It’s always nice to see a study that supports what you do. Earned content, a fancy word for news articles and other third party references, is reported to be 88% more trustworthy than its cousin, owned media, defined as content a brand produces and publishes itself. What the heck does this mean for your PR strategy?
First, a word about content marketing.
Content marketing is the creation and distributiion of content like e-books, slideshare presentations, press releases and blogs for the purpose of attracting prospects to your business. In the last 5 years, content marketing has received a significant amount of attention especially related to the impact that content marketing has on a company’s search engine rank, and lead generation capabilities. The result has been a flurry of companies doing content marketing, with a recent study reporting that 93% of business-to-consumer brands, and 90% of business-to-business brands are creating content.
The Differences Between Owned Media Versus Earned Media
Earned media mentions from credible news sources and from other third parties like customers and analysts are the most valuable types of content for organizations and businesses alike. Studies have shown that the credibility and unbiased nature of these content sources is essential in swaying skeptical prospects. Additionally, these media mentions are important at each stage of the purchase cycle. So work to build relationships with journalists and bloggers so that you can consistently get featured in news stories and blog posts. And don't forget to reach out to happy customers to create case studies.
Earned media's objectivity is something that owned media cannot compete with. Owned media like blogs, e-books and white-paper content, while important, is often perceived differently. That's because it's written by an organization whose not so hidden agenda is to move products and services.
Using Owned Media And Earned Media in Your Content and PR Strategy
The fact is that owned and earned media both have a distinct function in your organization’s content marketing strategy. Earned media mentions can help your company elevate its credibility within its industry and network of influence. Additionally, frequent media mentions from objective third party sources can help to fill the “top-of-the-funnel” with new prospects and leads.
In contrast, owned media can help to move these leads and prospects through the stages of the sales funnel. By frequently putting out blog content and e-book content you provide helpful information that allows prospects to self-educate on your products and services at a pace that is right for them.
Putting it all together
Take some time to evaluate your content marketing and PR strategy. Examine your mix of owned earned media to see if either type is not receiving due resources and focus. The right ratios of both types of media will ensure that you are adding new leads to the top of the funnel by being mentioned in news and blog posts. Additionally, correct owned media usage will help you move these top-of-the-funnel prospects efficiently through the stages of the sales funnel. You will be amazed at the impact that these two types of media have on your organization.