Creating a newsworthy press release that the reader wants to read

You’ve been tasked with creating a big announcement or press release for your company. And now you’re wondering: how exactly do I create a press release? What is needed in order to execute the press release from start to finish? We have your answers.
Before you even get to drafting your press release, it is essential to understand what announcement should be conveyed and its proper format.

Newsworthiness that people actually care about

A press release needs to cover an event that is truly newsworthy. It is important to be able to distinguish the difference between internal company interest and public interest. The subject of the press release must elicit curiosity among publications and their readership. Ask yourself, if I wasn’t working at XYZ company, would I care about this story?
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if the topic is newsworthy:

  • Ask yourself, if I wasn’t working at XYZ company, would I care about this story?
  • Is there a clear benefit or impact that comes from this news?
  • Why would this news be valuable to the reader?
  • What is the angle of the actual press release itself?
  • What is the key piece of information within the news release that is timely and relevant?

For example, if your company just rolled out a new version of your product, that has the potential to be newsworthy. It is newsworthy if the benefits are important to the audience. However, if the feature is simply adding a new help area or new UI improvements – it is unlikely to be considered newsworthy.
However, if your new feature has the potential to transform an industry, that is considered newsworthy.

Title and subheading to hook the reader

The title and subheading of the press release are key to capturing the attention of publications and their readership. If these first two lines are not engaging and concise, your audience will stop reading. A compelling title will elicit greater interest among publications, allowing your company amplify the reach of its messaging.

Format your paragraphs with relevant context

An effective press release is structured in three parts: title/sub-heading, introduction paragraph, and body paragraph. Remember, the point of your press release is to convey an internal story and each section should build upon the other.
There is a quote, typically around 2/3 of the way through the news release that is from an executive at your company. The quote should illustrate the impact of the news.

Word length to keep the readers attention

An effective press release is around 300 to 500 words in length. This standard word length will allow your company to hit the sweet spot in terms of SEO-optimization and reader engagement. No one has time to read a three-paragraph essay anymore.
Many of the wire services charge by the length of the press release and the distribution that’s associated with it. Shorter news releases are less expensive and are often time more interesting.

The background information about your company

The end of the press release includes an about section, which provides an overview about your company. There should be an about section that clearly describes who you are and what you do. Someone should be able to easily find your website so they can learn more.
Specific contact information should be at the very end. The contact information makes it easy for a journalist, prospective customer, or other media outlet to reach out in case they want to learn more.
Keep in mind, the word count for the About Us section should not be included in your overall word count for the press release. Keep the About Us section at no more than 100 words long.
Many of the wire services charge by the length of the press release and the distribution that’s associated with it. So if you put together an especially long press release inclusive of a very lengthy About Us portion you’re likely to incur surcharges and no one wants to spend more money for the same amount of content.

What you need to know about onboarding with Hubspot

If your organization recently decided to use Hubspot for its marketing automation needs, congratulations on a solid choice. But, there’s a lot to do to get ready for the transition.
First, determine how much content the the organizatioin has to work with, whether there is enough to generate the traffic and results necessary to get the most out of Hubspot.

Before Onboarding

Onboarding requires a detailed plan for migrating from the current customer relationship management (CRM) tool to Hubspot:

  • Identify who’ll be using Hubspot. Will it be marketing team, sales, customer service or a combination? The answer will determine how much help is needed from Hubspot to onboard team members and developing processes.
  • Get data in order. Ensure a clean migration of all leads and other customer data by cleaning up and organizing digital records.
  • Educate the team. All applicable staff members who stand to benefit from Hubspot should understand how their work day will change and how to use the system. Hubspot will provide a customer touchpoint to help the teams.

Onboarding Marketing

Onboarding the marketing processes into Hubspot requires a significant amount of groundwork before launch.

  • Import data (make sure it’s clean and relevant).
  • Set up automation triggers.
  • Install customer personas.

Your marketing onboarding plan with Hubspot should address the following areas:

  • Email – Hubspot’s marketing email templates can be difficult to set up, so rely on dits customer relationship manager.
  • Web-to-lead forms – Know how to use Hubspot forms on the website, and how they’ll replace current forms on the site.
  • Nurture campaigns – There’s no A/B testing with Hubspot, so work with the rep to set up campaigns properly.
  • Blog articles – Have a plan for how Hubspot handles blog articles. It can automatically scale and prep posts for proper optimization and performance.

