Here have been some sweeping changes to the ways that we seek out and consume content in the digital age.
This has given companies the power to take advantage of content to boost audience reach and profits. Digital and social media platforms have empowered both consumers and the brands that rely on them, and quality content is now a vital component of modern marketing and customer service. The sheer scale of what content can do to strengthen a company can be dizzying, but the key factors for content marketing remain the same: providing value and quality. You need to know what your audience wants from your content, and then ensure that is in the right place to have the best impact among your target demographics. Here’s what you need to know.
Paid, Owned, and Earned Media
The notion of paid, owned, and earned media is not a new one. These different marketing streams should all be utilized to varying extents, because relying on one type can limit overall effectiveness. Finding the right balance and identifying grey areas is the key to a more robust content marketing strategy, so choosing the right channel is vital.
- Paid Media: In traditional terms, this would be television, newspaper, and radio adverts that a business would pay for. In the digital age, it means PPC advertising, paid social media campaigns, and keyword advertising. PPC can be a very effective channel to explore as you only pay for the clicks that you get, meaning that you only pay when you get a site visit.
- Owned Media: This is the content that your company has created and published itself. That means that it includes your website, your blog posts, ebooks, and any white papers that you have in your content library. This is often the content that will be shared on your social channels. It should be driven by your core goals and a well-defined content marketing strategy. It should be valuable and non-promotional for maximum effectiveness.
- Earned Media: This is any and all conversations that are centered around your business. Whether it’s your brand or your products that are being discussed, earned media is simply when someone else has created and published content that involves you and your business. Often, earned media is the end result of paid and owned media, and can heavily amplify your own campaigns. It is vital that you embrace earned media, as it is often the fastest and most effective way to build both trust and credibility.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Content Marketing
The ways that you measure the impact and effectiveness of your content marketing will depend on the type of media channel you are analyzing. Paid media and earned media will need to be tracked very differently from owned media.
- Measuring Paid Media: This will be dependant on your platform of choice. Sites like Google will have their own analytics systems, and these should be used constantly. If you are paying for advertising on Facebook, then there are analytics available, and most platforms have third-party tracking tools available online. Tools like SEMRush and SpyFu can track your paid media performance in real-time, ensuring that you are getting the maximum benefit from your paid-for content boosts.
- Measuring Owned Media: As with paid media, your ability to track and measure the impact of your owned media will be reliant on your platforms. If you have a Wix or Wordpress website then both have analytics, although these vary in depth and effectiveness. If you have built your own website, then you will need to use third-party tools to track your metrics. Don’t mistake social media likes for results when it comes to owned media. Its main goal is to drive people to your website and encourage them to buy without making it seem like a sales pitch. You should measure the effectiveness of your owned media by your overall conversion rates. Having the right goals is essential.
- Measuring Earned Media: In order to track your earned media, you can use a social analytics tool like Brandwatch Analytics, which monitors mentions of your company across the internet. Tools like this are important because you can exclude the channels that you have created or paid for. Tracking earned media is an effective way of measuring brand impact.
The Impact of Technology in Content Marketing
Marketers and content creators have a wealth of existing technologies to improve and guide their content marketing campaigns/ From social media to basic grammar tools, these tools can be used to ensure that your content is not only created for the right reasons, but that it is created with the maximum efficiency and then seen by as many people as possible. The most useful technologies for content marketing include:
The Content Marketing Sales Funnel
The traditional sales funnel is now a content marketing funnel. Your marketing department is now better able to align with your sales teams more effectively than ever before, as long as your marketing goals are clearly defined. Due to the fact that sales and marketing teams are often working in isolation from each other, integration is now more important than ever before. You can now align those goals more effectively using resources like employee engagement surveys from Inpulse, ensuring that no team members are left in the dark about the goals and successes of your marketing and sales realignment. Your content marketing funnel needs to prioritize the following stages of the consumer journey:
- Attract: This is when your leads will first see your brand in relation to a problem that they have.
- Convert: This is when you solve their problems and that lead becomes an actual sales prospect.
- Close: This is when your sales team will become essential, and why they need to work closely with the content marketing team to ensure that the prospect becomes a paying customer.
- Delight: An often forgotten stage of the sales process, this is when a customer is so satisfied with your product and service that they become a brand advocate. This in itself can be a useful source of further content.
Content marketing works because it allows you to target customers no matter where they are in the sales funnel. Using well-designed content that has the right impact at the right time, you can encourage interaction, engagement, and sales. That makes content marketing a valuable tool for a better and more secure future.