coincide with what’s going on today?” Nothing that will put off journalists more and give you bad publicity than an untimely press release. 

Relying Solely on Distribution Platforms

Back in the day, all you needed to rely on was distribution platforms. However, now there are a plethora of other methods to make use of. You need to be active on social media and keep in mind that it has a huge impact on what is deemed newsworthy and clickable. Therefore, you’ll need to optimize your online content by being informed on trends and popular interests, as this generates better results than traditional news articles. As such, include graphics, visuals, and images to increase your chances of being featured in various publications. It’s also a good idea for up-and-coming brands to cultivate relationships with a circle of journalists to expand their outreach and get their name out there. 

Writing a press release may seem overwhelming, but once you understand what is relevant to your target audience, you’ll be able to create a press release that resonates with your readers. To generate and maintain the interest of your audience, you need to provide valuable content that’s suitable for today’s climate. Avoid making the aforementioned common mistakes, and use these tried-and-tested tips to write an engaging and captivating press release. 

Local SEO Hacks: Why Reviews Matter and How to Leverage Them for Businesses

Everything in SEO goes back to this golden tenet: Google provides users with the best experience possible. And every element that contributes to this lofty goal improves your ranking.

As such, reviews — no matter how peripheral they seem — matter. In a conventional white-hat SEO campaign, the strategies revolve around keywords and codes, and reviews may be brushed off. However, this customer-generated content helps advance your site to the top of the results page because it improves customer experience; reviews help them decide. 

Reviews accomplish two goals: compel your customers to take action and fortify your Local SEO services.

For SEO: Reviews Make for Rich Results Listings

Rich results are listings on the results page that go beyond the standard blue link. They have ratings, images, carousels, and more. These were borne out of the need to help users decide whether that listing is relevant to their search. 

The rule is, the more information on the listing, the easier the decision. 

This applies to sites that use markup language for social proof. When Google crawls your site, it recognizes the markup for reviews, which appear as golden stars under the listing. 

These golden stars instantly make your listing stand out from the results page. After all, 84 percent of shoppers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. And it doesn’t take many reviews to convince them: 68 percent of shoppers form an opinion after reading between one and six online testimonies.

Using SEO software to management and analyze higher rating (the closer to five golden stars) leads to a higher click-through rate (CTR). This amplifies your SEO efforts — analysts observed a strong correlation between CTR and search rankings. If Google sees that a lot of people are clicking your site, then your site must be providing a great experience.

More importantly, a higher CTR generates a lot more traffic, which means more opportunities to convert and close a sale. 

For SEO: Customer Feedback as Fresh, Keyword-Rich Content

The more content you publish, the more Google’s crawlers will visit your site and reassess your ranking. Every time you make an update on your site, the search engine crawls it and evaluates your site. And thanks to the Freshness Algorithm, search engines prefer fresh content. 

High-quality content is prized because, going back to our golden tenet, it gives users an excellent experience. 

Although you did not generate the reviews, Google still sees these testimonials as fresh content. When users leave a review on your site, the search engine has something new to crawl and index. What’s more, these reviews likely contain keywords relevant to your product, service, or location, like:

  • “I bought these chocolate molds
  • “The best burger I’ve had in Queens
  • “The hotel has a spectacular view of the Thames

Though unintentional, these keywords help Google understand the nature of your business and consequently, create a better user intent match.

For Customers: Higher Brand Trust

Trust is a huge factor in conversion. Without trust, customers won’t take that leap of faith and buy from your brand. Many elements influence brand trust: the age of the company, word of mouth recommendations, and brand reputation.

In the digital space, reviews play a huge role in strengthening brand trust, especially among first-time buyers. 

Looking at this 2019 Trustpilot research, we can observe that three out of the top ten factors that increase brand trust involves online reviews. About 93.7 percent of customers say they trust a brand more if they have positive customer reviews. So if people are saying good things about your products, proudly and prominently put them on your site.