Sales Onboarding

Once marketing efforts are generating a steady pipeline of potential business for sales, another aspect of Hubspot can kick in. To make sure the sales team is ready, have the Hubspot customer success manager go over setting up:

  • Templates
  • Sequences
  • Signatures
  • Calendar meetings

It’s also be crucial to set up the stages of the sales pipeline, to focus your sales efforts and properly measure success most effectively.

Pros and Cons

Positives

Hubspot’s knowledge base is second to none, with a great support system online and off. The training program is extremely informative and makes use of video and other interactives to make it engaging and easier to follow.

Negatives

The year 2019 hasn’t been Hubspot’s best. with a major failure in its infrastructure causing an outage that left us scrambling at the end of the quarter.
Further, several features in the platform aren’t quite functional.
Despite those setbacks, the onboarding process is straightforward, with great support along the way. How successful the onboarding process is depends on how quickly the organization rallies staff to participate in lining up the information.
To know whether there is enough content for Hubspot implementation, contact Tempesta Media. We can help with content needs and ensure smooth transitions.

Content marketing improves customer experience and customer success

Many companies are looking for ways to get an edge against their competitors. An excellent way to do this is to leverage content marketing within your customer success or customer service organization.
Great articles drive better customer satisfaction, generates more up sells, cross sells, and referrals and referrals. Wondering why? When the customer is more educated with your products and services, they feel more confident and trust your organization more.
Content marketing can act as a key component of educating your customers on your solution. Most companies and most users of various technology platforms are frequently frustrated because it is very difficult for them to get answers within the solution that they’re using.
Oftentimes that frustration translates into either an online chat or a phone call to the customer service organization to try to find answers to very basic questions.
Most people don’t want to have to spend that time going through customer support to get what they need. They want to be able to have the information that they need immediately and contextually with what they’re working on at that time. If content is developed and is embedded contextually at key points within a technology platform more within the service itself it’s going to pre-empt the need or the customer to go and reach out to your customer service team be phone or chat

Content marketing to help with the onboarding experience

In addition, content marketing could also be quite effective on the onboarding itself. Most customers generate a very strong opinion of a company within the first 90 days of using this solution.
It’s at that point in time where they have very little experience with your company your brand and your solution. And they’re the most susceptible to churning and canceling out making sure that there is a very tight and interwoven onboarding process that is replete with excellent content pieces that help guide the customer through their journey into your solution is invaluable engaging with those customers with content doesn’t have to be overbearing.
By going and identifying key choke points within your customer success team you’ll be able to identify where there are problems where customer service complaints are concentrating around and then what you can do as you can develop content specifically to address those issues and then place that content contextually at the point where those issues begin.
This is an excellent way as I said to go and improve overall customer satisfaction and what’s called a Net Promoter Score.

How to engage customers with content without being overbearing

And P.S. at the same time by not jamming so much information in front of your customer at times that’s unrelated to what they need at that moment. It’ll make the experience better for them and it won’t feel overbearing or intrusive. Another way that you can go and improve the customer experience through content marketing is through regular newsletters that go out to them. Those newsletters should be filled with snippets of content or summaries of content that educate the consumer and educate the customer about your solution but more specifically highlight the benefits and the problems that can be solved by learning different parts of your solution customer newsletters as long as they’re not sent out too frequently can be an invaluable resource.
In my experience on the business to consumer side sending out an email to an email newsletter to customers once every week is quite acceptable.
On the B2B side once every one to two weeks is more acceptable. A couple other best practices that I would recommend is to make sure that your frequency that you’re using to send out newsletters actually tapers as the relationship grows longer.
So for example in the first week that customers are bored it may make sense to send out two or three communications to them versus after the first month. That may drop down to once a week or twice a week. Having that in place mirrors with what the customer’s learning purpose. So if you think about it. If you’re a customer and you’re getting ready to use a. Or just starting to use a new service or a new platform or technology you’re going to want the most handholding early on.
And then as you master it and get comfortable with it you really want to have less frequent communication but more in-depth communication on very specific areas that are related to what you need and what you do. So just keep that in mind when you’re dealing with it.
How can content marketing reduce churn
The net result is when you put all these things together you’re likely to have a much better experience for your customers and a better experience for your customers and equals lower churn and lower cancellation rates end of article.

How important are images in content marketing?

