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Content marketing is a discipline that requires commitment, staying power and perseverance. This discipline requires for all brands, regardless of their size, to create relevant, targeted and engaging content to connect with their customers to tell their unique brand stories. However, once the content has been created, is that it? Does a round of high fives conclude the content marketing component of your marketing communication?

If you answered ‘no’, you are correct, but what ARE the steps that follow content creation? Many brands neglect these crucial steps or execute it only in a half-hearted manner. This is really unfortunate as the next steps are when the MAGIC of content marketing truly happens!

In its most basic form, the solution is really simple: For successful and smart distribution, you need to harness owned, earned as well as paid media.

Owned media
This is all the media channels that you directly control which makes it the most flexible and cost efficient. Consequently, you also control the messaging and user experience. This media doesn’t come with a cost-to-advertise, though one needs to keep in mind the cost of creating the content. Examples of these channels are blogs, newsletters, social media accounts and websites.

Earned media
Earned media is when your brand’s content is published by independent channels. The benefit of earned media is the perceived credibility of being published by external media such as industry influencers and media publications who are not getting paid to publish your content. It is an authentic and effective way to amplify your branded content and expand your reach.

Paid media
Here you pay for advertising on guaranteed media placements to reach a specific and targeted audience. Examples include PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising, social media advertising (on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and sponsored content (on Twitter, newsletters, third-party websites, etc.).

Two-prong process:
1. Publish all content first on a centrally owned publishing platform, such as your website or blog.
2. Amplify your content through earned and paid media while making sure that traffic is always directed back toward your central platform. In this way, your content directs your audience back to the original source: your website.

Last but not least!
Always make sure your content performance is accurately measured and tracked so that you may adjust your strategy accordingly to constantly improve your return on investment.

Source: http://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2014/12/earned-owned-and-paid-are-you-using-right-media-in-marketing-infographic.html#ixzz3LEkTooV6