Do you use press releases on your small business website?
At first glance, this might seem like a waste of time – how many media outlets are really going to be interested in a small, local business hiring a new employee or offering a new product line?
But press releases serve a couple of purposes. They inform customers and media alike about new happenings in your business. Even if those happenings are rather mundane, they keep people aware of your updates and keep you on your customers’ radar screens. And, they are a great way to improve your search engine rankings.
Here’s our advice on using press releases:
1. Write press releases. Aim for a frequency of once or twice a month.
- Keep them short (2 to 4 paragraphs, unless your news is really ground-breaking).
- Include at least one quote from the business owner (usually, you), an employee, a new customer or client, etc.
- Incorporate keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business. This helps with search engine optimization.
- Use a professional looking press release template, but remember you are primarily going to use this in an electronic format. Include a headline, your contact information and the date.
- End with a short paragraph that describes your business and says where you are located.
2. Post them to a specific section of your website. Most small businesses have an “About Us” section of their websites. This is a great place to include a “Press Releases” page. Put your press releases here.
3. Incorporate at least one sharp, good quality photo when possible. These can be web resolution, but make sure you either include a link to a larger, higher resolution photo or indicate that one is available if there is any chance that a print publication, like a newspaper or magazine, might want to use your photo.
4. Email your press releases to your local newspaper, radio stations and TV stations. You can often find the appropriate person (usually a business reporter or editor) at each media company’s website, or call their main switchboard and ask for the contact email and phone number of the business reporter, editor or newsdesk. Your information will not be used most of the time, but occasionally it will, and this “free” publicity often outweighs paid advertising in the attention it attracts.
5. Rewrite your press release to be a little more fun and a little less formal, and add it to your business blog.
6. Post a link to the press release or the related blog post to your social media tools of choice. Start with your Facebook fan page and business Twitter account.
7. Submit your releases to free online press release services. Do a Google search for “submit press releases” and pick three or so to submit your releases to. Look for sites that seem to be including press releases from other small businesses and not “spam” topics.
Using press releases can help your business communicate more with your customers, put more content on your website, and increase the articles on your site with keywords that can be indexed and linked to by top search engines.
Need help writing or submitting your small business press release? We’d love to help. Contact us for information on our inexpensive press release writing services.