I am a big fan of an owned media and earned media strategy for most brands. For growing awareness for your brand, there’s nothing quite like earned media. However, before you can implement the earned part of your strategy, you need to have good SEO-optimized owned media.
Owned media is just that. It’s content and a piece of media that you own. In its simplest form, it’s blog posts and pictures. But it can be podcasts or even movies. Essentially owned media is the content you created or had someone create for you.
Owned media and Search Engine Optimization(SEO) are often conflated. They are not the same thing. Owned media is the content itself. SEO is what you do to that content to make it discoverable. SEO is an important part of an owned media strategy.
An owned media strategy can be difficult to implement. If you’re starting, creating your own content usually doesn’t pay off for several months. The long wait can make it difficult when convincing people it is the right marketing strategy. Especially when you compare it to the quickness in which you can start a paid media campaign.
However, there are several good reasons why you should start with a created content strategy.
Owned Media Provides Equity
Owned Media provides value long after you’ve made the content. Yes, it can take months for your content to gain traction. However, content can provide value to your site for years.
Furthermore, content you create has practically unlimited upside because owned media has the potential to go viral. People share content. If you write an interesting blog post or create an engaging video, people will want to share it.
The expediency of paid media is offset by the fact that it has no shelf life. Once you stop paying money to the platform, the traffic gets cut off. The nice about paid media is that it is predictable. But this predictability comes with limited upside. The only way to grow your paid media reach is to spend more.
Owned media is an investment. It takes time to make and grow. But its potential is unlimited. Paid media is like an hourly wage. It’s dependable and tedious.
Using SEO optimizations, you can target your content to specific customers and specific queries. Keywords get you exactly who you want. Since an owned media strategy involves having your customers find you, the right audience will find you as long as you position yourself correctly.
It’s a very “if you build it, they will come” strategy. But, to be clear, you can’t just create content and hope for the best. There are strategies you can and should implement to make sure you’re content is found. But, if you make a baseball field, you’re not going to get swimmers.
Right Spot In The Funnel
Because an owned media strategy involves customers coming to you, you get them lower in the funnel with higher intent.
The great flaw of paid media is that it is woefully inefficient. A display ad with a click-through rate of 0.05% can be considered good. That’s one click for every 2,000 impressions. On the other hand, a high-ranking search result for content you won can net you upwards of a 5% CTR. Or one click for every twenty.
The reason for this efficiency is where the customer is in their journey down the funnel. Owned media is a lower-funnel tactic. It works on people who are already aware of your product or have a need.
Furthermore, these customers are already in the “searching” frame of mind. They are looking for content to consume. Whereas paid media often tries to disrupt what they’re doing and convince them to consume content.
At the end of the day, it’s an easier sell.
Long-Form Content and Selling
Owned media is great because it allows you to express yourself fully.
There is the concept of SPIN selling. There is a lot to it. It differs from mainstream selling techniques because it downplays the idea of “Always be Closing.” Instead, SPIN selling suggests, especially for higher-priced products, to ask and answer questions. And to get better at objection handling. For large purchases, people need time to convince themselves of the purchase. This is where long-form content is king.
Creating an engaging FAQ or a series of posts about your product is a great way to incorporate SPIN selling practices into your brand. This allows your customers to sell the product to themselves.
This is also where paid media can’t compete. Because of the medium, a display ad or even a search ad could never answer questions or objection handle. And therefore, by extension, paid media can never really close.
Sure paid media can inefficiently get a person in the door, but owned media will inevitably get a person to make a purchase. Since purchases are the most important thing to your business, owned media absolutely needs to be prioritized.