Commentary

Leverage Paid, Owned, Earned Media For Social Media Success

It seems that in today's “tweet to create Lincoln's next Super Bowl television spot” world, the Wild West of social media marketing continues to reshape its horizons with exceedingly new and vibrant ways to drive consumer engagement. Shifts in what captivates consumers' attention and their social media experience across a rapidly evolving landscape of social networking sites and apps are forcing real-time change in social media strategies across brands. And as social newsfeeds become ever more cluttered, the attention span of the social audience is becoming shorter, prompting brands to enact new strategies to effectively engage their audiences in meaningful ways that will keep attention.

An increasing number of smart marketers are doing just that by leveraging a mix of paid, earned and owned media in their social strategies. Gone are the days of siloed marketing strategies with strict definitions of owned, paid and earned media and their supportive roles with social. By mixing all three forms of media the right way, the resulting concoction can be a powerful tool to fuel the growth of a brand's social community while still being true to its audience and the brand.

The recent launch of a high-profile video game illustrates this integrated approach quickly expanded its social community, spiking consumer engagement at the critical point of product launch and successfully converting social activity into product sales.

How did they do it? The game's official Facebook page was the foundation of a multiplatform strategy. Support from the game’s official Twitter and YouTube channel pages, as well as the game publisher’s owned media channels and display ads on top gaming enthusiast sites, worked to spike traffic to the brand's social media hub. This illustrates an opportunity for marketers to maximize paid, owned and earned media to engage with a growing enthusiast-based audience through cross-promotional initiatives across all platforms and channels.

For example, Facebook is an excellent platform to host a robust suite of multimedia content including video, music, thematic graphics and interviews that can actively engage a social media community and encourages feedback and user generated content. Community feedback from the multimedia content can then be amplified by Sponsored Posts and Tweets, which further powers both organic and viral growth. At the same time, a strong presence on influencer websites, through both publicity outreach and display ads, help to extend the social media reach of the brand to its core demographic and beyond.

In a social world dictated by what is viewed in the newsfeed, content plays a major role in delighting a socially engaged consumer base -- not just owned content in the way of promotional trailers, music videos and behind-the-scenes videos, but earned content created by the consumer and the people they respect in the space, all supported by paid media. In the end, this strategy not only intrigues the consumer but elevates social engagement, leading to customer conversion and product sales.

In many respects, entertainment consumer marketing, including video games -- rich with content, compelling narratives and unique personalities -- continues to push the envelope of social media marketing. Social media campaigns such as this also illustrate that strategies that actively integrate paid, earned and owned media can find success in measureable ways. Brands that are already adopting these cross-media formulas as models find themselves ahead of the curve and position themselves for greater success.

 

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