Just like marketing across the board, insurance marketing is evolving with the times. No better example is the press release.
When you consider the traditional image of the press release – one-page news and boilerplate sent to print newspapers and trade publications – you can appreciate how the digital age has changed the way public relations works for businesses and their clients.
In an online environment of instant Facebook updates, real-time Twitter shares and well-connected LinkedIn industry groups, it’s easy to forget that the press release still plays a key role both in social media and in your larger campaign.
It’s not too difficult to use press releases to market your insurance business when you follow some basic guidelines.
Remember that relevancy rules. Just as in the high-value blogs, videos and other inbound marketing vehicles you use for insurance marketing, press releases must be built on a foundation of good, relevant content. As PRNewPros put it, “The demand for substance is higher, as the digital shift has ushered in a keen focus on content curation and has removed all tolerance for self-promotional language that gives neither journalists nor consumers what they’re seeking.”
Write about subjects people want to know. Before you write or send any press release, make sure it qualifies as interesting, informative content. Test your ideas on yourself and others – if “who cares?” is the overarching reaction, you’ll likely get the same reaction from editors and publishers.
In short, your press release must qualify as news. In insurance marketing, this could mean uncovering industry insights, commenting on a local development from an insurance point of view, and announcing new agents, partners or clients.
Beyond information about your agency, you can use press releases in the same way you would a blog – attracting attention with “top 10” lists, for example. The best press releases are not just published verbatim online, they prompt reporters to contact you for details.
Include a great boilerplate. The boilerplate is the “About Us” paragraph or two about your company that appears at the end of your press release. This content typically describes your insurance agency. It’s the place where you talk about your services, history and contact information – all items are expected in a boilerplate, but have no place in the main body of the press release.
Get your release into the right hands. Your press release can start with a link from your social media and a page on your website, and from there move to a distribution to your local newswires. But if you want wider coverage, you may choose to go with a free distribution service like PR.com or OpenPR.
You may also opt for paid distribution services with SEO clout. A company like PRWeb submits your release to the top search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. When your release is optimized with links, keywords and videos, they’ll be indexed more accurately and found more readily through search results. Though you’ll need to invest money in PRWeb and other companies, you’re likely to enjoy greater visibility than you would submitting online press releases on your own.
And if you are in a city where a printed newspaper still has clout, fax or email a copy of your release to the business editor.
Share your news
Just like in the “good old days” of print, today’s digital press release can increase your visibility, boost your credibility and enhance your insurance marketing campaign. That’s because, no matter how it’s delivered, useful and relevant news will always find an audience.