Secrets of Successful Owned Media [Keynote]
Owned media marketing is about leading a horse to water and making them drink. In the analog days, marketers led the horse to water, and sales made them drink. But online, where buyers self-educate and make purchasing decisions without talking to salespeople, marketers have to be able to create an online experience that converts attention into transactions without the help of sales.
The idea is to leverage original content to attract buyers searching for solutions to problems your product or service solves. By creating the best editorial content, marketers drive click-throughs, conversions, and, ultimately, new business and revenue.
But to do this, you need a place where you can publish original content alongside an e-commerce store or conversion funnels and you need resources to scale owned media editorial. You can’t build your own funnel on social media or someone else’s website. You can only do that on your own website.
So you need your own website where you control the layout of the page, because whoever controls the layout controls the payout. In digital marketing, we call this an owned media presence. You build a media outlet that you own and control, which means:
- You don’t have to pay a commission to a third party if you generate a sale.
- You have access to the customer or lead’s contact information.
- You can’t be easily deplatformed, like you can by a social network.
- There’s no engagement-based algorithm you have to appease with sensational content to get seen.
So digital marketing starts with an owned media presence. Next, you add shared, earned, and paid media channels to drive traffic to your owned media presence.
The benefit to owned vs earned media is control. Your Instagram followers are not your followers. They’re Instagram’s followers, and they can take them away any time.
Third party platforms also offer very little in the way of analytics. Analytics are essential to understanding your customers, their engagement habits, market trends, and more. To be reliant on only the analytics someone else is willing to give you severely limits what you can learn from the data being collected.
They say data is now more valuable than oil. But just like oil, unrefined data is not nearly as valuable. With owned media opportunities, not only are you in control of your audience, but you also have access to all data being collected and are free to analyze it to get the business insights you need.
When companies fail to pivot to digital, it’s usually for similar reasons. Namely, they drive traffic before they’re ready to convert it into tangible opportunities. The secret to a successful digital pivot is applying the media channels in order. The secret is the sequence.
But what many fail to appreciate is that in order to have a viable owned media presence, you also need some sort of tech stack. It can be basic. At the simplest level, this is a website, webforms, a CRM, and an email marketing platform.
Now, the goal is to leverage original content – designed to appeal to potential customers looking for answers to problems you solve – to a conversion funnel that resides in your owned media presence.
For ecommerce marketers, that conversion will be a sale. For B2B content marketers, it will probably be a micro conversion, like getting someone to sign up for email notifications or attend a webinar, so the company collects a new lead. Either way, you need a website where you can publish content and build conversion funnels to make that happen.
Driving the right traffic to your website starts by researching popular key phrases that people search when they’re problem solving online.
But there’s so much competition, that unless you can commit to outperforming your competitors by writing the best articles, using professional pictures, and publishing them to a website that looks trustworthy, you’re better off with paid media.
In this podcast recording of an owned media marketing keynote I delivered at the National Coffee Growers Association, I walk you step-by-step through the process of pivoting to digital.