6 Press Release Ideas For PR Pros To Build ROI

Press Release ROI
As PR pros and small business marketers find more ways to understand the ROI of their marketing efforts, they’re also getting a better look at the specific ROI of online press releases. It’s easier than ever to quantify press release ROI thanks to tools such as Google Analytics, which allows marketers to identify how many referring visits to a company website can attribute to each press release.

However, you have to put press release ideas into play that will produce measureable ROI. The question is, how do you equate likes, shares or visits to your site with actual numbers that reflect revenue? Say you’re a B2B marketer trying to determine how well your press releases actually perform. According to Fireclick, the average website conversion rate worldwide was a little under 3% in 2011. So for every 1,000 visits you receive, about 30 will actually convert.

Then take into account the cost of press release distribution – at $200 per release. In this scenario you can determine that the cost of the leads you get based on that 3% conversion rate is about $6 per lead.

Now you know the return your releases typically provide, but don’t stop there. Look for practical ways to improve your releases and thus improve the ROI potential they deliver. In other words, if your releases bring in more traffic, you’ll get more leads.

Try implementing these 6 press release ideas you can put into action right now to boost your press release performance and resulting ROI.

1. Tell a story. 

It isn’t always easy, but it should always be your goal to frame your message in the context of a story. Do you have news about an acquisition or new hire? Share the background and history of your company to give readers a more personal view of your business. Announcing a new product or service? Introduce it in a problem-solving capacity.

2. Optimize

Make it easier for your target audiences to find you by optimizing your releases. Give your press releases an optimization checkup as part of your editing process. Be sure your key words are included in the headline and first paragraph as well as sprinkled lightly (2 – 3 times) throughout your text.

3. Link

In addition to your keyword links, provide a direct URL link in your press releases. Take into account the intended reader of your release. The content that goes out to journalists should link back to your online newsroom, while the press release that is intended to reach consumers should have a link back to your landing page.

4. Compel

The underpinning of all successful online content for businesses is that it gets readers to act. Use emotional language to generate a response. This connects to the first point, telling a story. You’ve drawn readers in with an anecdote, now that they’re invested, they’ll be more inclined to do what you ask, whether visit your website, download a whitepaper or help support your philanthropic partner.

5. Be social. 

The crux of distributing a press release is to create social content that readers will want to spread. To help them do that, include a wide variety of social channel icons as part of your press release so your audiences can share on their own networks. Don’t forget to give them the options to email or print, as well.

6. Test your metrics. 

There are any number of variables you can test in regards to your press releases. The obvious general elements include reads, views, downloads shares and traffic numbers. But to understand which parts of your release worked best, test specifics like calls to action, headline or days of distribution. To keep your measurement clear, try testing only one variable per release.

Remember ROI is determined by tracking specifics. Keeping it top of mind will help your press release strategy stay focused as well. Rather than hoping for press release distribution that spreads across the Internet, your tactics should be geared toward bringing in the right type of traffic to your website and then understanding what they do when they get there.

For more information on how you can improve your ROI, download the white paper, The ROI of Online Press Releases.

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