Reaching and Growing Your Online Audience

Reaching and Growing Your Online Audience

Reaching and Growing Your Online Audience

The most common approach is to use 4 main types of media channels – Paid, Owned, Earned and Content Marketing.

Paid media – Paid or bought media are media where there is investment to pay for visitors, reach or conversions through search, display ad networks. Facebook and Google display ads are the common choices.

Earned media – Traditionally, earned media is the name given to publicity generated through PR invested in targeting influencers to increase awareness about a brand. While this doesn’t cost anything there is a significant investment in time. Earned media will also include word-of-mouth that can be stimulated through viral and social media marketing and includes conversations in social networks, blogs and other communities. It’s useful to think of earned media as developed through different types of partners such as publishers, bloggers and other influencers including customer advocates. Think of earned media as different forms of conversations between consumers and businesses occurring both online and offline.

Owned Media – This is media owned by the brand. Online this includes a company’s own websites, blogs, mobile apps or their social presence on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Offline owned media which may include brochures or retail stores. It’s useful to think of a company’s own presence as media in the sense that they are an alternative investment in time to other media and they offer opportunities to promote products using similar ad or editorial formats to other media. The focus on owned media shows that you should emphasise the need for all organisations to become multi-channel publishers.

Content Marketing – Creating branded content is fast becoming the industry standard as traditional marketing becomes less effective. Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Through the creation of a content hub instead of pitching your products or services, you can provide relevant and useful content to your target audience to help them solve their issues. The Content Hub should be a central branded location where your audience can access and interact with all your key content marketing assets. In a practical sense, the content hub can be a blog or new section, an online customer magazine or a resource centre. Create the right types of sharable content formats to meet customer interests and company commercial goals. The quality and range of content must be sufficient and sustained to compete. The content should be a mix of Entertaining, Inspiring, Educating and Convincing material. Formats can include Articles, Competitions, Quizzes, Ebooks, Press Releases, Infographics, Reviews, Videos, Interactive Demos, Reports & Whitepapers and Case Studies.

Dennis Tapfuma About the author

Dennis Tapfuma has spent the last 12 years as digital delivery consultant for some of the world’s leading brands and digital agencies. He has served as an digital agency Programme Director and Consultant delivering digital programmes for clients which include Unilever, GSK and P&G.