The typical Brand Strategy will include the deployment of various types of interactive media via website, blog, press releases, paid advertisements, sponsorships, Web 2.0 platforms, mobile website and social media accounts.
Of course in a perfect world, every brand marketer would have ample resources to orchestrate simultaneous deployment of all types of media. However, many large and small organizations struggle to deploy content of any type regularly, let alone, all types of media at the same time. When determining where to invest brand marketing efforts, it is wise to weigh the cost/benefit of each type of content influncing the brand.
As the internet evolved from the “information highway” as dubbed in the 90’s to a mass transfer of data, opinion and media to a literal “free for all” which empowers the brand consumer and unstrucured social interaction to impact the brand more than ever before.
It is imperative that a brand create quality content, but also nurture the source of content that will yield the most control over the brand – the customers!
– Rebecca Murtagh – Marketing Strategist
A recent study by Forrester well-defined the three categories of online media content and their respective roles, which can assist in the prioritization of where to invest resources.
Owned Media – Controlled by the Brand
Branded content, uniquely created by the organization specifically for it’s target audiences. Benefits include ownership and complete control and scalability, with no limitation to how much content can be distributed. Owned content is also ideally search engine optimized for visbility, clicks and conversion, always targeting the most qualified customers. Owned media can include branded website, e-commerce store, blogs, social media accounts, media rooms, etc.
Paid Media – Leveraged by the Brand
Participation in distribution of content by a third-party, such as Google Adwords, AOL, Bing, Yahoo, other paid advertising networks, as well as directories, sponsorships, etc. The Downside is that most internet users recognized “paid” avertisements. Studies show customers are more likely to listen to friends and social connections when making a purchase decision.
Earned Media – Customers of the Brand Control the Message
The organic, natural or viral promotion of your content, without your direct influence. This is perhaps the most powerful type of content that can influence your brand. For good or bad, what your customers say will influence brand awarenss, market share and sales performance. (as mentioned above customers are highly influenced by what others say) which has perhaps the greatest impact, however offers the least amount of control over brand and content.
Content is imperative to the perpetuation of the brand. The days of simply broadcasting what you wish your brand to stand for are long gone. Today, marketers can do their best to project your brand, but in the world of Web 2.0, blogs and social media, it will ultimately be the customer and those they influence that will more directly influence brand equity and market share.