Paid media is great for driving awareness and makes a promise to a consumer, but owned media is the vehicle by which to deliver against those promises.
So says the new Converged Media report, the culmination of a series of consumer and marketer surveys by London-based agency Seven. Marketers strongly agree with a converged approach to media, spending an increasing amount on paid while investing heavily in owned channels.
"There's a big shift in PR and Advertising. Although advertisements are still important, they don't work that well anymore," says Sam Bredl, Content and Marketing Manager at Take Off PR, a Vienna-based content marketing start-up. "Now you need to find your consumers' needs and produce information that can be used by them."
Useful information aside, Bredl suggests that marketers should create concise content and deliver the information in different formats. "It's important to create blog posts for your clients and use all social media channels," Bredl tells ClickZ.
Indeed, owned media, including blogs, email newsletters, brand websites and social media channels have increasingly appealed to marketers. More than 9 out of 10 brands have used an owned media channel or format in 2013, according to Seven, while 67 percent of marketers believe owned media will continue its upward trend next year.
Meanwhile, nearly 50 percent of advertisers agree that owned media is "important" or "extremely important". Four-fifths advertisers in the interview said that owned media is "very effective" or "somewhat effective" at delivering overall return on investment (ROI). This number is in line with the ratings given to both digital media (83 percent) and traditional paid media (78 percent).
A deeper look at the budget allocation reveals that owned media spend is spread across a variety of channels. Content-led websites, email and branded social media page including Facebook, Google+ and Twitter lead in spend.
Converged media goes beyond the use of both paid and owned media, to a deep understanding of the role each plays in assisting a customer in making a purchasing decision. Consumers and marketers agree that paid media rules at the beginning of the customer journey, says Seven. However, owned media is the key to conversion.
How can marketers begin to adopt a converged approach to new media? Seven recommends:
- Act like a publisher -- though they do admit the phrase is growing tired. Put your content first and channels second, they advise, ensuring the story is right first. Find an editor-in-chief to help convey a singular, consistent vision across content and channels. Finally, have an editorial plan.
- Recognize that content and distribution are equally important. Give equal strategic weight to the creation of fantastic content and a measurable, multi-channel approach to distribution, they recommend.
- Help your agencies get along. As long as the ability to perform above average advertising and create world-class content exist under different roofs, collaboration must be driven by the client.
Paid and owned media are stronger together. Marketers recognize the opportunity and are hungry to work in this way, says Seven.