Marketers have been talking about paid, owned and earned media channels for over a decade now. Yet these three channels are almost always spoken about and operate as independent functions within the marketing department. Paid media (advertising) is rarely integrated with owned (e-commerce, email, owned social) who infrequently work with earned (public relations/communications).
Over the past few years, we’ve noticed progressive marketers taking a giant leap forward in integrating paid, owned and earned media in a way that leverages the strengths of each.
Here’s an example where PG&E used paid Facebook ads to amplify the reach of their press coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle.
One native advertising partner told us that amplifying earned editorial content is the single greatest driver of product sales for one of their clients. It’s so impactful, in fact, that the client continues to promote the same positive press coverage from four years ago. As an analytics company, we’ve seen the data; and, we can tell you this strategy works.
Let’s dig into a few of the reasons why progressive marketers are using paid media to promote their earned media:
- Earned media works. 90% of consumers say they rely on editorial reviews and press coverage to make purchase decisions (Nielsen). It’s no surprise that consumers would trust an independent 3rd party review over your ad. ????
- Extend the shelf-life of PR. The days of getting a great media hit and watching it sit front and center on the homepage of a digital publication all day long no longer exists. Today’s shrinking news cycle means your potential reach is minimized by an onslaught of new stories that pushes your coverage to the bottom of the page by the time lunch rolls around. Sushi anyone? ????
- Targeted PR reach at scale. Combine the credibility, and authenticity of earned media with the scale and precision of paid media = ????. Rather than targeting consumers with ads they’ll likely ignore, use sophisticated paid media targeting techniques to expose prospects to positive 3rd party endorsements of your products and services. ????
- It’s cost efficient. Amplifying earned media is an efficient way to engage consumers with content that’s already been created on your behalf. ????
- Reach the right customers at the right time with your most effective asset — PR. Research has shown that consumers trust earned media significantly more than ads. Instead of relentlessly retargeting someone who’s visited your site with a less credible traditional ad, re-market to them with a positive review of your product to push them across the finish line. OR promote earned media at the top of the funnel, as a method of introducing your product to a new audience via a trusted source.
Today, with the broad adoption of native ads, and democratization of media buying (literally anyone can buy premium high-quality ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), it seems marketers, agencies and PR firms no longer have an excuse for why they aren’t taking a more integrated approach to paid, owned and earned media. Simply put, using paid ads to promote your earned content, converts at a much higher rate than traditional media buys.
Launching a new car model? Boost positive reviews that target in-market buyers. Managing an IR (Investor Relations) crisis? Pitch and land positive media hits, then use LinkedIn ads to reach retail investors with positive coverage. Selling B2B software? Retarget visitors of your website with stories announcing new features you just launched.
Over the next few posts, we’ll share tips and best practices on how you can effectively leverage this strategy to achieve your own marketing goals.