As an internet marketer, a good chunk of your time is typically spent executing content strategy to generate engagement from customers and prospects.
But, how would you rate your content strategy? Is it working as it should, to help you attain key business goals?
The truth is, there is mad proliferation of content across the web. The online consumer is also increasingly elusive and discriminative when it comes to how they consume, use and share content.
Faced with such predicaments, the challenge for internet marketers is to cut through the clutter to really reach out to the consumer, wherever she is.
So here’s the thing: Most likely, you already know that today, it’s no longer about producing epic blog posts only. This will not get you the kind of attention you need from your target audience.
To reach out to your customers and prospects wherever they are, it is essential to use a multiplicity of media channels. This means paid, earned, and owned media must work together if you are to scale your content strategy in a way that will catch your customers’ attention.
“The confluence of paid, owned, and earned media is known as converged media.”
With all the buzz around these three types of media, I am sure you already know what each is. But we will do a super quick recap anyway:
- Paid media: Channels of advertising and marketing that you spend money on e.g. search engine (SEM) campaigns, banner ads, direct mail, television, and radio.
- Owned media: Content distributions channels that you own and control to a large extent e.g. website, YouTube channel, email, mobile apps, social media profiles.
- Earned media: Social mentions and user-generated conversations around your brand e.g. Facebook likes and shares, Twitter @replies and @mentions, @retweet, mentions, reviews by bloggers and social influencers, press releases, and media stories.
“If you think that your content strategy sucks, could it be that you are not leveraging all three channels to reach out to your elusive audience?”
Asking the Right Questions for Your Paid Earned Owned Strategy
Here are some helpful questions you should ask to ensure that your trifecta approach (paid+owned+earned) to content marketing is successful:
1. Questions about your goals
What do you want to achieve with your content strategy?
- Do you want to generate targeted leads?
- Do you want to nurture your existing leads?
- Do you want to generate brand awareness?
- Do you want to establish thought leadership?
- Do you want to increase targeted traffic to your content/ brand?
While all these are valid content strategy goals, each one has its own place and time depending on your sales cycle and immediate business objectives.
2. Questions about your audience
Next, determine which channels of communication your audience is more receptive to:
- Are they hooked to social media?
- Do they spend more time viewing videos, blogging platform, new sites, or content-driven sites?
- Are they more compelled by images, therefore spend more time on Pinterest, Instagram etc?
- What types of devices are they using to access information and entertainment- cell phones, Smartphones, P.C., tablets, multiple screens?
- How does your audience search for information? Through social search engines or mainstream search e.g. Google Search, or Bing or a combination of both?
3. Questions about the effective convergence of paid owned earned media
To enhance the effectiveness of your content strategy, determine how your paid, earned, and owned media channels support each other.
There is any number of converged media models that you can use. The models you decide to use will largely depend on the specificities of your business and the needs of your customers.
For example, you could use paid+owned, owned+paid, earned+owned, paid+earned, paid+owned+earned- you get the idea.
The bigger picture is to be clear about how all three media channels will come together to support your content strategy.
Here are some quick examples of how either two or all three media channels can be used to consolidate your content marketing strategy:
- Paying for Facebook promoted posts sent from your Page can increase the visibility of your posts at the News Feed. (Owned+Paid)
- Facebook Sponsored stories can create conversation around a brand, every time a user and his friends interact with the content you post from your Page. (earned + paid+ owned)
- Paying for promoted Tweets can increase the visibility of your Twitter messages. You can include a link back to your site or landing page in your tweets. (Paid+owned)
- Twitter Promoted Accounts allow you to get in front of influencers in your niche. This can be a great way to create buzz and long-term engagement, with the right people. (Paid+owned+earned)
- Paid video ads that showcase customer testimonials or user experience after using your product or service. (Earned +paid)
- You may also use your YouTube channel to show compelling videos of users who have had a wonderful experience with your services or products. (Earned+ owned)
- Search engine marketing to generate targeted, organic traffic to your own website(paid+owned)
- Creating social media promotions, offers, and sweepstakes to create buzz and conversation around a product. (Paid + owned + earned)
The models are endless, really. The rule of thumb is to thoroughly understand what will work for your target audience so that you can deliver the right content, using the right channels.
4. Media specific questions
Granted, you will most likely use all three channels at some point in your content marketing cycle. It is important to understand the limitations and advantages of each media channel.
- How will you support content development for your owned media? Will you generate content in-house, collaborate with other content developers, or completely outsource?
- Which owned content assets will you focus on- website, blog posts, social media posts, whitepapers, case studies?
- How will you generate consistent thought leadership through earned media?
- How will you use your budget for paid media to ensure maximum returns? Will you spend on PPC, banner ads, overly ads, in-video ads, social media ads?
- How can you integrate paid media with earned and owned media so it seems less intrusive to consumers?
5. Questions about Metrics
Measuring ROI is an all-important matter for marketers. After all, the metrics you track and analyze could be a good indicator of how successful (or not) your content strategy is.
It’s your job to determine which metrics will give you an objective picture of your achievement. Will you measure your success based on:
- Brand awareness
- Mentions on other people’s blogs and publications
- Shares, Likes, and @RTs, @mentions
- Eyeballs, traffic
- Actual dollar sales
- App installs
- Web conversions
Adopting a multifaceted approach to marketing your content increases your chances of bagging the increasingly indefinable consumer.
Your turn: What paid earned owned strategies are you using, and what’s working for you?
By: Donna Moses
“Donna is a professional freelance writer, who blogs at bizcontentmarketing.com . She loves to help small businesses with their content development and content marketing needs. Donna’s interested in internet marketing, digital trends, and entrepreneurship. When she is not glued to the computer screen, she is lazing with a book on the beach.”
Twitter profile: https://twitter.com/donnamoses86
Google + profile: https://plus.google.com/+DonnaMoses