In our last blog, we shared some insights on consumer behavior with the media. Research shows that both paid and traditional media are becoming less trusted, and therefore less effective, owned media has become a critical cornerstone of the marketing mix. We also covered some of the tactics that smart companies are using to create and control the narrative through owned media strategies.
We will continue that discussion with three more strategies that we’ve seen modern communicators use.
- Seek internal experts. Creating valuable content is never easy, and doing so at scale is even more difficult. You likely have great staff who can help write content, it’s worth your while to try to enlist those experts at your company for their subject matter expertise. Your internal staff are the true experts on your company and your offerings, so don’t hesitate to recruit them to create material. Many professionals are eager to be viewed as thought leaders in their industry, and authoring pieces is a great way for them to expand their personal brand. Find some members of your organization who have the time and inclination to help and enlist their knowledge.
- Amplify your message. Once your content has been published it’s up to you to do everything possible to help your audience find it. In addition to organic search optimization, two other methods of promotion include distributing your content on your social media channels as well as asking staff to promote to their personal networks – and both of these tactics are free. That being said, the most impactful way to boost your content is through paid media activation, where your blog post or contributed article becomes the advertisement itself. Using native advertising platforms like Twitter, Taboola and others, you can deliver your content to its intended audience, at exactly the right time, and at scale.
- Measure and improve. The most effective communicators constantly measure their efforts and try to optimize. Owned media strategies are no exception. When customers are engaging with your brand story within your owned media environment they are exposed to more of your content, messaging, and calls-to-action. This suggests they are deeper into the purchase funnel than they would be if they were reading that same brand story on a third-party media outlet. So while there is certainly unique value to earned media coverage in a highly reputable publication, content marketing makes a dramatic impact because you can surround the reader with comprehensive brand messaging. To determine success, look at metrics across the top and lower end of the funnel: reader engagement (number of readers, time spent, consumption), brand impact (did the content have an attitudinal impact) and of course, conversions and revenue. All of this information should lead to more data-driven decision making and the optimization of future content.
Ultimately, the right mix of earned, owned and paid tactics will depend on your specific company, so we encourage you to put content at the center of your marketing and communications strategy and let the data tell the story.
The five strategies shared in this blog series can help you do just that. They are at the heart of the “Growth PR” playbook which is the practice of using data and technology to craft the right narrative, understanding how to optimize the message on the channels you influence, and then tracking the impact of your efforts on your company’s bottom line using real business metrics.
We will also be hosting a webinar on the topic on June 25th, 2020. Learn more and register for “Owned Media & The Growth PR Playbook” here.