The Marketer’s Guide to Overcoming the 3 Hurdles of Converged Media

@Wendy | Social, Strategy

In today’s digital world, marketers must figure out how to use media and advertising in new ways to drive consumer engagement. Brands must build their strategy holistically to optimize paid, owned and earned media. Paid media sources are channels that require advertising dollars for visibility, such as digital advertising, social advertising and paid sponsorships. Owned media includes your website, social outposts, microsites, landing pages, blogs and other ‘owned’ assets, and earned media is what is generated in the way of visibility and engagement with your target audience that you earn as a result.


The ability to leverage the opportunity of the 3 main media channels — paid, earned and owned — provides a marketer with the ability to leverage an unparalleled collective power towards attracting, converting and retaining its customers. And industry leaders are justifying it’s potential…

This means that marketing and media strategy becomes even more important with the biggest challenge being the earned media medium — one that marketers can’t pay for or control. Brands must consistently develop targeted content that educates, entertains and enables consumers to share their experiences with the brand — and when they can easily converse on all digital touch points (websites, social media, blogs, etc.), the brand realizes it’s investment from paid and owned assets.

What’s the secret recipe to utilizing earned media to its full potential?

With only 17% of CMOs achieving that truly integrated consumer experience, there’s a opportunity for marketers to create value and revenue for their brand  across their marketing programs and channels t to ultimately create the perfect paid/earned/owned media combination.

3 Hurdles of Paid/Earned/Owned Media Convergence

  1. Optimize & Align Your Owned Media Properties with Social — they are a your biggest controlled asset and they need your attention. Make sure each channel technically integrates with the other for consumer ease of use, funneling meaningful interactions from one channel to the other. In today’s fragmented media landscape, every digital touch point that you own should be ‘on message’ and offer clear calls to action that enable a consumer to move through a lifecycle to purchase and share their experiences with others. Before you start spending outside advertising dollars, go through the assets that your brand has at its disposal and  see how much you can leverage.
  2. Visually Message, Editorialize & Enable Your Content for Participation — today content that is consumed visually and then combined with a simple and targeted message that resonates with a pain or pleasure is very powerful. Add in an engagement factor, such as an entertaining game or discounted coupon as a motivator, and you’ve got the ability to ignite an audience to generate and share content on behalf of your brand.
  3. Use Paid Advertising to Continually & Quickly Refine Your Campaigns — utilizing paid media to drive participation and traffic back to your website or other integrated social experiences completes  the owned, earned, and paid media trifecta. Whether it’s your  existing media or external marketing efforts, promoting your social experience ensures visibility, traffic and success.

“Paid, owned, and earned integration is in a state of early maturity across the ecosystem,” write Rebecca Lieb and Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Group in their just-released report titled “The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Will Combine Paid, Owned and Earned Media.”

Be Holistic, Start Small and Iterate Quickly

There’s no disputing it. Consumers of your brand are on social media sites. Which social media sites, whether you’re visible and whether you are motivated to engage is where the proverbial rubber meets the road. Your targeted marketing campaigns should consider all channel possibilities, like LinkedIn sponsored updates, Twitter’s promoted tweets or Facebook’s advertisements for visibility, but without an investment in your digital touch points, your audience will not be interested or enabled to interact.

Ultimately, it’s about integrating real-time, visually and socially enabled content into your owned destinations and utilizing advertising to fuel the amplification. In other words (or simply put), it’s your job to integrate branded real-time earned media across paid and owned platforms.

Additions & Feedback

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