Your content lives across multiple channels—some of which you own and update yourself (your website and social channels), some of which you earn and is created for you (press coverage, social media mentions, reviews etc.), and some of which you pay for (advertising across mediums).
Ensuring that you have a healthy mix of owned, earned, and paid media will assist you in reaching goals across the whole customer journey. While each distribution method is important on its own, each channel overlaps with key opportunities for reaching your audience. Understanding how to build a strong mix of content, along with measuring the success of each method, will assist in optimizing your marketing efforts.
All content created and managed without paid promotion is considered owned media. This includes your website, blog, your social media content, and email marketing campaigns. This content should be optimized in a few ways; for search engines , for the channels you share them on, and for the people you’re trying to reach.
Owned media provides the opportunity to tell your brand’s story. It can be used to highlight unique offerings, differentiate your brand from the competition, and provide your audience with useful, relevant, and engaging content.
You can also earn media through positive word of mouth or outreach. This consists of all the content and conversation around your business that has been created by someone else and published somewhere other than your owned channels. It is gained as a result of your efforts in owned and paid.
This includes media coverage both offline or online, and editorial content. From a digital perspective, earned media also includes social sharing, such as mentions, retweets, pins, and reviews, and user-generated content. Earned media adds a layer of authenticity to your content. You can also facilitate earned media by aligning your brand with a well-established publication to gain increased authority in the market.
While owned and earned media work hard to get your business message across organically, paid media consists of any marketing that you pay for. It offers a great opportunity to increase your brand awareness and reach, generate visits to your website, and increase overall engagement through advertisements, and sponsored and promoted content.
A key differentiator with paid media is the ability to better target your content distribution. Individual campaigns targeted to your audience(s) help to focus your offering and better engage with your visitors. Depending on the content you’re sharing, here are some paid media targets to keep in mind:
It is important to monitor, measure, and benchmark your media tactics to ensure growth and increased performance. Some of these metrics include:
You’ll also want to ensure that your media is working to bring qualified visitors to your website who are performing desirable actions at each stage of their journey. Key metrics for awareness include:
It is important to maintain control over your audience’s perception of your business. By taking the initiative to implement high-quality owned media, you can present your audience with the best possible information straight from the source. By implementing strong paid media strategies, your business can target your customers with the right messaging across many different platforms—all while gathering measurable, actionable data about them. Finally, using a mix of owned and paid media, your business can benefit from earned media, which adds a layer of authenticity to your content and encourages others to share their experiences. Through ongoing measurement, optimization, and fine-tuning, you will find the best media mix that works for your business.
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