Reviews are a double-edged sword, however. They can also lead to a decrease in trust when feedback puts your business in a bad light. About 88.8 percent of customers say their trust decreases if the company has negative customer reviews. 

Despite this, it still pays to post reviews because the absence of social proof deters picky customers. About 81.0 percent say their trust takes a hit if the company has no customer reviews.

But no matter how tempting it may be, do not delete negative comments and reviews. A staggering 95 percent of consumers say that their trust decreases if the negative reviews are deleted. Even if you have a couple of negative reviews, hiding them may do your brand more harm than good.

 

Here’s how far ratings could go in driving sales: a 2018 TurnTo study reveals that, if customers were comparing two similar products with a price difference of two dollars, 73 percent would choose the pricier product with a higher rating. 

 

For Customers: Creating Fresh Customer Interactions

So what do you do if you can’t delete negative comments? You respond to them.

Reviews are an important point of interaction between the customers and the brand. When you respond to reviews, customers feel heard, and their impression of the brand improves. There’s a good chance for you to restore their trust, even if the customer’s initial experience was negative. 

Here’s a quick guide to responding to negative reviews:

  1. Acknowledge the problem. Begin by acknowledging that a problem occurred and that it resulted in an unpleasant experience for the customer.
  2. Take the high road — apologize. Even if the customer was on the wrong, offer an apology.
  3. Offer an explanation, not an excuse. If possible, provide more information to clarify any misunderstanding. For instance, was there a huge technical issue that delayed shipping?
  4. Take the conversation online. Invite the customer to talk about the problem through messaging, instead of the review page.

Taken in stock with all other elements in your digital marketing, reviews are not as valuable as site structure, user experience, keyword research, and link building when it comes to SEO. These strategies are foundational. However, your competitors are doing all that. 

Once the “SEO basics” are taken care of, what will make your campaign stronger than the competition?

Your reviews offer a golden opportunity to amplify the effects of your SEO efforts — something your competitors may not realize. Reviews provide fresh, keyword-rich content for Google to crawl and enrich your site listing. More importantly, reviews convince people to choose you, which is what SEO is all about.

The Importance Of Email Marketing For Your Digital Marketing Efforts

When it comes to running a successful digital marketing campaign, there are many different elements that need to be incorporated. 

From the on-page and off-page SEO, any paid advertising, to help promote your product and brand, to the way you communicate with your audience. This you can complete through social media, content marketing, but also email marketing. 

A reliable and prominent figure within your digital marketing strategy, if you are unsure of the value of email marketing, then we can help.

Here to explain the true importance of email marketing, keep reading to discover whether email marketing is valuable for your business. But also, how you too can begin to incorporate this simple communication channel into your marketing.

What is Email Marketing

If you are new to the ever evolving world that is digital marketing and are about to take your first baby steps within email marketing. Let us first acquaint you with this valuable form of communication popular for its ability to communicate with receptive audiences.

As you may be somewhat aware, email marketing involves marketing and targeting consumers with commercial material with a particular goal in mind. Whether to improve customer loyalty, increase sales or share important information, email marketing is an important way to directly market to a targeted group of people.

With a commercial message in mind, this communication with customers is followed after the recipient consents to receive marketing messages in their inbox. This often follows the completion of a sale or a sign up to a business newsletter. 

This remarketing of material to be truly successful should be separated into different segments. These segments of different characteristics of the email database and added audience insights can allow the business to focus and send material best suited to the participants’ interest.

What can Email Marketing achieve

If you are attempting to determine whether email marketing is beneficial for your business, regardless of how big or small your company is, email marketing is an essential addition. 

With our lives becoming more and more digital, even more so following the COVID-19 outbreak, making sure that your digital marketing strategy is tidy and in pristine condition is more important than ever before. One way that you can do this and be confident that all efforts will not be wasted and that is by incorporating and optimising your use of email marketing. 

As our lives are moving more online and with over 3.5 billion smartphones users in the world, so is the amount of time that we are spending on our devices. With a mobile phone continually in our possession, targeting your audience through this reliable channel should be paramount in this digital age. 

