While most strategies will always include some reference to the three pillars of the media mix, most brands will favor one or two of the channels and will allocate the lion’s share of the budget and available resources in those areas.
If owned media hasn’t been your preferred pillar thus far, there are several compelling arguments for investing more money here in the months ahead.
Whether or not this is at the expense of earned and paid media will depend on how your budget is traditionally split, what funds are available for the next year and how welded to other commitments (such as advertising obligations) you are.
Regardless of the size of your budget, here’s why more of it should be destined for your own media assets such as video content, blog posts, website and email this year.
1. Your digital advertising spend may be going to waste
If you’re investing money in paid media (advertising), look away now. Marketing Week reported that according to research by marketing firm Lumun, digital ad effectiveness is small, with only 9% of digital ads viewed for more than a second. The study found that just 35% of digital display adverts received views, meaning 65% of ads don’t ever reach a human eyeball. Just 4% of ads receive more than two seconds of engagement.
Analytics firm, Meetrics calculated that in 2016, UK marketers wasted more than £600 million / $770 million on online ads that didn’t meet minimum viewability thresholds.
Although not all paid media spend will go to waste – a paid search campaign will only use budget when the ad is seen or clicked on, for example – the advert will only exist for as long as finances are available.
2. You can use owned content creation for better lead generation
The modern online consumer is smart about advertising and in some cases, immune to branded sales pitches. Platforms such as Instagram have nurtured a discovery-led approach to products, services and brands. This shift in consumer behavior can be turned into a positive for businesses investing in owned content creation.
When creating your own content, you take much greater control of the lead generation process and with more budget available, can hopefully produce better content that surprises, delights and engages in equal measure.
With more time and money for content creation, you can also create better quality pieces which satisfy each stage of the customer acquisition cycle, helping to funnel leads through consideration and decision making with helpful and compelling pieces, backed with strong calls to action and perhaps even CRM integration.
As those pieces reside under your owned channel control, you also benefit from being more agile and able to amend content assets quickly and easily to react to changes in user behavior and consumer feedback.
3. Strong owned media assets can help brands dominate in fragmented marketplaces
If your marketplace is fragmented, intensive and highly competitive, an all-out bidding war for paid media is highly likely as every brand strives to get a foothold. While this pushes up prices of paid search and paid social, it means there’s a constant state of flux and a single brand will struggle to maintain superiority across the board without very deep pockets.
In this environment, having stronger owned media assets can help you dominate. Investment in apps, downloadable guides, a superior website user experience, helpful blog articles, engaging video and regular, effective social media posting can all help to establish dominance.
Rather than shouting the loudest in paid channels, you can offer customers a better brand experience, more useful information and a more useful connection. Great content, apps and other owned assets can also help to establish authority, with good content from thought leaders offering an easy way to assume a position of superiority and power over lesser brands.
4. Owned media can drive longer term marketing goal success
If your longer term marketing goals include page one organic search listings, investing more in owned media can help make that objective a reality. A greater investment in content creation could mean the authority and overall quality of your site as a whole is given a lift – helping to boost search engine rankings in the longer term.
5. Increasing owned media investment can lead to greater earned media
Earned media is generated off the back of brand authority, news releases, thought leadership and brand profile. Increasing the number of news releases you produce, research studies you put out, articles from company experts and white papers you publish can all help to generate more earned media opportunities. While earned media is always more of a slow burner and reliant on third parties seeing the value of your content or your actions, this can be stimulated by improving the frequency of your news release creation, articles and other assets.
With all of these advantages, it’s well worth investing more in earned media this year. As with any marketing activity, it is important to research, plan and monitor results to make sure you extract the maximum value from your increased spend.
Do you plan to invest more in owned media this year? Which of your owned channels will take priority? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.