The Marketing industry has been talking about Paid, Owned and Earned for close to a decade now, yet these three media channels still predominately operate independently of one another. Paid (media) infrequently talks to Owned (commerce, email, owned social) who sit far away from Earned (PR/Comms).
Over the last 18 months, we’ve noticed digitally native vertical brands (DNVBs) taking a giant leap forward in integrating the three in a way that advantages the strengths of each.
We’ve all seen these ads by now:
A linen, mattress, or sweatshirt upstart utilizes paid ads to promote earned editorials of their products. Often, this coverage comes from Business Insider, Refinery29 or Fast Company. One content recommendation partner told us that amplifying earned editorial content is the single greatest driver of product sales for a DNVB client of theirs. As an analytics company, we’ve seen the data; we can tell you it absolutely works.
While this may seem like a simple, and even obvious thing to do, let’s dig into a few of the reasons why DNVBs are deploying this effective strategy:
1. Earned Media works. 90% of consumer say they rely on editorial reviews and press coverage to make purchase decisions (Nielsen). It’s no surprise that consumers would trust an independent 3rd party review over your ad.
2. Extend the shelf-life of PR. The days of getting a great media hit and watching it sit on the homepage all day long and into the next, are long gone. Today’s shrinking news cycle means your potential reach is eclipsed by an onslaught of news that pushes your story to the bottom of the page until you’ve all but disappeared by the time lunchtime rolls around. Sushi anyone?
3. Targeted PR Reach at scale. Combine the effectiveness of Earned Media with the scale and precision of Paid Media = 💯. Rather than targeting consumers with ads to ignore, use sophisticated paid media targeting techniques to expose prospects to positive 3rd party reviews and press coverage of your products and services.
4. It’s cost efficient. Whereas F1000 brands are able to create and launch large-scale native content programs with major publishers, DNVBs don’t have the resources for pay-to-play. Amplifying earned media is an efficient way to engage consumers with publisher-generated content about your brand.
5. Reach the right customers at the right time with your most effective asset — PR. Instead of relentlessly retargeting someone who’s visited your site with a traditional ad, re-market to them with a positive review of your product to push them across the finish line.
Today, with the broad adoption of native ads, and democratization of media buying (literally anyone can buy premium high-quality native ads), it seems marketers, agencies and PR firms don’t have an excuse for why they aren’t taking a more integrated approach to Paid, Owned and Earned.
Launching a new car model? Boost positive reviews that target in-market buyers. Managing an IR (Investor Relations) crisis? Pitch and land positive media hits, then use LinkedIn ads to reach Financial Advisors with coverage of your side of the story. Selling B2B software? Retarget visitors of your website with coverage of new features you just launched.
While DNVBs are some of the first to integrate Paid, Owned and Earned at scale, there’s still so much that can be done to maximize the overall effectiveness. Over the next few posts, we’ll share tips and best practices on how you can effectively leverage this strategy.