Why should email marketing be incorporated into your digital marketing strategy? A method to contact and reach out to customers while they are out and about, while creating personalised messages that are in line with your marketing strategy. 

Advantages of Email Marketing for businesses

When it comes to the importance of email marketing for your businesses and deciding whether to incorporate this form of communication into your marketing strategy, first you must look at the advantages. What are the advantages of email marketing? And why should you incorporate it into your business? 

From looking at the results conducted and experienced by companies that incorporate email marketing into their strategy, there is one common outcome. That is the unbeatable ROI experienced

When compared to other marketing channels, the Return Of Investment experienced from email marketing came in up at the top in second to the results experienced through the social media channel, Facebook.

Research also conducted has discovered that emails are 40 times more effective when it comes to acquiring and converting consumers. An important feature during these turbulent times.

Along with a higher ROI, what are the other advantages of email marketing? 

Ties together your entire marketing strategy

What should be a foundation within your marketing strategy, when successfully promoting your brand of message, never use one channel alone. Instead, by incorporating all channels together, you can expect to receive maximum success. This point can be seen with the addition of email marketing and its ability to blend with your marketing strategy. While also working to benefit and give them the extra push that they deserve. 

If you are planning on organising a social media contest. Don’t just promote it across social media. Instead promote it to your email subscribers to drive the activity and allow them to promote and share the contest with their friends and family. 

ALSO READ: Press Release Mistakes To Avoid

Connects with larger number of customers

If you are launching a new service or product and are looking to connect and communicate with customers, email marketing should be considered. This it can do through its ability to be received and read by subscribers anywhere, at any time of the day.

With more people with an active email account than those that use social media, email marketing already looks to be a reliable addition. 

Add in a higher conversion rate and ROI. There really is no excuse for not incorporating email marketing into your marketing strategy. 

Longer lifespan

Social media is an important marketing platform for businesses to connect with customers. This fact has been highlighted in recent research that found 91% of marketers claimed social media increased their brand recognition. But, what makes email marketing more valuable than social media? 

When comparing the two, email marketing can embody a longer lifespan. This lifespan can be seen through the permanent placement that the email creates when sitting within the inbox.

While a Tweet on the other hand has a lifespan of 18 minutes, proof that an email has a longer lifespan.

Offers a more personalised message

As previously touched upon, if you are looking to market and communicate with consumers on a personal level, personalising your message is recommended. This is where email marketing can be used to help assist with this task.

Email automation has never been more advanced than it is now. Along with personalising the subscriber names and the subject line, through the creation and segments of email lists, businesses can ensure that their message is going to the most receptive audience.

The email automation software that you choose to use can even filter emails by job titles and locations.

How to begin an email marketing campaign

We have covered the benefits of email marketing to a business and why it should be incorporated into your marketing strategy. From the longer lifespan to its ability to connect with a larger audience while offering a more personalized message. 

Not to be used alone, email marketing is a superb pillar to support and propel your present marketing strategy. But how do you begin to create an email marketing campaign?

We have put together some top tips for beginners looking to take their first steps and grasp the benefits of this effective marketing channel.

When it comes to the importance of email marketing, making sure that you have created a strong foundation can ensure maximum success as you begin to harness and incorporate email marketing into your campaign. 

Here are some the basic foundations that you must cover before starting to send out mass emails.

Choose an Email Automation software

Before you start to incorporate email marketing into your digital marketing plan, first you must review and choose an email automation software for your needs. With many platforms available, you won’t be short of choices. It is recommended that you take the time to familiarize yourself with the different softwares and their functions. Your email marketing campaign is only as good as your software that you choose to use. From Mailchimp, GetReponse to ConvertKit, there are a number of superb email automation softwares to review. 

Email Database

You have chosen your email automation software of choice and have created an effective content marketing strategy that you are confident will be a huge success. But how are you going to get your message out there to your audience? Before you can press send, first you need to build an email database. There are a number of ways that you can begin to grow and invite customers to sign up to receive your emails.

