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Owned Media 101: Owned Marketing Channels, Benefits & Best Practices

Marketing is more than just advertising. 

As marketers, we know that marketing comes in many forms, far more than the TV commercials, display ads, and social media sponsored posts consumers typically associate with marketing. In fact, there is a whole side of marketing that does not rely on such paid efforts but on the channels a brand owns and operates. 

This is organic marketing, and it is equally as important to your marketing success as paid marketing.

What is Organic Marketing? 

Organic marketing, sometimes referred to as owned marketing or owned media marketing, is a set of customer-focused strategies and tactics that are implemented through your own brand channels, also known as your owned media.

These owned channels include your website, app, blog, social media accounts, email, SMS, forums and any other media that you own and have complete control over.

Organic marketing follows a pull, or inbound, marketing strategy. This means it gets your messages out to the market and increases demand for products or services because of the inherent value you possess. In other words, it helps pull people towards your brand as opposed to pushing products onto customers.

Types of Owned Media

Let’s take a look at a number of the frequently used owned media marketing channels that brands have at their disposal. 

    • Website: a website is a very basic owned media that a majority of companies, big or small, have. The reason websites are so popular as an owned media type is that they are where your target audience can discover and purchase your products or services.  
  • App: a branded or native app is another useful owned media channel. While it requires more effort to develop and more incentives to get users to download, an app can engage your existing and prospective customers with hyper-personalized content and recommendations. 
  • Blog: a blog, while technically part of the website, can act as a separate entity because of the content it holds. Blog posts provide valuable information and insights about specific industries and relevant topics for free. It is a great way to build your brand and its voice.
  • Social media: a social media presence is a must in this day and age. Even smaller companies and brands that do not have a website can leverage a social media account to reach their target audience. These social media channels can include a Facebook page, Instagram page, TikTok account, and YouTube channel, to name a few.

How Is Owned Media Different From Paid Media and Earned Media?

Owned media is a term often used in conjunction with paid media and earned media, but what is the difference?

Paid Media 

Paid media includes any marketing efforts that you need to pay for, including paid ads, retargeting, native advertising, influencer marketing, sponsored content, and external events or conferences. Paid marketing adopts a push strategy; it pushes products and services out to customers.        

Earned Media 

Earned media is third-party endorsement or promotion of your brand achieved through your own efforts. By consistently driving value through your owned media, you can attract PR, customer ratings or reviews, word of mouth (digital and in-person), shares and retweets, interviews, and guest posts.

Earned media adopts a pull strategy and is arguably the most valuable as you can’t pay for it and you can’t create it yourself.

What Are the Benefits of Owned Media and Organic Marketing?

Owned media and organic marketing offer a number of significant benefits:

  • Total control

Having control over your owned channels means you can control the entire customer experience. This means you can leverage your owned media assets to grow long-term relationships. Plus, you don’t have to worry about whether or not an ad was seen.

  • Cost efficiency

Because you do not have to pay publishers and web owners to market for you, you can drive down customer acquisition costs. Once these channels are set up, the only investment needed is your own time and resources – or any outsourcing.

  • Broad reach

Original content that ranks for long-tail keywords and targeted social media posts can expand the reach of your brand faster than other forms of media.

  • Versatility

Because of the variety and versatility of owned marketing channels, you can communicate in different formats to suit your audience. For example, you can create different types of content and use different text and media.

  • Longevity

As opposed to paid and earned media, which might disappear after each campaign or get lost online, owned media doesn’t have an expiry date. You have your channels as long as you want them and can keep your message in position indefinitely.

What Are the Best Practices for Successful Organic Marketing?

While organic marketing offers multiple benefits, to be successful, you need to be targeted, deliberate, and focus on the right people and channels.

  • Set SMART Goals

No organic marketing strategy will succeed without the setting of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals. Goals that specifically outline what you want to achieve overall, and for each campaign, can act as your guiding light and a benchmark for your efforts.

  • Collect and Use Data

To ensure your owned marketing efforts hit the mark, you need data. After all, the more you know about your audience, the more targeted your messaging can be. Your owned media is a valuable source of first-party data and therefore, drill into it with machine learning analytical software for accurate customer insights.

  • Create Highly-Personalized Experiences

Use these data-driven insights to create highly-personalized brand experiences at every touchpoint – from your website landing pages to your email campaigns. AI-driven tools can help you understand user intent and interests for hyper-personalized experiences that go beyond action-based interactions.

  • Reach Out at the Right Time

To deliver truly personalized experiences, you not only need to hit customers with the right message, but also need to hit them at the right time. Leverage AI tools to help you map cross-screen journeys enabling timely communication for maximum impact. 

If you know your customers, organic marketing can be extremely effective for delivering personalized experiences. However, don’t expect immediate results. Organic marketing is a long game, but it is one worth playing.

Do you want to boost your owned marketing efforts? Here are 5 ways to capitalize on your owned channels.

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