As we teach our clients about the value of integrated communications, there’s always one thing that remains consistent: the importance of owned media.
Simply put, a brand’s owned media strategy can make or break the success of all marketing and communications efforts. That’s why we always recommend starting with owned media first.
According to the Semrush State of Content Marketing 2022 Global Report, 72% of companies planned to increase their content marketing budget in 2022. In the same report, nearly half of these companies stated the size of their marketing team was expected to stay the same.
72% of companies planned to increase their content marketing budget in 2022
49% of companies say the size of their marketing team will stay the same in 2022
In a world where content is king, it’s time for marketers to begin working smarter. With time and resources being equally as scarce, identifying opportunities to maximize content is not only the most efficient solution – it’s a best practice.
What type of content is your brand creating (or aspiring to create)?
From blog posts and case studies to webinars, podcasts, videos and more – the mediums your brand’s owned content can take on are endless. Although this content serves as the foundation for ongoing promotions, it still merely scratches the surface of the other integrated communications tasks your team may be responsible for, including managing social media channels, securing earned media coverage or generating high-quality leads through strategic paid media efforts.
Adopting a maximization mindset will allow you to maintain a high standard of quality while also working toward the ideal quantity to be a consistent, reliable source for your different audiences. By investing time in developing a piece of long-form content that addresses your customers’ needs or frequently asked questions, you’re laying the foundation for dozens of other assets to meet your audience where they’re at.
Start with your owned content—ideally, a longer piece of content such as a blog post or webinar. From there, optimize content for other channels, such as earned (a media pitch or bylined article), shared (social media) and paid (social or digital advertising). Always tailor the content to each platform’s audience. The goal is to never let a piece of content sit in a silo in one channel.
To avoid putting any content into a silo, here’s a three-step approach to leaning into integrated communications and maximizing owned content:
1. Set yourself up for success.
The first step to working smarter is getting your team on the same page. Communication and transparency are crucial to ensuring there are no duplicated efforts. Consider utilizing a content planning matrix that outlines the various marketing touchpoints to provide visibility into what’s already in the works and inspire collaboration along the way.
2. Understand your audiences and adapt.
Many companies prioritize and invest in certain communications channels, but in the spirit of continued growth and excellence there are always optimizations to make and new opportunities to explore.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Challenge yourself to find a unique way to present each piece of content your brand develops across marketing channels. While your audience on LinkedIn may be interested in registering for a live webinar, your Instagram followers may find value in the same thought leadership content – just boiled down into a 60-second, engaging video recapping key takeaways on the topic.
The same content can be deployed through your email marketing but presented in the form of a downloadable guide that can be used for years to come.
3. Fuel the fire.
With a strong owned media plan in place, your content marketing efforts can move the needle in the right direction in other areas, too. In addition to the social media/email marketing example above, online content and resources can (and should) spark inspiration for earned media initiatives.
Maximize the time spent with your subject matter experts and flip the insights they shared for a blog post into an application for a speaking opportunity or a bylined article with a relevant industry media outlet. Seeing similar messaging in different mediums and channels can help it resonate more with your target audience, but also garner added exposure by reaching untapped individuals by meeting them where they’re at.
At the end of the day, remember that every company must start somewhere. We understand the limitations and challenges at hand – which makes a great case for doing more with less.