Whether we admit it or not, humans are more drawn to images than to text. But the way images and text work together to make content marketing effective is often understated.
According to Dr. John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist and author of “Brain Rules,” people who read information paired with relevant images are 6.5 times more likely to recall the information 3 days later than if there were no images.

Images are an important part of quality content

Pairing the right images with your blog content will not only help readers better understand and recall your content, but it will also encourage them to continue reading (hopefully all the way to your CTA!). When users actually stay to read your content, this will reduce your bounce rate and help your content get rated higher in search engines.
Adding images will also help your content get shared on social media channels such as Facebook, bringing more new visitors to your website! According to BuzzSumo, Facebook posts with images had 2.3 times more engagement than those without.
You could have the most amazing content writers in the world, but if you don’t add the right images to your content in the correct way, then your content will fall on deaf ears and blind eyes.

Best practices for adding images to your blog

So, how do you correctly implement images into your content? Follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Make sure all of the images you choose are royalty-free. You don’t want to get your company into trouble! Here are some websites you can get free images from:
  • Step 2: Use a software such as Canva to edit the images if you want them to be more relevant and blend in more with your content. An image that is cropped to focus on something important in the image can have a lot more impact.
  • Step 3: Name the image file with a relevant name such as “New-York-Skyline.jpg” (NOT a generic name such as “IMG1.jpg”). This will make your content more SEO-friendly and help your images show up in image searches.
  • Step 4: Always make sure your images are properly compressed, so your website loads as fast as possible. You can use a website such as jpeg.io to help get this done for you.
  • Step 5: Add an Alt tag and to each of your images. This should be a short description of the image, and it could include one or more of your SEO keywords. The Alt attribute is very important for search engines. It’s also what replaces the image if the image does not load or the reader is using a screen reader.
  • Step 6: Always add descriptive captions next to your images. According to KissMetrics, image captions are read 300% more often than the body of the content you post.
  • Step 7: Put relevant images between text blocks so that it is easy for your reader to follow your content.

Another way to reduce your blog’s bounce rate

Utilizing images properly throughout your blog posts is just one way to reduce your bounce rate. If you want to reduce your bounce rate even further, there are plenty of other things you can do!

How to update old blog posts for better SEO

Getting the most out of your SEO program is all about creating new content on a consistent basis.
Or is it?
Creating new content is necessary, and as you know, it takes a great deal of time. That’s why it’s also important that you take care of quicker tasks that will reap significant rewards over time. One of those key tasks involve updating old blog posts for better SEO.
It’s OK if you don’t like living in the past. But in this case, a trip down memory lane can open up a superhighway of new traffic. Sometimes, a few minor adjustments to the copy, adding an image or video and doing a quick scan of links are all you need to make an old blog post new again.

Why you should update old posts

Updating old posts will improve your credibility. Nothing screams, “I don’t pay attention,” like a broken or outdated link in a blog post. Keeping up with those resources and updating when appropriate is good for your credibility, and will ensure search engines don’t overlook your content.
You can focus efforts on higher-performing articles. Before you groan about having to update every blog post you wrote in 2018, never fear. Pick your top-performing posts and reinforce them with solid updates.
You don’t need a ton of resources. Updating old blog posts doesn’t take as much time as a full rewrite, so you don’t have to throw a lot of manpower behind the job.

How to update old content for SEO success

  • Make sure all links are up to date. Nothing old or broken, please.
  • Evaluate your sources for relevance. First, make sure they still exist. Then, determine whether they’re evergreen, or they should be replaced with something more recent.
  • Thicken” your content. Thicken means provide more recent examples or go into greater depth on certain points to enrich the post and make your keywords more attractive to search engines.

Make functional SEO changes

  • Pay attention to your formatting. Make sure your text uses the right styles for headings, body copy, bullets, etc.
  • Rethink your link text. Get rid of nondescript language, such “click here,” or “read this.” Instead, place links with text that properly describes what people will get when they click.
  • Add and update headings. Break up your text with relevant headings to help search engines pick up keywords.
  • Check meta descriptions. Ensure that meta descriptions of your webpages contain appropriate keywords and titles.

Consider visual improvements

Nothing but text on the page? It may be some of the best copy ever written, but even fantastic copy needs a little boost. These tactics can help:

  • Add a video. Can the story you’re trying to tell be enhanced by video? If so, it’s worth the extra effort.
  • Add an image. Make sure the image is relevant. Whenever possible, use authentic images featuring real people and things. If you must use stock photography, make sure the image assists visually in describing what’s going on in the post. Images should be appropriately named with descriptive language and tagged. For example: instead of calling your image IMG_043.jpg, call it “mom-and-child-playing-in-park.jpg.”
  • Create an infographic. A more-descriptive visual interpretation of what you’re trying to say will punch up your post and play well on social media.

