The first webpages were digital billboards for businesses. They were one way conversations; talking to a world-wide-web of strangers. Web 2.0 has changed everything of course but how exactly are these advances converging to help businesses deliver a rich and engaging presence online? Even more important, how can businesses effectively harness this phenomenon?
Paid, Owned and Earned Media
Advertising has been adjusting itself to every new conversation medium that emerges and the web is no exception. There are more types of ads available online than any other medium. Advertising is great for a quick boost in exposure but it disappears as soon as the budget is pulled. Over time it grows expensive. This type of paid media is important and easy to do today.
Our websites are the prominent remnant of web 1.0. We control the content as we do with our social sites and our email campaigns. This represents Owned Media. We have the say and we are the gatekeepers. In the long run, the impact of owned media grows slow and steady over time.
Earned media is the new part of the mix. This is a result of web 2.0 and the social nature of the internet. Sharing, conversation and interaction are now available online and this now the public and your customers are generating content about you. Blog posts, comments, re-tweets, etc. All of this makes up earned media. The impact of this is great and it can grow quickly.
Effective marketing today means a concerted effort to direct messaging through all these channels. A new product for example can be announced on your website, an ad, a social posting and on blogs. Understanding how to plan for this is key. Here are the 5 steps required to make this a reality:
1) Refine your ROI- More importantly, define the R. Your return may be more than sales. It could be email registrations, an increase in organic traffic or product demos.
2) Find your internal evangelists- Source content from within your organization by locating and empowering evangelists in every department. R&D may have great info you can talk about; Operations may have great insight into what could be highlighted based on their pipeline. By building cross-functional teams you will have an endless source of content to share and will also help determine the appropriate channel for their conversation
3) Create a calendar- Develop an editorial calendar that covers everything from annual events to hourly updates. This could include holiday promotions, trade news or conventions and even your #FollowFriday tweets. This will further align your staff, your goals and your workload.
4) Test and Measure- Without a scoreboard, how do you know if you’ve won? There is an old saying in the ad business that goes, “I know 50% of my advertising works and 50% does not, but I don’t know which 50%” Thanks to the web we can know. Not just ads either. We can track links, clicks, returning visitors, visitor medium and more. You should know what works and what doesn’t and make decisions from that data
5) Work in 90-day Increments- Your business has a vision statement and a marketing plan will work towards that but teams will be most effective working in 90-day timelines. At the end of that period, you can reflect on what worked and what didn’t then adjust and plan for the next 90 days.
Web 2.0 is here, the convergence of Paid, Owned and Earned is here. Get your team ready and begin today. We can’t guess what new technology will be essential tomorrow but by being entrenched in an advanced marketing plan, process and flow will keep you on the cutting edge.
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