Distributing press releases through services such as PR Newswire has for years been a highly effective marketing strategy for businesses on the Web. New data from PR Newswire, however, indicates a significant development regarding the effectiveness of today’s releases.
A recent update to the company’s Web analytics program enabled it to compare the copious data that details the activity press releases generate on PR Newswire.com. A closer inspection of the data confirmed that press releases with multimedia elements generate up to 77 percent more views than text-only releases.
PR Newswire’s research reveals that marketers can increase the number of views by 14 percent simply by adding a photo, and that including a video will raise that number to 20 percent. The percentage more than doubles to 48 percent more views with both a photo and a video, and adding additional elements such as audio or PowerPoint to photos, video and text will result in 77 percent more views than a text-only release.
The study determined that the increase in views is due to the fact that multimedia news releases (MNR) are more broadly distributed than text (non-MNR) press releases. Each element of a multimedia release is distributed separately and can attract its own audience on social networks and search engines. Videos, for example, are distributed to more than 70 video-specific portals.
The effect of distribution is illustrated clearly in the stark contrast between traffic sources for text press releases versus traffic sources for multimedia content. Search engines are the primary drivers of traffic to text press releases while other web sites are the primary drivers of traffic for multimedia content.
Multimedia news content is shared much more enthusiastically on social networks. The number is driven somewhat by the fact that multimedia press releases generally include a variety of sharable elements such as photos, video and slides in addition to text. The wide distribution of these elements as described previously also plays a part in driving the sharing process.
Nonetheless, the differences in the degree to which multimedia releases are shared more frequently than plain text is striking. Across the one-month sample of content on PR Newswire.com, multimedia releases were shared 3.53 times more often than text releases. Text releases were shared, on average, .99 times per hour per release while MNRs were shared, on average, 3.5 times per hour.
Multimedia content also has a longer shelf-life, holding the audiences’ interest for more than twice as long as text press releases. On average, text press releases generate visibility for 9.4 days while multimedia press releases generate visibility an average of 20 days. The higher degree of sharing also contributes to extending the message life.