Consumers are growing tired of paid media. In fact, research shows that paid media channels have been declining in trustworthiness and credibility for years. Additionally, traditional media outlets are getting more complicated and cumbersome to navigate. Classic earned media – while powerful – can be difficult to manage. Your brand’s story might get told, but you won’t have control over how. With either of these options, organizations are not thoroughly in control of who sees their message or even how that message is relayed.
These are just a few of the reasons that owned media has become a cornerstone of the modern marketing mix. According to Nielsen, owned media channels are among the most trusted marketing formats. Their statistics show that branded websites and other forms of owned media are the second-most trusted form of marketing, with 70% of global respondents saying they completely or somewhat trust these sources. In addition, more than half of respondents (56%) trust the emails that they signed up for.
Savvy brands are focusing on owned media and content marketing.
There simply is no better way to control your narrative and manage your distribution than through your owned media channels. With circumstances spinning out of control in today’s uncertain business and economic climate, companies are adjusting their marketing strategies to focus on the things they can control. The idea of brands acting as publishers is nothing new. Sponsored television programming and content marketing have been around for a long time and these strategies have evolved with the emergence of digital media. Given the increased emphasis on controlling the narrative, it’s no surprise that companies are turning toward owned media options more than ever before.
To that end, we’ve compiled the most effective owned media strategies for the modern communicator. In this two-part blog series, we’ll share proven tactics that have worked for brands of every size and industry.
- Make it worth their while: give something of value. People have become so busy that time truly is the scarcest of commodities. Asking people to spend some of that precious time on your content can backfire – unless you’re providing something that’s of value to them. We suggest publishing content that is educational or instructional – don’t be afraid to give a bit of information away for free. You could also produce original content that is funny, uplifting, or inspiring. Either way, you’re creating a true value exchange that can create longer term engagement.
- Optimize content for online search. Doing so helps to make your news more discoverable to writers, bloggers, and generally attracting more viewers. No one knows the exact algorithms that delivers search results. Google’s search algorithms are extremely complex and constantly changing. By looking at data, we can determine certain factors that are more helpful in ranking and optimizing for search in general. A recent study from Backlink.io shows a direct correlation between the length of an article and its appearance on the first page of Google’s search results. Specifically, the average word count of a Google first page result is 1,890 words. It’s important to understand these SEO best practices when creating content, to give your material the best chances of being discovered in the first place. If you skip optimizing to increase search and social media engagement, you’re significantly reducing the digital footprint of your content.
In our next blog, we’ll share three more strategies that the most innovative communicators are using to better engage through media. These five strategies 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 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 this topic on June 25th, 2020. Learn more and register for “Owned Media & The Growth PR Playbook” here.