Owned, Earned And Native Have Arrived -- Have You?

For years, we’ve talked about the combination of paid, owned and earned media. But the game has now changed. There is a new multichannel marketing world with content marketing in the center. Furthermore, content strategies that leverage owned and earned channels to fuel paid media will be the epitome of successful marketing.  And nowhere is this coordination better suited than with using owned and earned to fuel your native advertising plans. With eMarketer projecting $4.3 billion in U.S. native spending for 2015, there’s never been a more auspicious time.

Before we get to why owned, earned and native are perfect, let’s examine the initial landscape. In the early 2000s, there was very little earned digital marketing to note, mostly because social networks had not yet reached the mainstream. The only intelligence connecting of paid and owned was the inevitable dictate to “make my banner (paid) look like my site (owned), and don’t forget to add “CLICK HERE.”

Fast-forward a couple of years, and the conversation expanded: “Make my banner (paid) look like my email (owned) with content that is shareable (earned) and aligns to my site (owned again).” These two inclusions signified an important change: CRM was starting to get a seat at the grown-ups' table. Also, social media marketing was looming, and with that came the need for a whole new approach to marketing planning.

Increasingly, more brands started to follow suit, especially those companies that valued high quality content, which tended to be in retail, CPG, entertainment and financial services.

Within the last six months paid, owned and earned strategies have evolved again. Why now? Because integrating earned is harder than ever. Organic reach on social networks, but especially on Facebook, has become ever more elusive as platforms continually retool their business models. Paid media in the form of native advertising is a necessity to deliver a scalable audience for best-performing content.

Content strategists now need to collaborate with their paid media owners to have native advertising succeed. Measuring content performance is the key to making the paid, owned and earned system work -- and what better place to test your content than in your owned and earned channels? 

This latest iteration involves first deploying quality content through owned channels and monitoring earned interactions, then fueling the fire through paid media. What you’re looking for is your data-driven tipping point: that moment you discover which piece of content leads to increased engagement and is only limited by reach.

What’s the secret to success in the 3.0 era of multichannel marketing? Follow the data to learn what content works before investing native advertising budgets. Use owned and earned channels to uncover your best content. The tipping point requires quantitative rigor to know when to pour the paid media gas on a piece of content.

Version 1.0 of paid, owned and earned was mainly in two channels and linked through design, while 2.0 was simple content translations across channels.  3.0 is now here, centered on a seamless coordination of not just content but also budget.

Native advertising is a huge opportunity to improve digital advertising and content strategy concurrently. Furthermore, content marketing strategy is no longer relegated to just owned and earned. It should be driving overall paid budgets but native is a good place to start. It’s a new era of multichannel marketing, and content strategists are leading the way.

1 comment about "Owned, Earned And Native Have Arrived -- Have You?".
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  1. Andrew Boer from MovableMedia, January 28, 2015 at 4:22 p.m.

    Your premise here, which I agree with, depends on a narrow definition of Native. You are essentially claiming that Native (ie Paid Facebook, Twitter, Outbrain, etc.) is Content Amplification. But "Native" has a secondary meaning -- advertorial content that is created (and owned) by Publishers on behalf of brands. And that model is still far from perfect.

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