Content is King and Distribution is Queen
To cut through the clutter of today’s social media landscape, content must be clear, articulate, and engaging. We take a look at the three types of content – owned, paid, and earned – to help you better hone your message and better position your brand for success.
This is media and content that your brand controls and owns. That includes content that has been created for your company’s website, all posts and updates on social media channels, blog articles, and materials and visuals such as infographics and Ebooks. The more owned media a business has, the more influence and opportunities it creates.
This is exactly what it sounds like – funded advertising to promote your owned content. Facebook ads, magazine ads, and search engine marketing are a few examples. Both online and offline sources of placement are considered paid media.
The most challenging type of content to get is earned media. Customers discussing your brand through Facebook shares or comments, Twitter retweets, word of mouth distribution, and publicity in stories and articles are all forms of content that can only be earned.
Each of these three types of content plays a pivotal role in a brand’s messaging, but the overall objective is to gain earned media from your owned and paid media outlets. To do that takes a bit of time and practice, but the results can mean massive spikes in site traffic and brand awareness. Ready to get some earned media? Here’s how to do it:
Executing a content strategy must begin with first creating articulate owned media. Well thought out messaging through visual and written media will frame a company’s online and offline story. That includes developing a host of web pages and blog posts that target your company’s main keywords, and then building out social media channels to then promote the content. Using tools like Google Trends or Scribe to find content recommendations for your pages and blogs, and then optimizing the formatting with appropriate headers and titles so that Google can index them correctly, will help your content get discovered.
Once this content is in place, it’s time to amplify it through your social media channels with posts and updates. Using unique design elements should be used to increase engagement, such as branded Facebook posts and original pictures and graphics for blog articles.
Use paid media to extend the reach of your owned media. These efforts will drive direct traffic to your company’s website, as well as gain earned media attention.
Think of it as an equation: owned media + paid media = earned media.
If a business already has an established social media following, developing a paid social media ad campaign is a smart move. Facebook and Twitter both have advertising options to increase engagement or showcase promotions. Research which platform will get you the most for your money: if you’re looking to get traffic to your blog, for example, Facebook’s promoted posts might be a good option.
If your company’s social media following isn’t as advanced, focusing on a pay per click or display ad campaigns will help push traffic to the owned content on your company’s website. Google’s advertising focuses on search queried keywords; use their Google AdWords keyword search tool to gauge the relevancy of keywords pertaining to your business.
Eventually, your owned media and paid media will result in earned media. If your paid content was focused on social media, social mentions, shares, conversations and/or an increase in followers should have occurred. If utilizing pay per click and search engine advertising, you should see an increase in direct website or landing page traffic.
Take advantage of this earned media success and apply it to additional owned media. For example, if one element of the earned media was a testimonial, use the customer’s feedback on a piece of content such as your website or a social media post to get the most out of the acquired media.
Note: If your owned media was strong enough, it could generate earned media virally, although this is less controlled and reliable than managing your content through a paid platform.
Successful content strategy and direction can be challenging, costly and elusive. But by paying attention to the fundamentals, and sticking to a sound step-by-step approach, in time your owned media will help your paid media get you earned media.
How do you put your owned, paid, and earned media into action? We want to know! Comment below or tweet us @Rocket_Post.