As a marketer, you wear many hats – like one of being a curator, creator, manager, storyteller and business owner. To stay competitive, your business needs to constantly pivot and reboot its marketing strategy based on new digital demands.
Speaking of which, new-age marketing is facilitating a change in the way we consume media – be it press, digital, TV or radio. The lines are blurring to define these said platforms as we evolve into forward-media companies. Well, we all have been media companies – as creators of our own content. In some shape and form, as companies, we are employing a media mix into our content strategy – advertently or inadvertently. And so, it’s important to deliberately have a look at how you can further uplift your brand through the power of converged media.
Before we illustrate how we can calibrate on our overall digital strategy, let’s first understand what is owned, earned and paid media.
Owned media. This is what your brand calls home – a place where all your content assets are documented and stored. Owned media gives your control and ownership of how you like your content to be. Examples include branded website, company blog and social media.
Earned media. If owned media is your content + brand home, then earned media is your content engineer and brand ambassador. Through online word-of-mouth marketing, your owned content is heard, noticed and reviewed in the form of media impressions, brand mentions, recommendations, reposts, shares and also picked up by third-party platforms. This boosts your organic search rankings and gives your more power and authority in your business niche.
Paid media. Your owned media properties and earned impressions are driven through direct traffic generated by paid media. Examples include sponsored posts, pay-per-click and display ads, advertising on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and influencer marketing that drives searchers to your site and further promotes earned media.
With that being said, to develop a holistic and effective marketing strategy, you need to work on a combination of owned, earned and paid media.
Content creation that underpins owned and earned media and boosted by paid media. Let’s say you write 4 pillar blog posts on your company website, you can further augment your brand by writing for other publications/ media outlets/ blog sites with a link to your company in your bio and post. This covers the owned and earned aspects. Naturally, when people read your blog or google on your topic, they also find your post that you’ve written for other websites as a result of organic search ranking. This drives traffic your website – as well, now, through a few sponsored posts, you direct more traffic to your both owned and earned media mentions.
Invite influencers/ experts/ opinion leaders to write for your company blog. The best way to curate ideas is to invite other industry influencers and pay them to co-create for your owned media content. These industry influencers and experts can then promote their write-ups through their social media thereby giving your access to a wider audience. Even better, when you share this content through your company newsletter, which increases your brand reach, impressions and engagement.
Digital PR. All your online and print newspaper bylines/ articles, product roundups, customer reviews and press releases in the news section of your company website can be picked up by other media outlets and review sites so your get more earned mentions. You can then promote these earned mentions on LinkedIn and Facebook through paid ads and use Quick Promote on Twitter.
Personalised email marketing. Promote that piece of newsletter through a bespoke one-to-one email: one that curates (external) expert commentary, your company blogs and perhaps a press release announcing your recent appointment of a new VP-Tech to advance your company’s innovation agenda. This gives a well-rounded undertone to the way you share a newsletter (owned + earned) that features an opinion leader (perhaps for a webinar or thought leadership article – paid) and sent through a personalised email sent to your prospective and existing customers (earned + owned + paid – talk about brand awareness and lead generation!). You can also talk about new trends and developments in your industry and cite it as a context to build a rapport with your audience through a well-written email. Going forward, through a series of well-researched emails, you can pick your audience opinion on what they’d like to hear more about from you. This way, you create tailored content using owned, earned and paid media to advance on your business marketing goals.
The key here is to use all these marketing techniques through a balanced cadence of earned, owned and paid media. One media channel cannot work well without the other – your audience needs a coherent content experience. Deliver and delight on this – and you’ll never lose them.
How are you harnessing the power of earned, owned and paid media for your business?
Thanks to NordWood Themes for sharing their work on Unsplash.