Sep 12

As we are a company that works with brands, agencies, and publishers, the Paid, Owned, Earned digital media strategy has been discussed in depth and at length not only in past blogs, but also internally and externally with our customers. However, recent reports and articles have surfaced that have brought this discussion into focus as the lines between the three strategies is becoming increasingly blurred.  Forrester defined the terms back in 2009 as owned media being a channel a brand owns such as a website, paid media as the advertising a brand purchases to leverage the channel, and earned media as the word of mouth (WOM) that happens around the brand, turning the customer into the channel.

However, a recent article post by ReelSEO discussing digital video promotion added a third media strategy called Social or Shared media based on a report from Room 214 shown in the chart above.  They define social media as promotion that is out of the brands hands. Meaning, it consists of video or campaign shares and comments that may “live” on an owned channel but are not created by the brand. They describe earned media as asking friends, organisations or influencers to promote the video or campaign. In other words PR, which in the traditional sense can be considered earned media. This is where the lines are increasingly becoming blurred and where it could be argued there is no need to add another definition or strategy to the mix. Earned media is essentially the social and PR media strategy combined. It is what is said about the brand that cannot be controlled by the brand. This also includes UGC, as discussed in last week’s post.

An article by Social Media Today based on a report by Altimeter Group, argues paid, owned, and earned media are dead. The argument is that media distinctions based on content origins and channels used is becoming meaningless.  “As our own public communications channels have multiplied and diversified in ways unimaginable just ten years ago, so do our forms of content” (Source: Social Media Today). The example given is a piece of content posted on an owned channel, much like this blog post. Let’s say the employees of Preview Networks post the article on their personal Twitter accounts. As a result, the followers of those Twitter accounts who have no affiliation with Preview Networks then start to share the content on multiple platforms. Is that paid, owned, or earned media?  The argument is that it is all of the above. While logically it might make sense to have these distinctions in order to explain the media strategy, the fluidity of content and channels is becoming increasingly blurred as the audience who receives the content becomes more engaged with it. The owner of the content no longer becomes as relevant as the quality of the interaction and amount of engagement (Source: Social Media Today). This is something we have also argued in a previous post concerning online content measurement.

According to the Converged Media Imperative report, advertising and media are converging. “Rather than allow campaigns to be driven by paid media, marketers must now develop scale and expertise in owned and earned media to drive effectiveness, cultivate creative ideas, assess customer needs, cultivate influencers, develop reach, achieve authenticity and cut through clutter” (Source: Altimeter Group). Which brings me back to the title of this post. Does it makes sense to add a fourth strategy (Social or Shared) when the lines are already merging and blurring between Owned and Earned media? Perhaps the relevant question to ask is not about media strategy, but of user engagement. It’s not just about the channel, rather how engaged the audience is with the content on the channel. In that case, interactivity and appropriate measurement is absolutely critical.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

 

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Aug 08

The rate at which the online advertising and digital marketing landscape has evolved over the past 6 years since Google acquired YouTube is mind boggling, even for those of us involved in the video industry. A recent post by MediaNews sums it up nicely, but here is a one sentence summary on the trends that have evolved. We have gone from user generated content (UGC) to aggregation to professional content to technology, distribution, content differentiation, and real-time bidding (RTB). The one constant is change (thanks Heraclitus) and with change comes the opportunity for new business models.

The trends mentioned above are a good indication of where we have been and where we are at present but should not be looked at individually. Instead they should be seen holistically as a view of the overall eco-system that is still being developed and the services that are merging and evolving. What we have seen at Preview Networks for example, is that a combination of content differentiation, distribution and RTB initiatives can effectively determine audience reach, quality and relevance which can be different dependent on the brand, advertiser or campaign. The one constant is the quality of content which is ultimately the differentiator. A case example is the premium content we receive from major movie studios such as 20th Century Fox and their latest campaign push for the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter movie.

If you apply the earned, owned and paid media strategy discussed in past posts to this example, we enabled the distribution of the movie trailer, graphics and text to established publishers in our editorial network, earning them PR pick up and mentions, enabling the sharing of this content through our video player on websites and apps on mobile, tablet and TV platforms. This is where the earned media strategy comes in and extends the message, on top of whatever owned strategy the studio already implements. Applying a paid media strategy on top of the earned and owned amplifies the audience reach even more increasing views, clicks, or impressions depending on the content or campaign goals. So while the video evolution can sometimes be very confusing, the possibilities for brands and advertisers are essentially limitless depending on budget and strategy.

This is a very exciting time for us and our customers. As the online advertising industry continues to evolve, we have built on our deep relationships with major brands and distributors to provide additional services, as the research shows video works for entertainment marketers (Source: Videology Report). The continued extension of services available is an opportunity for any major brand or advertiser with online video to market. Even though the 2012 forecasted spend is unlikely to reach actual spend by the end of the year, all signs still indicate online video is a powerful marketing tool that is increasingly being implemented on multiple platforms. The important thing to remember here is the fluidity of the brand message on all platforms. For more information on this topic, check out some of our past posts describing these behavioural trends on smartphone, tablet, and TV by consumers.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

Jun 13

Got Video? Now Start Distributing!

By Heather Timmerman Digital Media Trends Comments Off

No one content marketing strategy is the same, but if you have begun using video marketing as discussed in Out of the Box Content Marketing then you are ready to start thinking strategy and distribution.