Redistribute Old Content

Speaking of social media, here are some ways to reignite interest in your old blog posts:

  • Repost old content on social media to remind your target audiences of it.
  • Include it in a targeted email.
  • Add it to your social media channel rotation so that it pops back up over the course of the quarter.

Technical methods for updating old content

It’s important that you establish a good methodology for regularly updating old posts to ensure you’re getting the most out of them. Sometimes, a post that didn’t do as well as you thought six months ago might get a new lease on life with a quick update. Here are some technical pointers to help you stay on top of the refreshing schedule:
Consider a website plugin. WordPress (bad link) that will automatically show you the date the post was modified.
Manually include update language. If you can’t use a plugin, manually note at the top of the post the date of modification.
Mark your calendar. Include space in your content calendar to indicate when posts were updated. Set up reminders in Outlook or whatever calendar you use to evaluate certain posts.

We can help you make old blog posts new again

If you still think you may need some assistance with updating old blog posts, Tempesta Media can help. Our editing solution automatically evaluates blog posts based on the parameters above, and our team of writing experts get to work on making your content shine no matter its age. For more, contact us.

Allocate your marketing budget between direct response and branding

Every marketer is struggling to determine what is the optimal mix within their marketing program. The optimal mix includes content marketing, advertising, email, pay per click, social, and other forms of marketing.

How do you create your content budget?

You need to first define what kind of company you have and the types of products and services that you offer. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on B2B companies. Additionally, we will also be focusing on companies that sell their products primarily off line but are still high ticket purchases. In this instance, the way that sales occur is primarily offline. However, the leads and research are conducted online.
So in trying to determine how to create that budget you have to measure the difference between your branding budget and your direct response budget. So the first way to allocate your marketing budget is the split between those two.

Success metrics for branding and direct response

Branding often gets maligned within the industry as being unaccountable when in fact, branding is quite accountable if it’s structured correctly. Structure your branding budget around the metrics used So in setting up to measure success. Examples of branding success measures include website visitors, number of people who reviewed articles, and more awareness metrics like that. The direct response budget is measured much more clearly – the number of leads that are generated.
Email registrations and ultimately sales that result from a marketing channel are the core to qualifying a successful budget.

“Best practices include allocating approximately one third of your budget towards branding (or top of funnel activities) and two thirds of your budget between mid to bottom funnel activities for for direct response marketing,” says Michael Marchese, Tempesta Media’s Founder & CEO.

Start by determining where content marketing fits within your marketing budget.
Content marketing is actually a very robust and flexible tool. It can be used both within your branding budget as well as your direct response budget. How content varies depends on the type of content that’s created.

The difference between thought leadership and blog articles

Using content to build your business online is smart. You can build relationships, solve problems and amass a loyal following for the product or service you provide. You likely have a blog article, on which you publish great content. But, exactly what kind of content are you sharing with the world?
If you’re looking for content ideas, you’ve probably heard the term “thought leadership.” Becoming a thought leader and influencing the decisions of people in your industry are invaluable business advantages.
Many businesses think they’re doing “thought leadership” when they’re actually just blogging, or vice versa. If you’re a little confused about which is which, that’s okay, because they share attributes. They also have important distinctions.
We see how people get confused. Over time, blogging has become a much more research-intensive enterprise in which blog articles become more like news articles. At the same time, thought leadership can contain strong opinions from trusted sources. It’s important, however, to distinguish between the two, because each plays a key role in content strategy.
Basically, one grabs attention, the other keeps it.

It’s a blog article if:

It’s mostly your opinion. If you want to opine for a few hundred words, that’s okay, but that’s not necessarily thought leadership.
The piece is shorter and more topical. Real thought leadership is rarely, if ever, accomplished in just one article.
Your goal is to generate awareness. If you’re trying to grab attention quickly, chances are you’re casting a large audience net and just want people to turn and look, whereas thought leadership aims at specific types of customers and gives them in-depth knowledge.
You’re trying to find new readers at the top of the funnel. A typical blog article garners the attention of new readers on your blog.
It’s built around an SEO and keyword strategy. The need is more immediate with a shorter post that aims to raise awareness.
You’re producing at least one per week. Blog-article frequency is high, thought leadership is deployed much less frequently.

