Digital and social communications (a.k.a. owned media) should now be at the gooey, chewy center of every marketing and communications effort.
Simple. That’s where a brand’s captured audience resides.
For example, Pepsi has 3.5 million fans on Facebook. Ocean Spray, after less than 9 months on Facebook, has 160,000 fans on Facebook. Starbucks has 1.3 million followers on Twitter. American Airlines has 175,000 Twitter followers.
Progressive brands are making incredible inroads with customers and key audiences on social platforms. Engagement happens on those platforms: reading content, downloading coupons, getting product news and information, getting answers to questions, watching videos, perusing photo albums, interacting with other fans and leaving behind insights and observations.
These “social networked” people are more valuable – and more interested in a brand’s messages than the typical audiences found on other communications and marketing channels. For example, readers of a newspaper article about a brand will reach more uninterested people than interested. The same goes double for any TV advertising a brand does.
These mass communications channels – while still important – aren’t as targeted or as engaging as social networks.
Brands should now be focused on providing communications and marketing to their best audiences first and those are the audiences they have already captured and are actively engaged with on social networks.
Think of the amazing possibilities when putting owned media at the center. Campaigns can start on social platforms – to be refined and tested with fans – and then unleashed to mass audiences.
For example, fans on Facebook can unlock TV advertisements for exclusive free peeks – and then share them with friends and family. Those same ads can now have interactive components and generate conversations and sharing – all before hitting the public airwaves.
By providing exclusives – in content, deals and products – to social fans first brands build loyalty. They get in the habit of rewarding their best customers. This leads to more people wanting to connect with a brand on social channels – because it is worth it.
Talk about a winning formula.
What are you thoughts about owned, earned and paid media? Where does owned media reside in your marketing and communications mix?
(Disclosure: Weber Shandwick, where I’m employed, works with Pepsi, Ocean Spray and American Airlines).