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.

 

Tagged with:
May 30

Out of the Box Content Marketing

By Heather Timmerman Digital Media Trends Comments Off

To see this branded content marketing piece by GoPayment, click on the image.

A theme of several recent articles regarding how to create a great content marketing strategy all have one thing in common. They center around using digital platforms like social media to incorporate brand marketing initiatives utilizing video content to create engagement, all of which require both creativity and risk. The overall message to executives and online marketers via multiple sources, is to not be afraid to try something new. A recent ReelSEO Tweet from a post written over a year ago still had some very valuable information worth sharing. The main points were:

  1. Educate Yourself
  2. Embrace Online Video and Social Media Marketing
  3. Commit Budget to Promote Video and Social Media Initiatives
  4. Develop Creative that is Relevant and Shareable
  5. Establish Clear Expectations and Goals – Learn to Predict ROI
  6. Integrate Video and Social Media into Traditional Marketing Initiatives
  7. Allow and Encourage Experimentation
  8. Be Responsive
  9. Don’t Play Follow the Leader
  10. Don’t Assume Video and Social are B2C Only
  11. Be Prepared to Fall on Your Butt Now and Then

All of the points above are important but perhaps the one that is needed to get the creative juices flowing is allowing and encouraging experimentation. This reminds me of the infamous 20% rule which Google applies internally in order to keep innovation alive and well within the organization.  The philosophy is simple. One day a week engineers are allowed to work on a project that isn’t necessarily related to their job descriptions. The idea being that creativity and innovation can’t be forced. Only by loosening the reigns and encouraging freedom of thought can new ideas come to the surface.

Experimenting with video can be daunting, especially for those who haven’t the faintest clue how to get started. That’s where the network and education comes in, which another post labeled ‘Why CMOs Need to Experiment‘ indicates is highly relevant (Source: Digiday). Attending conferences, reading up on the topic, reaching out to colleagues and most importantly securing some budget to play with is critical to get started. According to Steven Cook, the hunt for ROI in social is besides the point. Brands that worry about this too much don’t get social, which is a risky route to take. If you need some reasons why social is here to stay, check out this previous Preview post.

Not assuming that video and social is only for B2C companies is another good piece of advice mentioned in the first article above. GoPayment, a B2B mobile payment service recently released a series of great content marketing videos about their clients (Source: ReelSEO). The focus of the video series was centered around their customer’s stories and how the use of pop-up store initiatives in various cities in the US allowed them to reach their audience and provide a convenient service. This in the end created engaging and entertaining content, while subtly allowing GoPayment’s brand and value proposition to come through. The moral of the story and message of this blog? Never underestimate the power of creativity and collaboration.

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.

May 10

To see this branded content by Georg Jensen, click on the image.

Content marketing can take on many forms. In terms of informative content this can include blogs, whitepapers, newsletters, websites and emails to get whatever message a brand would like to get across. However, these mechanisms are often one-sided and push-related, with the exception of blogs or emails that can allow comments and/or dialogue due to their digital nature. Content marketing initiatives can support the brand obviously or subtly, both are relevant given the situation. The main goal of a whitepaper for example is to educate, share knowledge or data that has been scientifically validated in its research method. Therefore, it is possible for the brand to subtly stand by the data or analysis they helped create, which brands them as a knowledge expert in their particular industry.

Advertising in both print or online form however, is often an obvious content branding initiative. It has to be in order to get any sort of ROI due to the cost and limited space. Whether or not that is intrusive to the end consumer depends on how the message is delivered and their particular perception of branding or advertising. Advertising can be either educational or entertaining but there is very little you can do with text and a static image.  However, online video is this convergence of information and entertainment that can be either subtle or obvious and captivates the audience in a way text or graphics simply cannot.  According to The Motion Effect Theory, human beings have an inherent preference for moving objects (Sundar and Kalyanaraman 2004) which is one reason why TV has been so popular for so long.

Not every company has the budget required for TV advertising, which makes online video such a popular form of content marketing, and the numbers are beginning to show. Last year 52% of North American companies used video in their content marketing initiatives, compared to 2009 data when that number was only 37% (Source: ReelSEO, 2012). Online video not only engages the audience, but it also encourages them to share which brings us back to traditional word of mouth initiatives, done in a digital age via social networks.

Social media is one of the many ways in which to deliver content marketing messages and initiatives that creates a dialogue and interaction with the audience which is often better than any one-way push mechanism. However, only 49% of marketers have social media fully integrated into their marketing strategies (Source: mashable.com, 2012). The message to traditionalists by those digital marketers successfully using this new form of content marketing, is to embrace the interactivity and not shy away from the engagement of the audience. Something not only social media channels, but online video has the capability to do through branded content initiatives. For more information, check out this interview and this example. For inspiration, click on the image above.

