Paid, Owned, Earned: Poetics in Content Marketing

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Any poet will tell you timing is everything. Balancing paid, earned and owned media with your customers is an art—and here's how to do it.

By now we all understand that a content marketing strategy is essential to increasing your brand’s online exposure and authority, but are you devoting enough resources to different channels within your content plan?

Paid, earned and owned channels come together to support different elements of the sales funnel, and a gap in one area can damage the integrity of your entire content marketing campaign. If you are not devoting the proper resources to each channel, your brand may be missing opportunities and losing customers due to inconsistencies in content or delivery. Take control of your digital influence by crafting a strategy that properly balances your resources to maximize your digital efforts.

Plan Your Resource Distribution

Your brand’s paid, earned and owned channels influence different parts of the customer lifecycle, and developing content that is valuable to niche audience segments in each channel can generate more sales. Nurture the relationships you create and take careful consideration of the experience you create through content.

To make the most your content marketing efforts, it is essential to understand how audiences consume content and where your brand needs the most resources within individual channels. By addressing user expectations and needs in each channel, marketers can produce consistent results and improve online authority.  Plan, execute, and measure strategies for individual channels and leverage the focus and direction of your overall content marketing strategy to generate engaging and effective content.

Related Article: Content Marketing Without This Extra Step Is Useless

Paid Media: Attraction and Promotion

Paid media involves purchased advertisements from any channel such as search, social, print, in-store or direct mail. These channels offer a unique opportunity to reach new audiences, expand the reach of your brand’s content, and integrate new users into your sales cycle. The most effective way to attract new users through paid media is by leveraging smart ad copy, strong landing pages and valuable content that can help build relationships with your brand. Keep in mind that you are marketing to strangers, so this is an opportunity to display your brand values and benefits to develop relationships that may drive sales. First impressions are everything.

Because paid media can often be where consumers are first introduced to your brand, it is important to reflect your unique value in your content. Additionally, because new users do not have a strong attachment to your brand, your content must grab attention quickly and convey your message clearly. Focus on developing concise content that stimulates users visually, can be understood at a glance and compels action. By enticing users to interact with your brand, you have succeeded in moving users to the next phase of your sales funnel and have started a new relationship.

Earned Media: Authority and Exposure

Earned media revolves around channels where publicity is gained through promotional efforts rather than advertising, such as social media, customer reviews, user-generated content, syndicated publications and partnerships. Content within earned media helps establish trust and credibility for your brand through external sources and community buzz. These channels often offer high engagement and contribution from fans and should be viewed as conduits for relationship building and exposure to develop your current relationships.

When creating a content plan for your earned media outlets, focus on offering value to your fans through entertainment, education, or branded contributions such as promotions. Your content should be sharable and interesting to encourage more engagement. Due to the social nature of many earned media channels, your fans will often contribute feedback and unique content that your brand should monitor closely. Respond to all user communication, both positive and negative, to establish your brands personality and image. By offering valuable content and maintaining constant communication through user outreach, your brand can increase its shareability and authority online.

Related Article: Content That Gets Found, Loved and Shared

Owned Media: Advocacy and Conversion

Owned media consists of the channels that your brand has full control over content and delivery such as your website, blog, mobile application, or email. These platforms allow you to connect with users and turn fans into customers through targeted and carefully constructed content. Owned media also offers the ability to transform relationships turning customers into repeat customers and users into brand advocates. Create content that nurtures users through the sales cycle and encourages engagement with strong calls to action and clear benefits.

Developing content that compels users starts by understand their expectations for your brand. Address the needs of niche audience segments within your owned channels by creating specialized sub-channels. By addressing the unique needs of different audience segments, your brand can more powerfully convey its solutions in ways that appeal and convert. Overall, content distributed in owned channels should be focused around your brand’s unique benefits, knowledge and solutions. Leverage earned and paid channels to distribute this content to increase visibility and circulation.

Conclusion

In content marketing, it is vital to balance the mix of paid, earned and owned channels and map them against your audience’s engagement patterns. Leverage different channels to utilize unique benefits in the customer sales cycle. Find your brand’s mix by constantly strategizing, organizing, producing, and analyzing to see how content is best received.

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