Do you know the most effective way to spread the word about your business or increase awareness of your latest service online?
Whilst every business and every campaign is different, there are three ways to go about it for maximum exposure. To succeed in online marketing, in fact any marketing, we first need to understand the differences between these strategies and combine them to create an effective, results driven, online marketing campaign that targets the right people at the right time with the right message.
Let’s start by learning what these 3 strategies are and how you can employ them in your business to produce positive results.
The 3 Different Online Marketing Strategies
A paid online marketing strategy is where you are quite literally paying someone else to drive “targeted” eye balls to your content or call to action. You use this type of strategy to cast a wide net and drag qualified prospects to your offering.
Examples: Paid media activities include advertisements for TV, print, radio, social media and email, as well as product placements, sponsorships, paid search and content syndication. Any time you pay to reach an audience you didn’t generate yourself it’s considered paid media.
The benefits of paid advertising are that it is the most scalable and predictable of the three online marketing strategies. It also has the longest track record with banner adverts having been around since near the birth of the internet. Typically, paid advertising is the best understood online marketing strategy.
Click through rates on unstructured campaigns are typically low and are continually declining as people are less inclined to be sold to.
Owned media is a closed channel that is controlled by a person or a brand. This could be your website, email newsletters or press releases. These assets cannot be edited by anyone other than you, your business or your brand.
Advantages of Owned Media
The advantage of owned media is that you own the brand and the platform therefore no one else can come along and pull the rug from under you. You do not have to dance to anyone else’s tune and your content is governed by you and you alone. As an online marketing strategy, owned media is a must. You should be in control of your own brand and messages.
Disadvantages of Owned Media
The disadvantage to having your own platform is that you have to manage, maintain, and update content regularly to attract and inspire the interest of your audience to take action. Click on the following link to learn more about content marketing. As soon as the content dries up the audience will move on.
Earned media is quite literally the icing on the cake. It is when the customer becomes the marketing channel and talks about their experience with your business to their following through mediums such as Facebook, Twitter or leaving reviews online on Google+.
In traditional marketing terms this would be known as referral marketing; someone who has had a great experience working with you and then lets everyone know what a fantastic job you did and how pleased they are with the results. That kind of marketing is absolutely priceless and that is why it is earned.
You cannot go out and simply turn on the taps like you would with paid online marketing strategies. It is a result of hard work and persistence.
Although earned media is without doubt a great way of growing business it can also work against you. If for whatever reason you have a disgruntled customer, then just as easily as people can heap praise, they will also paint your business in a negative manner. There is no direct control with earned online marketing. The best you can do is to be involved and if somebody mentions your business in a negative way then do your best to uncover the problem and rectify the situation as soon as possible. This in itself can add to your earned reputation as people will see how effective your customer service really is.
Forrester categorised Paid, Owned and Earned Media in the following way;
Where Does Social Media Sit?
There is a case for social media to be in all 3 paid, owned and earned. And while months and months of hard work to build and grow a following in the thousands might represent the fact that you have earned that media, you never truly own that relationship. You don’t own the conversation, you don’t own the vast number of followers, you are not in control of what changes the platform (Facebook, YouTube, Google etc) make with regards to how you can interact with THEIR owned subscribers.
This leaves you in the position that you will have to pay to reach the followers that you worked hard to build. In effect it becomes a mixed or converged marketing media.
What is Converged Media?
Paid, owned and earned media channels play a critical role in your content strategy. Merging them to work together on any campaign or project will take your content marketing to the next level. This combination of two or more channels is referred to as converged media.
Converged media works well because it’s characterised by a cohesive storyline. All channels work collectively for a brand so that it reaches its customers precisely where, how and when it wants. Take our brand, for example. At Big Thinking Online, we apply converged media to create a well-balanced and established marketing content strategy.
To incorporate paid media, we use pay-per-click advertising and retargeting on Google and Social media dependent on the campaign that we are running.
Our owned media includes the content in our website and newsletters, as well as any collateral we produce for our brand.
Owned media for us is the hub of our marketing, everything else we do in our marketing campaign is designed to get potential and existing clients back to this website, it could be through an email, a Facebook post or long tail search engine term.
However readers get here we have the ability to increase awareness and educate that individual by providing value that will encourage them to want to know more about how we can help them and to take the next step in their relationship with us.
That next step is taken by following a call to action such as completing a contact us form, subscribing to one of our email lists to get one of our content upgrades, or calling us directly.
And our Earned media is generated through past clients who share their experiences of working with us by leaving reviews and by referring us to other business owners who they feel we can help and add incredible value to.
The best practice today is to use a combination of “owned, earned, paid media.” Use one media channel to amplify or extend another type. They need to work hand in hand and there should be a specific business goal behind each campaign.
So don’t think about a single marketing technique in isolation, such as a website or being active on Facebook. Think instead about how you can combine techniques to reach people at different stages of the value journey.
At Big Thinking Online, we want to learn about your business, empower your sales team and be your online resource. Your online marketing goals deserve a conversation: contact us today on 0161 850 4413.