Owned Content: How to Harness the Power of the Content You CreateHaving an owned content program is now a necessary PR strategy. Creating content about your brand and product, including blog posts, ebooks, case studies, and white papers gives you an opportunity to craft a brand identity while also supporting engagement with your audience. If you're building out your content program work with your content team and when you're looking for more writers to help you create that content, consider insourcing your content to colleagues. But first, read this break down of a good owned content program and how to get started on your own strategy.
Owned content, also known as owned media, is just one part of the puzzle in your PR strategy. An effective strategy also includes earned, shared, and paid media. This post will address how you can most effectively use the content you publish and own to move your brand ahead.
The beautiful thing about owned media is that it puts you in the driver’s seat of your strategy. Is there a particular question that your sales team receives? No problem. Create a blog post that addresses that question. Is there some industry expertise that you want to share? Create an eBook and use that to inspire confidence in your brand.
What is Owned Content?
Content that you own is the content that you create and continue to own throughout its lifetime. This includes your website and every piece of content that you post on your it. For example, this type of content could include:
- Blog posts
- Visual content
- Website pages
- Case studies
And the list goes on. There are many other creative possibilities for content creation. This is because owned media is a vital part of anybody’s overall strategy!
Blog posts are some of the best pieces of owned content that you can create. In fact, one study shows that B2B companies who only blog 11 or more times per month receive almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies who blog 0-4 times per month.
One of the best things about owned media is that it never expires. Use it as much as you want, transform it from one media to another (go ahead, turn that blog post into an infographic, or multiple blog posts into an Ebook), and even update it. Your content is yours for as long as it exists.
Done correctly, this content is more than personally published and owned media. It can strategically direct your audience down your funnel and toward an end-goal, such as a purchase decision.
One of the best things about owned media is that it never expires
Let’s look at the most effective ways you can use your owned media to reach your business goals.
10 Sure-Fire Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Owned Content
1. Create a Documented Content Strategy
Heard this one before? While it may sound like a broken record, we still felt the need to include this one—after all, studies show that only 37% of B2B companies have a documented strategy.
A documented content strategy keeps your content creation on track. A strategy helps you to visualize what content assets you have, what you need to create, and how to strategically use your content to its fullest potential. Schedule such details as content creation, publication, and shares on social media.
A strategy without goals is like an empty bag—it will just fall flat. So, create goals for your content, such as increased website traffic or thought leadership. Write down these goals, make sure that your entire team knows what your goals are, and create ways to measure your progress toward these goals.
2. Create Visual Content
Don’t underestimate the value that visuals can bring to your content. Images have an incredible influence on engagement levels. In fact, researchers in one study found that colored visuals increased people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.
Create content that is visual by nature, such as infographics and SlideShares. Even in non-visual content, such as blog posts and ebooks, include visual graphics that enhance your content.
Use a free visual content creation tool such as Canva to create flawless graphics for your audience. Choose from pre-formatted sizes that make it easy to share on any social network, and use their endless supply of stock photos, elements, and text to enhance your graphic.
Video content is rapidly growing in popularity across all audiences. In fact, when it comes to products, customers reported that they were 4 times more likely to watch a video than read an article, so play on that! Create videos on industry tips and tricks, popular issues that your audience faces, as well as your products and how to use them.
3. Share on Social Media
Social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are a great way to reach your audience and direct them back to your website.
The problem that many companies run into is the short life that content has on social media. For example, most content reaches the majority of its audience on Twitter within 3 hours, and on Facebook within 5 hours.
How do you compensate for such a short social media shelf-life? Share your content on your social media networks multiple times. Find out when your audience often takes to social media—what days and times—and post your content during those times.
4. Include in Your Email Marketing Campaigns
According to one study, three-quarters of companies view email as either “good” or “excellent” in terms of ROI. Promoting your content in your email campaigns can increase your content’s visibility.
You could send out emails with the specific goal of highlighting your created content. You could also include a few pieces of content to include at the bottom of your other email campaigns. Whatever way you choose to do this, emails are a great way to introduce your audience to new content.
5. Aim for Thought Leadership
Thought leaders are authorities in their industry—ones who audiences look to for insights and opinions on industry matters. Owned media and thought leadership go hand in hand. Content, such as a website, gives you a platform to showcase your industry expertise and build a reputation for thought leadership.
There are various ways to establish thought leadership. First of all, be helpful—answer the questions that trouble your audience. Be the first to provide insightful solutions to the problems that your audience faces.
Be genuine and human. Create content that has a voice and draws people into a written conversation. People follow and admire leaders who are authentic, so make sure your writing conveys the real you.
Owned media and thought leadership go hand in hand
6. Showcase User-Generated Content
Encourage your customers to engage with your brand. Create contests with incentives that get your customers to share their stories and even photos of how they use your product or service. Once you have this, it becomes valuable owned media with the power to draw in your audience.
Show your audience how past customers are using and loving your product to make their work easier. This kind of word-of-mouth content gives a nod of approval to your brand from third parties, which is just the kind of recommendation that audiences want.
7. Amplify Peer Content
Create content that draws attention to your peers—other experts in your industry that create amazing content. This builds valuable relationships within your industry—relationships that you can rely on in the future.
Exactly how can you do this? Write a roundup post that links to key content from your peers on a certain subject—consider this one we did on calls to action. Interview fellow experts within your industry, and use those quotes to enhance your content.
This kind of owned media will attract their audience in addition to your own.
8. Address Your Entire Funnel
Many brands make the mistake of focusing too heavily in one area of their funnel — either in the beginning of the buyer’s journey, or more in-depth content that addresses the end of the buyer’s journey.
Instead, try to balance your content creation on all three parts of your funnel—from the initial curiosity of an audience, down to when they’re ready to buy.
Write blog posts that address preliminary questions or problems that your audience has. Consult with your sales team to see what problems potential customers face, and then create content that addresses each one. This could be blog posts, infographics, or videos.
But don’t forget to create content for the bottom part of your funnel. This could include Ebooks, white papers, and case studies that go in-depth into problems and provide proof of industry expertise. This kind of content convinces those readers who are on the verge of a purchase decision that you are the brand to trust.
9. Be Consistent
Consistency is a key component of effective content creation—if your audience gets bored waiting by their inbox, you might run the risk of their moving on to another brand’s content.
Create a regular schedule of content publication within your content strategy. As we mentioned before, companies find the most success in posting 11 or more times per month, so start scheduling content publication around twice a week to hit that goal.
10. Go Out with a Strategic Call to Action
Content without a call to action is a dead-end for your strategy. Make sure your audience knows how to take the next step from passive reader to an engaged follower.
Use language within your calls to action that motivates your audience and creates a feeling of anticipation. For example, Last Chance! Download Your Free Copy creates a sense of urgency, and Sign Up for Our Free Email Newsletter conveys the value behind the offer.
Everything from language to size to color matters when you create a call to action. So research the best ways to create calls to action, and see the powerful results you can get.
Key Points to Remember…
- Attract your audience with visual content such as graphics, videos, and infographics
- Address every stage of your funnel within your content
- Share your content at various intervals on social media to get traffic back to your website
- Use motivational calls to action to wrap up your content and show your audience their next step
Start planning today on how you can incorporate owned content into your overall PR strategy.
This article originally appeared in The B2B PR Blog, it is written by Wendy Marx from Business2Community, and legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.