For some marketing teams, starting up the content marketing engine, revamping a blog, and publishing some gated lead gen content is enough to get online engagement going, leads flowing, and marketing proving its value to the organization. But for most of us, making content marketing work takes, well, work.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at how a Converged Media approach can help boost the signal of your marketing efforts, and get you in front of the customers you crave. Some call it “content promotion,” others “content distribution,” and there are other names for it still.
We’ll break our exploration of this topic into its three core subjects - Owned Media, Paid Media, and Earned Media - before we bring it all together and discuss how to strategically apply a Converged Media approach to promoting your best content.
Today, we’ll look at Owned Media.
What is Owned Media?
Owned Media is content that you produce and publish on your own marketing channels. It includes your blog, website, social media accounts, emails, and Calls-to-Action (CTAs) in the form of web banners and buttons on your website. Therefore, Owned Media is content you completely control.
One of the biggest mistakes we make as marketers when publishing our next big piece of content is not supporting it with all of the owned resources at our fingertips. We get excited about the new ebook or infographic, but we forget to focus that excitement into action across all of our marketing channels - such as our blog, our email lists, our website, and our social media channels.
Let’s look at each owned channel to see how, when, and why we should use them.
Your blog can be the perfect vehicle for promoting your larger content efforts. Many marketers publish their infographics or white papers on their blogs or write a post linking to a new resource. But a “one and done” approach isn’t always best. Let’s break down an ebook as an example.
Consider the focus of your eBook:
- Is it one chapter, or several?
- Are there graphics in each chapter, particularly charts and graphs, or fresh data that you’re approaching for the first time?
- Does it have quotes from industry experts or internal thought leaders?
If any of those are true, those elements can be broken off into their own dedicated blog post, linking back to your ebook. This approach is useful for several reasons. It allows you expand on material within your ebook, by doing extended interviews with subject matter experts, expanding on research methodologies for your data collection, focusing on a particular data set or shocking statistic, and more.
Additionally, by diversifying your content around your ebook, you create a larger digital footprint, a blog ecosystem of related content that helps support your larger content effort - and extends your reach in organic search, making it easier for both search engines, and your end users, to find your content.
Another way you can share your content with your user base is to email them, when appropriate. It can be a bit tricky on when you should email your database with your latest content offerings. Typically, a new blog post isn’t reason enough to send an email. But larger content efforts should be.Ask yourself -
Ask yourself - is this new content truly useful to my audience?
- Does it offer something of value back to my customers?
- Does it solve a key issue related to your products or services?
- Does it offer new data about your industry or related subject matters?
If so, it can be very useful to design and send a compelling email to share your content with them.
As with any content marketing effort, the more targeted the focus of the content, the more successful the content can be. Consider the overall goals of your content (increase prospect database, re-engage users, new service offerings, sales growth) and the audience you’re targeting.
If the content is truly targeted to a subset of your entire audience, don’t be afraid to just email that segment of your email list. Keep it simple, focused, and compelling, and your emails efforts to promote your content will be successful.
One of the easiest ways to promote your content - and one of the easiest tactics to forget - is using Calls-to-Action throughout your website to promote your content. By placing links on your home page, side banners, blog posts and other relevant pages, you can create additional signals to your new content.
Many overlook the advantage that adding a few banners on your site can give your freshly published content resource. You’ve worked hard to create a large, long-form piece of content - so don’t neglect it! Start by adding CTAs to the pages that most closely align or are related to your new resource.From there, it can
From there, it can help to look into your web analytics, and see if there are any pages or blog posts that get a lot of web traffic, either historically or in more recent trends. Using these high visibility posts as locations for CTAs is a great idea, particular if the content is relevant. Try not to force a CTA on a page where there is no connection - but if it makes sense to place one on a page, do it.
Don’t forget, too - CTA banners aren’t your only means of promoting within the content on your website. You can always use text to link back to your new content, too. Google still considers internal linking as a ranking factor for your website and content therein - so don’t neglect these crucial text links as a means to help users (and search engines) locate your content.
The final piece of the puzzle for Owned Media promotion is Social Media (specifically organic social posting, which differs from paid social - a topic I'll discuss in my next post). There is no harm in sharing your content with your audience through your own social channels. Stick to social media best practices - that is, don’t go spamming out your new content every 5 minutes. But feel free to schedule posts and share it frequently alongside your other social media activities.
If your content involves external resources, such as subject matter experts, audience influencers, or other companies that assisted with research or creation, be sure to share it with these folks too, and encourage them to share it with their audience. A simple “Thanks to @CompanyX or @InfluencerY for participating in our 2015 research survey!” can go a long way to helping promote your content.
Your audience, content producers, and participants can’t share your content if they don’t know it’s live. Get your message out there on your social channels. Be mindful of your messaging by:
- Taking the time to craft your messages
- Including imagery
- Searching for relevant hashtags and the like
Wrapping It Up
Using your Owned Media wisely is key to any successful Converged Media approach. Just like your hard-earned new content resource, quality takes time, so don’t neglect these tactics. Be thoughtful and intentional with your Owned Media, and you can build a successful ecosystem of great, useful content that helps your audience find the answers they seek - that you’ve so graciously provided.
That’s it for part one of our series on Converged Media. Tune in next time when we break down Paid Media, and find out what tactics are available through paid channels to get your content out to the world for your audience to see. Then check out my post on Earned Media tactics like Media Outreach & PR, Influencer Outreach and Syndication. Finish your exploration of Converged Media with my post on using Owned, Paid and Earned Media as part of a holistic strategy. And if you're looking for an all-in-one guide to content promotion, our Marketer's Guide to Content Promotion ebook should do the trick.
As the Digital Marketing Director for Element Three, Dustin works with the Element Three digital marketing department to determine the best combination of data analysis, marketing technology, and storytelling for driving our clients' bottom line. His background in journalism, digital communication, and ecommerce positions him as a unique voice in the cluttered digital marketing industry. When he's not writing about the forefront of digital marketing, you can find him jamming with a guitar or at home with his wife and two children.
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