Whatever business you are in, make sure you own it, with content to help you dominate your sector.
Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
Owned media is the key to online authority, customer trust – and bossing your rivals
Welcome to Part 4 of our essential business guide to PESO – helping you effectively reach new and existing customers via Paid media, Earned media Shared/Social media and Owned media. This section focuses on owned media.
IT’S ALWAYS satisfying to have a place you can call your own. A space where you set the rules, you call the shots and you are in control.
Unsurprisingly, the same is true in the world of content and that is why owned media remains so powerful.
Many businesses have enjoyed huge successes telling their stories on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Some businesses no longer maintaining their own websites and blogs. Why craft a 400 word blog post, when it is easier to share a quick Facebook post or Tweet?
Yet there is a problem with such an approach. While businesses own their own blogs or websites, when they move wholesale to a social network they become dependent on “rented property”. Big social networks can and do change the rules all the time
For example, businesses which had abandoned websites and invested in a Facebook-only presence faced ruin when the social network changed the rules (without prior warning or consultation) in late 2014 and started restricting the organic reach of posts.
That forced brands to start paying to promote content on Facebook – which was great for Facebook, but not so great for those businesses which had put all of their eggs in the social network’s basket.
In short those business suffered because they had taken a decision to use Facebook instead of their blog or website. But to deliver the best possible profile for your business should be to remember this simple mantra: It’s with, not instead of.
For real success look at all the things you can work with and all the possibilities of what you can do with that content. For example, think of the way a single blog post can add value to your business, something which helps explain the entire PESO model.
Firstly it will provide you interesting content to share on Facebook, a link to share on Twitter, an image to post on Instagram (Shared Media).
It might also give you the basis of a media release or a story idea to pitch to a journalist in your local area or in the trade magazine covering your niche (Earned Media ).
If the blog post is likely to help potential customers, you can promote it via social media advertising or Google AdWords to increase the chances of getting it in front of the right people (Paid Media).
The most important aspect of this is that YOU own the content and YOU decide how it is presented. This is absolutely crucial to businesses for a number of reasons that you may not have previously considered.
Here we share the BIG FIVE reasons why Owned Media is so important for businesses:
1 – HUB AND SPOKE
The more diverse the media landscape becomes, the more vital it is that you maintain a central hub that you actually own.
A website or blog post reflects your branding, carries your messages and explains your experience and expertise – and you decide what appears, when and how it looks.
Once you get into the rhythm of producing interesting and engaging content for your own website (videos, How To’s, meet the team photos and interviews etc), you will also become adept at sharing it out.
That means every social media channel or other outlet becomes a ‘spoke’ radiating out from your hub (and bringing potential customers back to your site)
It also means you will quickly learn how best to adapt content for each specific spoke, whether that is sharing short tips on Twitter, picture-led stories on Facebook or business testimonials on LinkedIn.
And that lets you start to measure what really works – and to know exactly where you should focus resources.
2 – CALLS TO ACTION
Why is it so important to bring people back to your blog or website?
There are many reasons – but in a business sense perhaps the most important is that you can set the Calls to Action (CTAs).
Increasingly social networks like Facebook or Twitter will allow business users to insert ‘Buy’ buttons. However, that doesn’t work for every business.
When visitors arrive on your website, you have a greater chance of showcasing them a range of products or services.
And you can ask them to take a wide range of actions which may not necessarily involve buying anything, but which is important to your business – from signing up for a newsletter, watching a How to Video, downloading your latest e-book guide to your sector or registering for a webinar or event.
On your own website, you have a far greater chance of getting important details from potential customers, such as email contact details.
3 – RESERVOIR OF CONTENT
While social media channels are immediate and dynamic, they make it difficult to find archive content – it can be difficult to go back more than a few hours, let alone a few days.
However, your website or blog can becoming an amazing and easily searchable source of in-depth knowledge over a prolonged period.
Facebook and Twitter are totally dedicated to keeping users on Facebook and Twitter. No matter how great your latest post was, social network users are likely to move on quickly to the next interesting piece of celebrity gossip or pics from friends and family.
However, when a visitor is on your blog or website, they are likely interested in what your products or services can do for them – and that is when useful, interesting and entertaining content comes into its own.
4 – THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
Indeed, your reservoir of content is what establishes you as leading experts in whichever sector you operate.
It’s not only clients or customers who are more likely to trust those companies which share real, valuable advice and insights, rather than those which only share pushy sales messages.
Journalists and other influencers are also more likely to favour the businesses with the better content.
When you invest time and effort in showcasing your expertise and explaining how it helps your customers, you will gradually become a respected voice in that sector.
That means journalists, bloggers, champions of customers etc, will come to you for analysis, comment and expert commentary and you will continue to build authority.
5 – SHOW UP IN SEARCH – SEO VALUE
Authority goes beyond being an established expert – in online terms ‘authority’ also refers to your website and how well it performs in search results.
Whichever sectors your business operates in, the chances are your new clients and customers find you via the search box, usually using Google.
The difference between success and failure in business can come down to how often your names appears on the front page of search results for the most important search terms.
So, it is vital that you rank well – and the great news is that your website content plays a crucial role in that.
Simply put, the more high-quality content you share on your website, the better you will rank in search.
Which means that content not only builds your reputations, your credentials and your media profile – it an also helps you appear above your rivals in those all important Google searches.
This is Part 4 of our Essential Business Guide to Harnessing PESO. Demonstrating how businesses can harness the power of PESO to maximise business success. Read the rest of our guide.
If you believe your business deserves the best public relations support possible, then contact our award-winning PR agency.
We’d love to help your business enjoy the huge benefits of owning its own powerful media – then sharing that content out to the widest possible audience.
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