This is one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to content marketing. Many an internet marketer has posted an article as a press release and vice versa not knowing exactly what is what. Press releases are very different from articles in several aspects. As a marketer, it is very important that you know the differences not just so you can post the right thing in the right place but also so that you can harness the power of both – they have the potential to drive significant numbers of credible leads.
Before we look at the differences it is important to look at what is similar for the two. The first of course is that they are both written content. The other similarities are that they are link building strategies and that they both require submission. Press releases are submitted to press release websites while normal articles go to article directories. That is where the similarities end. Let us now see the differences.
• The first is that while press releases are time sensitive articles are not. A press release is all about news. Press release marketing is more about what is happening right now. After that they are useless. Articles, on the other hand, are timeless. They are relevant despite their age. That said, you must keep your articles current if you want your users to remain interested in your content.
• The perspective of the writer for both press releases and articles is different. For press releases, the writer is a journalist. They are objective. They are reporting the news as they see it. Their job is to give the facts of the event and then step away and let the user make up their mind. Articles, on the other hand, are written from the perspective of a teacher. They are there to educate and persuade. If the user isn’t inclined towards a product or service the article should leave them convinced (or close to it) that the product or service is right for them. This is because the article extols the benefits of the product or service in question. It is not objective like a press release.
• Press releases tend to get a lot more leads than articles. This is because they are published on news websites that have a lot of viewership. Although they are relevant only for a short time they have the ability to generate as many leads as articles that have been up for months. Google also likes press releases because it sees them as providing news.
• Press releases are a lot more expensive to generate than articles. This is because they require a special kind of writing – basically, you have to have a journalistic tone. If you don’t have a big marketing budget they may be out of reach for you. If you cannot afford them focus on the long term goal of generating leads and links from normal articles.
As you can see, there is quite a big difference between press releases and normal articles. That said, they are both necessary for a successful internet marketing strategy.