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 09

According to a recent study done by comScore, social networking is ranked as the most popular content category for worldwide engagement, with market penetration of 85 percent in 41 out of 43 markets. That’s a pretty powerful statement to soak in, yet comScore continues to dissect the data even further in their 69 page whitepaper labeled It’s a Social World: Top 10 Need-to-Knows About Social Networking and Where It’s Headed.

Image courtesy of vabulous.com

Data was collected from 2 million people and sourced from 171 countries with data reported specifically for 43 countries. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, MySpace, SlideShare and many more were included in the analysis.  We realise not everyone has the time to read the entire report, so the top 10 noteworthy trends and points to consider are highlighted for convenience below.

#1. Social networking is the most popular online online activity worldwide. That translates to 19 percent of all time online. To break that down even further, it means that 1 in every 5 minutes is spent on social networking sites globally.

#2. Social networking behaviour both transcends and reflects regional differences around the world. Although social networking engagement varies per country (93 percent in the U.S. compared to 53 percent in China) it is pretty safe to say that in general, over half of local online populations are actively using social media.

#3. The importance of Facebook cannot be overstated. Not surprisingly, Facebook (launched in 2004) reaches more than half of the world’s global audience (55 percent) and accounts for approximately 3 in every 4 minutes spent on social media and 1 in every 7 minutes spent online around the world.

#4. Microblogging has emerged as a disruptive new force in social networking. This is in large part due to the Twitter phenomenon that began to emerge significantly in 2009. Twitter now reaches 1 of 10 internet users worldwide and grew 59 percent in the past year.

#5. Local social networks are making inroads globally. Most of the Top 20 social networking sites may be based in the US, but in many cases the majority of the audience now reside outside of the U.S. For example, LinkedIn’s highest market penetration is from the Netherlands.

#6. It’s not just young people using social networking anymore – it’s everyone. In the last 18 to 24 months since comScore released this report the audience has been quickly changing from young to everyone. In fact, the fastest growing age segment is the over 55 crowd.

#7. ‘Digital natives’ suggest communications are going social. Social networking is the norm for digital natives between the ages of 15 and 24 that have grown up with the internet. In fact, most communication is now over social media versus email and mobile. The highest average engagement worldwide is with this age segment, which is an important indicator for the future.

#8. Social networking leads in online display advertising in the U.S., but lags in share of dollars. Social networking sites account for 1 in 4 U.S. display ad impressions. However, even though more than a quarter of ads are seen on social networking sites, they only attract 15 percent of U.S. display ad dollars.

#9. The next disrupters have yet to be decided. Social networking audiences gradually shifted from MySpace to Facebook who has remained on top for several years. Google+ is showing traction as it surged to over 25 million users in less than one month, which is the fastest any social networking site has grown, but whether it continues its popularity remains to be seen. However, the numbers are still impressive considering it took Facebook 36 months and Twitter 33 months to gain that kind of audience.

Social sites to keep an eye on are microblogging sites such as Sina Weibo, Tumblr, and Badoo. Social content-sharing site Pinterest’s engagement skyrocketed 512 percent over the course of six months in 2011, which is a sign of the overall increase in social media interest in general.

#10. Mobile devices are fueling the social addiction. Mobile devices represent the future of social networking from a technology point of view. In October 2011, one third of the U.S. population accessed social networking sites on their mobile phones at least once a month. Across the five leading European markets of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and United Kingdom, that number was nearly 25 percent.  Of special note is the increase in smartphone usage and popularity of tablets as an influential factor on  mobile social media engagement.

To Conclude

If social media is here to stay, then it’s imperative for brands to determine which social networking sites are relevant for its customer segments. ComScore’s report talks a lot about the numbers which indicates which social networking sites are the most popular, and therefore the minimum to be engaged.

However, there are social networking sites that are segment specific, indicating the ever growing fragmentation of social media. In fact, additional research suggests the number of  mentions or likes doesn’t necessarily determine the popularity of a brand, but dispersion amongst the various social networking sites does. In other words, the wider and broader the discussion of a brand or campaign within online social media, the more likely it will become popular (Source: avc.com). Something to consider for the ever evolving social networking strategy.

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.

Tagged with:
Dec 22

has been exploding onto the marketplace adding interest to editorial sections and intrigue to sites on the internet for some time. However, the use of video on various platforms such as smartphones and tablets is an area that is emerging very quickly, and one that some forecasters are noting as a trend to watch in 2012.