It’s thought leadership if:

It’s much longer and produced much less frequently. Those articles provide a great amount of in-depth knowledge that needs to be thoroughly researched. As a result, they require a significant amount of time to put together. Can a short blog article provoke thought? Of course. Just look at Seth Godin’s blog. But, those longer pieces provoke discussion and provide nuggets of detail that help open doors to knowledge.
It’s the perspective of an executive. When those articles contain opinions, they should come from seasoned leaders in your organization who are able to back up their insights with meaningful experiences.
It includes a lot of credibility-building detail. Thoroughly researched industry trends and important data take time to gather. Put together, however, they paint a larger picture of your company’s position in the industry, and lend credibility to it.
We hope you’re now able to distinguish between those two content types. Knowing the difference can help you build a content strategy that increases and retains business.

Multiple phases of approving content slows down companies – Part 1

Most companies are challenged with meeting objectives that might be diametrically opposed. For example, how to scale up content marketing while not sacrificing quality, is a challenge that many companies are facing today.
One of the keys to scaling content while still ensuring that the messaging is clear, is to have an effective internal approval process. An internal approval process is necessary for content marketing, regardless of whether you’re creating content in-house, outsourcing your content production, or using a hybrid of the two.
There process needs to be streamlined, because if it isn’t, people will avoid the process, making it useless all together.
Smaller businesses face different challenges than larger businesses when it comes to quality assurance for content. Larger businesses have more complexity and more approvals that are generally required before content can go onto the Web site or be used for the purposes of this article. This article focuses on specifically on smaller businesses.

Approving content could be your bottleneck

So let’s talk about how the approval process goes.

  1. Generally, the first thing that happens is that someone comes up with a topic idea to write about.
  2. Then the topic idea is sent over to a content creator. And it’s that person’s job to create that content.
  3. Once that content has been created it needs to be edited initially for spelling and grammar. Nothing removes credibility from your brand than a typo!
  4. After the initial proofreading edit, the content should be checked for any inadvertent plagiarism.
  5. After a plagiarism screen, the article has to go to the appropriate business people within a company. These people will make sure that what is being covered within the content is aligned with the company’s business objectives.

All the parties involved are capable of editing for spelling and grammar. They are able to utilize a separate software to conduct any plagiarism screening. They may even have internal resources to create the content.
The problems often happen with getting approval. Oftentimes approvals have to be done at an executive level. As everyone knows, most executives never seem to have enough time to handle the myriad of tasks that are put in front of them… approving blog articles being one of them.
Learn more by reading our second series to this post: How to speed up content marketing approval when multiple people are involved.

Questions to ask before launching a new website

A website redesign can be a massive undertaking and almost always takes more time that people expect. Before embarking in the brand new endeavor, ask yourself some important questions.

What am I looking to achieve from redesigning my website?

There should be a clear goal when it comes to website redesign. By establishing the goal, you can narrow your scope and make the project more effective.
Examples of reasons companies redo their website:

  • The look and feel is outdated.
  • We need to work in a more user friendly or dynamic platform (for example, WordPress).
  • We want to keep all marketing and sales efforts in one place, so we are moving our website to Hubspot.
  • The website isn’t designed for lead generation.

Is website redesigning really necessary?

This is a question that was asked by at least one out of every five of our customers over the course of a year. Many companies are under pressure to compete in their industry and are migrating the brand presence online. They are being found by prospects and customers through their website. First impressions matter, and in this case, your website is the first impression.
It is absolutely critical that companies update their website regularly. Not posting new content puts you at a disadvantage in many aspects. Many aspects of your business depend on content, whether it’s sales, customer success, employee recruitment, etc.

How often should I redesign my website?

The short answer is that your website should be constantly getting updated. Your online presence is a living, breathing organism and should serve as an extension of your company. As your company changes and adapts, so should your website.
There should be a regular cycle put in place or cadence that allows members of your team to be able to update the website.
Examples of updates to your website to analyze on a regular basis include:

  • Job postings
  • Products
  • Services
  • Press releases
  • Events announcements
  • Blog articles
  • Case studies
  • Team bios
  • and many other things

However on an annual basis, most companies go through some form of a redesign for the website. These updates are typically more than just basic cosmetic updates. They are also structural changes that are being made to the Web site and in order to better align it with the company’s vision of where it wants to be.

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