From a signup form that you place on your website to receive the latest news, or the gift of an exclusive discount for signing up to the newsletter. Some websites choose to create gated content that becomes visible once the reader signs up to their newsletter and agrees to be contacted with relevant marketing material. How you choose to build your email database is up to you and should be in line whether to help drive sales or increase visibility of content. 

Create relevant content and segment accordingly

Before you are able to start harvesting the fruits of your labour, first you must create relevant and engaging content. From the subject line, personalisation of emails, while catchy and easy to read emails all paramount for maximum effectiveness.

From making sure that your email is punchy, it is also recommended that you take the time to make sure that you are targeting the right group within your audience. 

Segmenting and sending targeted emails to a particular group within your audience can ensure that is openly received. The more relevant the content, the higher the conversion rate.

Summary

A powerful and important addition to your digital marketing strategy, for those looking to propel their marketing efforts, email marketing is recommended. By ignoring the rumours that email marketing is dead, instead you can create an effective and powerful marketing strategy that can get your brand and message seen and heard by a receptive audience. 

Coming in second to Facebook for high ROI results, within this blog we have covered the importance of email marketing and its many benefits.

With a little bit of investment and time put aside, you too can begin to see the benefits of this more personalised communication with interested audiences. 

If you have yet to try your hand at email marketing and witness the benefits for yourself, by reviewing our 3 top tips for incorporating email marketing into your strategy, you too can put your best foot forward.

Have you embraced email marketing and witnessed any instant noticeable results? We would love to hear from you and discover your first hand experience of email marketing. Comment below and share your experience of email marketing with us today.

How To Make Your eCommerce Startup A Social Media Brand

Establishing a loyal customer base for an eCommerce business is extremely profitable. Given the low margins that many stores operate at, repeat customers help improve the ROI of your business. Social media channels like Facebook and Instagram not only help businesses reach out to their niche audience, they are also great platforms to build a brand that can translate into off-channel sales. Here is a simple how-to guide to help you achieve this.

Stand out from the crowd

Investing in creating a brand identity may seem like a frivolous expense in the early days. However, they are great assets to have on social media. Your followers on platforms like Facebook view your posts alongside posts made by other brands and people. In the absence of a strong brand identity, your content may fail to stand out.

Use brand colors that is unique and showcase your logos prominently. This improves engagement among followers. Not only does that help with direct sales, it also plays a role in another critical aspect of social media marketing. Websites like Facebook and Instagram tweak the visibility of a post based on engagement. Your brand identity may thus influence better reach among your social media followers.

Pick the right eCommerce platform

There are a number of different factors you look at while choosing an eCommerce platform. One of the factors must be to pick a tool that integrates well with third party plugins and services. Alternately, you should go with a provider who has a generous database of plugins and add-ons in their app marketplace.

In doing so, you may be in a position to pick a platform that seamlessly integrates with social media – including the ability to manage a Facebook Store or promote your products on your Instagram timeline. This contributes to higher visibility and consequently, better branding.

Deploy the right add-on tools

There are tons of social media tools targeted at startups that can help an eCommerce business with improving their social media visibility. There are tools like Facebook’s “Watch Party” that lets Groups watch videos simultaneously. FBStart is a global program that helps startups build and grow their business while EmbedReviews is a tool that lets you easily embed reviews on your Facebook Page. Invest your time on the right tools that can help you improve social media visibility and build a brand.

Invest in building viral traction

Securing shares and likes on your social media posts may be relatively easy once you have a large following on these channels. However, if you are an eCommerce store that is just starting out, gaining social media visibility may be challenging. In such cases, make use of viral marketing tools like ViralContentBee to earn likes and shares on your social media posts from trusted peers. This way, you build a following on your Pages that can build momentum and brand equity over the long-term.

ECommerce is a challenging industry as it is and building a brand amid cut-throat competition can be painful. However, with the strategies outlined here, you should be in a position to improve visibility and exposure to your business that increases brand equity on social media channels.