Article marketing is an excellent way to gain exposure and deliver a message. To market an article, you can write a guest post to reach someone else’s audience, or you can write a press release.
These are two very different ways to deliver your content. While they both inform readers of a specific message, they ultimately serve different end goals and created in different formats. They do not reach the same websites or audiences. You can take advantage of both types of article marketing, but your approach for each will be unique.
Let’s take a closer look at what each of them is and how to use them to get the most benefit for your business.
1. The Right Tone
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If you were to sit down and look at a press release and a guest post side by side, the first thing you would notice is a drastic difference in tone.
2. Writing a Press Release
A press release has a formal tone and a structured format; they are informative pieces of writing. They get straight to the point and tell the reader a specific piece of news.
A press release is an excellent way to spread information about your new product launch. At the opening of your business, this is a strong way to announce your opening.
While today, we distribute press releases differently than we used to, the format for a well-written press release has mostly stayed the same.
At the top of the press release, you will include the date of the press release, the relevant location, a title, and then an opening paragraph that explains why this information is newsworthy.
The body will be brief and focus on the 5 Ws: Who, What, Where, When, and Why.
The bottom of a press release will include a brief paragraph about the subject of the article; this serves as a biography with relevant background information. It then includes contact information.
Press releases are always brief. Even on a large subject, it would be strange to find a press release over 1,000 words. Five hundred words are enough.
3. Writing a Guest Post
A guest post reaches a specific audience. It posts on someone else’s blog; this is your opportunity to reach a targeted audience that isn’t yours. When you write for this audience, the tone should be conversational. Personalization is everything.
You know the audience you are trying to reach. You know the things they normally come to this blog to read about and the things they’ve likely read in the past from this publication. You can use that information to write custom, tailored content, and create a more personalized experience. By the end, the reader should feel like they know you/your company; they become invested in knowing more and have a relationship with you they can build on.
This personalization extends to when you are first seeking guest posting opportunities. You will need to find blogs you want to guest post on, email the site owner, and personally connect with them as you ask for the favor of guest posting on their site.
When you pitch your guest post, you should be brief. These are busy people. Tell them something that indicates you understand what their site is about, that you have a similar audience, and would like to write a guest post on a specific topic that you think would be beneficial to their audience.
4. The Key Differences Between Writing for a Press Release vs. A Guest Post
A press release goes out to a mass of people and gains as much exposure as possible. A guest post goes out to a smaller, more targeted audience. The press release has a formal, professional tone. A guest post is informative while staying conversational and personalized.
5. How to Get Your Articles Out There
Now that you understand more about how to write these types of articles, it’s time to look at how to get them seen.
6. Distributing a Press Release
A common mistake newbies make is to send your press release anywhere and expect value.
There are distribution sites that make this tactic easy. Large and medium-size websites aren’t going to be interested in this overflow of duplicate content. The only people your press release will likely find are small sites piling up content that doesn’t go anywhere.
There are smarter ways to handle distributing your press release. Instead, you can research sites you want your press release to appear on. When you find these places, search to see if you can find contact information specifically meant for sending in a press release. While there are sites you can email at a general contact address, many sites want their press releases sent to a specific address and will ignore you if you send them elsewhere.
This direct form of contact will get you greater results on higher-quality sites than using a generic distribution page with no traffic. It takes more time but creates more value.
7. Publishing a Guest Post
The titles of these sections immediately point out a key difference between sending out a guest post versus a press release: you distribute a press release, but you publish a guest post.
As mentioned when discussing writing a guest post, you will need to find a blog you want to publish your guest post on and contact the site owner with a pitch for publication.
You will likely receive more rejections than approvals. If you are good at selecting blogs and writing quality pitches, you can expect to win guest post opportunities for approximately five to twenty percent of your pitches.
Despite these rejections, guest posting is an opportunity to network with the site owners and reach a targeted audience, while also building links to your website. There’s a reason this has been such a popular article marketing strategy for so long.
8. Employ Both Strategies Wisely
When should you use a guest post? When should you use a press release? Both are excellent ways to gain exposure for your business.
Use a guest post when you want to network with others in your industry, build links to your website, expose your brand to a specific audience, and earn trust as an expert in your niche.
Use a press release when you want to build awareness of a specific event in your business and reach a larger audience.
While these two different types of article marketing serve different purposes, in the end, they are both excellent strategies you can use in your article marketing to build your brand and spread your message.