5 Avenues to Build Your Positive Online Presence and Reputation
Paid. Owned. Shared. Earned. These four media avenues are readily available if you want to build your positive online presence and positive online reputation.
Avenue #1: Paid Media
This type of media refers to advertising and sponsorships. Simply put, you pay for this type of media. It includes online video ads, ads served in search engine results, ads on social networks, ads on mobile devices and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
Avenue #2: Owned Media
Owned media refers to your company’s websites, newsletters and blogs. There are two views on whether your company’s social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can be considered as your company’s owned media.
The first view holds that the content that you share on your company’s behalf across various social media sites is owned media. The second view holds that accounts on social media are “rented”, not owned. “Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are your landlords and you just lease the space,” said Mark Bonchek, in the article "Making Sense of Owned Media" published on the Harvard Business Review website. “But as your landlord, they can enter your apartment at will, renovate the building whenever they like ….”
Avenue #3: Shared Media
Your company’s interaction with consumers on your company’s social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are part of “shared media”. Shared media also includes social media postings shared by your consumers.
Avenue #4: Earned Media
This type of media refers to “word-of-mouth” marketing and public relations. For this type of media, you convert your prospects and customers as your brand advocates and influencers. Paid, owned and shared media can inspire earned media.
Control Factor of Paid, Owned, Shared and Earned Media
Who controls the cost and content in these four media avenues?
In paid media, the advertising company that you choose sets the costs, while you control the content.
In owned media, you’ve full control of the cost in getting your audience’s attention, and you’ve full control of the content.
In shared media, your company has full control of the company’s social media accounts, but your company has no control over what other social media users say about your business. With shared media, you control the cost of your time you spent earning your audience’s attention.
In earned media, your audience controls the content, while you control the cost of your time you spent earning your audience’s attention.
Trust Factor of Paid, Owned, Shared and Earned Media
Nielsen’s 2015 Global Trust in Advertising survey found the following interesting consumers’ media habits:
“The power of digital ad formats cannot be underestimated, as they offer many advantages for achieving effective reach,” said Randall Beard, president of Nielsen Expanded Verticals. “But few brands have mastered online word-of-mouth marketing techniques, the results of which can go viral very quickly.”
The Nielsen’s consumers’ media habits study was released in September 2015. Since then, the online landscape has changed a lot. The 2017 Edelman Global Trust Barometer gives new insights into consumers’ media habits. The new Edelman survey released in January 2017 offered the following interesting findings:
While owned media or business websites are more trusted than social media in the 2017 Edelman survey, this doesn’t mean that the public trusts business leaders more. The new Edelman survey revealed that a person like yourself, a technical expert and an academic expert tied as the most credible spokespersons, with 60% of the respondents trusting them. A company employee, meanwhile, is more trusted (48%) than the company CEO (37%).
Another important insight in the 2017 Edelman survey is the finding that 62% of company's social media are more believable than its advertising (38%).
Paid, owned, shared and earned media may have different approaches but they share the same purpose: to create awareness and engagement. A good mix of these four media avenues is important in getting the attention of your target audience and engaging them.
Avenue #5: Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an Emerging Media Platform
In May 2017, Forrester released a report called “The End Of Advertising As We Know It”. The report found that people aren't engaging with ads, with 38% of US online adults have installed an ad blocker; 50% of US online adults actively avoiding ads on websites; and 47% of US online adults actively avoiding mobile in-app ads.
The Forrester report said that online ad interruptions only work because consumers conduct their searches using interruption-friendly devices like desktops and mobile phones. But once consumers use anti-interruption devices like voice interfaces or AI-driven background services, consumers will feel even more hostile to ad interruptions according to Forrester.
The Forrester report said it isn’t hard to imagine a world in which intelligent personal assistants like Alexa would answer most of your questions you search on Google via your laptop or mobile phone today. James McQuivey, one of the authors of the Forrester report, said that today’s marketers can choose to invest in AI in order to build deeper relationships with their customers.
“That intelligent conversational relationship with the customer can begin now in chatbots on websites, in chat interfaces on mobile apps, in Alexa voice skills,” McQuivey said. "The tech will make conversations more satisfying to customers, but it's just as important that marketers learn how to make those conversations sparkle with the brand personality the CMO [Chief Marketing Officer] has committed the company to."
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