Chocolate and peanut butter are each delicious on their own, but combined together and you’ve got something truly delectable. This food-blending example is similar to a digital marketing strategy. I learned about this at a recent Public Relation Society of America professional luncheon where presenter Kevin Pike, a local digital marketing agency owner, explained how and why a company’s social, content, PR & SEO strategy should be blended into one.
Let’s start with the basics. The “Digital Marketing Trifecta” is comprised of earned media (PR, influencer mentions), paid media (advertising), and owned media (a company’s social media channels, website and blog). These are all great ways to market to consumers. The sweet spot is when all of these avenues blend together in one cohesive strategy. See photo Pike’s presentation below:
But how do digital marketers accomplish this when we face three common problems:
Problem 1: Some say SEO is dead
Problem 2: Content is undervalued
Problem 3: Marketing is very siloed
The good news is Pike gave us the solutions:
- Despite constantly changing Google algorithms and new requirements, SEO is not dead. The crossover between owned and earned media is where we find a lot of SEO success. Receiving blogger mentions and link-backs help SEO. Earned media is hardest to achieve, but it can significantly boost traffic to our owned media channels.
- The value of content needs more than traffic calculation. Content has a much deeper impact on long-term SEO, PR and awareness that needs to be considered. For example in grocery terms, look at the difference in the life of a weekly ad circular and a YouTube recipe video. The ad circular is good for one week and the probably thrown in the trash, while the recipe video can be used over again and shared on a variety of channels; it has a much longer shelf life. Plus, unlike an ad circular, we know exactly how many eyeballs view the video thanks to data analytics that come with online channels. Yes, it takes money and time to shoot, edit, upload and promote the video. However, the value of this content can reach more people for a much long period of time.
- Software companies and marketers are starting to incorporate more blended earned, paid, and owned strategies in marketing plans. Just look at the service selection available through this website. We can blend the same marketing messages through text, email, social, in-store events, partnerships with our private label brands, and more. Our digital marketing team is continuously working with our technology service partners to provide a seamless marketing experience.
Now that you know there are solutions…
Here are a few important tips that Pike shared in order to make each type of media more effectively work with the others:
For earned media:
Join HARO to find PR and SEO opportunities. Also be flexible and responsive. After all, PR and social opportunities can crop up on short notice and at any time of the day.
For owned media:
Long-form content is now winning. This means producing blog posts with 3,000-10,000 words with rich media intertwined. Make it digestible with bullet points and headers, so it works for the two-minute reader as well as the 15-minute reader. Also make content more shareable by adding social share buttons to everything.
For paid media:
Content must come before advertising and SEO. If you don’t invest in quality content, there’s no reason to spend the money promoting it. Then take time to analyze the results. Constantly test and evolve your paid strategy. There are over three million links shared on Facebook every hour and 1,500 posts compete for users’ news stream attention, according to Pike. By promoting quality content, brands and companies have a better chance of being seen. It truly is a “pay to play” network now.
UPDATE: Need a good example of brand that successfully blends earned, owned and paid media? Check out Chobani.