The video marketing strategy is often dependent on the content produced and that is directly related to audience. So first determine whether it is a piece of video advertising or video content marketing. The difference is ever so slight, but the latter is typically a more subtle approach. See various examples of the video content marketing piece featured in our last post here. Chances are you will need to hire someone internally or externally to help script and produce the video content. Regardless of whether you are a B2B or B2C company, most video production company rate cards begin at 30 seconds and go up from there, with the production process lasting an average of 6 weeks. The length of video has tripled since 2003 when video was averaging approximately 2 minutes, compared to 4 and a half minutes in 2010 (Source: Website Optimization’s August 2011 report).  However, even though the average length of video seems to be trending up, that does not mean it is audience appropriate. Which brings us back to the purpose for the video. Is it meant to be entertaining or informative?

Depending on the content development approach, now you’re ready to start thinking distribution. This again depends on the audience in terms of reach and the brand perception you want to portray.  Is traffic or views the most important measure? Or is a targeted and engaged audience more your cup of tea? An easy way to begin thinking about your distribution options is to consider the Paid, Owned, Earned media model presented in previous posts and introduced in 2009. Owned media includes a company website, blog or channel controlled by the brand. Paid media includes paid search or advertising campaigns often involving ad networks. Earned media in the traditional sense is PR and quickly evolving into viral word of mouth and sharing on social media networks. Earned media is hard to control, as it is often user influenced. Therefore, only two parts of the above media model (Paid and Owned) can technically be managed by the brand. However, only one distribution solution eliminates the need for yet another external partner. An online content marketing platform that allows you to manage and control your digital assets while also capturing audience, like Preview Networks.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

Apr 12

The Marketing & Media Evolution

By Heather Timmerman Digital Media Trends Comments Off

Marketing has its roots in the 4 P’s (product, price, promotion, place) with a historical focus on product marketing. Then there was a shift to service marketing where features of products alone were not enough but the intangible services behind them or the service itself was important. Experiential marketing or the experience of the service, place, product, atmosphere soon became the element marketers (and the consumer) focused on.  This is also known as marketing aesthetics where the feeling produced because of design is brought to the forefront (Source: Philip Kotler, bvo.com).

This marketing evolution expanded the 4P’s by 3 to include process, physical evidence, and people and included an introduction of the 4C’s into the mix which include commodity, cost, channel, and communication (Source: Wikipedia). The consumer, channel and communication have all become important elements to consider online which leads us to the media evolution and the huge revolution social media is having on the field of marketing today. The evolution of media is hard to ignore in an age where digital marketing no longer means the traditional pull and push channels like website updates and email marketing. Digital marketers today need to be well versed in the latest technology channels and communication tools which include mobile, tablets, internet TV and of course social media outlets. This is also the point at which paid, owned, and earned media becomes an important strategy or prioritization tool for digital marketers. As indicated in a previous post entitled The Role of Brands as Media Companies, owned media includes things like a company website or blog. Paid media includes any sponsorships or advertising campaigns, and earned media in the traditional sense is PR and quickly evolving into viral word of mouth promotion made by customers predominately on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.

An eye on consumer behavior and marketing messaging is critical when multiple communication channels or platforms are available which means if any one of those channels is out of sync, a different message could be received by the consumer. This is particularly important considering research shows that consumers aren’t using just one platform at a time anymore. They are multitasking, or watching TV and using their iPad, or surfing the web on their laptop and texting a friend. This provides both a challenge and opportunity for marketers (Source: eMarketer). However, “a brand that’s prepared to meet the consumer on multiple platforms—with useful things to say in each venue—can engage its audience more deeply than ever” (eMarketer). This is where utilizing a content marketing platform like brandcast comes into play, allowing the management of all digital marketing assets in one place with the ability to externally publish to the appropriate channels, allowing marketers not only to be efficient but in control of their marketing strategies and messages.

Learn more about the Evolution of Marketing & Media at the Festival of Media on April 15-17. If you can’t attend, you can still catch all the great presentations by checking out their YouTube Channel after the event.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

Feb 29

While most marketers are trying to understand how to increase brand exposure outside their owned destinations, some marketers have discovered how online video deployment can generate high exposure and engagement rates within paid and earned media. Well knowing that the increase in video frequency squeezes the already limited attention span, marketers need to add the contextual element in which their video assets are deployed in the video program equation.

In the latest online video rankings report indicating unique views from comScore, Facebook ranks as number 5, in front of companies such as Microsoft, AOL, Amazon, Hulu and NBC Universal. It is thus evident that online video content is flowing onto the online social sphere at a rapid rate. As a result of this, pushing branded video content to Facebook without any contextual bundling will result in minimum engagement without any organic distribution. According to recent academic research, brands active on Facebook had on average, over a period of 4-6 weeks, an increased brand engagement with 14%, growth in fan base by 10%, and an improved organic reach by 24%, after incorporating the following measures in their online video activities:

  • Added video campaign within the context of e.g. competition or seasonal promotions
  • Only released videos as part of an already running or newly established campaign
  • Mixed a range of high-end and low-end produced videos
  • Included a minimum of two CTA’s in every video
  • Nurtured engagement with give-aways or financial incentives
  • Treated video as social currency

In relation to paid media, marketers have to start buying solutions that deploy their online video content within the right context. This is crucial as placing video in the ad-space undermines and undervalues the branded value of rich media compared to video deployment in the editorial-space. According to a study performed by Yahoo!, 57% of online video viewers say they enjoy watching a video next to an article as shown in the chart above. Moreover, the study also found that in cases where a video is played within the article, viewers are more likely to watch the video to get more information or to receive extended entertainment on the topic. Contextual placement thereby increases the likeliness of viewer engagement via rich media exposure.

The results of integrating, deploying and distributing online video assets can be improved if the context of where the assets will operate is considered. To learn how to incorporate contextual video into your online marketing strategy read more at previewnetworks.com or send me an e-mail (ed@previewnetworks.com) to find out how we can help you with context empowered video deployment.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

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