Placement in the Media, Paid Advertising, and a Few Tips to Help You

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May 09, 2018

As a marketing guru, you have a few options for attracting new business, including paid advertising and editorial story placement within the media. They can both be paid (for instance, if you use the services of a press release distribution company), so which one is more cost effective? The two options serve two completely different purposes, so let's delve a little further into each option.

If you are using the paid advertising option, does that include pop-up style ads? Perhaps you are using an agency and you may not know the answer to this question. What you may want to consider, if you are not already aware, is how people feel about ads and how effective they are compared to other marketing techniques, like a news release.

Consumers and those marketing for business to businesses continue to become more sophisticated and wary of ads and information found online, affecting trust levels. For instance, if you were looking for a lawyer online, would you trust a lawyer who was referred to you by a friend (word of mouth) or would you trust a pop-up ad? Now let's say that your friend originally found this lawyer through a news article he/she read, then used the lawyer's services and had a good experience. Do you see how editorial placements can have more credibility than an ad and lead to a better result?

According to HubSpot, in an article from July 13, 2016 by Mimi An, 87% of people say there are more ads than there were 2 years ago (2013-2015). With that type of increase it is no wonder that Adblocker Plus, which dominates the ad blocking app market, has achieved 300 million downloads worldwide (as of 2016 according to HubSpot).

Let's state the obvious: Whether it is business to consumer, or business to business, people know that ads exist because someone paid for it to be there with the sole intention of trying to attract new business, or sell a product or service. Adding to advertising's lack of credibility is "the rule of 7," which is common wisdom in advertising. It means that an individual needs to see an ad 7 times before they take an action. Advertising needs to be repeated to produce results and that increases its cost and limits its cost effectiveness.

In 2018, similar to 2017, budgets for marketing have probably received another slight increase for the year, with much focus on digital marketing. PPC & display ads are a go-to marketing strategy for many businesses, even though they produce mediocre results. Earned media through distribution of a press release is often a second thought. Interestingly, because an increasing number of people are using ad blocking apps, the money spent by businesses to advertise is often wasted because the ad never reaches its full intended audience.

In short, this is an excellent time for your marketing and communication teams to further investigate earned media through press release distribution.

Earned media works when a well created press release attracts the attention of a journalist or well respected blogger, looking to further your story. If it is a blogger, remember that the blogger is within your industry and can potentially reach thousands of individuals that may be interested in your story as well. This could lead to more sales.

For this to transpire, your press release must be compelling and authentic. A well-written press release will inspire people to write positive comments about your story. Positive online comments are considered by many to be more trustworthy than online ads. Your press release can also reach a larger audience because some websites will simply republish what you have already written without making any changes.

Here is another tip: Increase the chances of your story being picked up by media by including industry data that you can back up. People love numbers and love statistics. If you are using data from another source, be sure to mention the source.

For those of you who love numbers, below is some information regarding reach from from clients using the Integrated Media Pro package. This data was assembled from approximately 6 days after their press release was distributed.

- Press release impressions (average): 165,000
- Press release actual views (average): 376
- High impressions: 206,000
- High views: 1,162

Press release impressions are counted when their press release headline has made an impression throughout the network. An actual view is counted when the press release page has been displayed.

Results can vary significantly depending on which industry your business is in, the timing of your press release and how well it is written (particularly the headline). The purpose of this data is to further demonstrate the cost effectiveness of a press release. These statistics would be admired by many marketing folks.

Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, a press release should not be underestimated. Paid advertising certainly has its place in the marketing world but should not be considered as the sole channel to attract new business or announce a new product or service.