I always love when PRWeb publishes their list of their most read press releases. When looking through their most recent post, I noted that Queen Bee Tickets, a small business that sells discount event tickets, has two press releases in the top 10.
So I reached out to Andrea Pedersen, the owner of Queen Bee Tickets, to learn all of her secrets (and share them with you).
The tactics she uses are similar to the examples of killer press releases in my book, I Need a Killer Press Release, Now What?? If I were to update it, Queen Bee would be an ideal press release case study.
Overall, I noticed that Queen Bee has longer titles and descriptions so as to include their top keywords. They also use keywords in their URLs. Their approach might not be very visually appealing, but as you’ll see from reading, it’s very effective. In fact, the results in terms of ROI are “staggering.” In other words, who cares what it looks like, it sells a lot of tickets!
Here are examples of top rates press releases from Queen Bee tickets:
This press release took the #3 spot
Title: Cheap One Direction Tickets: One Direction Concert Tickets are Selling Fast for the Band’s Return to North America — Discount Tickets are Available at QueenBeeTickets.com!
Keyword phrases: “Cheap One Direction Tickets” “Discount Tickets” “One Direction Concert Tickets”
This press release took the #10 spot
Title: Tickets For Justin Bieber Concerts: QueenBeeTickets.com Has Obtained More Justin Bieber Tickets And Is Offering Them To Fans At Some Of The Cheapest Prices Available!
Keywords: “Tickets for Justin Beiber Concerts” “Justin Bieber Tickets” “Cheap Justin Bieber Tickets”
Online Pickups: 36
Total Impressions: 79,444
Total Reads: 12,063
I’ve never seen total reads this high in all of the years I’ve been writing press releases!
Here’s what I learned from Andrea:
1. Experiment to find out what works for your small business.
Most of my clients are small businesses and are not expert marketers but they still succeed with press releases (better than the bigger companies). Larger businesses might be better at getting media coverage, but smaller companies can outperform them in terms of getting sales from their press releases.
Andrea readily admits that they learned by experience, not from because they have a large marketing team. “QueenBeeTickets.com has had very little exposure to “best practices” or advice in the area of press release writing or distribution. Rather, we’ve employed our own strategies, customizing them along the way based on what seems to work best.” You can do the same.
2. Press releases can sell products (or tickets).
Press releasesare a major part of Queen Bee Tickets’ overall marketing strategy. They are not specifically looking for media coverage, but like most small businesses, want to reach potential customers directly.
“Press releases allow us to provide information to the general public regarding upcoming concert, sports, and theater events.” Result: We sell a lot of event tickets!”
Their press releases strategy has proven to be very profitable for QueenBeeTickets.com. Though they didn’t reveal their ROI, they did say say that it is staggering. It might look sexier to get your name in print but it won’t always impact sales. Besides, it’s nearly impossible for a small business to keep getting major media hits.
3. Keep the quality high – be careful not to spam search engines
“Putting out as many press releases as we do is risky business. Unless our releases remain unique and of the highest quality, news and search engines may think that we are pushing spam, diminishing our reach to potential customers. The secondary ticket market is one of the most competitive markets there are, so competition is another contender. It’s a fragile balancing act that requires time and patience.”
Queen Bee Tickets has an advantage in that they have new topics to write about all of the time. Since there are always events coming up, they can send out a press release frequently.
Don’t try this strategy if you cannot come up with regular content that is new and interesting to your target market. I’ve seen businesses employ spammy strategies to stay in the news search engines, but long term this is a strategy that can limit your distribution.
4. Do keyword research then use those keywords in your press release
Don’t rely on your own common sense for your keywords… go ahead and do the research! Caveat with keywords: Be very aware of keyword density. Do not even try keyword stuffing or let your densities accidentally get too high. You do not want to be considered spam! Using keywords can help you get traffic from search engines.
Example: If you type “Discount Lady Gaga Tickets” into Google, their press release from a few days ago is holding the #1 spot.
Where do you put your keywords?
Choose a primary keyword plus two other keyword phrases. Include that keyword in the beginning of the title and the beginning of the summary. Use 3 keywords (but no more) in the description. Naturally, the summary will need to be a little bit longer in order to incorporate the keywords this way. Use your primary keyword again in the first and last sentences of the body. Use the other two keywords where they fit best in the body (as evenly spaced as possible).
5. Push your press releases through your own channels
PRWeb will publish your press release on hundreds of websites and sends it to their email list of bloggers and journalists, but don’t forget to do your part. Send your press releases to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, our website, and sometimes, your blog.
6. Be consistent and try to be first to publish the news.
This is probably the most surprising part of the interview I had with QueenBeeTickets.com – they (carefully) publish 6-7 releases per week with PRWeb at the $200 level. This is a huge volume that I’ve never seen before, but again, it’s working well for them.
They have the most success with this on weekdays, especially Friday mornings and schedule most of their releases to distribute at 2:00 AM. That way they have a full day of distribution plus “it seems to take around four hours for the release to settle in to its position on Google’s first page… just in time for peak traffic.”
Another tip is to try to be the first person to publish new news. It will stay within top search results for a long time and hold a higher position than the competition. Create optimized landing pages BEFORE the release is published (using the same keywords as your press release).
Bonus tip: Do not to choose the exact same distribution channels for every release.
7. Use lots of images and optimize them for keyword phrases.
QueenBee adds images to each release. They use public domain images of artists in their releases. Then they add keyword-rich names, titles, and alt-text to each image. This also helps bring search engine traffic.
There you have it, an excellent example of killer press releases that bring this small business staggering results. Thank you Andrea for sharing your excellent tips!