We’ve discussed previously on this blog the concept of PESO—for Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned. These are the four types of media that companies can use for marketing purposes. As we have already described each of these concepts, we wanted to take a step in and really look at what Owned Media is and how it can help you focus your marketing.
Unlike Paid Media, which is a fancy name for advertising, Owned Media is content created within the company that includes things like blogs or white papers or even a video. Owned Media is really a major facet of Content Marketing. It is a way to reach your audience by connecting with them on a one-to-one level, a way of engaging them in the process, not interrupting their reading with an advertisement.
According to a multinational market research firm GFK Associates, 80% of company decision-makers prefer a series of articles to an ad when they are researching information. With such a deluge of information available at the click of a mouse, it helps when these decision makers can find a source of good information that has already been curated on the topic they are researching. The survey also found that 60% of decision-makers feel that company-sponsored content helps them to make better product decisions and 70% said that said that content can make them feel closer to the sponsoring company.
That is a very important distinction. A company’s Owned Media can actually build a relationships with their audience. Unlike an ad, Owned Media helps change a customer’s mind without the sales pressure. It is a communication strategy that builds connections and relationships. Where a sales pitch or ad is intended to get your client’s attention, and force an immediate decision, Owned Media and Content Marketing are about the slow build, establishing you and your people as the experts in your field—as the authority in your subject. Content marketing helps your audience realize they have a need and offers solutions to fill it.
The best thing about Owned Media in today’s world of social media is that it can easily be shared, so your clients also become your champions. They can help to spread the word, your word—whether it be via an article, photo, video or blog—to all their friends and colleagues. (This is the “S” in PESO.) But, of course, you have to have fantastic content to propel it through social media channels.
It takes special skills to deliver a fantastic message without banging your audience over the head with a hard-sell, too. Owned Media needs to be crafted with care and intention by professionals who understand messaging and quality content. It is a fine balance to achieve, but the results of getting your Owned Media just right will repay itself tenfold.