High quality engaging content, completely aligned with the buyer journey of your potential customer is worthless if it is invisible to the your audience. In order to bring across content effectively, you need to think long and hard about your content distribution strategy. Reaching the right persona is far more important than the total exposure achieved. What are your options?
Distribution of content
The media options for a modern marketer to distribute content largely fall into the categories of owned, earned and paid media.
Owned media include the channels that you run and control yourself. Your own channels can include, for example, your website or your own newsletter. But also your own social media accounts fall into the category of owned media. As ‘owner’ of a social media account, only you decide what content is shared and the possibilities for responding to the messages. Your own media channels therefore, carry a strong correlation with the content itself. The big advantage of these channels is of course, you have complete control over the content and functionality.
Owned media is largely aimed at familiar target groups and contacts, such as existing customers, associates, subscribers and prospects – parties that are familiar with the organization.
Earned media include the channels used by others to share content and messages about your organization. The credibility can be increased due to the fact that others are posting the message. When powerful media spread the message, the exposure of earned media can be huge. A message, or content, that goes viral, can also attract a lot of attention. When a message is forwarded by a number of people with their own reach via social media, the exposure increases exponentially. Imagine that a message to an account with 1000 followers, and that 3 followers of that account, each with 1000 followers of their own, spread this message to their network, the reach is 4000 followers instead of your own 1000. Worth the effort!
Harry McCann said one hundred years ago: ‘Advertising is the truth well told.’ All external channels that are bought in to distribute your own message in a positive light among target audiences falls into the category of paid media. Paid media can vary from banners to ads for search engines, and advertorials and product placements. For paid media, the organization buys exposure for their messaging.
Choice between owned, earned and paid media
Traditionally, paid media was always seen as the most obvious media channel. The rise of social media and content marketing, however, have given owned media and earned media a bigger share in the mix. Owned media is growing because of the increasing value placed by organizations on the production of valuable and relevant content. Earned media is gaining attention due to its potentially huge reach using the relatively low threshold involved in social media, blogs and communities. In practice however, it’s still very difficult to run effective, largescale campaigns without involving paid media in some sort of capacity.