Image courtesy of tablets-planet.com

According to a recent eMarketer study, US smartphone viewers represent 90% of the mobile video population and mobile video adoption is poised to continue on a steep incline for the next four years. In regards to multiple devices, one platform does not necessarily outweigh the other. “As tablets attract a larger share of video viewing, smartphones are benefiting because most tablet users also own smartphones and typically have the same apps on both devices,” according to eMarketer Analyst, Paul Verna. “With more video content flowing to these apps, users are choosing their preferred screen at any given time. Often this means toggling between tablets and smartphones, or between laptops and any number of entertainment devices.”

Among online video viewers on all platforms, watching premium content is becoming increasingly popular. eMarketer estimates that 49% of US adult viewers watched full-length TV shows at least once a month during 2011 with full-length feature films on the rise. Providers offering full-length films for some time are the airlines who are also increasingly adopting the tablet trend for in-flight entertainment. Just last week, American Airlines announced that they are offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for first and business class passengers. According to Samsung, the tablet has been completely customised for AA which is also something we are seeing here at Preview.

One of our latest integrations is an in-flight integration with Adaptive Channel in France who will be offering the Apple tablet on private jets this week. The integration offers the latest news, fashion, culture, and upcoming films by integrating with content providers and syndicators like Le Monde, Elle, and 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.

Related posts

Oct 18

The only event in Europe to cover both technology solutions and business models for online video is happening this week in London. The Streaming Media Europe 2011 event kicked off on Monday, October 17th at the Hilton London Olympia with pre-conference workshops focusing on everything from next generation media platforms to video advertising and encoding for flash, mobile, and .  Corresponding satellite events on Monday and Tuesday are also available. The Content Delivery Summit is on Monday and Home event is on Tuesday.

The main conference and expo event begins on Tuesday at Olympia Conference Centre and is split into two tracks. Track A covers technology and content and Track B covers business and strategy. Name your topic, they are bound to have it. Preview Networks’ very own Andy Chen is kicking off the day on the Track B Tuesday panel addressing the massive consumer adoption of smartphones, , and connected TVs which continues to be a hot topic in the media and with our customers. The day ends with a corporate messaging and webcasting debate. Can the two co-exist?

Additional session topics on Tuesday include live streaming on Track A and monetisation and video advertising format discussions on Track B. Wednesday check out multiple () discussions regarding architectures and transcoding in the cloud on Track A and discover how to leverage the power of targeting in and engage the audience through social media and on Track B.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is Europe’s largest preview network. We serve websites, apps and . Our content is available on MSN,, IMDB, , The Times, MySpace, The Guardian, El Pais, El Mundo, Le Monde and more than 2,300 other online . We work with more than 300 companies including Sony, Fox, Disney, Warner, Universal, and Paramount. Learn more on previewnetworks.com

Related posts

Oct 06

Burberry’s Spring/Summer 2012 runway show in London last week and the subsequent media buzz and participation they received afterwards, raises once again, the idea of brands becoming more and more like media companies. This concept was discussed after Sean Corcoran, an analyst at Forrester Research made the distinction interactive marketers need to increasingly make between Owned, Paid and Earned Media when determining their online strategies.

Image courtesy of Burberry's YouTube Channel

Owned media includes things like a company’s website, blog, or Twitter account. 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. According to Corcoran, “earned media is often the result of well-executed and well-coordinated owned and paid media ” (blogs.forrester.com, 2009).  One look at the way the latest Burberry runway show was communicated across Twitter and broadcasted on their website via live stream is proof of that concept in action.  According to their Chief Creative Officer, Christopher Bailey: “Burberry is now as much a media-content company as we are a design company ” (mashable.com, 2011).

Brands are waking up to the possibilities of their digital assets and using them to broadcast their message using the latest forms of technology.  Take Ralph Lauren, for example. In 2009 they produced an online-only fashion show for their Rugby brand that allowed the average viewer to see looks in real time, for the first time.  One might say that the company, under the influence of David Lauren, has been leading in this space for some time. “Our intention was never to launch a website,” David says, Our intention was to build a media brand ” (fastcompany.com, 2011).

The message is coming through loud and clear. Whether it is a 3D holographic runway show in Beijing (Burberry), a 4D light show on Madison Avenue (Ralph Lauren) or an e-commerce initiative for iconic red carpet gowns (Roberto Cavalli) brands are realising the power of digital and utilising it to earn media exposure.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is Europe’s largest preview distribution network. We serve websites, apps and . Our content is available on MSN,, IMDB, , The Times, MySpace, The Guardian, El Pais, El Mundo, Le Monde and more than 2,300 other online . We work with more than 300 companies including Sony, Fox, Disney, Warner, Universal, and Paramount. Learn more on previewnetworks.com

preload preload preload